The Luvaville Blog

The Blog is ALL about travel and lifestyle for urban parents. Here, we wish to share with you some of our travel experiences as well as tips and various recommendations on fashion, great design, trendy and practical products that go along with life as parents.

Mini Guide to Marrakech by Oum

All over Europe, it's getting colder so why not dream away to a warmer and colorful place like Marrakech. We have been so fortunate to have Fadila from Un blog, Une maman to make us a mini guide with the very best tips for Marrakech with the family. 
Fadila lives with her husband, their 5 year old girl and the turtle Inés in Casablanca, Morocco where they moved a year ago.  Fadila is a true globetrotter and has lived in Holland, Morroco, the UK and France (in this order).

Fadila works as a self-employed Marketing and Market Research Consultant and have been writing her blog for five years about what inspires her as a mum  and occasionally on Petites Inspirations about kids fashion and design. Fadila and her family love to travel and do so every time they can. This year, they discovered California and the French Alpes. Next year, they seriously think about visiting her husband’s grand-mother who lives in Tahiti".   

Marrakech, and Morocco in general, is a well-known destination for tourists … It conveys exotic places and flavours, hot temperatures, old medinas and hand made little treasures...

But I often hear that Marrakech is not a place to visit with kids: temperatures are too hot, food is too spicy, streets are too overwhelming … But, it is surprisingly family friendly with fun activities for kids, beautiful scenery and sights bursting with life ! 
So if you decide to visit Marrakech with your kids, let me start by saying: try to avoid it in the summer! It is very hot, too hot, even for the locals. My advice? Visit between September and May; it is quieter and cooler and you can even squeeze in a ski trip around January or February in Oukaimden ! Beware though that in winter time, it can be quite cold, so dress accordingly (no sleeveless dresses in January !!!).
Don’t forget to use a high-factor sunscreen for yourself and your kids and if in need of anything (disposable nappies, powdered milk, fruit purées…), you can easily buy that in Marjane, a big chain hyper market very accessible by taxi. To avoid upsetting your family’s stomach, stick to bottled water and avoid eating fruits and salads if you are not sure they have been thoroughly washed. But don’t be afraid to sample every cooked Moroccan food, even in Jamaa El Fna: the tajines, grilled meat and other dishes are delicious and not spicy (as in hot spicy).
Places to stay - accommodation
Marrakech, although famous for the terracotta colour dominating the walls and the roofs, has a diverse architecture and the accommodation possibilities are mirroring this: you can choose to stay in a “riadh”, a traditional old Moroccan house in the medina with an interior courtyard; you can opt for a palace-style hotel in the Palmeraie, a beautiful and large palm oasis at the outskirts of Marrakech or choose one of the many hotels spread in the city.
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A cute little riadh to be rented by the week, very good value for money, perfect for a family as it has two bedrooms (one master bedroom with a folding crib and two-separate beds in the other room). It is close to Jamaa El Fna (10 minutes by feet) and not accessible by car: a complete change of scenery!
A luxury palace with international standards: magnificent garden, beautiful swimming pool, outdoor lounge … and a breath-taking view on the Atlas Mountains. It has a mini-club located in the imperial palace part where kids are perfectly spoiled.
Located in the middle of the palm groves, the famous La Palmeraie, this hotel is a haven of peace and calm where kids are more than welcome. The mini-club has a garden and a swimming pool of its own, kids can wander around freely and they evenorganise a Christmas market in December.
