Posted in cinema, restaurant

Peckhamplex (and Levels)

Just like Holly, before the wee man arrived, going to the cinema was a pretty regular date night activity for me and the big man; both of us loving nothing more than sitting in a darkened room for a couple of hours not talking to each other! For us, the Peckhamplex has always been our cinema of choice so, when the wee man came along, I was delighted to hear that it does a baby cinema screening – every Thursday at 11.30 – too.

In case you’re not familiar with it, “the Plex” – as it’s known locally – is something of a local institution; a little frayed around the edges and lacking any sort of pretension, it’s kind of like the old man’s pub of cinemas – with a loyal customer-base to boot.

I’ve been three times in the past nine months; hobbling there – still bruised and cathetered from the birth – when the wee man was just three-weeks-old to see First Man (he should learn about the importance of Ryan Gosling from a young age, right?!) and more recently, to see Aladdin (meh) and Yesterday (cried A LOT, still blaming hormones).

The first thing to say about the Plex is the cost; at £4.99 a ticket it is way cheaper than any other cinema I have been to in London (maybe even the UK) and a reasonable price if, like me, you’re counting the pennies on mat-leave. Secondly, with multiple screens, you have more than one film each week to pick from so whether you fancy the latest blockbuster or something more niche – more often than not, they’ve got you covered. 

There is not a step in sight so you can roll on in and roll on out without any hassle. The staff are also helpful. Prams are usually parked in the cinema foyer but when we went with our then-newborn they allowed us to take the bassinet in with us so the wee man could continue to sleep undisturbed.

A darkened room filled with other mums and their babes makes feeding easy for any self-conscious mum (I don’t know about you but I felt very awkward and self-aware in the first few weeks of breast-feeding as opposed to now when I’ve been know to open the door to an Amazon delivery man with babe latched on).

True, you’re not going to get the luxury of a sofa that some “gastro” cinemas offer but at £4.99 a ticket, I’m not complaining!

Top tip? The Peckham Levels next door are currently offering a £5 lunch (Weds – Fri 12pm till 4pm) at some of their food stalls. We went for Other Side Fried’s Buffalo burger -described by the big man as “spicy, saucy and delicious”.

All-in-all, a great couple of hours out and all under a tenner. What’s not to love?

Posted in cinema

Picturehouse, East Dulwich

BB, ‘before baby’ as we like to call it, my husband and I were frequent cinema goers. Not pretentious cinema goers might I add, we would watch the acclaimed to the trashy and we would never say no to a rom com. We used to live near Brixton and I had a little love affair with The Ritzy. Post arrival of baby I hadn’t been to the cinema once in seven months. If I’m honest I really missed the couple of hours of escapism (and the snacks of course). 

So seven months in and I decided to try the Big Scream at the Picturehouse in East Dulwich. Now I can’t say I was excited given I expected I wouldn’t see much of the film and most of it would be spent appeasing a seven-month-old who wants to eat everything and throw himself around with careless abandon. We even went to see a film with subtitles. I know what you are thinking: idiot.

However, all-in-all it was a great experience. Given it was in subtitles and a fairly niche film (Icelandic film, Women at War) only four tickets had been sold. It basically meant we had the run of the cinema and we went straight for a sofa seat at the back. Baby had room to play on the floor (my friend brought a lightweight scarf which acted as a playmat) and I even managed to have a tea and sit back whilst watching the film. Given the timing (11am and genius in my opinion), nap time came part way through and given the room was so lovely and dark nap time was easy enough to do. Leaving me to sit back and enjoy the film! Believe it or not I followed the plot and felt relaxed afterwards. Not something I say much of now.

Now there were a couple of downsides – tiny in my opinion – but we want to point them out nonetheless. Prams weren’t allowed in and that brought on a mild panic as I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to get him to nap. I needn’t have worried but this is a heads up to those with babies who only like to nap in prams (mine included). Secondly prams were to be left in the conservatory, not in itself an issue apart from the fact it was down some small steps and had it not been for my friend helping that would have been a total faff as I carry half my life in the pram. Finally, at £13.50 it doesn’t come cheap so it’s not an every week trip but all-in-all it was a great experience and I will certainly be back again. 

Top tips: I think this would be brilliant for those with newborns who sleep and eat all the time; wish I had done it earlier. For those with six months plus babies, it’s worth going early and getting the sofa seats at the back. Plenty of room for play and a nice space for them to nap on. The excitement of the big screen will occupy them for a bit but given babies of that age mainly have short attention spans, have toys at the ready.

Coming soon, for those of you who are also avid cinema fans, we will be reviewing Peckham Plex given the very different price tag. 

Picturehouse, East Dulwich in a nutshell:

Cost ⭐️⭐️⭐️

A little expensive given maternity leave isn’t when you are feeling at your most flush but a good treat every once in a while. 

Accessibility ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Easy access – pram or sling. Just note – pram car park down a couple of steps!

Facilities ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Baby changing facilities easy to find, helpful staff if you need anything. 

Feeding friendly ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Easy to feed in comfortable cinema seats and it’s dark inside so if you are self-conscious, no need to be here!

General vibe ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Lovely relaxed cinema, helpful staff and a reminder that you can do what you used to but with baby by your side. Win win!

Posted in cinema, day out

Luna Kids Cinema, Dulwich Park

A solid MotherCulture ⭐️⭐️⭐️ / ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

On an unusually hot day earlier this month,  Rosie and I took our boys – big and small – with picnics at the ready, to see the Dumbo remake at the Luna Kids Cinema event in Dulwich Park.

Obviously, with the boys still only being little and not equipped with the most discerning film tastes, this was less about enjoying the movie and more about the experience as a whole.

Now when we say it was hot, it was around 26 degrees and there were no obvious shady areas to sit. 

There were tents housing a “big kids bar” (£6.50 for a Prosecco – not cheap – but don’t mind if I do), a changing area (equipped with WaterWipes) and a storage area for bean bags (an additional £7, on top of the £13.50 admission) but none for families attempting to escape the heat – save for a unused pram park at the very back and a fair distance from the screen. 

Ever the masters of ingenuity, we had the idea of creating a shady area between the prams by strapping together our snoozeshades (a mum staple of both of ours). And voila, the boys had a shady area to sit in and we, well, we were left to turn to lobsters in the glorious heat. 

The security lady asked us more than once to move the prams to the side so as not to block anyone’s view. A perfectly reasonable request you might level, except we had already taken ourselves off to the side, with that very thought in mind while other families had parked themselves on view-blocking chairs, bang in front of the screen, seemingly undisturbed. With no one directly behind us anyway, she eventually let it go. 

Not that it really mattered anyway, the sun was so bright, we could barely see the screen and what with sorting lunchtime and play time for the boys, we didn’t catch much of the film. We noted though that families with older children were deeply engrossed, while we fannied about, stage left. 

Despite the lack of shade, the facilities were great. They even provided mini high chairs for babies – perfect for picnics – as well as microwaves for heating meals and milk, demonstrating impressive attention to detail. 

All in all, it was a fun afternoon (with Prosecco involved, how could it not be?) and we would definitely recommend this for families with older children (2+) but we would advise bringing all the relevant equipment to keep yourselves out of the sun if, for once, summer decides to make an appearance. 

Cost ⭐️⭐

A️ccessibility ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Facilities ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Feeding friendly ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

General vibes ⭐️⭐️