Whether you’re a Londoner born and bred or you’re staying in London with kids this half-term, freaky family fun and ghoulish gastronomy can be found at Smith’s pick of child-friendly cooking classes and Halloween events. We’ve found five half-term kids clubs and classes to keep your little chefs entertained…
CREEPY COOKERY CLASSES
Pumpkin-carving and spooky snacks at Maggie & Rose nursery, Kensington
This half-term the cauldrons are hubbling and bubbling at this chic kids club; brew up blood and slime in the Spooky Scientist class, or jazz up Jack O’ Lanterns in the Puking Pumpkins event.
Best for Ages 4–7.
Book now Puking Pumpkins is on Tuesday 22 October (1:30pm to 4:30pm), and Spooky Scientists is on Thursday 24 October (10am to 1pm); or take a look at the full timetable of half-term activities for kids. Both classes are £47 for each child. Maggie & Rose nursery, 58–60 Pembroke Road, London W8 6NX (+44 (0)207 371 2200).
Parents’ pick-me-up During class grab a coffee in the nursery’s stylish lounge (see above right) while watching your wee one. Before or after class, kids can let off steam at Kensington Palace‘s Diana Memorial Playground (a 20-minute walk away) and parents can peek at regal couture in the Fashion Rules exhibition. There’s a small kids’ menu in the Palace café.
A REAL-LIFE CHOCOLATE FACTORY
Chocolate-making class at William Curley’s café and shop, Belgravia
Willy Wonka for the Belgravia set, William Curley is fêted for his curious concoctions. This eminent mad scientist’s chocolate-making course teaches kids to think outside the chocolate box and make his grown-up corner shop treats, such as the re-imagined Bounty bar with white chocolate and toasted-coconut ganache.
Best for Ages 8–15 with a sophisticated sweet tooth.
Book now Kids’ chocolate-making class: Saturday 26 October (3pm to 4:30pm); £45 for each child. 198 Ebury Street, London, Greater London SW1W 8UN (+44 (0)207 730 5522).
Parents’ pick-me-up Abscond yourself from the chocolate-covered chaos to browse the fabulous creations in the shop upstairs. Try the weekends-only dessert bar –an afternoon tea alternative with five bespoke desserts – for a decadent day out or take a five-minute stroll down Ebury Street to the famed Peggy Porschen Cakes‘ parlour for cupcakes and speciality teas.
ICE, ICE BABIES
Biscuiteers’ Halloween cookie-icing café, Notting Hill
This Halloween, West London’s bonkers biscuit makers are getting into the spirit of things with face painting and ghost, pumpkin and skull cookies to decorate and doodle on (before eating, of course).
Best for Crafty over-6s.
Book now The Halloween Icing Café is on Thursday 31 October (4pm to 6pm); £10 a child, with a soft drink, an apron to take home and 10 per cent off shop items. Biscuiteers’ Boutique and Icing Café, 194 Kensington Park Road, London, W11 2ES (+44 (0)207 727 8096).
Parents’ pick-me-up Leave your little devils in the competent confectioners’ hands and try the Biscuiteers’ London-themed afternoon tea in the dinky café upstairs. Bijou Battenberg slices and brownies, dainty finger sandwiches and telephone-box-shaped biscuits will make your Halloween more genteel than ghoulish.
JAMIE OLIVER’S EASY RECIPEASE-Y MEALS
Pasta and chocolate-truffle-making classes at Jamie Oliver’s Recipease, Notting Hill
Little ones can take advantage of the celebrity chef’s knowhow by cutting and crimping their own fresh ravioli or taking the reins while crafting chocolate truffles.
Best for Mini Michelin-star seekers: chocolate-truffle-making classes are for ages 7–11; pasta-making classes are for ages 12–16.
Book now Kids’ filled-pasta-making class are on Thursday 24 October (4pm to 5:30pm), £20 for each child. Kids’ chocolate-truffle-making class is on Sunday 3 November (1pm to 2pm), £20 for each child. Recipease, 92–94 Notting Hill Gate, London W11 3QB (+44 (0)203 375 5398).
Parents’ pick-me-up Children must be accompanied (one adult can supervise two children), but while the kids are cooking up a storm parents can take advantage of 10 per cent off in the shop. The child-friendly Ampersand Hotel is close by – just a 15-minute ride on the Circle line – the perfect stop for a pre-class afternoon tea.
Horticultural Halloween events at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Something wickedly wonderful this way comes to Kew Gardens this half-term… The IncrEdibles Festival lets little ones romp through bouncy carrot patches, forage for fungi and sample the gardens’ edible plants. There’s live music, pumpkin carving and picnics plucked from the surroundings.
Best for Budding botanists of all ages.
Book now Half-term events take place on the weekend 19–20 October; activities are free with entry to the gardens (£14.50 for adults, £12.50 for children). Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Surrey, London TW9 3AB (+44 (0)208 332 5655).
Parents’ pick-me-up The family-friendly Greyhound pub sits on Kew Green, a 15-minute walk from the gardens or a two-minute drive. Hearty pub grub and a children’s menu full of trusted favourites are served in a cosy and casual dining room (or a private garden pod if it’s not too nippy outside).