BC (Before Children) a city break meant getting a tiny, hipster apartment, eating out and big nights at the latest bars – we were barely in our accommodation. Now things are .. different. I want somewhere I can cook, somewhere Mr Husband and I can comfortably hang out in the evenings (because we stay in now – sad face) and somewhere where the children can play without damaging themselves or anything else. Very different remit. But with the rise of Air BnB you can search for something quite specific to fit your needs – and we found a gem in Turin.
We arrived at Home Sweet Home and were greeted by our host (who lives downstairs so we could bug him any time – we borrowed a brolley and he no doubt heard the delightful pitter patter of our kids’ elephant feet overhead). He welcomed us into the apartment and the first impression was that it smelt delicious. I’ve never experienced accommodation smelling so good. Cloves and cinnamon I think.
We made a beeline for the kids’ bedroom which was full of toys, cots and beds with funky bedclothes and really quirky decor. It was huge too. They settled in to play/fight for the next three days.
Our bedroom, with its SMACK wall letters, was equally distinctive and creative – though Mr Toddler did keep removing the letter ‘S’ from the wall so we were left with MACK.
The kitchen/diner was a real family room where we could hang out, cook our goodies bought from the market and feel at home. There was milk in the fridge and some breakfast for the following morning so we didn’t have to worry about stocking the cupboards immediately – this is such a lovely gesture for a host to make and was hugely appreciated.
The location wins a gold star too. Located on Via Milano it’s desperately central yet quiet. There are local markets within walking distance for food and clothes (we somehow forgot to bring a coat for our son – bad parents – so we picked up a cheap new one to replace the Spiderman towel he’d been forced to wear, much to the delight of Italian strangers). We had the pick of restaurants, gelaterias, palaces, piazzas and museums within walking distance so we were delighted.
It was a plentiful apartment, there was no scrimping – the cupboards were packed with towels, there were toiletries as required, basic food in the cupboards (seasoning, olive oil etc.) that you could help yourself too, slippers and robes in the bathroom. Everything was in abundance and it felt a very generous stay.
Downsides? It’s on the third floor but this wasn’t as bad as it sounds. The stairs are broad, Mr Toddler just belted down them, and we could safely leave the buggy in the secure hall each night. You can’t park at the apartment, or even drop off most of the time, but there’s secure underground parking a few minutes walk away – we managed this with a double buggy, baby, toddler, three cases and additional hand luggage. Even Mr Toddler was roped in to help.
We found lots of child friendly things to do in Turin, which I’ll highlight in a separate post, but this apartment was something special.
THE LOWDOWN – We drove from Aberdeen to Edinburgh and flew to Milan with Easyjet, picked up a hire car and drove the hour and a half to Turin. For an overview of the Piedmont region click here. For our highlights of family activities in Turin click here.
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