It’s a bit early, to be honest, I mean it’s still October! But Selfridges has unveiled its Christmas window display with an “enchanted dream world” drawing on the Golden Age of Hollywood.
With just under two months until the big day, the department store’s “Christmas of Dreams” campaign has been launched at its London, Birmingham, and Manchester stores and online.
It features themes from 1930s Hollywood and 1950s musicals and stars British actress and singer Jane Horrocks and drag artist and sculptor Juno Birch.
Selfridges managing director Andrew Keith said: “We are ready to bring magical moments to our customers, however, they wish to celebrate this year, with our Christmas of Dreams.
“Fuelled by imagination, Selfridges is here to make Christmas shopping and gift-finding special and fun, and, this year, a little surreal.
“We know our customers have been dreaming of being together, so we are looking forward to hosting friends and families at Selfridges to celebrate even more extraordinary experiences this festive season.”
Croydon. Harmless little Croydon. Home to Stormzy, Peep Show and… a whole load of witches, apparently.
According to data from the Office for National Statistics, the south London borough has the highest number of people in the UK who identify as Pagan and Wiccan, with 56,620 listing their religion as Pagan and 1,766 as Wicca. That’s a whole lotta witches and we are here for it.
The stats come from the 2011 census, with data from the 2021 census set to be revealed next year, updating us on the religious persuasions of the residents of everyone in the country. We’re deffo hoping that Croydon retains its crown (witch’s hat?) as our most witchy area though, because it’s the kind of brilliant fact that we’ll be sharing down the pub during any momentary lull in conversation for at least the next two months.
It makes sense that Croydon is quite so coven-friendly, as the area has long been home to Witchfest, an annual gathering of witches held by the Children of Artemis, a non-profit group of UK based witches. Postponed due to COVID, it looks set to return to Fairfield Halls in autumn 2022. Plenty of time to invest in a nice new broomstick for the occasion.
We’ve brought back our London face masks and Tube Lightboxes in very limited quantities!
Due to popular request, we’ve decided to bring back two of our most popular products ever – the London Underground Tube Lightbox and our British Face Masks. We have limited stock on both so once they’re gone, they’re gone for a while – so I would order for Christmas NOW! Face Masks are going to be with us for a while yet, and I realized I wanted some fresh masks myself and figured Anglotopia customers would like some too! These are the most comfortable masks we’ve tried and we wear them every day. Please get your order in as soon as possible so you don’t miss out! Find the links below to everything!
Mind the Gap: London Transport Themed LED Lightbox – Large Version
A beautiful LED Lightbox dedicated to the London Underground, featuring interchangeable signs. LIMITED STOCK! We’re only going to have 50!
One night I was idly checking the Soho Farmhouse website… and saw a child-friendly room available in ten days time… by coincidence, falling on Mr S’s birthday. I just also happened to have a good sum of money in credits owing to the fact I was unable to use my membership during lockdown. I love it when a plan comes together…
And the best thing about this is was that child-friendly rooms at Soho Farmhouse are like gold dust. There’s only five of them out of 50-odd cabins in the whole resort and it’s hard to book any cabin let alone these ones. Booking needs to be done months in advance and for child-friendly cabins potentially years but I’d stumbled upon a lucky cancellation. We had the ‘One bed, one bunk cabin’ but there are also ‘two bed, one bunk cabins’ available.
We have taken Oscar to Soho Farmhouse before but at under-one he was allowed to stay in a standard cabin. Now if we want to bring our ranbunctious toddler, we have to stay in the speciality rooms.
One thing to be aware of is that Soho Farmhouse now only welcomes members for stays. However, there is a new form of membership called Soho Friends which allows access to the hotel rooms that are normally members only, as well as other benefits. This membership is around £100 a year.
My posts about Soho Farmhouse are some of my most popular, so even though I’ve written about the hotel several times, I thought it would be useful to write about the experience of staying in a child-friendly cabin and experiencing the hotel with a toddler.
All the child-friendly rooms are located together, near to the kids club. Other cabins at the hotel are located on the river but for safety the child-friendly cabins are not water side.
Every room comes with a bike and our child-friendly room came with a bike for Oscar too. Obviously he’s too small to ride a bike but it’s a lovely touch for an older child.
The entrance lobby to the room contains a place to put wet / muddy shoes and coats plus there’s other useful things like a picnic box. There’s is also a washing machine and tumble dryer which is so so useful with a toddler!
I’ve stayed in several different room categories at Soho Farmhouse and I’m always impressed but here I was blown away. The living room is huge. There’s a full working kitchen with oven, dishwasher, fridge, toaster and coffee machine plus all the cutlery, crockery and glassware that you need. The fridge is fully stocked with wine and champagne (and soft drinks!) and there is cereal and snacks too. There’s also fresh bread, milk, cheeses and cookies on arrival. A high chair is provided in the dining area too!
Plus spirits and cocktails!
There’s also a big screen tv (with Cbeebies of course), a wood burning fire and the comfiest of sofas. It’s really as cosy as can be!
I just love the wood cladding and the ‘shabby chic’ interior it’s a style I’m totally in love with but just wouldn’t be the right style for my London flat.
There’s also a beautiful sun filled terrace leading out from the living area, perfect for morning coffees.
The children’s room is downstairs, adjacent to the living area. I love the bunk beds (though obviously too grown up for Oscar) and there was a super cute hobby horse and Beatrix Potter books. The only one negative to the room I’d say is that’s it’s quite dark, there’s only one tiny window and two small lamps. One of which didn’t work.
