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Yank mum new to Richmond/East/North Sheen/Twickenham area

(50 Posts)
YanksUponThames Fri 03-Mar-06 16:26:35

Hello to all --

I'm a newbie here on mumsnet but it's about time I started meeting people.

We moved here a few months ago from overseas; husband here for 2-yr job stint. I'm a SAHM -- Ds is 3.5 and a bit lonely from moving around etc. (and because this immediate neighbourhood doesn't have enough mums&kids I've met yet) but he's a major sweetie and I'm lucky in that regard. I need to meet other mums/playmates and make some friends. My location is good for the shops & station & buses (i.e. convenient for dh's commuting), for the Richmond Green & Park, & the Old Deer Park playground, etc. Our address sounds posh, but flat is tiny and surrounding streets appear to have only pensioners and/or rich people who can't be bothered. So I could use some company with regular people! With kids and everything!

Plenty of mums & kids going by near here every day, but generally everyone seems to be on their way to somewhere else (like the shops), since Normal People don't actually live here, apparently....

I have no car, but lots of buses about, going in all directions -- Sheens, Kew, Twickenham, Kingston, Putney, etc. And trains. So I can get about (at toddler speed), but need places to go, people to meet, things to do.

Also what sort of school/nursery ideas make sense for a 3.5 yr old who will be here just 18 more months -- and on a moderate budget (more moderate than a Richmond address probably usually implies, I gather!).
(this is not quite the sort of neighbourhood we live in back home...)

Anyway, I'd love to hear from anyone around the Richmond, Kew, North Sheen, East Sheen, St Margarets, Twickenham, Ham, Petersham, Kingston, etc. etc. areas. Hey, west London generally...

Thanks!

sfxmum Fri 03-Mar-06 16:40:44

hi there
i live in kew, am european currently on maternity leave and live in kew (really not posh at all)
i have a dd who is 9months all, so i guess not ideal for you but happy to meet up for coffee.
i spend some time at kew gardens because its just so handy.

Tommy Fri 03-Mar-06 16:49:23

Used to live in E Sheen (but a long time ago ) - just a quick comment on the nursery thing - all 3.5 year olds can have a free place at a nursery/preschool and they are all only there for 18 months or so before they go to "big" school (the September before they are 5). Ask around or look on here - the CIS for help.
Have fun

uwila Fri 03-Mar-06 17:15:43

Hiya, where are you from? I'm American. I'm from Chicago. My husband is English. We live in Sunbury, which isn't too far from Twickenham. In fact, we go to church in Twickenham. I work foull time, and we have a live in nanny. But,I'm around evenings (without kids) and weekends (with kids). My kids are 9 munths and almost 3.


So, if all 3 of us got together, then we'd have 2 3 year olds and 2 9 month olds.

uwila Fri 03-Mar-06 17:16:38

BTW, hello SFXMUM. Didn't realise we were neighbors!

YanksUponThames Fri 03-Mar-06 18:32:00

Hi uwila -- yeah, the east side of Sunbury fits on my Richmond/Kingston A-Z map.
2 3-yr-olds and 2 9-mo-olds sounds like a plan to me!
I grew up around Baltimore, and dh is from northern Virginia D.C. suburbs, so we're both from the same metro area. Relatives still there. After school we settled in the "Research Triangle" area of Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill North Carolina -- an island of a million people's worth of universities/techno-jobs/yuppie-suburbs in otherwise peaceful farmland of NC. Handy for both mountains and beach within a few hours' drive. (like the rest of the mid-atlantic area)
Where are you from around Chicago?

Kew Gardens has a decent indoor soft play area if you want to head in this direction at some point. Fee for Kew seems pricey until you find out that a year's pass/membership only costs about 3x the one-shot, so it makes sense for anybody in the general area. Next time I go that's what I'm gonna do.

Tell me what there is to do over in your area!

Lots of shops around here....
(though I'm not the world's biggest shopper)
Tube station, too.

sfxmum -- I'd love to get together some time. I live right on Richmond Green (park benches etc, a block away from the high street) with Starbuck's & Coffee Republic very close. Plus a few different yummy sandwich shops/cafes. And several kid/baby-friendly restaurants -- Tootsie's (next to the river), Giraffe, wagamama, etc. Lots of others too.
And I like Kew, so the gardens are a good idea too.
Where are you from originally? Are you here for long term or short term?

Tommy -- thanks for clues about school etc! I hope to get that sorted out in a reasonable time. Ds seems fairly bright and is nice but needs to get hanging around other kids soon...
Where do you live now, if you're not in E Sheen any more?

sfxmum Fri 03-Mar-06 18:36:03

hi there
just quick post, will reply properly later. i have a kew membership and some free passes to use so that might well be a good option, i will post bit later dd bedtime now

Tommy Fri 03-Mar-06 20:38:09

Hi Yanksuponthames - I was a student in Roehampton just up the road from you!) and I lived in a very small flat in E Sheen for a year. I could tell you all the dodgy pubs around there but it was 18 years ago
(am I really that old? )

Novembergirl Fri 03-Mar-06 22:27:16

I used to live in Richmond so would be happy to meet up to chat about babies (DS is 13 months old) and tell you all I can recall about the area.

