Last weekend our family had the pleasure of visiting a private members club for children known as Purple Dragon located in Chelsea. Purple Dragon is unique, as spaces are designed with both parents and children in mind. Think sleek, modern subdued areas for parents to relax in while also co-existing with bright, creative spaces for children to play in. Having previously attended various classes across London with my daughter beforehand, I had a rough idea of what to expect. However after our visit, I was quite impressed and began to understand how this private club differs from any other kids club I have been to before and I’ll explain why.
The exterior looks like an upscale spa or hotel, no gaudy cartoon characters or bright tacky boards usually associated with children’s clubs. Instead you have a rather sleek entrance with large glass panels, subdued lighting, draped fringed curtains and an understated lit up sign with the Purple Dragon logo.
We were greeted by a bubbly receptionist who checked us in. After parking our pram in the designated pram bay, and we were directed to the cafe for breakfast. I loved the rather comprehensive super juice menu for both parents and children. As it was still early, the staff were setting up a birthday party, and I couldn’t help but notice every child had a high chair which is so convenient. After ordering poached eggs on toast, sticky chocolate Chelsea buns, and washing it down with a Powergranate smoothie (Ava’s in a sippy cup) and a quick cup of fresh lemon and ginger tea we were ready to explore.
The main play area for kids is a little wonderland. A candy themed soft play area complete with ‘pearl’ ball pit. Dress up zones from super heroes to fairies. Wooden doll houses to a train track set up. The amount of wooden toys on offer in lieu of plastic toys was great. The large hanging and spinning wicker chair in the centre was a cool cocoon to relax in while watching Ava play.
The club has multiple rooms each with its own play buddy, which is a qualified staff member to lead the activity in each room. The play buddies were all charismatic, energetic and lively, ready to jump in and engage with Ava and the other children. The first room we visited was the kitchen, with cooking lessons underway. Functional ovens, and a chef where the children learn to prepare lovely ‘michelin’-esque meals with organic ingredients.
The next room we visited was the creative room where the kids were little artists, painting and creating. The theme varies from week to week with Banksy to Botticelli. A few were also modelling figures with messy fun play dough (made in house, no store bought stuff).
Our favourite room, as Ava was all smiles and didn’t want to leave was the music room. I was sitting at the purple baby grand piano, Ava was attempting to strum an electric guitar, while my husband was a pro on the drums. The play buddy was great and showed Ava how to use the instruments. On our way to the pool we passed a large soft play gymnasium with multiple ball pits. The pool includes both baby and toddler private lessons and free swim. Convenience is key, and the club provided all towels, nappies, swimming nappies, wet wipes and toiletries. Which meant I didn’t need to pack the entire baby bag for our visit. There is also an app available to book classes in advance which is handy.
The question I was asked when I shared my experience earlier this week was – is it worth the membership fee? And after careful consideration, it is. Purple Dragon have four memberships on offer to suit varying lifestyles, the premier, early birds, night birds, or the out of towners. If you take into consideration, all the activities on offer with qualified instructors, such as the music, swimming and cooking lessons, baby sensory, soft play, art and craft workshops, entertainment including puppet shows and even karaoke (the list goes on) then on average it would work out to be the same or more, rather than paying for each individual class, and all activities are under one roof, rather than having to travel across London attending each activity wherever it may be.
The clever dual parent and children zones create a great space for parents to unwind while spending quality ‘play and learn’ time with their children and this is what sets the club apart. Also it is important to mention the play areas are not over crowded, and there was never a wait for any activity.
Currently Purple Dragon has two locations, Chelsea and Putney. According to their website, there are plans in place to expand to a couple of more locations across London, and other cities including New York and Dubai. Membership is subject to approval and if you would like to find out more feel free to contact the club direct.
Address: Ground Floor, Bramah House, Grosvenor Waterside, 30 Gatliff Road, London, SW1W 8DP
Phone: 020 3906 8601
Kerstin // Lux Mumma