Celebrate Roald Dahl on his 100th Anniversary and VisitBritain!
Did you know this summer is the 100th anniversary of Roald Dahl’s birth?
It is! And there is so much going on to celebrate it. Like Stephen Spielberg’s new movie The BFG, adapted from the book The BFG written by Roald Dahl, in theaters now.
Roald Dahl’s other works include James and the Giant Peach, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and Matilda to name only a few.
Recently I went on a trip sponsored by VisitBritain to learn all about the mind and creations of Roald Dahl. It was such a fascinating experience, I wanted to share with you everything I did so that you can easily visit Britain too!
However, we did do a lot so I am going to break it up into parts. Check out what we did for the first two days here on our trip to Visit Britain, then be sure to come back to MalibuMamaLoves.com on Thursday for the rest!
We spent the first 2 nights at The Athenaeum Hotel. I had a great experience and really liked this hotel. It is family friendly, trendy and the staff goes out of their way to make sure you are looked after. You can read my full review on The Athenaeum Hotel here, I highly recommend staying there.
My First Experience Learning About Roald Dahl
The first morning we had a wonderful breakfast at The Athenaeum Hotel and then took a cab over to The Southbank Centre to tour ‘The Wondercrump World of Roald Dahl’ exhibit. This is an exhibit that brings Roald Dahl’s imagination to life. It is an interactive experience designed for children ages 7-12 and lasts about 50 minutes. A fantastic guide brings you through the mind of Roald Dahl – what is behind his idea creations, where he got his character motivations from and gives you a bit of a deeper insight into each story. It was fascinating and well done, just as I would expect every exhibit to be at The Southbank Centre, their staff is first-class.
This exhibit has already moved down to Cardiff (you can see it there too at The Wales Millennium Centre Cardiff now until January 14, 2017. Cardiff is a wonderful place to visit, but more on that next week – Tuesday to be exact!) however, you can check out the Southbank Centre’s current schedule here, how amazing does the Festival of Love sound?!
Afterwards, walk about 2 blocks up the road and enjoy a yummy lunch at The Green Room. The Green Room is a nice, contemporary restaurant decorated with National Theatre Shows memorabilia and serving delicious, ethically-sourced British dinner food. The restaurant is surrounded by a gorgeous garden, the atmosphere is relaxed and the food is quite good. Their calamari was excellent and the lamb roast that I had was outstanding, I really enjoyed my meal here and plan to go back. Check out The Green Room Menu here.
Brit Movie Tours picked us up just outside of the restaurant when we were done to take us on a movie tour of things filmed in and around London. This experience was a lot of fun. The tour guide had made a dvd of scenes from various movies that had been filmed in London. They would play them as we would drive thru where it had been filmed. It was very cool!! The tour guides where friendly, knowledgeable and lots of fun to be around. You definitely want to take one of these tours from Brit Movie Tours when you are visiting Britain.
They dropped us off back at The Athenaeum Hotel. I freshened up and took a lovely walk over to One Aldwych for their Afternoon Tea Inspired by Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I started off with a champagne toast and The English Summer Garden Tea with scrumptious sandwiches and savory. So good! Next we had some incredible sweets that looked like they came right out of Wonka’s Chocolate factory, yet were made right at One Aldwych. The atmosphere was elegant yet relaxed and the food was excellent. This would be fun for kids over the age of 7 and is a great activity to do before you head over to catch a show together!
I went to see Matilda The Musical at the Cambridge Theatre next, it was a short and pretty walk to get there from One Aldwych – London is so lovely in the summer.
Matilda The Musical was fantastic, one of the best performances I have seen in a long time. It is perfectly cast in a comfortable theater and will have you laughing the entire way through. When you visit Britain, you do not want to miss this show! Seeing it after having seen the Wondercrump exhibit, knowing the next day I would be visiting the Roald Dahl Museum was exciting because I knew some of the back story to the show (and would be learning more) and found it fascinating to see it brought to life. The performance was perfect, two thumbs up from me.
Visiting the Town Where Roald Dahl spent most of his adult life
It was a beautiful night out so I walked back to The Athenaeum Hotel. After a great night’s sleep and another good breakfast, I jumped in a car and headed to The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Center in Great Missenden where he had lived from the mid-50’s on to take a tour. It is a lovely village that is easily accessible by train from London and well worth the day trip. Here is where all of Roald Dahl’s archives are kept and arranged throughout an interactive museum tour. They even moved his writing hut, which once sat in his garden and was where he wrote all of his stories, into the building and have made an exhibit out of it.
The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Center is great for kids of all ages and has a nice little café in front with incredible homemade delicacies available regularly. Plan to spend at least 2 hours here at the museum and story centre, but if you wanted, you can easily spend 3 or 4!
Just a 5-minute drive around the corner and you will find Nags Head, a delightful English Country Inn and Restaurant with incredible food and drinks. The Nags Head is a 15th Century Country Inn and Restaurant that is family owned and operated. It is decorated with cozy, intimate style and filled with kind people. I had the lamb here, it was perfectly cooked and melted in my mouth.
After an excellent meal, I got in a car and headed to spend my first night in a proper English Country Manor house.
But here is where I will end today’s post, which is Part 1 of 4 on my trip to Visit Britain.
On Monday 9/12/16 I will tell you all about my night at Manor on the Green, a luxury English Country Manor Inn that comes complete with its own ghost story….
Until then, safe travels and happy thoughts!
Oh – and check out the VisitBritain site to start planning your next family trip there! 😉
Malibu Mama Loves Xx