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A break for freedom; You can do a posh London theatre weekend with kids. ZOE CHAMBERLAIN explains how.


AS William and Kate will now know only too well, a fancy weekend break you'd have loved as a couple begins to fill you with dread when you have two young children.

But we found a stay in a boutique hotel in Belgravia and an off West End show really hit the mark for the four of us.

We went to see The Twits at The Royal Court on London's Sloane Square. It was an exhilarating, action-packed performance, with vile Mr and Mrs Twit delighting the audience just as much as disgusting them.

'Mischievously adapted' by Enda Walsh, the show featured most of the hilarious scenes from Roald Dahl's classic book - think worm spaghetti, the shrinks and glass eyeballs in beer mugs - but also added in a whole new tale of its own.

It featured a travelling circus who had been tricked by the devilish couple and who help the hapless caged monkeys seek their revenge.

The set was fantastic, with a stage that rotated like a hamster wheel and a garden with gypsy caravan that really transported you into the lives of this terrible duo.

Jason Watkins and Monica Dolan were magnificent as Mr and Mrs Twit. He reminded me of the late great Rik Mayall and she was mesmerising, so entertaining it was hard to take your eyes off her even when she wasn't centre stage.

The age recommendation is seven plus but our two - aged six and eight - loved every moment and didn't find it disturbing.

Everything at The Royal Court is geared for kids, from booster seats to a Twit-themed kids menu in the theatre cafe. We enjoyed Muggle Wump smoothies which came with a special 'glass eye garnish', edible for those who dared!

We stayed overnight at Belgraves, a Thompson hotel right in the heart of Belgravia and literally a stone's throw from the theatre.

It meant we were able to amble through the beautiful Kensington streets, ogling the multi-million pound mansion blocks rather than having to rush the children around on the Tube.

The boutique hotel is stunning, and our boys were made to feel as welcome as we were, especially by the reception and restaurant staff, who made an effort to talk to them directly.

Part of an international chain of boutique hotels, Belgraves claims to combine 'exceptional British hospitality with a carefree American attitude' and we really felt this worked.

We stayed in a suite with a connecting door to the children's room. Each featured a lush window seat that was bathed in sunlight and had lovely views over this pretty part of the capital.

The bathroom was stocked with Ren products and we had a robe and slippers to enhance the relaxing aspect of our stay.

We were invited to a cheese and wine tasting event before dinner in the hotel restaurant, called Pont St, where we sat in a comfortable round booth, again great for kids.

We shared starters and nibbles - squid and whitebait, salmon tartare and pork belly - before moving onto seabass and steak for our mains by chef and author Sophie Michell, Britain's youngest female executive chef.

The boys were able to share a portion of seabass, which they polished off along with triplecooked Parmesan chips. For dessert, they loved the salted caramel doughnuts which came with mini-milkshakes, while my husband Adam and I enjoyed rhubarb meringue pie and ice-cream.

There's a gym and spa plus a very trendy mezzanine bar and ivy-walled terrace, which has a retractable glass roof meaning it can be enjoyed all year round.

Breakfast was lovely in the sun-drenched restaurant too.

If you've ever considered taking a young family on a theatre trip to London but thought it would be too frantic, think again.

NEED TO KNOW |ZOE CHAMBERLAIN and her family stayed at Belgraves, Chesham Place, London. Prices start from PS299 (+ VAT) per room per night for a King Superior. To find out more, visit THE TWITS | runs at The Royal Court Theatre, Sloane Square until May 31.

| ickets start from PS10. There are also free family workshops included with your ticket price. For more information, visit


The view of Belgravia from the Belgraves and, inset, The Twits on stage and some of the rooms inside the hotel
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:May 16, 2015
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