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Child-friendly restaurants and cafes
Café Extrablatt
Located Corner of Avenue Echouhada & Alkadissia street, Quartier. 
Perfect for a breakfast or a brunch with a wide choice of Moroccan and continental breakfast items, freshlysqueezed orange juice, huge terrace and high chair for kids.
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Café Bousafsaf Located within Jardin Majorelle
My placs of choice for a lunch break when you spend the morning wandering around the Jardin Majorelle. The patio is ideally situated in the shadows but you can choose to take refuge in the adjacent room. The Tajine with Kefta (Moroccan Mince Meat) and Tomato is a must-have for the little ones and their parents!
One of the most known Moroccan restaurants in Marrakech: run exclusively by women, it is ideally located in the Gueliz area, and the food is to die for. Usually Moroccan people eat Moroccan dishes at home and look for a different kind of cuisine outside but in Al Fassia, you will find Moroccan and tourists savouring the traditional Moroccan dishes! My recommendation: the “pastille au lait” for dessert. You can thank me later!
Cultural or fun activities, playgrounds etc.
Marrakech is so bursting with life; it will constantly keep the attention of the little ones alive. So here are 3 different things to do to be enjoyed by the whole family.
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Jemaa El Fna 
Jemaa El Fna is the old city main square: very hectic and full of life day and night, packed with street performers and food stalls. It can be very overwhelming, particularly by night where the “Marrakchi” and the tourists gather, meet up and walk around. For the kids, their attention will be stimulated by snakes, little monkey performances and acrobats. Mornings are usually less crowded and there are some
excellent vintage points at Café terraces to soak everything in, with a mint tea for the grown-ups and lemonade for the little-ones.
Terre d’Amanar is a beautiful eco landscape located at the foothills of the Atlas Mountains, surrounded by the Toubkal National Park, 30mn from Marrakech. There, you can find an outdoor playground, free of charge when you eat there; kids can zip-line in the trees and do all kinds of tree climbing adventures in an itinerary set-up for them (+3 yo) or you can just walk around and let the kids do some donkey riding.
Le Jardin Majorelle is the botanical garden created by French designer Yves Saint Laurent. The variety of plants, cacti and trees are incredible with ponds filled with water lilies, goldfish and home to turtles and frogs. My daughter loves to walk around (and sometimes run) in the different alleys but she always asks for a paper and colour pens to draw : this place is inspiring !
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The souks in the medina
Behind Jemaa El Fna, there is a different world of labyrinthic streets and little shops reminder of the thousand and nights stories. Kids will be enchanted by all that can be seen and bought: Aladdinesque lamps, colourful slippers and rugs, gandouras and red tarbushes. In such places, bargaining is part of the game so don’t hesitate to “play” along.
Bab Doukkala
Another “souk”, but with a local, non-touristy vibe. It is a market street where people do their shopping (veggies, fruits, meat, fish and all kind of food and other stuff that can be found in a shop). You will also see a barber shop, a “tajine” shop with local prices, a hammam and little street cafés. 
33 Rue Majorelle is a favourite shop of mine. It is more a concept store with a selection of hand made and small unique pieces by independent Moroccan designers. The prices are more expensive than what you will find in the souks but in 33 Rue Majorelle, you will find those Moroccan inspired gifts that you will find nowhere else.







