Welcome to the Neev Spencer column. Each month, DJ and presenter Neev shares her latest adventures in motherhood.
We’ve been getting our heads around winter beginning and all that goes with the weather change. Vivienne, my baby, is enjoying her days at nursery and is learning new things each day. Genevieve, my eldest, is delighted by her new school and this newfound confidence has set in which is so welcomed after a tricky year spent in lockdowns and adjusting to having a new baby sister.
As winter began we finally managed to get a night away from home with the children. After so many months at home cooped up indoors, we knew we needed to give them something new to experience.
Packing to take a baby anywhere is quite a feat so going for such a short time made this much easier. Picking a Hotel that is child-friendly and has a good reputation for accommodating families is always a must.We decided on a city break stay, not too far away from home and chose the beautiful Landmark Hotel in London.
The hotel is super child friendly with a half-term family package break offer that was perfect for what we needed. On arrival, we were taken aback by the hotel’s beautiful classic interior. Its huge glass ceiling allows sunlight to fill the main centre of the property giving you an illusion that you are in some sunny outside terrace somewhere hot.
Upon arriving in our room we were welcomed with homemade cookies, a play tent for the girls and teddies they could take home. We loved the spacious Landmark suite, filled with every child amenity you would need and a handy mini kitchen. Seeing Vivienne’s little face as she toddled around exploring her new environment was so wonderful. After so many months of this year spent being indoors a mini staycation was exactly what we needed, the chance to press the reset button on a challenging year so far felt like self-care for us all.
Our time at the hotel was spent with the girls playfully charging around the quiet hotel corridors, exploring each ballroom and corner of the property. We enjoyed dinner in the stunning palm tree-lined Winter Garden restaurant which transported us to somewhere far, far away.
The hotel had a great selection of kids food, playtime activities at the table (which is what every parent needs) and just the most delicious food for grown-ups. My hesitation due to all the social distanced rules and regulations were quickly diminished because the hotel went to great lengths to keep everyone safe, socially distanced and had set up hand sanitising stations all around the hotel (much to Genevieve’s amusement).
The whole experience was magical and as we left Genevieve turned and said to me “Mummy have I been dreaming about this Palace all along?” I would highly recommend safely taking some time out with the kids in this country if you can. We all felt revitalised and ready for this next chapter which ended up consisting of a second lockdown!
The Neev Spencer Column: Starting Big School
I can’t believe summer is over, and what an odd summer it’s been. I hope you and your families are all still safe and well. If you managed to get out and have some kind of a holiday then, hooray! We are still yet to do a vacation or a staycation but have been trying to make the most of this new world.
Vivienne, my baby, turned 1 in July and we celebrated it with a small gathering for our immediate family. We had a yummy cake made by Maya Dahlia Cakes and it was a really intimate and special occasion.
I can’t believe how much has happened in these last 12 months and I am just so grateful for our blessings. Genevieve, my eldest, turned 4 around the same time and has finally started at big girl school! We spent a lot of time preparing her for this new change. Alex & Alexa has a really handy ‘Back to School’ section online, which makes choosing all the necessary things so much easier. She loves her new uniform and was very happy to pick out brand-new shiny school shoes from the website.
I made the decision to start to settle Vivienne into nursery because she was showing signs that she was ready. Meeting other babies and exploring beyond the comforts of our home is such an important thing for any baby. She’s been absolutely loving her two half days a week and it’s been so nice to not only get my time back, but also see how much she enjoys it. I managed to time this perfectly with the beauty salons opening back up and I literally skipped to my local salon to have the full works. Aurora Spa Chiswick was somewhere that stood out, with socially distanced appointments, diligent hygiene rules and treatments. I had my nails done for the first time in 7 months… and a very welcomed facial. I can honestly say it was the most relaxing afternoon I’ve had in a long while!
I’ve found my post baby weight loss the hardest thing to maintain through lockdown and I’ve pushed this back up to the top of my priority list by joining my local David Lloyd club. The hardest thing is finding the time to workout with the little one with me so finding somewhere that has a creche to take your baby while you prioritise your fitness is such a big thing. So, here I go again… I need to get that fitness and weight loss regime back into my life in the safest and most maintainable way.
Keeping our families’ immunity high is still such a big thing for us, so I’ve been using Vitabiotic. They have an amazing range for the whole family. It’s a simple daily ritual but puts my mind at ease that we are doing what we can to stay fit and healthy. As we go into unchartered waters once again it’s comforting to know that we all have the same priorities in mind: safety and our families well-being.