La Coqueta


La Coqueta is a wonderfully welcomed new children’s boutique in the heart of London’s Hampstead village. This charming little shop offers a beautiful selection of timeless and vintage-inspired children’s clothing & shoes from Spain. The clothing is beautifully displayed, the shop is full of sweet little details, the shop owner and manager could not be nicer, and you’ll have a hard time leaving without picking up something perfect for your children. Oh, and the price point is good too!

La Coqueta
5 Heath Street
London NW3 6TP
+44 (0)207 794 6333

Huggle — A shop, café and playspace in one!

Imagine a children’s shop stocked full of great toys, baby equipment, children’s decor and stylish furniture… doesn’t that alone sound impressive? Now, imagine this store has buggy parking, kiddie toilets and baby changing facilities, a little café, and an indoor play space for kids — aaahhh, it’s like heaven for parents! This heaven is called Huggle, and it’s a newly opened shop located in Swiss Cottage (just opposite the leisure centre). It was started by a local husband and wife team who spent two years researching the market before opening up their shop and who completely get what it’s like to be a new parent struggling to find the best products for their kids. (more…)

ALSO IN THE AREA:

Primrose Bakery — our favourite cupcakes in LondonTricycle TheatreElias & Grace

The London High Street

popFollowing on from Emilie’s recent post about places in Paris to find chic clothes at less-than-chic prices I thought I’d let you know about some of my favourite spots on a typical London High Street. Now most Mums in London will know of these national treasures but if you are visiting London they are worth checking out.

I’m a huge fan of Swedish kids clothes shop P.OP (Polarn O Pyret) which sells playful and colourful kids clothes and a small selection of maternity wear. Think lots of stripes and lots of colour. They have 4 shops in and around London (Brent Cross, Westfield, House of Fraser (Oxford Street) and Kingston) but a further 10 or so stores around the rest of the UK.

Next up: Zara Home (no, not Zara Kids): A very small selection but I love their quilts and blankets for kids and they always have a tiny rail with really sweet sleep-wear/snuggly-wear. I have had some great finds there. (more…)

ALSO IN THE AREA:

Blossom Mother and ChildPrimrose Bakery — our favourite cupcakes in LondonThe London Duck Tours

Hope & Greenwood

DSC_0095I used to keep a picture in the front of my diary of an old-fashioned sweet shop. You know the kind: shelves stacked with glass jars brimming with brightly-coloured sweets. The Juliette Binoche in me always quite fancied being a ‘purveyor of splendid confectionery’. However these days there would be little point in me following this dream as Hope & Greenwood do it so perfectly.

They have stores in Dulwich & Covent Garden (which would be perfect if you happen to be taking a trip to Benjamin Pollocks as per my last post), but they are also sold in some pretty lovely other places: Liberty, Selfridges, Fortum & Mason (to name but a few) and of course you can buy them online from their site. I find the Miss Hope’s Jolly Mixture a very exciting treat and the Sugar free Gummy Bears a good one to ensure the children don’t bounce off the ceiling with too much sugar! (more…)

ALSO IN THE AREA:

The London EyeThe London High StreetCarluccio’s

Benjamin Pollocks

DSC_0080I grew up in a little farming village about 100 miles north of London and only made very rare trips to the ‘big smoke’ as a child. I remember one very special trip when my Godmother (literally one of the coolest people on the planet) brought me down for a WHOLE weekend in London for my 9th birthday. We saw a show and explored the city and I vividly remember stumbling across the most magical old-fashioned toyshop, which specialised in Toy Theatres.