YanksUponThames Fri 03-Mar-06 22:50:42

Thanks for the responses!!! I need to get to bed soon, but will check back as I can over the weekend. Looking forward to upcoming meet-ups...

sfxmum Sat 04-Mar-06 12:07:43

hello good morning
sorry i did not get back last night, things got busy.

i am portuguese (sort of), married to a brit. and have lived in london going on 14yrs. i moved to the area last march. dd is my first baby and i am 'an older mum' i know the area more from an adult point of view rather than a mum IYSWIM, but be learning soon.
when i go into town i usually stop by the starbucks by the station, its less crowded and dd likes the highchairs
as i mentioned i like going to kew gardens, mostly because its within walking distance, very relaxing and good for children. we lso live in a flat so a membership to the gardens seemed a good solution for open spaces.
the green is also nice, i remember sitting there watching cricket and munching on sandwiches. and no i dont understand the game.
should you like to meet up e-mail me via mumsnet, would be nice.

uwila-hi i did not realise we were neighbours, did not even realise you are american, should have guessed from your contributions on other threads, taxes taxes taxes amused to read your nanny was being ostracised on account of jars,v funny

uwila Sat 04-Mar-06 17:13:30

Hi Yank,
What is there to do in my area. Well, not a lot to be honest. Although I suppose Hampton Court is nice in the warmer months. We actually spen dmost of our leisure time in Kingston/Twickenham/sometimes Richmond.

So, are we on for a weekend meet-up in Kew then? How long do you suppose we have to wait for decent weather. I'm sooooooo fed up with the cold!

We also like Snakes and Ladders in Syon Park. But, it can get really crowded on the weekend.

YanksUponThames Sun 05-Mar-06 16:05:48

Hiya again -

sfxmum - Yeah, I want to get a Kew year pass, too, for the same reasons. Aside from liking the Kew grounds for ds's playing, I also happen to be a plant/botany geek in general (and a little frustrated to be in 3 room flat away from garden/growing space at house back in the states, what with spring coming and all ). I think uwila wants to go to Kew, too, and can do weekends, so maybe we can coordinate a Saturday or Sunday some time soon with her (when it's not pissing/bucketing down). And we could meet up weekdays, too, if you're still on leave. I haven't yet used the email thru mumsnet, but I'll give it a try.
Cricketers haven't shown up on the green here yet, but footballers have and I assume cricket isn't far behind.

uwila -- Yeah, I'm tired of the cold too (though this weekend isn't turning out so bad, ds & I have had a cough (getting over the infectious bit now) and the cool dry air isn't helping). I've already whined to other people that for those of us used to the contrasts (and lower latitudes!) of north america, spending the winter in Britain is like spending several months in a dimly lit refrigerator. It never really freezes seriously, but it never really warms up, either. (unlike the -10C/nights and +15C winter days at home) And don't get me started on how short the days are here in the winter. But that means they'll be absurdly long in the summer, so I guess that's the compensation.

Has anyone been to Osterley Park, and is there anything there for kids. And I ought to have already been to Marble Hill House, but haven't yet gone all the way onto the grounds to the river. Is there a playground there?

Novembergirl Wed 08-Mar-06 06:49:55

Hi YanksUponThames,

Hope you are coping with the dreary, 'grey' and colourless weather!

If you ever fancy meeting up for a coffee and natter during the week, do let me know. Although I work, I could easily free up some time and pop down to Richmond for a meet-up; there are some great places for coffee and the cakes....mmmm. I saw one of your posts on another age-related thread, so I suspect we would have quite a few things to chat about...

Must dash now as off to work/nursery. Bye for now,

georginarf Wed 08-Mar-06 07:27:54

hello there Richmondy people

I live in Whitton, which is the cheap bit of Twickenham....full of OAPs and boy racers. But I am always kicking about Richmond, Twickenham, Kew etc. trying to pretend that I belong in the smarter areas, so would love to join any meetup. Keen on going to KEw Gardens too. I have a 15 month old DD. Am not working so always around at the moment, and I am often to be foung wandering around Richmond Green and the shops, then curled up in Starbucks

Marble Hill has a cafe which is open (I've just checked) Mar-Oct, but not Mondays/Tuesdays in MArch. I don't think there's a playground but could be wrong as last time I went DD wasn't moving so wouldn't have noticed - the cafe was always heaving with mums and kids though. Don't know about Osterley, but I have a feeling it doesn't have anything special for kids. Syon House is better for that, as Uwila says.

uwila Wed 08-Mar-06 08:11:01

Hi Georginarf. Welcome to our new little group.

