Visiting the Children’s Lane boutique in Abu Dhabi is like taking a nostalgic journey back in time. You may be there for the kids, but everything – from the Roald Dahl books and Beatrix Potter-style artwork, to the carefully crafted rocking horses and train-shaped beds – will leave you hankering for your own childhood.
Nestled in a corner of the capital’s Fotouh Al Khair family mall, the luxury children’s store has been granted department-store status because of the breadth of its offering. You’ll find wooden toys, organic skincare products, pretty rag dolls, handcarved cots, sequinned princess dresses and cribs that look like they’ve been snatched straight out of a fairy tale. The store also offers a by-appointment-only interior-design service dedicated to nurseries, children’s rooms and playrooms.
The Children’s Lane concept was born when its Emirati founders had their first child and were sourcing items for their nursery. Unable to find the kinds of things they were looking for locally, they drew inspiration from their own childhoods and set off in search of products and brands that offered a more classic, refined feel.
The store emerged as by-product of that exhaustive, international quest, and is home to high-end European brands such as Notte Fatata by Savio Firmino, and Belle & Boo. Clothing is by the likes of La Stupenderia, Amberley, Les Enfantines and Nicki Macfarlane, who was responsible for designing the dresses for the younger bridesmaids at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Also fit for royalty are the charming creations by Stevenson Brothers Rocking Horses. The United Kingdom-based company has spent the last 30 years handcrafting rocking horses, reviving a craft that has been around since the early 17th century, but had been in decline since the middle of the 20th century. The company offers a wide range of both new, limited-edition and miniature horses, and versions that can be built to order.
A new addition to the Children’s Lane portfolio is this delicate-looking unicorn, which is finished in white pearlescent paint, with silver details, topped with a blue-grey blanket and mounted on an oak base painted in white.
Owners of these horses, which are essentially pieces of sculpture, will be in good company – Queen Elizabeth is known to possess at least two. A reproduction of one of her favourite horses, Tinkerbell, was presented to Her Majesty on her birthday in 2005, and she received a custom-created Golden Jubilee Rocking Horse in 2002 to mark her 50th year on the throne.
Kids who prefer a more modern mode of transport may fancy the wares of Parisian brand Baghera, which specialises in perfectly recreated vintage pedal cars and ride-ons. From the Classics collection, which is based on cars from the 1930s, complete with chrome lights on the radiator, and vintage-looking seats and number plates, to the Legends line, which is based on real 1920s racing cars, there is something here for every mini-motoring enthusiast.
Read this and more stories in Luxury magazine, out with The National on Thursday, May 12.
Source: art & life