Last year we fell in love with Purple Dragon, a members club for families that at the time was based in Battersea. Like a relaxation paradise with your kids (yeah I know, who woulda thought, eh?), where you don’t need eyes in the back of your head and a stiff drink to cope with the madness, we were gutted when they closed down the Battersea site and turned it into a swish kindergarten.Thankfully, Sharai Meyers, the creative force behind Purple Dragon has bowled us over yet again with the recently launched Chelsea hotspot, just off Grosvenor Waterside. What has always been wonderful about this playspot concept, is that what’s designed for children is really only limited by Sharai and her team’s imagination, which seems to know no bounds.
From the fascinating array of stylish clocks and fish tank in the entrance, to the imaginarium which has a superhero call centre and costumes, baby soft play, a cafe, an enormous swing chair that I actually nodded off in, a volcano playhouse with a dinosaur outside, a large play house full of pretend play gear and costumes, and lots of wonderful wooden toys, to the kitchen where Saria made her own mini trifle, the music room with a grand piano spray painted purple and a dazzling selection of instruments and tech gear for creating music, the most amazing soft play ever (it has a cockpit they can climb into – see above), to simulated golf where you can get lessons with a pro, to the a-mazing swimming pool, we are in se-ri-ous lust. So much so that when we went a couple of weeks ago, we couldn’t leave the place and kept making excuses to stay longer!
And I haven’t even mentioned the giant Scalectrix, the Taschen library, or the pods where you can have some child-free time with one of their iPads and even get a mani-pedi that lasts for three weeks plus they have this fantastic technology that uses a projector to put all sorts of educational and interactive games on the wall that they can touch – Nia and Saria love smacking ants and colouring in world famous art with a sweep of their hands.
The staff are really great with kids and don’t just watch over, but really engage them. Nia, 2.5, who can be a tricky customer at the best of times, doesn’t even give us a backward glance when she’s there!
This is high end R&R for the whole family but you’ll notice there’s a lot of dads who are more than willing to ‘escape’ there as it’s just as enthralling for ‘big people’. There are a variety of membership options although the one thing that’s changed is that they no longer do day visits. All the lifetime memberships sold out in ten days but they have got out of towner memberships for people which are ideal if you want to have the option of going occasionally, as well as other membership options that include after school and supper clubs. Part of the membership also includes being able to get a couple of hours of childcare on a visit and nip off out. Basically, it’s heaven with soft play.
For more membership information, visit Purple Dragon or call 0207 801 8688.