Recently I had a reason to re-find that store, and the magic hasn’t left the place! Benjamin Pollocks is a delightfully old fashioned place (originally established in the 1880s) in the Covent Garden Piazza. I must warn you — it isn’t buggy friendly as you have to climb a narrow staircase to reach it and the shop is small and crammed to the rafters with toys, but worth the trip indeed. (more…)

ALSO IN THE AREA:

Blossom Mother and ChildThe London High StreetRossopomodoro Pizza

Elias & Grace

Elias and Grace is a small but well stocked children’s shop located on the main strip in Primrose Hill. This trendy boutique has one of the best selection of clothing brands in London, including all our favourite European brands like  Simple Kids, Quincy, Maan, Album di Famiglia, Petit Bateau, Pepe Shoes, Bonton, etc. Everything is displayed really well (in sections divided by gender) and they do a really good job of creating ‘looks‘, mixing up the different brands and styles. They also have a great online shop, and they ship internationally. (more…)

ALSO IN THE AREA:

Kenwood HouseHampstead HeathOttolenghi

Tate Modern

Matisse at TateI haven’t been to the Tate Modern since having kids and I think I had forgotten how cool it is! I also completely underestimated how much my kids would like it. Interestingly, I think kids are really attracted to the vibrant colors, the huge paintings, ‘bizarre’ objects, etc. In some ways, it’s the kind of art that kids can relate to — art that inspires discussion.

On weekends the Tate hosts family-friendly events and interactive kid zones.  Or you can pick up a family trail sketchbook to keep kids interacted as they tour the museum (available every day of the week).

The gift shop on the bottom floor is WAY cool, and they have a great section of chilren’s books and unique toys. The café on the 2nd floor is also kid-friendly, with highchairs, crayons, etc.  But… the most impressive thing is the view from the restaurant at the top which looks out over the river Thames and offers one of the best views in London. (Even if you don’t eat there, it’s worth going up just to see!) (more…)

ALSO IN THE AREA:

BroraKonditor & CookBorough Market

Olive Loves Alfie

olive loves alfieAlthough it’s a bit off the beaten path, it’s worth a trip to London’s Stoke Newington neighborhood if, for nothing else, a visit to the lovely children’s boutique Olive Loves Alfie.

This small but charming shop is chock full of children’s toys, clothes and accessories. Not your normal mass-market toys, but the sort of things that will inspire you to spruce up your children’s toy basket or run home and redecorate the nursery. It’s the perfect place to find a unique birthday gift, a piece of art to cover a bare wall, or even vintage chairs, globes and toys for your home.

You’ll find Djeco toys, Katvig clothes, Rice accessories, and the list goes on. And there’s something about the way it’s all displayed that makes you really notice the attention to detail and the heartfelt selection. A really lovely neighborhood shop that makes you wish you lived in the neighborhood… (more…)

ALSO IN THE AREA:

Blue DaisyHuggle — A shop, café and playspace in one!Carluccio’s

Blossom Mother and Child

Blossom mother and childI remember the first thing I did when I found out I was pregnant with my first baby was head to Blossom Mother and Child for some maternity jeans. Blossom’s large range of designer maternity jeans is probably the best in town, and their well-trained staff will help you find the best pair (I feel like it’s essential to try jeans on before buying them, especially because a pregnant body has a mind of its own)!

Blossom is also great for staples like maternity lingerie, nursing bras and other feeding tops (their feeding camisole is my favorite — I own three!), as well as for fancier pieces like dresses and other evening wear items.

They now have three locations in London as well as a comprehensive website.  Though I really do suggest trying on jeans before you buy… (more…)

ALSO IN THE AREA:

Inn the Park!Hope & GreenwoodByron for proper hamburgers

No tantrums here…

Tantrum hair salonMy experience with kiddie hair salons has always been the same: the place looks cool, my kids love it and sit still and happy in their seat, BUT they still manage to walk out with a less-than-stellar haircut. Too much glitz, not enough guts.

Thankfully, this is NOT the case at the new children’s hair salon, Tantrum, on the King’s Road, where I took my youngest son for his first real haircut last week. (I’ve been dreading the risk of cutting off his baby curls, so I was delaying the inevitable!)

