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Few hours to kill in Kingston - suggestions please

(13 Posts)
Gem13 Wed 20-Apr-05 19:21:13

I'll be on my own with two children - 1 and 2. DH will be in a lunch meeting so we need to find somewhere nice to have lunch, a park, somewhere interesting to go - maybe a nice toyshop as bribery. I will be putting them in a double buggy so places need to be accessible with that.

I haven't been before so is it a fairly easy to find parking?


jane313 Wed 20-Apr-05 19:28:27

Some of the car parks get full quickly. Seven Kings which is at off the richmond road near a big sainsburys doesn't. You could go and feed the ducks on the river (just north of kingston bridge, theres a green area/park) but if you have a son like mine who likes to try and launch himself in it might be tricky! Last time I went there I saw that in a restaurant called Blue Hawaii they have a big kids play area. its open for lunch and is one of those make up your won meal place, I think they have a website. I remembered it cos I thought of meeting a freind there as theres not many other place to let a toddler loose (well my one anyway!). Most of the shopping areas are new so very buggy friendly, you just have to wait for the lifts a lot)

charleypops Wed 20-Apr-05 19:31:19

Parking's easy - at John Lewis's or Bentalls - multi stories next to each other. Probably have to queue to get in on a weekend. I only go for shopping, so not sure about other stuff. Nice place though.

foxinsocks Wed 20-Apr-05 19:32:42

Weirdly, I haven't really eaten out very much in Kingston but there is a TGI Fridays that is apparently v child friendly. Failing that, there's a food hall on the 2nd floor of the Bentalls centre - it's self service food from a number of fairly ordinary food places (fish and chips, baked potatoes, chinese, sandwiches) but you can sit in a child friendly bit where the kids can run around and no-one bats an eyelid. Also next to that bit are baby changing and child toilets.

In the Bentall centre, there is a big Lego shop (1st floor I think) which has that duplo style lego at the back for the kids to play with. Also big ELC on the ground floor. Outside, there's an Entertainer (great for toy bargains) and a big Woolworths (quite near to each other). Both bentalls (in the bentall centre) and John Lewis have toy sections for something that the main stores don't stock.

jane313 Wed 20-Apr-05 19:33:44

it looks like its only tues to thurs, heres a bit I found

"A highlight to any outing is a family meal out. Parents get a break from the cooking and clearing up and children get to try new tastes and learn the rituals and manners of eating outside the home environment. You’d think it was easy – right? As a restaurateur who had recently become a parent, TALIB ARAIM couldn’t believe that finding a child-friendly restaurant was so hard! As far as he was concerned, there was only one way to tackle the problem and that was by putting his money where his mouth is.

As a local Dad I don’t think I’m asking for much. I mean, it’s simple really:

• I want to be able to meet a friend for lunch for an hour or two with our children present.

• I want to leave my children in a play area that is supervised but which I can see from my table.

• I want to have the option of ordering healthy food for my children.

• I want them to be in the play area, call them over when their food arrives, feed them and let them return to the play area.

• I don’t want staff making me feel as if I’m making their life hell for bringing my kids to their restaurant. I want to feel welcome and relaxed.

So it makes sense that I have put my money where my mouth is and launched Mini Blue Hawaii. Every Thursday to Tuesday from 12 noon and 3 pm, The Blue Hawaii will be a child friendly restaurant and promises :

• A restaurant that welcomes children of all ages.

• A menu offering a healthier option for children.

• A supervised play area for children aged 2 to 6 inclusive.

• Open-view cooking areas where children can safely watch their food being prepared by accommodating chefs.

• Comfortable child-friendly toilet facilities.

• Pram storage area.

• Staff who like children and will not make you feel embarrassed if your child is noisy or easily excitable.

• Most important, a chance for you, the parents, to enjoy lunch with friends while your children are being supervised in a play area that you can see.

Blue Hawaii is at 2 Richmond Road, Kingston. It’s easy to find, opposite Kingston train station.Check and book on 020 8549 6989."


jane313 Wed 20-Apr-05 19:35:23

Theres a new restuarant complex opp the station with one of everything, chinese (very cheap all you can eat buffet, but nice) a pasta place, a japanese conveyer belt place) an old orleans and a few others. All had high chairs and childrens menus

fisil Wed 20-Apr-05 19:39:45

I always use John Lewis carpark. You may have to queue for a few minutes around lunch time, but it is a very easy carpark (no fiddly places that you have to be in the know about etc.). And you get fed straight into JL! The store is totally pushchair friendly, but a slightly odd layout, so just ask the staff! It also has a toilet on the 3rd floor with potty, kiddy toilet and a toilet that you can fit a double buggy into, plus changing and feeding area. The coffee shop is currently closed for refurbishment, but there is another one overlooking the river (which I've never been to).

We go to Starbucks in Borders a lot. Fantastic children's area, and in the week the Starbucks doesn't get too busy so you can relax there and let the children run about. Also has a loo that you can get a buggy into.

Carluccio's is down an alleyway at the side of Borders and is of course great for children. It does get very busy at lunchtimes, even in the week.

The Kingfisher pool also has a park outside it, plus a children's library and museum very close by - so lots of good cheap fun. The pool has a beach section and wave machine, and is open in the week from 11a.m. onwards. We tend to get cold after about 1/2 an hour though - even though the changing rooms are unbearably hot. I can't remember the name of that area, but if you're interested I can give you directions.

jane313 Wed 20-Apr-05 20:01:12

The park north of the bridge is called Canbury Gardens, its on the A-Z

Gem13 Wed 20-Apr-05 22:19:30

Thank you all.

The Blue Hawaii sounded great but I rang and they only offer the child friendly bit on Saturdays and Sundays (we are going tomorrow).

John Lewis sounds good for parking and loos - forgot that DS is currently being potty trained!

The pool sounds fantastic but I don't feel brave enough with the two by myself.

I'm going with Carluccios for lunch maybe Starbucks for a drink, definitely Borders and the Lego shop and then duck feeding. That's a couple of hours sorted.

Thanks again - looking forward to it!

fisil Wed 20-Apr-05 22:28:08

Have fun!

Try to park as close to the entrance/exit in the JL car park - then you are right by a lesser known pay machine & lifts - which are the best ones for going directly to the third floor for the kiddy loos!

tatt Fri 22-Apr-05 13:20:54

how late does the Knigfisher pool open please - miay want to go there.

Blu Fri 22-Apr-05 13:27:56

Walk over the bridge and into Bushey park? or the park alongside the river, if it's a nice day. Deer, ducks, and the rhododendrens might be in full bloom.

Gem13 Fri 22-Apr-05 19:12:22

Thanks for your tips. I did everything I set out to do. The children were excellently behaved and enjoyed their lunch, a little play in the Lego shop, browsing in Borders and the swans on the river.

We had a good time

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