Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Electric Cinema, Notting Hill

When I was in the dizzy blooms of pregnancy, this was where I imagined I'd be going every week once the bub arrived: the Electric Cinema in Notting Hill. Huge comfortable armchairs and sofas, softly lit table lamps, delicious food - the Electric's Tuesday morning "Screaming" was going to be my home from home for the next year. It'll be great I thought. I'll get to see every new release while my softly snoring babe snoozed in my lap.

That was the plan.

The Electric Diner
Now look. I'm not saying my experience was typical. In fact, I know it wasn't typical. Because out of the 100 or so babies in that theatre, mine was the only one who screamed through the whole thing. The. Whole. Thing. I spent most the film pacing at the back trying to calm him down. At the end I had to leave to change a nappy and missed the end of the film. Yup.

I went ages ago, and this post is just appearing now because I always thought I'd go back. I didn't. But really, you should go. It's an ace place. But try to time it for when Cosmo isn't there.

And if you go, check out the attached Electric Diner before the screening (you access the cinema - right by the screen - through a very cool secret door by the toilets). We had a scrumptious breakfast and while it's not the most buggy-friendly restaurant,  the staff made us feel incredibly welcome. If we don't make it back to the cinema, we might just come back here and eat another plate of waffles...

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Pure Package

OK, maybe putting a photo of the delectable Hugh Jackman under a post entitled ‘Pure Package’ might have caused you a raised eyebrow…  but bear with me. This blog isn’t about to take a lurid turn (more’s the pity). Oh no. Mr Jackson’s noble noggin is providing a relevant, wholesome visual aid to next London tip for incompetent mothers, i.e. "Pure Package", a gourmet food delivery service.

Pure Package delivers specialist menus to a variety of clients around London (including the de-loverly Hugh Jackman) catering for a variety of diets including that of the post-natal mother. 

I’ve mentioned before I wasn’t in a great way when I came out of hospital. That’s an understatement. I only remember eating two pieces of polystyrene toast and half a plate of air-line style pasta during my three-day stay. Every time food was brought to me, I was supposed to be feeding. And due to complications, feeding took forever. And due to health and safety my uneaten food was swiftly removed after a certain length of time. No wonder I started hallucinating. 

But once home, one of the biggest factors in my recovery was the delicious food parcels that arrived in a cooler bag on the doorstep in the middle of the night. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and fruit. Each meal nutritionally designed to meet the needs of a breastfeeding mother, and very, very  tasty. I truly believe that my recovery, both physically and mentally, was due in a large part to these food parcels. Even when I didn't feel like eating, a beautiful dish turned up on my doorstep and I forced myself to eat it. Within 24 hours I no longer had to force myself. (They even provide disposable cutlery and napkins so you don't have to do any washing up).

Pure Package, as you can imagine, is not cheap. After all, you're having all the meals prepared and delivered to your house. However, I'd say it was exceptional value. In one way that's easy for me to say as I didn't pay for it - it was paid for (a whole SIX WEEKS worth) by my wonderful twinster Elizabeth. However, I would definitely use my own dosh to use their service again - maybe not for six weeks but certainly for the first few days out of hospital. They're a great company: flexible, considerate and in my case, worth every penny. And I thank my lucky stars I live in central London where services like this can make all the difference to an incompetent mother...

Sunday, 4 August 2013

British Museum, Bloomsbury

Who doesn't love the British Museum? I visited numerous times pre-motherhood, and couldn't wait to take Cosmo - especially as my spies had informed me it had great facilities for babies...

Well, after a rather hellish bus journey, we arrived to a rather hellish museum. I'd forgotten just how popular the British Museum is. Crowded, noisy. And my attempt to garner information about the family-friendly activities from the "Information" stand didn't amount to much. All I can say is that the staff here could learn a thing or two from the V&A. No smiles and cheer here, no, far too busy for that thank you.

The British Musuem may indeed have good (not great) facilities for babies - private nursing room, nappy vending machine etc - but what's the point if you can't find them? I asked four members of staff where the nursing room before I was eventually pointed in the right direction. At the same time, I was also informed  couldn't use it as it was the wrong day - or the wrong time - couldn't really get which. Yep, that's right. Apparently, you may only nurse in private during certain hours. They did, however, permit me to take a picture of it. Whoopie. Here it is:

What is it about nursing rooms and bare walls? Will somebody put up a poster or something?

Ho-hum. So unable to use the nursing room, I was advised to visit the lower ground floor to feed Cosmo in peace and quiet. On first glance, this seemed like an ideal place, but as soon as we got comfortable, a rather stern member of staff began herding people up as a private conference was beginning. We finished up quickly.

I'm not saying the British Museum isn't baby-friendly, but for an incompetent mother it's not a great day out. On paper, it looks great. In reality I won't be back for a while.