Sneak peek: Maggie & Rose opens an Islington family club and co-working space
Family members' club, nursery and co-working space Maggie & Rose is opening this month in Islington - and you'll want to move in. Plus, there's loads for non-members to enjoy.
Things have just gotten even better for north London parents: family members' club Maggie & Rose has arrived in N1, and it's a haven for parents and their children. With this venue, Maggie & Rose has tapped into those twin, elusive desires that parents crave most: space and time - time for themselves, and their children. And it's wonderfully stylish to boot.
Maggie & Rose's new branch, in Islington Square off Upper Street, is as multitasking as the parents that will be frequenting it: there's a nursery, a cafe with toys and games that's open to the public and non-members, a member's only brasserie and soft play space and a co-working spot for parents (with a two-way mirror that allows them to check on their kids in soft play paradise while they answer work emails).
It's also a children's birthday party venue and school holiday camp that you don't need to be a member to rent out or sign up for.
The nursery at Maggie & Rose Islington
You don't need to be a Maggie & Rose club member to join the nursery (although once you see the space, you'll definitely want to become one), which offers part-time or full-time care. From the moment kids enter, they're transported to a world that's a little bit magical, with a vintage carousel greeting them at the entrance, inspired by Brighton Pier.
The play space also encompasses children's love of playing house, with features like a faux yellow Smeg fridge door that kids go through, which leads them down a swirly-whirly tube slide.
There's a Forest-School feel in the soft play zone, with life-size bird's nest, peepholes and plenty of nooks and crannies to hide away in.
The nursery follows the EYFS curriculum as well as the Maggie & Rose 'Eat, Play, Learn' ethos, and kids will be encouraged in their imaginative play as well as exposed to art, music and cooking classes. Nursery children have access to all club areas throughout their day.
Happily, parents will notice an emphasis on the sustainable throughout: wooden furnishings - often made from reclaimed wood - and plastic toys made from recycled materials reign supreme. Baby change areas are kitted out with Kit & Kin biodegradable nappies.
Stylish seating in the members' area at Maggie & Rose Islington
The members' club
Maggie & Rose is first and foremost a family members' club, which for parents means that it combines the best of all worlds: the decor is glorious - trust us, you'll want to purchase every item for your own home. All furnishings are created by an in-house team, so everything marries together beautifully (watch this space, because soon, we'll be able to order our favourite mini-chairs and mirrors from Maggie & Rose online).
The soft play space bears no resemblance to the one you swore you'd never set foot in again at the local leisure centre and the atmosphere is inviting yet relaxed, with a postal theme running through (an homage to the site of the club, formerly the old Royal Mail sorting office). You'll find reclaimed post box doors used as artwork on the walls and in the soft play area and bespoke postal wallpaper behind the reception desk, designed with Maggie & Rose themed stamps.
The members’ brasserie has a massive family area for dining, an exciting menu to tempt kids and their adults (truffle pizza, colourful veggie plates) a library and reading nooks (look out for upcoming author talks) and a fantastic soft play zone with tunnels and ball pit. There's a snug cinema where kids and their parents can chill out on soft log beanbag chairs and watch family films, as well as a den for older kids.
A core tenet of the Maggie & Rose philosophy is one of "no judgement" - it's OK if your kid spills their juice or accidentally knocks their pasta (which happens to have sneaky kale blended into the sauce) over. Everyone's in the same boat and everyone's there to have fun with their kids.
Reclaimed and recycled materials are used throughout the space; chic furnishings are made by the in-house design team
Activities at Maggie & Rose
One of the most appealing aspects about joining Maggie & Rose is that it's all about doing things together as a family: kids and their parents can join in a series of classes, including music, cooking, dance and crafting. The philosophy is about learning through play: kids might not realise they're counting and learning the basics of fractions as they bake, but they will be.
It's also about embracing every family member and friend: kids get guest passes so their pals can hang with them for a day, and grandparents, nannies, aunties and uncles and other carers and relatives are all welcome to come join the tots in their activities.
While the space is primarily designed for the 0-5 set, there are holiday camps for older children, which are open to non-members and include outdoor play, arts and crafts and music and dance.
For non-members, there's also a cafe on the ground floor that parents can pop into for a coffee and cake while their kids play with the toys on the tables.
Parents who are feeling utterly uninspired by birthday party options for their youngsters will also be pleased to know they can book in for a party in the space, using the soft play zone in the nursery or kitchen, art or music rooms (or all of the above) to entertain their kids, with invites, party bags and food sorted by the club.
Plus, you can fit in a whole state school class and then some - the venue recently hosted a party with 45 kids (the whole hangout spans 1,200 square metres, across two floors).
The co-working space at Maggie & Rose Islington
The co-working space
We're in the middle of a working revolution, and the reality of a co-working space with play zone for parents is pretty universally appealing - and essential.
Maggie & Rose has a separate room with soundproof doors and a two-way mirror; working mums and dads can watch their kids in the soft play zone, but also dial into their conference call. The separate space also encourages working mums and dads to socialise and meet other like-minded parents.
There will be talks and events here, designed to support and inspire parents looking for advice about topics like returning to work after children or tips on how to co-parent.
Maggie & Rose already has Kensington and Chiswick covered in London - as well as Hong Kong, Singapore and China further afield, and we can't think of a more welcome arrival in the neighbourhood, giving parents a space where they can be present and enjoy spending time with their children, without stressing about coming up with an inspiring activity for them... or worrying about cleaning it up after.
Whatever parents have an appetite for, Maggie & Rose has anticipated it brilliantly.
Maggie & Rose, 116 Upper St, Islington, London N1 1AB
Maggie & Rose Islington club membership starts from £180 per month or £1980 annually including a joining fee and deposit.