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Indian Love, mini guide to India

Today, we have the lovely founder of the fashion brand Pierrot la Lune Emilie's great tips for travelling to India as a family. We absolutely love Emilis beautiful clothes for kids and will let her take you to a trip to colorful india which is also a great source of inspiration for her in her fabric prints and colors.

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My name is Emilie and I am married to a frenchman called Pierre and we have two kids, a boy Milos who is 8 years old and a girl Sylvia who is 6 years old. I am from Copenhagen but we have chosen to go and live in the countryside outside Århus in a little town called Ry, near the beautiful lakes and forrest and the “big” mountain “Himmelbjerget”. The kids are in the Rudolf Steiner school near by. 
We have lived a number of years in India and we love to go for visits there whenever we can. We visit an Ashram in south india where we meditate and spend time in the very special atmosphere. The kids can also be there as the place is big and full of kids from all over the world giving an inspiring and international touch to their upbringing which we appreciate a lot. 
1. What do you like best about traveling to India with children? 
Indian people loves kids and are very open and free towards strangers so the kids makes a lot of friends very fast and get to meet all sorts of people. Further the kids see how different one can live which we find important for them to develop in a sense of care and understanding for other cultures and for people from less privileged parts of the world. 
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2. What is your favorite city and why?
I absolutely love Jaipur in the state Rajastan for its colors, amazing craftsmanship, traditional textiles. The camels in the street makes me feel I am a part of a 1001 night fairytale and I just want to eat all the colours you see all over the place! If you have only one week in india, thi
s is the place to go! Very beautiful part of the world! 
I get a lot of inspiration for my collections from Rajastan, their traditional block prints is a huge passion of mine. Chennai (former known as Madras) also have a very special place in my heart as we have lived there and this is where the Ashram I spoke about is situated. So Chennai is like home to us. Whenever money and time allow us to go there, we are off! 
3. Where do you like to go for lunch or dinner?
When we first arrive and crave for indian food we are always off to the local Saravana Bhavan, a chain of traditional simple middle-class restaurants with an outstanding menu. If you want indian food this is where to go. I never got a better meal even in the five star hotels. 
4. What meal/ dish should one try traveling to India?
If you want south indian, go for the Masala dosa, a lentil based pancake looking dish with potato masala inside and eat it with spicy chutneys made of coriander and coconut. really fantastic. Eat with your hands and on a coco leaf, it gets better like this! 
If you are into north indian cuisine, go for Palak Paneer (spinach and cottage cheese) Dahl makhani (black lentils soup) and aloo gobi (cauliflower and potato fried) and eat it with a naan bread maybe with butter or garlic. 
5. What kind of public transport do you use getting around in the city with your family?
We always hire a car with a driver. Its really the most convenient and not very expensive. Then make sure to get the drivers cell phone so you can find him again when you get out of a big mall or restaurant. Maybe he went somewhere in the streets for his own dinner and you don't want to get lost in the streets of Chennai. 
6. Your favourite shops for your self and for your child/children?
We always go for a shop called Anokhi in Chamiers road in Chennai. They have a restaurant/cafe as well with western inspired food and beverages. You can shop textiles, clothes, jewellery and after get a lovely cappuccino. Its rather expensive though being adapted very much to upper class indian people and western people visiting. They have wi-fi in the cafe and its a great place to spend the day even 
with kids playing iPads or watching a movie while you surf the internet or read a book. 
If you have energy (a lot) go for the T-Nagar area in Chennai and get amazing stuff for indian prices. Really amazing silk houses like Nali Silk house and Kumaran silk house can keep me stuck for a day if not more. Not a place for small kids though unless you go in the 7 floor Saravana Stores where you will find a complete floor for toys. T-Nagar is also the place if you want to shop gold and, silver and pearls and gemstones. 
7. The best play ground in the city?
We always use the playground in the ashram, the kids loves this place during the day. Otherwise the 5 star hotels have great pools that can serve as a great playground! 
8. Where can you recommend to stay as a family? 
If you want to relax, go south of Chennai near Pondicherry, you will find amazing resorts. We always go to Ideal beach resort and spend some days. The ocean is great, the staff are super sweet and the pool is clean. We celebrated Sylvias 5 year old birthday here and she had a huge surprise cake made for her as a gift from the kitchen staff. very kind people! 
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9. Your child's/childrens' favourite cultural activity?
They are still so young and they just love the nature and the sea no matter where we are! 
10. Any other good general travel advices for traveling with kids?
Make them feel important. Let them have responsibility such as packing their own suitcase, being in charge of something important (not the passports) but maybe the chewing gum for the plane, to avoid getting ear pain. Let them connect to lots of people without interfering too much, let them taste lots of different food, smell different things, see and hear songs and dances from where you are. Expand and 
explore their minds! 

Summer Memories La Miranda Part 1

It is not even a month ago we got back from our summer holidays in Spain but it already feels so far away. So here a bit of holiday photos to share the memories and to tell you that Catalonia in Spain is the perfect region for family vacation. You have lots of great nature, the sea, interesting cities and not to forget Barcelona not far away.

During this vacation, we stayed mainly in two places. The first place we stayed in the countryside up in the mountains close to a small and very cute city called Vic. The climat was perfect with small kids, warm but not too hot.

We stayed in a big beautiful old house La Miranda at the very top of a mountain (700 meter). The roustic farm house was ideal for our family and friends with a private swimming pool, table tennis and horses. We visited the surrounding villages and areas and discovered the beautiful region of Catalonia.





