Life with small children is incredible. I wasn’t exactly adventurous in my youth but now I go places, fling myself into experiences and face exciting challenges that I never would have considered before becoming a mother.
My children’s thirst for adventures large and small drives my own, and I find myself flying out to new countries, sailing on lakes, climbing trees and jumping through leaves with as much if not more enthusiasm than I even had in my own childhood.
As part of this appreciation of all things fun, we recently had the chance to become Platinum® Cardmembers for 24 hours, embarking on a mission to experience what it’s like to spend a day enjoying the wide range of benefits, rewards and offers that Platinum curates exclusively for their Cardmembers.
So, on Saturday evening we took the train down to London and cosied up in our hotel, ready to wake early for a day of adventures.
The Diana Memorial Playground
We started with a gorgeous walk through Kensington Gardens, as recommended by the Platinum Concierge team. We love the green parks and stately grounds of London, but this was one park the kids had never visited, so we strolled slowly, spotting squirrels amongst the trees, collecting autumn leaves and admiring the ducks, swans, geese and seagulls on the lake.
On the far side of the gardens, we reached the Diana Memorial Playground, which boasts a huge wooden pirate ship.
This children’s wonderland opened on the 30th June 2000, in memory of the late Princess, and is a really lovely, fun and safe place for kids under 12 to play. On the Sunday we visited, it was busy enough for the kids to make new friends, but quiet enough that they both felt confident enough to scale the ship – JD even made it to the top of the crow’s nest.
After a happy morning of play, we were ready to eat.
Gaucho at The O2
For lunch, we travelled across London to Gaucho at the O2.
Situated just inside the O2 off Peninsula Square, Gaucho is a glitzy, glamorous restaurant, spread across three floors and specialising in steak.
As we visited on a Sunday when there were no shows on, the restaurant was quiet and we enjoyed a cosy booth. As Platinum Cardmembers for the day, Mark and I were given a complimentary glass of champagne each before lunch, which we enjoyed with a starter of bread and olives.
After being expertly taken through the steak options by our host, Mark opted for a churrasco de chorizo, spiral cut sirloin marinated in garlic, parsley and olive oil. Mark described this as one of the best steaks he’d ever eaten, and enjoyed the meal with a side of chips cooked in beef dripping to give a crisp outer and fluffy inner.
Gaucho don’t offer a children’s menu, as such, but they will gladly adapt their main menu to suit children. JD tried a small, well done fillet steak and chips, which he enjoyed, and Miss J went for chicken, tomato and basil sausages with chips.
On the recommendation of our host, we ordered a side of humita salteña, which is made with roasted pumpkin and sweetcorn, pureéd and sweetened with sugar, then served in a corn husk. This sweet and smooth side paired well with the steak.
As a final perk the restaurant offered the kids dessert tasters at the end of their meal. A lovely treat.
It’s worth noting, too, that if you have tickets to a gig or show at the O2, as an American Express Cardmember you can apply for access to the exclusive American Express Invites O2 VIP Lounge
Shrek’s Adventure! London
American Express’s recommendation that we visit Shrek’s Adventure! was the part of the day the children were looking forward to most. Situated on the Southbank (right near Waterloo, the London Dungeons and the London Eye), this experience was unlike any we’d embarked on before – and we loved every minute of it.
You know how with most theme parks, you walk, queue, wait, enjoy a three minute ride or experience and then pop out the other side to start the cycle again? Well not so with Shrek’s Adventure. This is 90ish minutes of continuous, immersive entertainment that puts you at the heart of the story.
When JD got to help play a role in saving the day, his smile was HUGE and Miss J is still talking about how she spoke to Cinderella. So sweet!
I don’t want to give too much away because Shrek’s Adventure! has a real plotline that you’ll want to discover for yourselves, but I can say that if you go (and go you should!) you can expect a dramatic, genuinely thrilling ride on a flying bus, and you will find yourselves in all sorts of peril as you come face to face with the best of Dreamworks’ heroes and villains.
Planning our next trip with the Concierge Service
After such a great weekend we’re already keen to plan our next adventure. Platinum Cardmembers also enjoy a Concierge service, which is much like having a personal assistant on hand 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
We called the Concierge line and enquired about ideas for our upcoming visit to Windsor. We knew we wanted to visit LEGOLAND, but hadn’t yet picked out a hotel, found places to dine, or made a list of other family-friendly attractions to visit during our stay. During a 10 minute call, our friendly Concierge asked sensible questions about what we were looking to get out of the trip, and then went off to do some research.
A couple of hours later, an email dropped into my inbox, thoroughly detailing our options and perfectly tailored to our needs and interests.
Platinum Concierge even included details of the nearest walk-in centre and A&E as they knew Miss J has had recent health issues. It’s a really genuinely impressive service.
So that was our 24 hours as Platinum Cardmembers. We had a blast, we were extremely well looked after, and we would do it again in a heartbeat. In short: it was fantastic!
If my experience has whet your appetite and you’d like to find out more about becoming a Platinum Cardmember, visit: americanexpress.com/uk/content/platinum-card.
You can read more about the benefits below. Terms and conditions apply.
Curated to make your world more special
Platinum from American Express curates extraordinary and enriching experiences for Cardmembers across travel, fashion, shopping, dining, music and the arts.
These experiences range from personal shopping advisors to bespoke events from the likes of National Theatre and London Film Festival to complimentary dining courses or cocktails at some of the world’s best restaurants.
There are also a whole host of other benefits available*, including:
- Platinum Concierge – available 24-hours a day to advise, support and simplify Cardmember travel and lifestyle needs
- Lounge Access – relax in one of over 850 airport lounges sprawled across over 120 countries with Priority Pass
- Hotel Deals and Upgrades – with FINE HOTEL AND RESORTS and The Hotel Collection, plus benefits including upgrades, complimentary breakfast and late check-out with Starwood hotels
- Wi-Fi access – thanks to Boingo, with over a million hotspots globally
- Membership Rewards – earn 1 Membership Reward point for virtually every £1 spent. Membership Rewards points can be redeemed against a wide range of shopping, flights and holidays across a range of globally renowned brands including Paul Smith, British Airways and Harrods. Terms, taxes and fees apply.
Platinum from American Express has an annual fee of £450. Applicants must be 18 years old or over, UK residents and approval is subject to status.
The great news is that you can earn 30,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend £2,000 in your first three months of Cardmembership, which can be redeemed against the following, among other amazing benefits:
- Two return flights from London to Barcelona/Venice (15,000 Membership Rewards points per person) or one business class flight from London to Barcelona/Venice (30,000 Membership Rewards points per person).
- One Membership Rewards Point can also be converted to one Avios point, giving access to a whole host of travel benefits. Terms, taxes, fees and charges apply.
- £150 gift card which can be spent with a huge range of brands including Harrods, Ted Baker or Molton Brown. Terms and conditions apply
If you’d prefer a Card without any rewards, or other features of a Cardmembership fee, an alternative Card is available.
The Platinum Card is offered by American Express Services Europe Limited which has its registered office at Belgrave House, 76 Buckingham Palace Road, London, SW1W 9AX, United Kingdom. It is registered in England and Wales with Company Number 1833139 and authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
This article was written in association with American Express. A Mummy Too maintains full editorial control of the content published on this site. Shrek images via Shrek’s Adventure!