Monday, 21 March 2016

Mad Hatters Tea Party at Valentines Mansion

Shutterbug Sister recently alerted me to the "Find Your London" festival which celebrates London’s outdoor spaces such as gardens, parks and markets.  There are a series of events up until 28th March across London, you can see the full list in the brochure here.

We took the kids along to the one nearest to us at Valentines Mansion, where a Mad Hatters Tea Party was taking place, with the theme from the famous scene in the book Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

We decided to make an afternoon of it and met my sisters and my sister-in-law there with my neice.











I really liked all the themed detail that had been created, like the sign below that says "we are all mad", a line from the book (you can see more of this theme at my sister Harlequin's Mad Hatter Eid Tea Party last year).




Lots of the kids were dressed up as characters from the book, including two little boys who were dressed as Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee like the sign below.







There was lots for the kids to do including croquet, quoits (where you throw a hoop made of rope over a peg), a stepping stone type game, a fruit kebab stall, face painting and a small tea cup ride for little children. We put Darling and my neice on the teacup ride and they immediately had a fight over the steering wheel while we all called " no hitting" at them.

The little girls were enamoured with the giant biscuit stand and of course they all wanted the same biscuit and were ready to fight for it.





There were people dressed up as characters from the book that were great fun.  At one point they got Little Man to say that the Queen of Hearts was beautiful, much to his embarrassment, while I had a good laugh.





My favourite bit of the afternoon was when the Queen got all of the little children to hold hands and form hoops so that she can play croquet using the smallest children as hedgehogs/balls that run through the hoops (in the books the Queens guards form the hoops, flamingoes are croquet mallets and little hedgehogs are the balls).

Darling and Princess Cheeky formed one of the hoops much to our aahing and taking way too many photos.





We also went inside and wandered through the house for a bit.  There were simple craft activities indoors, but my older kids were not interested and the little ones too small, so we gave them a miss.

The house is lovely, with big bay windows, antique furniture and stained glass windows.








This bed had a sign asking people not to sit on it.  I warned my boys not to get on it (like last time we visited) and it was barely a minute before another group came in and one of the adults sggested they get on the bed.


























It was a nice afternoon, a bit of distraction for the kids and a nice day in the park.  With the Easter break coming up, I'm looking forward to seeing what else we might go along to.

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