Soft Gallery AW14 favorites and shop in shop

Yesterday, I went to one of the best places in Copenhagen for children's fashion, the children's department in the department store Illum. A part from, the total renovation of the department store, which is a big mess, the children's corner on the third floor is really great. Here, I discovered the new shop-in-shop corner for one of my favorite brands Soft Gallery. Every season, Soft Gallery is where we find a lot of our basics - since my girls' really love the prints, the fit and the soft cotton fabrics. Leo prints in all it's colors are still a big hit amongst my two girls and I must say that the two lovely designers Barbara and Tine are really doing a great job reinventing the leo print from soft pink in the latest summer collection to the dark burgundy pink this fall. My oldest daughter is crazy about the jump suits, she feels so cool wearing them and yet so practical and soft. Soft Gallery teams up at every season with different print designers creating the wonderful, cute and nostalgic illustrations on their t-shirts and dresses. So for sweat pants, cool t-shirts, loose and soft dresses and leggings Soft Gallery is the brand. Remember Soft Gallery has now their own webshop where you can find all the collection and not to forget beautiful styles for women as well.

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Back 2 School with Jungle by Jungle

The back to school season is here and many excited kids are starting their first day of school these days. This also means a lot of changes, also when it comes to function and decoration for the kid's room. We have fallen in love with Jungle by Jungle a French brand of design furniture for children. 
The furniture are conceived to last on the time and pass on generation. Made in France, in the respect of the traditional handmade know-how, of quality and irreproachable finish. The wood used, is chosen in view of a sustainable management of the forest. We love the pastel colors and the beautiful design. You can find them in several colors for bous and girls on Jungle by Jungle webshop or at My Little Square.

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Meet Vanessa, our new NYC Insider

We are extremely happy to welcome Vanessa to our fantastic team. Vanessa is the lovely mother of sweet baby girl Sarah and lives in Manhattan together with her husband. Vanessa is an English language teacher, freelance writer and fitness instructor and a spare time food blogger about destinations in the Hamptons, just a short jaunt away from the city:  As an avid traveler, she is always looking for family friendly places to visit, especially places that are nontraditional and off of the beaten path. Next destinations for the little family of three: London, Aberdeen in Scotland, Stockholm, Berlin and Vienna. Traveling is an important part of their lives and they are looking forward to journeying around the world together as a family. 

We have asked Vanessa a few questions about her life in NY and about her favorite spots.


1. What do you like best about living in Manhattan (New York) with your child?

You will always find something new to do each day. After going to school and working in the city and now having my daughter, I continue to find new and unique places to see and things to do. Not only in each borough but in each neighborhood from the West Village to Central Park West, you feel as if you are in a different city altogether. The opportunities for discovery are endless.


2. What is a typical day in Manhattan like with your family?

During our days off, we love to spend as much time outside as possible while escaping the city crowds. We have breakfast and lunch at home then grab a snack near the park and venture to a museum or park. There are dozens of museums throughout the city, and we like to visit at least one museum a week. I show my daughter the paintings and sculptures and explain them to her. We stay for just an hour. When she gets a little older, we will do even more traveling together.

3. What is your favourite area in the city and why?

Greenwich Village and the West Village. There are so many great shops and so much history close together. You could spend hours walking the streets and browsing through the shops. Plus the indoor mall and urban food court, Chelsea Market, is wonderful to visit on those rainy days or during the summer heat. 

4. Where do you like to go for lunch or dinner?

For lunch, I love Hale & Hearty soups or Pret a Manger which are found throughout the city or Vive la Crepe and Crepeaway both near Union square. For a snack, I love Alice's Tea cup for their vegan peanut butter scones and the City Bakery during the winter months for their dark hot chocolate. 


For dinner, my favorite restaurants are Bill's Bar and Burger for their delicious veggie burgers, Pellegrino's in Little Italy and One If By Land, Two If By Sea in the West Village.


5. What kind of public transport do you use getting around in the city with your family?

Exclusively the subway otherwise we like to walk as much as possible. We also take the aerial tramway to Roosevelt Island across the East River. There are always wonderful photo opportunities during the short trip.

6. Your favourite shops for your self and for your child/children?

My favorite shops for myself are Zabar's grocery store on the Upper West Side and La Maison du Macaron in Chelsea. I love purchasing my favorite syrups, shortbread biscuits and cheeses at Zabar's and the macaron shop has the best salted caramel and lemon macarons. For my daughter, I love to shop for her at Kendall's closet on the Upper East Side that sells imported European brands and Florence Fancy also on the UES. 

7. The best play ground in the city?

There are so many great play grounds that it really depends where you are near. Close to me is the East 72nd Street Playground with a pyramid-shaped slide and stairs, a net climber, tire swings and a wooden tree house. Another great play ground is the Ancient Playground close to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and is inspired by their Egyptian Wing which sparks a lot of imagination for the little ones. 


