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London for kids by the stars of Matilda

July 2014

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The super-talented child stars of Matilda the Musical pick their favourite London spots for children visiting the city
Matilda the Musical's Matildas: Tasha, Cara, Lottie and Lollie

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Cupcakes and bookshops and toys, oh my... Giving their giddy spin on the best of London from a child's point of view are the four actresses who share the lead role in the Cambridge Theatre production of Matilda the Musical.

Lottie, 9

I love the V&A Museum of Childhood (Cambridge Heath Road, E2). There are lots of old dolls and puppets, big dollhouses and prams. I recently saw an exhibition about one of my favourite authors Jacqueline Wilson there. 

I love to eat at the Rainforest Café (20 Shaftesbury Avenue, W1) — there is thunder and lightning, rain showers, gorillas, elephants, a crocodile and lots of fluttering butterflies. And Chinatown (Newport Place, WC2) is so pretty at night with all the brightly coloured lanterns, especially during Chinese New Year. My favourite meal is duck pancakes.

Choccywoccydoodah (30-32 Foubert's Place, W1) has the most amazing cakes ever. One slice is big enough for four, and the hot chocolate is scrummy — it comes in milk, white or dark chocolate. 

I love sitting outside in Covent Garden. It's so much fun to watch the street entertainers and sometimes they ask you to help them with their tricks. I also like walking past the London Eye as there is a merry-go-round there and entertainers doing amazing dancing alongside the river. 

Tales on Moon Lane (25 Half Moon Lane, SE24) is a brilliant bookshop as it is just for kids. They do lots of events and have children's reading groups. 

The V&A's Museum of Childhood (Will Pryce)

Tasha, 9

There is a treetop walk in Kew Gardens where you look down literally from the tops of the trees. I also enjoy boat rides on the Thames because it's a different view of London and you get to learn loads of cool facts about Big Ben, the bridges and where Harry Potter went to school. 

My favourite museum is the Natural History Museum (Cromwell Road, SW7) where you can see the skeletons of humongous dinosaurs. You can even go for a sleepover in the dinosaur hall.

Hamleys (188-196 Regent Street, W1) is the best shop. Every toy you can think of is right in front of your eyes. I also like Covent Garden for the small shops like Lush (10 Covent Garden Piazza, W1) and Pylones (15 The Piazza Street, W1). 

Kew Gardens' Treetop Walkway

Cara, 9

My favourite museum in London is the Science Museum (Exhibition Road, SW7). The best bit is the 'hands on' floor where you can try lots of experiments for yourself. They also do little shows of experiments like explosions.

For a treat I like M&Ms World (1 Swiss Court, W1). The smell as you walk in is so tempting, you want to buy the biggest bag.

Of course no child should visit London without seeing Matilda the Musical. Or visiting Hamleys.

 

Notting Hill boutique ilovegorgeous

Lollie, 10

For breakfast I like Granger & Co in Notting Hill (175 Westbourne Grove, W11). It does the best pancakes and the yummiest hot chocolate. And I love going to the amazing food hall in Harvey Nichols Fifth Floor (109-125 Knightsbridge). It's full of treats like many different flavours of ice cream and a bakery selling the most incredible meringues.  

My other favourite place for treats is the Hummingbird Bakery in Portobello Road. My friends sent me a box of their beautiful cupcakes for my opening night in Matilda and they were very popular backstage. And Lola's Cupcakes (14-18 Neal Street, London WC2) has opened near to the Cambridge Theatre, in Neal Street. As my name is Lola I ought to give it a try.

I like to go shopping in Notting Hill, particularly a beautiful children's clothes shop called Ilovegorgeous (52 Ledbury Road, W11) and a charity shop called Fara (10 Elgin Crescent, W11). I like to rummage around the toys and books downstairs. I once found a fully working, moving, barking dog from Hamley's for £3.  

More London insider guides:

Irvine Welsh

Ollie Dabbous

Garance Doré

Bridget Christie

Philip Ridley

Damon Albarn

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