Great, so can we pick a Saturday to meet up? How about one in April. We are all booked up through April 01. The weather should be nicer by then (I hope!). Shall we plan for Kew?

foxinsocks Wed 08-Mar-06 08:25:41

marble hill has a fantastic playground - you just have to know where to look!! If you went in the top entrance, you could quite easily miss it.

The playground bit is down by the river - if you know where the cafe is, you stand in front of the cafe, facing the river (say the river is 12 o clock) and head sort of 2 o clock ish and you get to the playground. It too has a sort of cafe which serves ice creams/coffees and a set of (not so nice) loos.

In the summer, there's also a fantastic one o clock club - well worth a visit. I can't remember the cost but it's minimal and they have a lovely outdoor and indoor space.

foxinsocks Wed 08-Mar-06 08:30:28

actually, I've prob oversold the playground - it's a nice playground but what makes it great is that you can feed the ducks and get a coffee!

(also there is a little ferry - like a metal rowing boat - that takes you over the river to Ham House. The kids really enjoy that).

georginarf Wed 08-Mar-06 09:17:55

well there you go, there is a playground! - mind you I was such a sleep deprived mess last time I went I probably wouldn't have noticed the Titanic cruising up the Thames.

April weekend and Kew good for me as in actual fact having said I'm always around, am booked up on March Saturdays. looking forward to it!

sfxmum Wed 08-Mar-06 09:50:32

hello neighbours, its a group now!
i am realy pleased to find there are local mums around the same age group. so far i have only noticed au pairs who mostly talk amongst themselves.

i like the idea of a kew meet up sometime in april or may, but avoiding easter please, far too busy.

how about a richmond coffee meet up during the week sometime, once it stops raining pref.

about the weather, well i dont mind cold but the dreary greyness does get to me, and in all these years i cant get used to the short winter days, just gets me down between oct and christmas.
anyhow lets find a date, good day all

arfissimo Wed 08-Mar-06 11:03:02

Hi All,

I've lived in Kingston, Richmond, Petersham, Twickenham. I'm currently in Oz but would love to help (I still have a house in Kingston). Can't meet up - although am back in the UK in June for a few weeks.

Kew is fabulous and good for children - there are a couple of educational play areas which are well worth going to if you have annual pass. My DD (3.4) loved the indoor heated tropical conservatories and the plant oriented play areas.

Richmond Park is great, plenty of deer and wildlife. The soft play area and butterflies are good at Syon Park, although the soft play gets manic. There are peacocks there too.

There's also a soft play area in Richmond, whose name escapes me. It's a bit hard to describe where it is too - if you know where Blooming Marvellous and the Thai shop are, on the part of the one way system at the junction near Robert Dyas - the road takes a sharp right after the Thai Shop, but at that intersection there is a car park and church. Behind the car park is the soft play centre.

Here's a site with lots of links for things to do around Kingston:

Kingston Families online

Chessington World of Adventures is quite good for young ones, but expensive for a day out.

If you need more, let me know. I've been up since 4am and it's 10pm now and my brain has switched off.

Welcome to the UK btw. I hope you enjoy your stay.

arfissimo Wed 08-Mar-06 11:04:05

Sorry, meant 'Hi YanksUponThames & All'!

georginarf Wed 08-Mar-06 11:51:44

think the soft play area in Richmond is called Hugo's, have been meaning to try it.

arfissimo Wed 08-Mar-06 12:00:27

Yes! Thank you. It is Hugos.

It's OK I'd say. Not brilliant. You can get decent healthy food there, which is good. It's pretty cramped upstairs (and upstairs, so stairgates and a pain to go to the loo/cafe), but all in all worth a visit. I couldn't find anything else apart from the one at Syon Park, which is huge and can be quite scary for little ones.

YanksUponThames Wed 08-Mar-06 22:28:17

Wow, thanks everybody for all the great info.
Coffee & natter sounds lovely! My schedule (during weeks) is usually +/- flexible; the more advance notice the better, and since I don't have a car things are generally better when it's not pissing down... I do live close to the Richmond high street & Green and it isn't far to walk.

my weekends are busy thru Apr. 1, too, but definitely let's do Kew! (and yes, avoiding Easter, I already reckoned that'd be a madhouse) I'm looking forward to it.

I thought Marble Hill House must have a playground. I'd heard about the one o'clock club there (and the ferry thing) but also found it only runs during the warm half of the year.

Thanks also for clues about Hugo's. I live pretty nearby, and walk around that area all the time, but I didn't know that was there. D'oh! I'll check it out.

Glad I finally found found mumsnet! Y'all are great.

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