On Bank Holiday Monday we decided to go over to Westfield Stratford City. We live nearer to the White City Westfield so normally visit that one and I had not been to the Stratford centre yet, although I have been meaning to since it opened! The first time we went to a Westfield was in LA, before there were any here in the UK. We loved it and I was really pleased to see all the centres opening over here.
When we arrived in Westfield Stratford City there was plenty of space to park, despite being a busy bank holiday and we straight away went to the Concierge desk to get a Kiddicar. Luckily they do have double kiddicars as well as single, so this was perfect for Mr R and Mr T. The height limit for children using these cars is 105cm. They do enforce this, as they checked Mr T to make sure. Luckily he is 99.5cm so hopefully he can fit in for a while longer. The boys loved riding in the Kiddicar so that kept them happy around the centre.
These are pretty easy to push, not heavy or unwieldy. I find double shopping trolleys a pain! These are nothing like that. You do have to leave it outside if going into the restaurants, and there is a parking place for it at the cinema.
We arrived near to Lunch time, so we decided to take the boys straight in to eat. As we were going to the cinema soon after, we decided to go to one of the restaurants on that level. We chose Pizza Express, and there is also Giraffe, TGI Fridays, Nandos and more. All of these are full sized restaurants. There is loads of choice in the food court too, which can be a quicker and cheaper option if you prefer. I reviewed Tossed in Westfield White City food court at Christmas time which you can see here.
Here (top right, bottom left) are Mr R and Mr Z waiting for the meal in Pizza Express, keeping themselves happy with their colouring in. You can also see the rest and faith space which we have used to pray while we are there (really handy for Muslims and its great they provide this!) and Mr Z relaxing in “The Street” – the outdoors area of Westfield Stratford City.
We all saw Planes in the Westfield Vue and loved it. This is the first time Mr R has come to the cinema as he is only 2 but even he has enjoyed it and the older two even moreso. The Westfield Vue is a decent size, and very nice and clean inside. I will do a full review of Planes separately, but I would really recommend it.
In both of the London Westfields they have got plenty of family summer entertainment lined up, from kids shows and activities to giant games and more. I would have loved to take the boys to see the Octonauts show, unfortunately we missed out on that one as we were busy that day but its definitely worth keeping an eye on what is coming up at Westfield and planning in advance.
In Westfield Stratford City they had something really cool there for the summer – a traditional seaside style Helter Skelter! The boys were so excited when they saw it and couldn’t wait to have a go! There was not really any queueing and you just donate £1 to Save the Children for each ride. The limit for children to ride alone is 120cm so I had to send their dad on with them as none of them are that tall, which was fine.
This is a great idea to make the centre more exciting for the summer. If more centres did this kind of thing, I’m sure the kids would moan less about being taken round the shops! In fact we actually didn’t get much time for a lot of shopping as we were too busy eating, watching the movie and enjoying the summer fun but there is a great variety of shops there for all your needs.
We had a lovely day and I would definitely recommend Westfield for anyone wanting to do some shopping and combine it with a day out for the kids, or even like us just to go for lunch and a movie without so much shopping. They also have a bowling alley, and they have ice rinks in the winter so there is always something fun to do.
Disclaimer: We were provided with a Westfield gift card and free use of a Kiddicar and parking so that we could visit the centre and write about it.