8. If you have a little diaper incident where do you go?



The student centre at NYU, my alma mater. The bathrooms there are very clean and spacious. If I am near midtown or Central Park, I stop in either a Hilton, Double Tree, the Plaza Hotel or the Marriott Marquis if I am in Times Square. These are your best bet for cleanliness, in addition to the opportunity to stop and sit in their respective lounges for feedings and or breaks. 


9. Your child's favourite cultural activity?

My daughter, Sarah, is just five months old. Since I read two books to her every day, I would love to take her to the New York Public Library where her grandfather worked. She will also love visiting the Children's Museum of Manhattan, Hudson River Park's Pier 25 and the New York Historical Society. My favorite annual autumn event is the NYC Chocolate Show in the Chelsea neighbourhood. 



10. Your own favourite cultural activity?

Strolling through the West Village and visiting the "mom and pop" specialty shops such as Bonnie Slotnick's cookbook shop, Meyers of Keswick British grocery store, The Bathroom beauty and perfume shop and McNulty's Tea & Coffee. I love looking at the historic buildings and tenements in the area. I also enjoy attending the NGO briefings at the United Nations, where I used to visit regularly while I was a university student. 


Travel Kit from Babyccino Kids

Our friends over at Babyccino Kids has made a gorgeous and practical travel kit for children in collaboration with the French brand Lalé. This little travel kits is specially designed for children with the ambition of making travelling fun and more comfortable. The sets are perfect to bring on planes, trains and bu car or even for a trip to the beach. The travel kit include an eye mask, a neck cushion, a blanket with multiple usage and a little doudou. We love it and it's right in the spirit and I know two little girls who would need and love their own set when travelling. You can find them on the Lalé webshop.

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Mini Guide to beautiful Valencia

A re-post of this perfect mini-guide for Valencia where me and my family (husband, daughter 2, 5 year and me - very pregnant) went a few year's back. We spent 8 days in this lovely city. We found Valencia to be really beautiful and romantic and very childfriendly. Valencia is beautiful and perfect to visit during spring or fall since the temperature hasn't reach that high yet. It's is a good alternative to Barcelona, smaller, but still rich in culture, activities, great food & shopping.




Where to stay? We stayed at two hotels during our stay:

Palau del Mar: This aristocratic nineteenth century building is located in the heart of Valencia, near both the shopping district and historic area. This fabulous centrally situated hotel is housed in a refurbished palace and offers guests the best of contemporary Valencia: the historic city centre and the modern heart of the city. Romantic architecture, including an impressive hall and a marble staircase, has been reinterpreted in modern terms for the complete enjoyment of beautifully serene spaces. The staff is very kind and helpful, the restaurant servs delicious food and the indoor swimmingpool (which is very small), is perfect for young children.




Hotel Las Arenas Valencia: The majestic Las Arenas Balneario Resort is a beachfront hotel in Valencia. Overlooking azure oceans and walking distance from the city centre, Las Arenas Spa offers great accomodations as well as all the needs a modern family might have: children's pool, children's club/playground, high chairs, baby cots, restaurants etc. The beachfront location is amazing!



What to do? Kids can really enjoy them selves in Valencia, as there are several options and activities designed specifically for them.

The Zoo: The Bioparc is the new zoo of Valencia, located in the Cabecera Park. Valencia Bioparc is in a 200,000 m2 section of the extensive Turia Gardens and is a new kind of zoo. The Biopark is created employing the concept of zoo-immersion which means immersing the visitor completely in wild habitats. The zoo offers you the unique opportunity to watch many of the animals roaming freely just like on an African Safari. Most of the animals are set in their natural habitat, log cabins with thatched roofs give it an authentic feel and the really dangerous animals are well cared for and can be seen behind glass in well made pens. We loved it!


Aquarium: Valencia Aquarium is housed in L'Oceanografic, the largest marine park in Europe and it's the largest aquarium in Europe! This stunning building was designed by Felix Candela and is reminiscent of the amazing work of Barcelona's Antoni Gaudí. Valencia Aquarium at the Oceanografic can be found in the stunning City of Arts and Sciences (Ciutat de les Arts i de les Ciencies) which also contains a planetarium, science museum, botanical garden and opera house. The oceans and species of the sea are well represented in this truly spectacular area in the center of Valencia.


