Saturday 18 February 2012

Westfield - Stratford City - Baby Friendly? Hell Yeah!


Aaron and I spent the whole day in Westfield Stratford City yesterday (Friday 17th February 2012) and we both loved it.

Getting Around
The Car - oh the car! the car! the car!  We saw it on the way in, but if I took him out of the buggy to put him in the car, where oh where would the buggy go......???

Aha, Mummy found a solution, prompted by the fact that when Aaron saw a Polish boy in a car he physically cried; real tears and everything.
Aaron - his first car at the age of only 20 months! :-)
He loved the car! so much that we were in Westfield Stratford City from just after midday until 21:00 and he spent it all in the car, more or less.... oh apart from going into a high chair to eat :-)

So if you want to shop in sanity get the car.  It costs £5 and when you return it, you get £2 of that back.  Oh but the Concierge Desk closes at 21:00 so bring it back late and, ermmm, you've paid the full £5 for the car (you snooze you lose!)

Where we ate
Giraffe.  We wanted somewhere with a child friendly menu and it certainly has that - also, they do a reduced price lunch menu.  They have high chairs and the staff are very very attentive, and also child friendly - shall I say it one more time? Ha ha! Giraffe is child friendly - it is in the food hall, but I can't remember which floor and I was so busy enjoying the food I did not take any photos - hey that's saying something for me, when my camera is always at the ready!

Best thing we discovered
Mr Pretzels

This is what the Westfield Stratford City website says about them:

Using the finest ingredients in their low fat soft dough, pretzels are prepared, theatrically rolled and baked in the oven to golden brown perfection in full view of the customer. The product is always freshly warm and prepared a few moments before it's served with choice of tasty toppings - Cinnamon & Sugar, Chocolate, Nutella, Salt, Parmesan Cheese, PretzelDog and more.
"The taste of our freshly made pretzels make people want to come back time and time again."
Mmmm, they’re lovely!
We had cinnamon & sugar - they were so good I can imagine being drawn back to the Centre just for those alone! I am not kidding!

Toy Shops we went to
Disney Store and Lego Shop

Where we bought:
Reduced from £20 to £14 = bargain! And he loves it - Daddy does too!
A lovely addition to his growing lego set.  He loves characters, figures etc...

What made it a nice place to go
The car! and the lovely people on the Concierge Desk.  Also, how very very easy it is to get there.

Be prepared to stay a while, so bring snacks and drinks for the little one.  I had bananas and 3 bottles with me, and he ate a really generous serving of pasta in Giraffe as well as the apple juice that went with it, on the lunch menu deal.

There is a soft play area in Westfield too, and lots of coin operated toys.

The only shop I was very very disappointed by was John Lewis; the toy shop has a token item for each category, like ONE Thomas The Tank Engine train, but is too limited.... The baby clothes are too pricey and the restaurant has nothing child friendly to eat, and I just find John Lewis too sterile - although I don't feel that way when I am in Oxford Street John Lewis.

However I loved John Lewis' London 2012 shop, where they even have a viewing area (not to be missed) of the Olympics site as it is developing.

They even say on the Westfield website:
John Lewis is proud to be a sponsor of the 2012 Olympics and happy to be in such a key position in Stratford, with stunning views over the park.

So, all in all, we had a really good day there, and I am not normally a fan of malls.  Been to Bluewater once, and Lakeside once.  Plus, I am not exactly a shopper either, so for me to spend a whole day there, it speaks volumes.

Because the car was the thing that made our day memorable, I have to leave you with another photo of it. Oh and a tip!  When we went to get the car, they were all out on loan so we waited for one to be returned.  As there is no time limit on how long you can have it, we were in for a long wait, until like a bus, after a 10 minute wait two came along at once - I was so glad I waited.

So, go there, and report back to me.  I hope you have a good day.

During my searches for images for this post, I came across 3 really great blog posts.
This one is about a Tot at Westfield Stratford City at Xmas shopping time.
This one is the same blogger but during the January sales.  You'll see the same red car :-)
And this one is a tongue in cheek review of all of the offerings in the Food Courts (and even he approves of Mr Pretzels).

Anyway, I hope I haven't forgotten anything that I wanted to include in this post.

Bye for now, Liska & Aaron