8 Fun Royal Baby-Themed London Experiences
Unless you’ve been vacationing on the moon, you’re probably aware that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had a baby boy recently. Prince George Alexander Louis has only been "Heir to the Throne of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the other Realms and Territories" for about a week, but the wee one has already secured monumental status in the world’s heart. Naturally, the British tourism industry has not been slow off the mark to utilize all the royal baby fever by offering themed experiences and offers. From those expecting a little prince of their own to the babes themselves and those who just want to celebrate the arrival, London’s not short on ways for you to shell out some pounds in honor of the royal baby—here are eight offers to pick from.
A Crib for a Crown
One of Princess Diana’s favorite designers, Dragons of Walton Street—specialists in hand-painted children’s furniture who designed first bedrooms for Princes William and Harry and Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice—have transformed one of the Grosvenor House Hotel’s suites overlooking Hyde Park into a nursery fit for a king-in-waiting. The furnishings have a 1920s feel, and include miniature sofas and a dining table set suitable for a teddy bear tea party (bears provided), as well as more practical items like a changing table illustrated with Beatrix Potter characters. The package comes with an organic baby food menu and a "baby concierge" (presumably someone that looks after baby’s needs—not an extremely young member of the staff). However, getting your child into the aristocratic spirit by tucking him into a crib surmounted by a coronet comes at a price: approximately $3,400 per night.
Calling All Georges
One offer that will probably not be taken up by any new parents is hot nightclub Proud Camden’s promise to provide free admission to its club nights for the next month to anyone who shares the new prince’s name, which we now know to be George. Enjoy a night out without kids amid Proud's horse stable-chic décor dappled with disco ball light. They’ve also created a burger royale, and yes, it is topped with cheese. Oh yeah, and they have a hot tub. Head out if you’re not too sleep deprived—parents are allowed to get their groove on, too.
The Athenaeum Hotel on Piccadilly is offering a special afternoon tea where you can consume delights like orange blossom drop scones with clotted cream while listening to Royal Photographers Ian Pelham-Turner and Helena Chard discuss how British royals have been raised since Victorian times. The tea coincides with the hotel’s "The Royal Child" exhibition, which features 50 rarely seen images of baby blue-bloods. The teas are available weekends only through August 31 at 1:30 pm and 4:00 pm and cost £60.
Curry Up, Baby
British folklore, imported from India, has it that consuming a hot curry can induce labor. Upscale Indian restaurant The Cinnamon Club has come up with a special baby-inducing menu that includes black bream fillet, pineapple and coconut sorbet, and lamb curry (£45 pp). It’s five courses (each of which is conceptualized as a distinct phase of pregnancy), so if baby doesn’t arrive you may just feel like exploding. You can dig in through August 5.
Shopping oneself silly at Selfridges—in true royal style—is bound to work up an appetite. Snack like sovereignty on dainty snacks from the iconic British high-end department store, such as a £45 biscuit (cookie) tin that includes silver spoon and "regal rattles." Or celebrate by popping some bubbly—Selfridges’ restaurant The Corner is serving a cocktail called "A Right Royal Breath of Fresh Heir," made with Perrier Jouet Champagne, infused with raspberry and rose. Then there's the Harry Gordon Bar's "The Pacifier," a baby blue cocktail of white creme de cacao, blue curacao, and a dash of cream. Or, just make like a plebian and head to the slightly lower-brow Krispy Kreme, who’s frying up chocolate-covered donuts adorned with little footprints and filled with pink or blue cream in honor of the babe.
If you have your own a new arrival, you can claim one of the solid, "lucky" silver coins the Royal Mint—manufacturers of British coins and medals for over a thousand years—is giving to babies who share the new prince’s birthday. But better hurry—they’ve only made 2,013. Alternatively, you can buy a commemorative silver £1 coin (£60), a lucky silver penny in a pink or blue pouch (£28), or, for the true Royalist, a Sovereign struck on the day of the birth (£800), also a limited edition of just 2,013 coins.
Want to see how the other half lived way back when? The Museum of London’s current exhibition, "A Royal Arrival," (through October) showcases items belonging to Royal babies past, like a baby cap worn by the infant Charles I and Queen Victoria’s nursing apron, along with some of her offspring’s baby booties—and proves that even the most diminutive monarchs have always had it better than most of us ever will.
Among the countless items of Royal Baby memorabilia for sale, two of the more compelling picks are an infant bodysuit inscribed "Keep Calm and Change Me" (£14, CafePress.co.uk) or a commemorative mug from Harrods (£19.95, Harrods.com). There's also an adorable illustrated children’s book called "Ssh! Don't Wake the Royal Baby!" by Martha Mumford, about a royal baby in Buckingham Palace who simply can’t fall asleep, which kids and adults alike will enjoy.
Photo credit: Royal nursery courtesy of London Grosvenor House; Proud Camden courtesy of Proud Camden; Young king courtesy of National Media Museum; Black bream fillet courtesy of The Cinnamon Club; Selfridges gifts courtesy of Selfridges.com; silver coins courtesy of the Royal Mint; Princess Maude’s shoes courtesy of Museum of London; Harrod’s mug courtesy of Harrods.com
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