A new Sunday ritual for us, after a relatively slow morning at home, is to head out in the car to Vauxhall City Farm. It's just a twenty minute drive, which makes it the perfect distance when you have a toddler who is at risk for falling asleep mid-car journey when you need them to nap at home. Rory's naps are the only way we get any rest from 6am to 7pm, and when she does a good two and half to three hours every afternoon we're reluctant to give that up. Anyway....we LOVE the farm! There are horses, donkeys, goats, alpacas, pigs, sheep, ducks, chickens, giant rabbits and a whole heap of other little furry things to keep you and your kiddos entertained for a few hours. They've recently added a cafe and a buggy park which makes it even better, and means you can stay a lot longer than before as the farm is quite small. My only complaint is that the cafe food is so disappointing. It's your basic English breakfast or variations of that, with the only vegan option being some rather bland sliced avocado or some tinned baked beans on a piece of brown toast. It's perfect for Rory as she loves that, but having eaten there once I don't think Gav and I will again. It's cheap though, which is great, but they do need to up the flavour and have at least one good veggie/vegan option. Come on guys! I recommend having a coffee/tea in the cafe (I can't get over the cuteness of a soy babycino), but heading to the nearby Bonnington Cafe for some great and affordable vegetarian/vegan food and cakes.
Being at the farm fills me with so much joy to see how confidant and happy Rory is around animals. I was such an animal lover as a child, and volunteered at a city farm in East London where I lived until I was almost seven. It's really important to me I can share my enthusiasm for nature with her, and I truly believe that at her age there is no better playground or learning space for her than the great outdoors. She loves to roll in the mud and leaves, pick up anything she finds on the ground and get as close to all the animals as she can. A little too close sometimes as she put her wormy little fingers into the chicken pen when I wasn't looking and one gave her a nasty peck on the finger! But this time a goat licked her which she found hilarious, so I think she's on board with the farm again. It's a great place to go and visit, with our without children, although I think most people that go do have kids. A little slice of the countrside in London is always worth seeking out, I think.