There’s a ‘kids’ bathroom next to the bedroom which is just gorgeous. I love the addition of the lower sink for little ones and a few baby toiletries are provided.
As well as a baby bathrobe.
Upstairs is the adults bedroom – I don’t know what it is about Soho House bedrooms but the beds are always so comfortable! This one was no exception. And a cot had been added for Oscar who was too small for the bunk beds.
The bathrooms are absolutely gorgeous with a roll top bath, double vanity and cosy robes. Soho House always provide full size Cowshed products along with an array of other amenities.
The shower is so huge, it’s as big as a bathroom itself! There’s also things like phone chargers and straightening irons available. Basically you don’t need to bring much meaning you can pack a small bag and head there for the weekend!
One thing I love about Soho Farmhouse is the vast range of dining experiences on offer. Not all are available for children but here’s what you an do:
Main Barn is the hotel’s main restaurant, located in the Farmyard. A gorgeous outdoor bar has been added here since our last stay and you can enjoy hot chocolates by the fire. The menu is a smorgasbord of classics and comfort food such as rotisserie chicken, dover sole, mac and cheese and burgers. The main barn welcomes children Monday to Friday until 8pm but there are no children allowed during weekends and bank holidays after 12. They serve a classic kids menu and can provide high chairs.
(Throw back to dining here when Oscar was tiny!)
There are also two mezzanine areas in the Main Barn. Fancy Farm for intimate dining and Comfy Farm for lounging and playing scrabble. These are both child-free areas.
Hay Barn is Soho Farmhouse’s restaurant serving pizza, pasta and meat from the wood fired over. The atmosphere is very relaxed with comfy sofas and coffee tables. The website states ‘children can visit Hay Barn between 4pm-7pm for kids’ tea on Monday to Friday, and are welcome from 8am-7pm on Saturday and Sunday’. However, we bought Oscar for a weekday lunch and this didn’t seem to be a problem. They also provided high chairs and a kids menu. Hay Barn is also less crowded than the other restaurants and a good choice if you have a sleeping baby or need more room.
Farmyard and Blakes
Blakes is the farm shop at the hotel and sells fresh bread, cake, cheese and lunch bowls. Children are welcome here and it’s very casual. You can also buy food from here and eat in the farmyard or your room.
Mill-room is the hotel’s pub / night club area. Children can visit the Mill Room during the day but have to leave after 6pm.
Pen Yen is the hotel’s Japanese restaurant. It’s our favourite one out of all of them as the atmosphere is sleek and glamorous and the food is delicious. Pen Yen is a child-free area at all times which to be honest is a good thing as it’s perfect for a date night. The hotel arranged a babysitter in the room and Mr S and I enjoyed toddler free time and special dinner on his birthday night.
Room Service and the Milk Floats
It was our first time getting room service at Soho Farmhouse but we ordered meals in the room for Oscar before going out in the evening and leaving him with a babysitter. The menu is mostly from the Main Barn and there’s a children’s menu too. It arrived pipping hot and perfect for a hungry boy!
The milk floats are a really cool concept available at Soho Farmhouse. An option for breakfast is ordering a Milk Float for Room Service and having it cooked right outside your door. I think this a great idea when you have kids as having a fresh breakfast in the room is way less stressful then rushing to make it to breakfast and if your toddler is unruly, having to control them while enjoying your coffee. We didn’t do it this time but I’ve done it before and it’s a brilliant option.
This was the first time Oscar was old enough to enjoy Teeny Barn! Teeny Barn is the kids club at Soho Farmhouse, it is so cute as there’s lots of toys, books and activities available in the indoor space. Outside there’s an adventure playground, a book shed and even chickens to feed! Oscar had the best time running around the under-5s area and there’s also a larger woodland pay area for older kids.
Teeny Barn give guests a members an allowance of four hours free time (two in the morning and two in the evening) when you can leave children over two with the capable staff. You can also leave children under two but as they require a one on one, you need to pay £15 per hour for this.
We didn’t actually leave Oscar there but we loved playing with him and enjoying the facilities together.
The hotel’s gorgeous indoor / outdoor pool is available for children to swim between 9.30am-11.30am and 3.30pm-6pm on weekdays.
It was our first time taking Oscar in the pool here and he absolutely loved it! The child must a guest of the hotel or have children’s membership in order to swim.
Horse riding is available for children four and up. Obviously Oscar is too young at the moment, but he loved going to visit the horses in the stable adjacent to the Farmyard.
A Long Walk or A Bike Ride
Bikes are provided outside your accommodation including bikes for kids! If the weather is good you could honestly spend ages exploring the hotel’s beautiful ground on foot or by bike. There’s lots of different animals to see, there’s the hotel kitchen garden and boating lake. In between admiring the natural beauty of the place you can pop into the different shops – there’s Farm Flowers, Soho Home which is a treasure troves of homewares inspired by the Soho Houses, the Woodshed which showcases larger furniture pieces and Store X which sells cool brands such as Ganni, Veja and Maria Tash.
The in-house Electric Barn cinema shows new release screening including kids films. It’s the cosiest cinema there is with it’s own bar and super comfy seats to snuggle up on.
The hotel’s beautiful renowned Cowshed spa welcomes older children above 14.
As you can see we had a brilliant time with Oscar at Soho Farmhouse, I can’t wait to take him again one day!`
I do like to be beside the seaside – and spending hours on the long golden beach is one of the most tempting things to do in Camber Sands with kids. contains affiliate links* But if you can drag yourself…