He got a great cut, and we both left happy… curls in tact! (more…)

ALSO IN THE AREA:

French bread in LondonCaramel BabyKew Gardens

Bobo Kids

Bobo Kids exterior

Whether you’re starting from scratch with your baby’s nursery, or you just want to spruce up your kids’ bedroom or playroom with a few new accessories, Bobo Kids is the place. This darling little shop in London’s Chelsea Green neighborhood stocks an eclectic mix of modern, vintage and designer products for kids and babies.  Think contemporary European furniture, original art, wall stickers and vintage posters,  beautiful bed linens and cushions, etc.  Or how about the less obvious… a floor-to-ceiling canvas of a London phone booth, beautiful Petit Pan hanging fish lanterns, vintage kid’s desks and chairs, lovely wallpapers, etc.  It is truly an inspiring collection of interior design pieces.

They also have a small (but tasteful) selection of children’s clothes, shoes and toys. And, if it’s all too much to choose from, they offer an interior design service which will help you meet any design project or challenge. Makes me want to start from scratch all over again… (more…)

ALSO IN THE AREA:

Bushy ParkThe Polka TheatreRossopomodoro Pizza

Kidsen

Kidsen

I sometimes joke that I must have been Scandinavian in a previous life.  I just feel so at home whenever I visit the northern countries and I love the simplicity, the practicality, and the design of their products.

So, when I heard about the new Scandinavian kid’s store in Kensal Rise, I knew I would love it.  Kidsen is London’s first Scandinavian children’s store, founded by ex MTV producer and resident Swede, Corina Papadopoulou, who hand-picks the products with a very clever eye for design.  Kidsen stocks exclusive brands including Brio, Klippan, CelaVi, Elodie Details, Our Childrens Gorilla, En Gry & Sif, Holly, Norlie, Plastisock and Mini a ture. You can literally buy anything from nappies, to buggies, to cots (a cool, bright yellow cot from Brio!), to cool toys and clothes.  A delightful smorgasbord of Scandinavian style! (more…)

ALSO IN THE AREA:

Petit AiméKinesis Pilates StudioHope for your feet…

Natural Mat

Natural Mat Mattresses

Natural Mat is a small boutique tucked away on a quiet street in Notting Hill which sells the most beautiful nursery furniture, bed linens and natural mattresses. The famous mattresses are handmade in Devon and are 100% natural and non allergenic, breathable, naturally fire-retardant, and totally biodegradable! You can read the many advantages of their mattresses here. They come in all different shapes and sizes and can be custom built to fit any size requirements you may have. I definitely recommend stopping into Natural Mat if you’re expecting a baby, or if you want to spruce up your nursery. (more…)

ALSO IN THE AREA:

Gracelands CaféKew GardensNatural History Museum

Caramel Baby

Caramel Baby & Child is a lovely kids’ clothing brand that started with one small shop in South Kensington but has expanded now to 4 shops across London, a concession in Selfridges and a shop in Harrods. There is also now a shop in Japan, and one in Florence. It is, without a doubt, my most favorite English clothing brand. The clothes are beautiful without trying too hard — they aren’t too fancy or flashy, and they use such lovely colours and fabrics. They also have a fun selection of little toys and accessories, including the most darling shoes. The shops are beautiful and well worth a visit, especially the Sloane Square shop and the Notting Hill shop. (more…)

ALSO IN THE AREA:

Petit AiméPetersham NurseriesNatural Mat

Hope for your feet…

Emma Hope Sneakers

The most comfortable sneakers I’ve ever worn? Not to mention — the coolest?? Emma Hope’s by a long shot!! Emma Hope is one of the UK’s most prominent footwear designers.  Her range of shoes includes sneakers, boots, sandals, flats, pumps and platforms. They are designed to compliment all areas of your life from casual and business wear to evening wear and wedding shoes! And there’s even a men’s range (which my husband is way too familiar with)!

All her shoes are beautiful, well-made (in Italy), and unique. It’s worth a visit to one of her 3 London shops just to see the designs! But you can also shop or check for stockists from the new online shop. I promise — they are the best!

ALSO IN THE AREA:

Kew GardensGracelands CaféNatural Mat
Older Posts »