Saturday, March 12, 2011

Mmm... Croque Monsieur was my best friend in Paris

I say this because the kids were absolutely over the moon when we would stop for a break at a cafe that served Croque Monsieur (ham and cheese toasted sandwich only better).

Croque Monsieur
I was first introduced to these delectible sandwiches in Australia at a french inspired cafe (in a foodcourt no less).  I love that there is a beschamel on the top and it goos out when you eat the sandwich.  Not so good if you are watching your weight (stay away from this one).   But for the kids it is great and cheap from the fast food cafes in Paris.  There is also Croque Madame which is basically the same but with a fried egg included.

Yummy!  My 2 sons had one everyday for breakfast and were hardly ever complaining of hunger for lunch, they cost about 3-5 Euros with juice at a cafe.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Kensington Palace with the kids

Let me just say I am a total fan of the Royal family and am looking forward to watching the William & Kate wedding on 29 April 2011. The last Royal wedding I watched on television was the Andrew & Sarah wedding and we all know how that marriage turned out. But I have faith that William and Kate will work on having a successful marriage together.

I am extremely devastated that I cannot be in London for the wedding to see all the preparations and be part of the very crowded street for the procession. The wedding will be held in Westminster Abbey where Prince Charles and Diana were married.

London is one of the cities I visited in 2010, unfortunately in the short time I was there with my family we were unable to visit Westminster Abbey. It will be one of my first ports of call when I visit London again. I must add that when I arrived in London city I fell in love with all of the architecture, fashion, large parks and even the traffic and crowds.

I spent a lot of time in the parks with my husband and sons climbing trees and chasing squirrels. Our favorite park was Kensington Park with the playground and Princess Diana Memorial. We spent several hours at the playground with the kids, it has so many activities for children of all ages. There is a large ship with a mast to climb, Indian tepees to hide in and musical toys to play with. We used the playground as a “bribe” at the end of a sight seeing day. It worked well especially when I wanted to visit Harrods and Kensington Palace.

We were very lucky that while we were in London, Kensington Palace had a fantastic exhibition that the kids could participate in. Now I must admit is was more suited to little girls but my sons did have fun looking for clues and working out which princess had which bedroom. My boys and I also learned a lot about the lives of the royal children. There was a display of the prince’s toy soldiers that the kids could actually play with.

Kensington Palace has been home to many Royal family members including Princess Victoria. The Palace in undergoing a transformation this year and hopefully be finished in 2012. The Palace gardens are being cleaned up and replanted (this was happening while we visited in Oct 2010). With the help of donations the Palace will be cleaned and refurbished too.

A family ticket for Kensington Palace cost £34.00 (2010) AUD$55.00

How to find Kensington Park and Palace:

Get the tube to Kensington South station and simply follow the signs to Kensington Palace, the Palace is in the park, there are many signs for the playground and the memorial.

London Tube prices:

Adult fares for city: £4

Children up to 11years: Free with an adult.