5121 The park Turia Gardens: The gardens stretch the length of Valencia like a lovely green ribbon ending not far from the beach and port of Valencia. For a few minutes you can escape the hustle and bustle of city life and enjoy the peace and tranquility of a very shady and green Valencian city park. The lovely park is  a 7 kilometer promenade of flowers, parks, ponds, fountains, sports facilities and playgrounds - Amongst others the impressive Gulliver Playground where kids can climb and slide on top of the giant Gulliver. Playing on the top of Gulliver, the kids naturally look like the small citizens of Lilliputs. Not suitable small kids, though! A stroll in the Turia Gardens is one of the top things to do in Valencia because you can easily reach other parts of Valencia.




Valencia beaches: The white sandy beaches are edged with palm trees and are perfect for children to build sandcastles on. Take a dip in the sparkling Mediterranean sea and when it gets too hot and you need some shade, there are plenty of pretty thatched parasols to sit under. You will find many beach-side activities such as small playgrounds, special lanes and the promenade which is ideal for rollerblading or riding bicycles.



Where to shop? Valencia has alot to offer, fashion wise. Both for kids & adults. The kids of Valencia are well equipped and their are many shops dedicated the little ones. Our favorites are:

Nanos: Nanos is a traditional Spanish childrenswear luxury label. The name Nanos, which means little ones in Spanish, caters classic pieces with an edge: colours are bold and styles fashion-savvy with on trend cuts and embellishments. Thanks to Nanos classic luxury clothing for children goes beyond pastels, beige and pale pink, to fully embrace colours and festive patterns. All with the distinctive style and the utmost refinement you expect from a luxury label. The beautiful shop has a little corner where the kids can play while the parents are shopping.


Yo SolitoYo Solito is this very cool and personal shop where you will find all the best from Spanish and International brands such as Bonton, Babe & Tess, Imps&elfs, Zef, Normandie and much more. The decor is black and white and very stylish. Definately worth a visit.


Imaginarium: The Spanish chain that sells great & high quality toys Imaginarium is also to be found in Valencia. There are several branches in Valencia, so check out the website to find an adresse.


Where to eat? People in Valencia seems to be very childfriendly. Kids are more than welcome at most restaurants and even though there are no specific children's menu, they are always ready to prepare a special meal for your kids; a smaller portion, not too spicy etc. Also you will find high chairs in every restaurant (at least all the restaurants we visited had high chairs).


Baby Deli: Baby Deli is a fantastic concept store and café offering gorgeous and organic products: food, toys, baby care etc and a café with great lunch and everything parents and kids need for having a nice time in beautiful surroundings! Baby Deli also offers different activities for children like cooking classes amongst other things. The perfect place where toddlers can play while parents enjoy a cup of coffee.


Cacao Sampaka: Cacao Sampaka makes delicious chocolate using only authenthic cocoa. In the shop you will also find a little cafeteria where you can enjoy a typical hot chocolate, mousses, pastries and cakes, chocolate granita, chocolate deserts etc. Delicious!


Getting around

Valencia is truly beautfiul and you can easily get around the city with a stroller. The Metro has lifts and you will find bicycle paths all over the city. You can rent bicycles in the Turia Gardens and in the City of Arts & Sciences. You can also rent bikes here and here.


Lille Figaro Sale

The fabulous Danish Webshop has started their famous sale. Hurry up if you want to find treassures from Danish and International Designers such as: Soft Gallery, Poppy Rose, Bobo Choses, Mini Rodini and many cool brands for mothers as well.


Mini Rodini Home Collection

A new season calls for new fresh colours - not only in our wardrobe but also in our home. Mini Rodini recently launched their beautiful new Home Collection which is fun, fantastic and colourful exactly like the Mini Rodini clothes. Mini Rodini Home is a 100 % organic and non-toxic interior collection consisting of blankets and bed-linen for both baby cribs and junior size.

Several of the Mini Rodini signature prints are therefor now available for bedsets and blankets  - if you, like me, are a huge fan of Mini Rodini it will be hard to choose. Check it out.





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