Meet Eve, a Family Twist Guide in London
What makes Family Twist so special for families traveling to London with kids?
The cultural tours with the entertaining game booklets for the children: yes, but that’s not all!
The high level of service: of course, but there’s still the most important ingredient missing…
The experience in handling families: close, but no cigar!
All these things add up to the success of Family Twist, but this would never be possible without our highly experienced and fully licensed guides.
Just like Katia in Paris and Alessandra in Rome, Eve is one of our guides in London. She is an expert in turning an ordinary cultural visit into an experience that both parents and children will love and remember. The Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, the British Museum… all these iconic monuments come to life in a magical way thanks to Eve and London with kids suddenly becomes a lot less overwhelming. She is passionate about history and always has an anecdote up her sleeve about each place she takes you.
On one of our many visits to London, we took the time to sit down with Eve and ask her a few questions. Just like a magician, Eve won’t reveal her tricks to keep the kids fully engaged and entertained, but will gladly give tips as to how to make the most of your holiday in London with kids.
Here’s what she had to say.
1. What would be, for you, the must-see highlight when in London with kids?
Coming to London and not seeing the River Thames is a big mistake! This unlovely water – of a brownish color – is the raison d’être of this wonderful city, and there are so many different ways to enjoy its charm. You can always take a clipper boat, as this means of transport gives you a totally different perspective on many of the city’s landmarks. As a matter of fact, Family Twist’s “Adventure on the Thames” cultural tour is a great way to experience what I just mentioned while keeping your children fully engaged.
But to be honest, I prefer walking, and I love to walk along the banks of the Thames. If you really want to become a “Thames Expert”, why not try the Thames Path? It’s a 240-mile footpath from the source of the Thames all the way to the estuary! But you’ll probably want to leave your kids behind for this trek…
2. What is your favorite British meal?
Good gracious! There is no such thing as “typical” British food anymore! We eat delicious food from all over the globe, prepared by chefs who are expert in their field, and a “typical” British meal might equally well be a Tandoori Chicken, or spaghetti Bolognese, or a bowl of steaming Vietnamese Pho… My personal favorite is my husband’s full cooked breakfast, which we have as a Sunday treat, with organic sausages, smoked bacon, free range scrambled eggs, and grilled tomatoes, followed by whole-wheat toast – with marmalade, of course!
3. For the families that want to enjoy London like never before, can you share your secret London top tip?
I could, but it would not be secret anymore! Oh, OK, you have twisted my arm…. Picnic on the beaches in front of the Tate Modern. Surprised? Well, it’s something really special because you can only do it when the Thames is low. You’ll have to check the tide schedule first, so this secret tip needs a bit of preparation. But it’s highly worth it. Take a picnic blanket, head out to Borough Market to buy the food you like and then go to the Tate Modern. If you look carefully, there is a gate in the railings by the edge of the River, and some steps leading down to… a beach. All you need to do now is unfold the blanket, sit down and enjoy your meal. But keep an eye on the tide though! Bon appétit!
4. What is the best restaurant you would recommend to someone visiting London?
That’s a tough question because to recommend a good restaurant, you need to know what kind of food one likes and what the budget is. Moreover, restaurants in London are notorious for changing overnight, especially if there is a change of chef, or owner. It is very tricky to recommend one in particular. But, to give you an answer, I would pick the following:
For adults, I love Roka in Charlotte Street, which serves delicious and sophisticated fusion Japanese/Spanish food.
For a special family treat, I would go to Inamo St James in Regent Street, where the fusion food and drink is ordered on your interactive hi-tech table, which projects virtual images of the dishes onto your plate so you can see what they look like before you order! You can also choose your table color theme, and even play electronic games while you wait! Needless to say that this is an instant success when dining in London with kids!
5. When in London with kids, it is important to know where the nearest park or garden is. Which is your favorite park in London?
Without a doubt the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park at Stratford. It may sound as if it were way off the beaten track, but it is seriously only 10 minutes on the tube from St Paul’s Cathedral! A stone’s throw away if you ask me! The Park has two completely different play areas – an urban one designed by the same person who designed the High Line in New York City, and an organic one by the same designer as the Princess Diana Peter Pan playground in Kensington Gardens.
6. London is the perfect city for shopping! Can you recommend a brilliant shop?
Hmmm. I am not that much of a shopper, I am afraid – unless it is for food! In which case Borough Market on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays offers a delicious range of organic food to taste and buy, from cheeses made in Wales, to empanadas from South America, to oysters from the Thames estuary to bread made in a bakery in the Market.
But my personal tastes aside, I would say that there are many great shops in London for children. The most famous one would probably be Hamleys, but all the shops you recommended in one of the blog posts (10 best luxury shops for kids in paris and London) I read are excellent.
There is an online shop called “Rue des Petits” which is also great. Lot’s of gift ideas that really come in handy for children and parents alike.
7. Where do you go to get the best view in London?
There are so many lovely choices, it would be difficult to recommend one in particular. Some are free while others might charge you a hefty price! Places of interest for the view they offer on London include the top of Primrose Hill, the Royal Observatory at Greenwich, the top of The Shard, or the top of the London Eye! I personally like to watch the sun set behind the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral from the roof of 1 New Change, preferably with a cocktail in hand!
8. If you had to choose just one street to recommend in London, which would it be?
Fournier Street in Spitalfields, because it’s just so charming there. The pretty houses in this street were built for Huguenot silk weavers in the late 1600s, and above some of the doors you can still see a model of a bobbin, an indication that this was the house of a weaver. At one end of the street you’ll find the notorious 10 Bells pub – where Jack the Ripper’s victims almost certainly had their last drinks. At the other end of Fournier Street is a building from the 1600s – originally a Protestant church first turned into a Catholic church, then a Jewish synagogue, and now a mosque! The inscription on the sundial appropriately reads Umbra sumus – we are shadows…
9. What’s your best memory related to London?
London 2012 Olympics, of course! We Londoners had spent 6 years preparing for our big moment, a moment when the eyes of the world would be on us and our new Olympic Park. There was gossip everywhere: Would it be ready on time? Would the weather ruin everything? Would we pull off the greatest event on Earth? Honestly, I think we did, don’t you think?
10. Is there a certain special event going on at the moment that you’d recommend?
There are many events taking place in London that are kid friendly. If you are in London with kids, you won’t want to miss Trooping the Color, which is the ceremony performed by regiments of the British and Commonwealth armies. Other great events include the Notting Hill Carnival, Bonfire Night and in Christmas, it’s great to see all the decorations in the streets! So I can’t recommend any in particular, they’re all great!
At Family Twist, we are uniquely dedicated to providing parents and their children with fun, luxurious and hassle-free breaks in Paris, London, Rome, Florence and the Loire Valley. Build your trip now in those destinations.