No I am not talking about pina colada’s, white sand beaches and tropical heat (if only), the island I am referring to is that of dogs. I have been partially living in North London since my daughters birth while my house gets renovated, so I was somewhat out of the mummy social scene here on the isle of dogs. However, in the last few weeks I have met so many fabulous mummies and got the run down of what’s what and what’s hot here in E14.
With every new mum I meet I hear about or am recommending a class, meet up, event that they or I don’t know about so thought it was only fair to share this information to all the new mummies in the area. This post will go through free classes and meets ups and a follow on post will detail a plethora of classes to keep you and your little one busy all week-long!
Throughout my whole pregnancy I had the best intentions to attend the NCT meet ups but being to chicken quite frankly I only went to my first NCT meet up a few weeks ago. At first I felt completely shy and insecure, like it was my first day at high school. However there was no need for any fears, everyone was super warm and welcoming. The Tower Hamlet NCT coffee meet ups take place every Monday between 2-4pm usually in Tom’s Kitchen or the Little Unicorns nursery. In Tom’s there is a private dining room that the staff lovingly lay out play mats and toys for the babies to play and serve delicious cakes and coffees for the mummies to devour! Little Unicorns Canada Place is a great space, it is one of the prominent nurseries in the wharf. The best bit is you get to see what they offer so if you’d want to use their services for day care when/if you go back to work its a great way to get your little one used to the surroundings. You can find all the details about the meets up in E14 and the rest of Tower Hamlets on their Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/TowerHamletsNct
MumsNet have monthly meet ups in the Wharf and they are organised by the friendliest mummy I’ve met yet. The last one took place a couple of weeks ago and was hosted at Gymboree. The Gymboree in E14 is based at the top of the island closer to Blackwall DLR and Poplar. Gymboree, essentially interactive soft play, have newborn classes on Thursday afternoon but have so many options for pre school age kids and even have a Saturday open gym sessions that you can attend as a non-member for only a fiver and just have a play. My little lady loved the session and even started attempting to crawl. The highlight was definitely the magical non popping bubbles they have (and sell too apparently) that adorned all the little cuties like gorgeous translucent pearls. For more info on Gymboree check out their docklands website and sign up for a free trial – http://www.gymboree-uk.com/f/docklands/ The March MumsNet meet up details just got posted today but the places are limited and fill up quick, so join now! You can find more info about the all things mumsnet at http://local.mumsnet.com/tower-hamlets/group-meet-ups/canary-wharf
Living pretty much next to Mudchute farm its pretty disgraceful that I haven’t visited even once in the last 8 years. But now having my little lady to take to the petting zoo I really have no excuse so will make a trip pretty soon. Muddyboots, is the much sought after nursery in the area, I was recommended to get my name on the list when I was pregnant as the demand for a coveted place is so high. On Mondays, in partnership with a number of local organisations, Muddyboots are offering a free stay and play session for little ones and their carers from 10am – 12pm. They even have a lovely cafe on site for you to get your coffee and cake on afterwards. Check out http://www.mudchute.org/childrens-young-people-services/mudchute-nursery
My favourite class has to be Pilates, selfishly this ones for me and the whole time I am there I’m silently praying that my little one is either asleep or happily playing in her pram. The instructor is amazing and It’s not like your usual softly softly postnatal workouts; so if you’re not up for pushing your core to its max then I would give this one a miss. The class is offered free through a local scheme – the Community Parents Project. There is also a weekly bumps and babies meet up at Cafe Forever (they do a good jacket potato) every Monday at 1.30pm. The project even provides trained volunteers that act as support and mentors to new parents. More info on classes and meets up can be found here http://www.island-house.org.uk/projects/community-parents/
There’s a great group I joined a while ago on Facebook called Walking Mums London. It was set up by a rather adventurous North London Mummy, whom I assume loves to walk. Anyone in the group can arrange a walk which goes out to all members and they can decide if they want to join the walk. I went along for the first time last week and given that they were walking past my house it would be rude not to. The day was brilliant and I met some lovely ladies and babies that I am already planning on meeting up with. Our walk started at the top of the wharf all the way to the Greenwich observatory, we even did the immensely steep hill up to the top (See picture for proof). It did completely exhaust me! Need to do more Pilates clearly! There are different walks across London all the time so definitely have a look at https://facebook.com/WalkingMumsLondon – today they are off to Kew Gardens.
Now, I haven’t been to the children’s Center yet and given its in the park next to my house again I really have no excuse. But I have heard the nursery time and stay and play are great fun. The Isle of dogs CC is located in Millwall Park right next to Island Gardens DLR. They have baby play on Tuesday’s at 3-4pm and baby massage on Wednesday at 10am. They also provide advice on breastfeeding, weaning and when the time comes they even have potty training support. For the current timetable check here http://www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/idoc.ashx?docid=7c2a736a-e543-48ed-9cea-c59cddd61397&version=-1
You didn’t think I’d forgotten about the daddies on the island now, did you? The fabulous people at the Idea Store Canary Wharf have put together a Saturday Dads Club. It’s story time for dads and their under 4s. The info can be found https://www.ideastore.co.uk/idea-stores-canary-wharf-activities-events. I’ve heard it’s brilliant for baby daddy bonding and gives the mummies a couple of hours of respite to catch up with friends, go shopping or even enjoy the luxury of an undisturbed shower!!! Who knew that post baby a shower in peace could be as zen as a whole day at the spa!
Do share in comments or email me through any other classes and events you’d like me to feature.