Now, this was an exciting trip out. I’d been bribing Reuben with it all week long and by the time Friday came around, all three of us were hugely overexcited. Friday morning turned into a spontaneous rolling playdate, so it was with minutes to spare that I was throwing clothes around my room, looking for something respectable to wear to a posh Mayfair hotel. Or at least to distract from the three giant scars I had given myself on my forehead (it’s not just toddlers that have snaggly nails). I found a creased blue dress and a green cardigan, put them on and ran downstairs to make sure the children were ready and not in any kind of trouble. Optimistic, I know.
“Why did you get changed Mummy? Roo wanted to know
I explained that I wanted to look like I’d dressed up a bit.
“Ooh yes, you’ve dressed up as Cookie Monster!”he giggled “Do I need to dress up as well? Like Furnella?”
“Tookie Monster! Tookie Monster! I want to be Phoebe!” yelled Eva.
no-one everyone wonders why I don’t write a style blog…
Let’s skip on. I feel like I might disappoint a few people by revealing that our Furchester afternoon tea was a press event to launch the new episodes and new range of plush toys. It’s not actually a bookable activity. But it so should be! Mayfair Millenium Hotel, you have a serious business opportunity here…
For that’s where we were. I’d convinced Roo that the Furchester monsters had taken over the back of someone else’s hotel to set up their own because this whole reading thing kinda scuppers some of my sneakier mummy ploys. So he was happy that we were at the actual Furchester, even if the signs said something different. And when he and Eva saw the room full of Furchester toys, they didn’t need much more convincing. Here’s Eva with her new best friend, the aformentioned Tookie Monster.
Sorry Bunny, you’ve been replaced. You should try being more blue and fluffy. Reuben left with a giant Phoebe, which he’s also in love with. She’s busy making friends with BatBear right now.
The toys are rather lovely. Big and plush and cuddly, there are Elmo, Cookie Monster and Phoebe varieties. I’ll get the disclaimer over with now and say we got ours for free but these opinions really are honest and my own. I’d be very tempted to add to the collection – there are smaller figures of Fergus and Furnella and even an Isabel. I love Isabel. I know I have a fairly basic sense of humour, but I laugh at that pun every time. Here’s a smaller Cookie Monster:
All ready to hug! More on the Adventures of Phoebe and Tookie Monster later but first, there’s afternoon tea to deal with. While the kids sat and watched the new episode – and wondered whether they would be brave enough to take a teddy from a sleeping tiger – the piles of cakes and sandwiches came out. Us parents may have snuck a few when the kids weren’t looking, I’ll be honest. But how could we not when they looked so good?:
Eva never eats much anyway, and she was further distracted by the appearance of the Furchesters themselves. Who wants to be welcomed with furry arms? Everyone!
And that’s the actual voice of Furnella there! I was so impressed. Please dear readers, forgive all this smugbloggery. And enjoy this picture of Roo with the actual Elmo:
Ah yes, that’s a flattering one. The kids enjoyed it so much, I really think someone needs to start throwing Furchester tea parties on a regular basis. And seeing as the Millenium Mayfair already do a very lovely afternoon tea, they probably should. They even do a kids’ variation with peanut butter and jam sandwiches, and little pots of jelly on the top. The jelly was pretty much the only thing that Eva ate. But Reuben made the most of it, downing sandwiches, scones, cakes and a couple of glasses of smoothie. Which, incidentally, led us to check out the super-fancy toilets:
Eva did agree to drink a tea cup of milk. I think she likes the idea of afternoon tea, even if she was a bit too excited to eat more than jelly and a strawberry:
But that left the lemon curd and scones for me. More fool her:
Now, this trip was worth a bit of stress and, indeed, violating several of my own LWAT rules about travelling in Central London with a buggy. When I planned it, Eva was going to be on her scooter which makes step-free access less vital but she was tired and flaky and we seemed to need a lot of stuff. Given that we left the hotel with even more stuff (bathrobes! giant toys! CBeebies magazines!) the buggy was probably a good idea. But travelling home in rush hour wasn’t such a good idea. It rarely is.
We’d arrived at Bond Street, which has a few steps from platform to street level, but going home I decided to go for Green Park because not only was it completely step-free, it was also handily positioned on the line to Walthamstow. Unfortunately, these handy things make it a very popular station and we were not the only people trying to get on a Victoria Line train during rush hour. We managed to squeeze onto the second train to come in, by walking to the far end of the platform and being a bit bolshy. Then we pretty much folded ourselves into negative space and tried not to breathe out too much. At Euston, someone vacated the fold-down seats and that meant we could get the buggy and Reuben into that space quite comfortably. But Eva and Tookie Monster were feeling a bit unsure about their personal space:
Phoebe, however, was making herself useful by pointing out tube stops on the map with her hair:
Did I mention a particularly lovely fountain we passed on the way? No? Was there any way to fit it in? No? Well, let’s slip it in now while me and the kids are sweating on the tube at Highbury & Islington:
Mayfair is so pretty. Commuter’s armpit not so pretty.
Anyway, we got home eventually and since then we’ve been busy showing the new toys a good time. Like going swimming:
and being abandoned next to a slide at Passover:
but at least we observed good car safety:
The kids were Furchester fans before this, but it’s safe to say that, like the Furchesters, they’ll never give up watching it now…
Actual Disclaimer: We received gift and entertainment in return for this review. All opinions remain honest and my own.