Family travel with flair

A good children’s bookshop in Dulwich

TweetI don’t make it over to Dulwich very often, although we do go for the Midcentury Modern Fair. (See my review of the fair.) Now I have another reason to go: the Tales on Moon Lane bookshop. I’ve heard things here and there about this bookshop – great for kids, enchanting, and so on. In a recent blog post, Nell Gifford – who founded the excellent Gifford’s Circus of which I am a personal and avid fan – calls it the “best children’s bookshop in the world“. Have you visited it? Is she right? Is it worth a drive over to browse the titles? They’ve got some great events listed on their website and won a bookseller’s award in 2011. One thing I think I like the best, they offer “book baskets” – gifts for new babies or christening presents. Tales on Moon Lane Bookshop 25 Half Moon Lane, London, SE24 9JU...

Where to shop this weekend to help London children

TweetWhen you go out shopping for affordable, thoughtful and delightful gifts for family and friends this weekend, you can also help give to Kids Company, the charity that helps disadvantaged children. The usual sidewalk scrum at Oxford and Regent Streets will be replaced with a completely pedestrianized experience, with the streets closed to traffic. It’s called the American Express Shop West End VIP (very important pedestrian) Weekend, and every time shoppers use their Amex card at retailers in the area over the weekend, American Express will donate £1 to Kids Company. At the centre of the weekend is a 30-hour West End Christmas Carol-A-Thon  (featuring singers named Carol), also raising money for Kids Company. I met Camilla Batmanghelidjh, the inspirational founder of Kids Company, recently and she spoke movingly of the work Kids Company does. Many of the 4 to 18-year-olds they help look after has suffered severe emotional or physical neglect. It provides meals, counseling, activities and support for children that they don’t get at home. While Kids Company works with children throughout the year, over the holidays its work is especially vital. These children often are left out of holiday celebrations, some looking after themselves or siblings on their own. It organises a Christmas Day meal and activities all through that day – including transportation for the children to come, games, gifts and friendship. It’s impossible to read about the work the charity does and the children it helps without being moved. You can sponsor elements of the Kids Company Christmas party (turkey, baubles, stockings), then give additionally while doing your shopping in the festive and fun atmosphere of West End VIP Weekend. Kids Company American Express West End VIP Weekend    ...

Would you give your baby this bottle?

TweetWhat – you might ask – qualifies the drummer from one of the greatest hair bands of all time to design baby clothes and accessories? Could it be his ex-wife who also happens to be Eva Herzigova? Could it be all that creative juice and sometimes creative powder sloshing around on back of the bus while touring? Whatever, dude. Tico Torres, drummer for Bon Jovi, has a line of children’s products called Rock Star, for parents who still remember when they were Livin’ on a Prayer rather than payin’ the school fees. Forget those candyass pastels for that baby Mozart crowd. There’s nothing that goes better with the classic values of rock ‘n’ roll than a dummy and black socks (yeah! black socks, man!….we’d say ‘Hell, yeah!’ but there are children present). So you can buy a Rock Star baby bottle with a picture of a skull and crossbones on it to send a message that not only are you still “edgy” but also that you have no awareness of the symbol traditionally being used to label something poisonous? Rock on. 250ml Rock Star Baby Tattoo Pirate Bottle, £8.99. Available at

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