On Sunday we headed back to London, we had already booked to see The Snowman at the Peacock Theatre, I got a discount on these tickets through a website I’m signed up to. I wanted to post a referral link to this website for people however the company do not offer referrals all the time! I will keep my eye out and hopefully l get a referral link soon. I paid £26 per ticket instead of £38 which I thought was a bargain, I had some money saved up and decided this would be an early Christmas present for Kimaarah so we could make some lovely memories as a family. I invited my mum along as she also enjoys the theatre, we used to go quite often when I was younger.

The show was not booked until 7pm so we decided to head to London after lunch and go see the sights in Covent Garden, by the time we got there it was packed! Although it’s a lovely atmosphere I would definitely get there earlier and I would only spend 1-2 hours looking around and taking advantage of all the photo ops there are. Here are some of ours:

Originally our dinner at The Ivy Market Grill was booked for 4.30pm but myself and Kimaarah were getting hungry so we went to the restaurant at around 4pm and asked if we could be seated early which they were very accommodating to do this! The Ivy is located in Covent Garden on Henrietta Street, it was very easy to find and also very eye catching as it was decorated beautifully with lots of people taking photos outside – again another reason to come early as there were always people getting in the way of our photos! The Ivy is located in different areas of London and across the UK, this is the the first one I’ve visited and I was very impressed and would love to visit another in future. First of all I was impressed with how easily they accommodated us to eat early as it’s very hard to get a reservation on the same day although we had booked early but as it was a busy weekend they did well to move our reservation forward. I would definitely recommend booking in advance, we booked directly through their website which links with OpenTable, about a week in advance. I was also pleased with how child friendly it was, it’s not your normal chain restaurant and a little more refined so I didn’t know how Kimaarah would be but every single one of the team treated her very well and dealt with her diva demands such as wanting her orange juice in a wine glass! The children’s menu is not on their website so I wasn’t sure what would be offered but they had lots of options, sausage and mash, fish, breaded chicken, grilled chicken, pasta, all items that children like but presented a little more classy! Kimaarah chose the grilled chicken with broccoli and it was a very generous portion and also came with a silver pot of tomato sauce on the side, like their version of ketchup which was of course not the Heinz variety. We also ordered her a side of chips. We were offered the brunch menu or the all day menu so we had a good choice. Myself and mum both had the Shepherds Pie (£14.50) and ordered a side of green beans to share, this was enough for us. Mum had a Bellini and I had a glass of rosé, the pricing was on par with a London restaurant, around £10 per cocktail and £5.50 for my glass of wine. For dessert me and mum shared their special Christmas dessert The Golden Nutcracker which was delicious, with brandy cream and a chocolate nutcracker sprayed gold. Kimaarah chose mango sorbet which was served in a silver cup with a sugar biscuit on the side. Our bill came to £86 with service charge which is what I would expect to pay for somewhere this nice. The service was very attentive without being rushed, we felt very welcomed, I noticed lots of people were in casual wear so I wouldn’t say it’s ultra dressy but maybe you would want to dress up if you went for a later dinner.  Overall I would definitely recommend The Ivy Market Grill and look forward to visiting another Ivy in future, if anyone has visited a different one please feel free to recommend!

If you wanted to try somewhere a little cheaper around Covent Garden I can also recommend Big Easy and Maxwells, there are so many dining options around the theatres but I would personally always recommend booking in advance.

At the end of our dinner we surprised Kimaarah by telling her where we were off to next, as up until now she had no clue! She was very excited as this was her first time at a London theatre. We have watched The Snowman film at home before but I can safely say nothing can compare to the show. Our seats were in the stalls, row F to the side. We had a great view and could see everything but sometimes you could see off to the side of the stage where they were helping the cast to prepare for next scenes so I would definitely recommend centre seats if you don’t want to ruin the magic for your little ones! I found out just before we went to see the show that there was no talking, of course I totally forgot that there’s no talking on the film and I don’t know what I expected from the show. I didn’t know how Kimaarah would react to this but she was so engaged and mesmerised, the music was beautiful and there was some real stand out moments of dancing. I particularly enjoyed the ballet dancers. It was good for Kimaarah to see this as she already does ballet so for her to see on stage I feel like this gives her a bit of aspiration for the future. There was a lot of dancing involved which we all enjoyed. Of course the real ‘wow’ moment was ‘walking in the air’ where Kimaarah’s face was a picture! I would definitely love to see The Snowman again and would recommend for children of all ages and the whole family. The show was around 2 hours and that included a 20 minute interval. The only thing I would do differently next time is go for the matinee show as we had quite a late night followed by school the next morning!

We had a great weekend in London and are lucky enough to live close by so we can commute backwards and forwards but in case you don’t live near to London I can recommend the following hotels that I’ve personally stayed at:

Travelodge Covent Garden

K-West Hotel (Shepherds Bush)

Hilton Canary Wharf

Kimpton Fitzroy (for a special occasion this is lovely!)

Doubletree Courthouse Hotel in the West End (I used to attend all my work conferences here)

If anyone has a favourite hotel in London feel free to message me or comment below!

I hope this has given people a good idea of how they could plan a Christmas weekend in London and I hope to blog about lots more activities in the near future!

Thank you so much for reading ❤️ Xxx

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