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Winter Wonderland opening night

Posted by Young Ladies About Town
Young Ladies About Town
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on Friday, 21 November 2014
Last night’s opening night of Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland heralded the start of Christmas. This huge extravaganza is now truly a part of London’s Christmas calendar and we Young Ladies About Town were invited to the VIP night. We shared a mulled cider (or two, maybe three) with The Lady favourites including Princess Beatrice, Helena Bonham-Carter and husband Tim Burton. Kirstie Allsopp was also in attendace, along with half the cast of Strictly Come Dancing, including Brendan Cole and his lovely wife Zoe, and Anton Du Berke (who hugged Father Christmas). If you love a celeb in mittens as much as we do, then this was the grotto to be seen in!

Winter-Wonderland-2

Winter Wonderland caters for all ages and is great for families and children, and  has everything you need from bars and food stalls, giant ice rinks, a Ferris Wheel and countless fairground rides for all ages. If you are going with anyone who loves a bit of magic and ice, you must visit The Magical Ice Kingdom. Themed with ice sculptures of giant knights on horseback, dragons with glowing eyes and  swords cast in blocks of ice, this is King Arthur’s kingdom in frozen form. If you love magical fairy tales, Arthurian legends and a bit of Narnia style you will love this.

We were in heaven as soon as we were greeted by a pair of ice wolves howling at a blue ice moon and set in a woodland forests. Suddenly Hyde Park was far, far away and we had been whisked to the Artic world, where hats are needed as the room is set at -12 degrees to keep the statues in pristine condition. We squealed with delight at the ice squirrels, growling bears and sound of galloping horses as a frozen joust scene appeared around a corner.

Winter-Wonderland

The pièce de résistance? You can sit on two giant ice thrones and have an official photograph taken (as we did in a Beckam wedding vs White Witch mash-up). We didn’t want to leave and was slightly disappointed to discover that Hyde Park wasn’t covered in snow and icicles, but since Winter Wonderland is open till early January, maybe there’s still time for the real magic to happen.

Dates: Friday 21st November 2014 – Sunday 4th January 2015 (closed Christmas day)
Times: 10am – 10pm daily (except 21st November – opens from 5pm)
Entry: Hyde Park Winter Wonderland is FREE to enter, there is no admission fee however charges do apply for some attractions including the Magical Ice Kingdom, Ferris Wheel and Ice Skating
Online booking: www.hydeparkwinterwonderland.com

Words by Kitty Buchanan-Gregory

VIPs and VVIPs

Posted by Nanny Knows Best
Nanny Knows Best
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on Monday, 11 November 2013
There are many reasons why caring for other people’s children is not an ordinary profession. I am not the mother, the teacher, nor the fairy godmother. What I am is a little of each and sometimes more one than the other.

I have worked for royals, outrageously wealthy folk, VIPs and even some that are SO important, they are considered Very VIPs. A few were a combination and one was all of the above. At least I think so because I don’t really know what the classifications are.

Is it the countless body guards, the fancy cars in the garages, private jet travel, entourages, the priceless knick knacks in the house/s, or is it just because the agency tells me they are?

There are certainly more rules working for such families. When to speak, who to speak to, what to speak about. I once made the almost fatal mistake of using the wrong toilet. Ooops.

And I never imagined scheduling a toddler’s routine would require strategic planning the social secretary at Downing Street would find challenging. Particularly, if mum keeps changing hers so junior in turn must keep up.

In some jobs I also cook and buy groceries, and others I just teach because I am only one of the many, MANY employees responsible for one family. It astounds me just how many personnel a mum, dad, and a couple of kids need to get through the day.

It might appear exciting to have one degree of separation between me and fame or fortune. But I am the behind-the-scenes guardian who helps mum and dad look good when they need to and the children appear the embodiment of perfect little angels. No snotty noses, no tantrums, no dishevelled princess dresses or pirate costumes for the paparazzi or heaven forbid, other “people-like-us”, to imagine the little darlings in my care could be a handful.

Sometimes security is a great issue. However, I have always felt more protective because the offspring of VIP parents have no choice about their status with all associated the hoopla and unreality. The challenge is to ensure an environment of love and fun, just like any other child, and not allow privilege to be a licence for unacceptable behaviour.

Each job, like each family is different. Good and bad depends on relationships and family dynamics, not the 15 seconds of fame or brand name wardrobe you might expect.

Discussing work details with nearest and dearest is at best cautionary, and posting life’s joys on social media is a definite NO.

And just for the record, no confidentiality agreements were breeched in this instalment.




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