Obtaining best Night Riviera fare with child

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11 May 2014
I have a couple of fare queries about booking on the Night Riviera sleeper service.

We wish to travel down to Penzance on Friday 21st October this year, returning to Paddington the following Friday. We are a family of five – two adults, one child over 5, one toddler and a baby.

The Friday in question is the beginning of the school half term holidays, so I understand that the cheapest advance fares will sell out very quickly (if they are available at all). I know that the tickets are usually released 12 weeks prior to the journey. However, I can also see that child tickets on the Night Riviera must be booked at a station. Do the best advance fares become available for booking at the station at the same time as online, and if so, do I have to attend an FGW ticket office to book, or will any do?

We have a Family and Friends railcard, but we also have the opportunity to book as part of a larger group (9 adults and one child). Would we be better off trying to negotiate a group booking rate with FGW than scrabbling around for cheap advance fares?
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