Harrods Ice Cream Parlour
87-135 Brompton Rd., Knightsbridge
The Harrods Ice Cream Parlour came to life in the summer of 2011, serving up traditional gelato treats from Morelli's—an Italian ice cream specialist since 1907—plus Harrods’ modern twists. Highlights include the Banoffee Basket—caramel, banana, and cream—as well as plenty of cookie-and-ice-cream combos. The setting is, in true Harrods style, pretty over-the-top, with a mix of Art Deco, pastel colors, and sundae-glass chandeliers. Once the little ones have had their sugar fix, take them over to the toy section for a complete and indulgent Harrods kids experience.
2 Blenheim Crescent, Notting Hill
Owners and buyers Honey Bowdrey and Jasmine Guinness specialize in nostalgic toys—wooden dollhouses, toy ovens, pirate ships, and Noah's Arks, plus old-fashioned games like tiddlywinks that kids still love today. Kids kind of go nuts for spending their pocket money in the special section stocked with Swedish Fish, bubble blowers, and fake tattoos, among other bits and bobs.
8-10 Winchester Rd., Hampstead
Huggle stocks a huge range of kid and baby related products. Founders Rachel and Jason Heller buy with an eye for practicality and good design, and the range of options is pretty astounding, making this the perfect place to stock up for a baby on the way.
Julie Clark Face Painting
Julie Clark is an incredibly talented face painter who kids just adore—she can do fairies, jungle animals, Dracula, you name it.
7 Mansfield Rd., Hampstead
This store actually has no sign, so you have to look hard. Kristin Baybars, who has run the shop for decades, stocks everything you could ever want for a dollhouse. The front of the store has traditional kids toys and imported dollhouse accessories, but as you venture farther back, you'll find handmade British pieces on display inside kooky old cabinets and quintessentially English townhouses. You'll either leave with a bunch of miniatures or grand plans for a dollhouse of your own, just remember to bring cash as they don't accept cards. Photo: The Small Desk
Winkfield Road, Windsor
Legoland is full of rides for older kids, but there are also plenty of games and activities for younger Lego fans to get into, including Duplo Land. What's more, they're consistently unveiling fresh attractions, so no two visits are the same.
526-528 Oxford St., Marylebone
If you're traveling with a baby, this is the place to go to re-up on bottles, swaddles, and the like—they have pretty much everything you might ever need. There are locations all over London, but we think it's easier to shop online and skip the crowds.
Mr. Marvel Parties
A great old-fashioned kids entertainer, Mr. Marvel does everything from magic tricks, to balloon modeling, plus an old-fashioned Punch and Judy show. He's great for ages three to eight and is always a hit.
Paddington Street Gardens Playground
Paddington St., Marylebone
This colorful and well-equipped playground with jungle gyms, tire swings, picnic tables, and more is just behind Marylebone High Street at the end of Paddington Street Gardens (where you'll find a beautiful English rose garden). The space is covered with trees and makes a for a supremely peaceful break from errands or sightseeing.
98 Marylebone Ln., Marylebone
Papouelli—formerly known as Papillon—focuses on beautifully crafted, classic children's shoes that are actually practical. Their bestselling moccasins are adorable, though they also sell loafers, booties, and special occasion shoes for littles of all ages. There's an outpost on Elizabeth Street and a second location on Marylebone Lane.
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