We had the chance to speak with Maggie Bolger, founder of Maggie & Rose, to discover why she set up the business and to talk about the latest addition, Maggie & Rose Chiswick.
As a young mother with three little ones, Maggie Bolger felt she had three thrill seekers (all under five) but no dedicated space to let them burn off their abundance of energy, whilst reflecting Maggie noted, “It seemed that when you became a mother, no one had put any thought into the experience.”
In 2007, Maggie found that London was becoming saturated by celebrities and chefs who were spending millions opening fancy restaurants and clubs – but no one deemed it important to create a great space for families, mothers in particular. Maggie told me that because of this lacking, as she colloquially recalls, she ‘got the hump’ and decided to do it herself. “I wanted a home from home for families; a place that was an extension of your own family that was beautifully designed yet unpretentious. Where you could put your feet up, chill and hang out with your children in comfort.” And thanks to Maggie’s annoyance we have a whole lot to praise her for.
Since 2007, when we saw the opening of the Maggie & Rose members only club headquarters, located in Kensington, the doors have welcomed hundreds of mummies, daddies and little ones to become a part of their ever-growing family. With fabulous classes and talented teams that Maggie works alongside it’s no surprise. They’ve also hosted a fair few wonderful childrens parties, over 1000 in fact.
The concept has come on leaps and bounds, not to mention Maggie’s own budding family as she is now mother to four children (and counting!). There has well and truly become a Maggie & Rose craze, with a flock of fans, Maggie mentions one of her more memorable quotes to be, ‘Maggie & Rose is the mother I wish I could be, but don’t have the time to be.’ And that’s exactly what the club prides itself on.
Having been able to tick the success box for their Kensington club, new pastures have now been sought. Due to popular demand, Maggie & Rose Chiswick is set to open in March and is already deemed to be a hot-spot. Maggie, as you can imagine, is more than excited about the latest addition and it’s the recognition that she has positively fulfilled the Kensington mission and can now help areas elsewhere. “The Chiswick club is a culmination of all we have learnt over the last five years at the Kensington club but three times the size! We have taken on board everyone’s wish list and packed it into one space.” You can expect to see the culmination of parents’ dreams. The 12,500 sq ft club, situated on Chiswick High Road, will feature a family brasserie, an indoor play lounge, a garden adventure playground, a roof terrace which boasts its own allotment-style grow your own veggie patches, cinema snug, a big kids den, an art studio, a cooking school and the coolest nursery in town. I can hear the rippling of, ‘where do I sign?’!
Maggie & Rose are renowned for their innovative style and quirkiness, and, at times, wacky ideas. So as you can expect the club will be a mixture of all things fun. After working closely with their architect, Lou Davies, who worked with Maggie on the Kensington club and previous work includes the Riding House Café and Soho House Group. Maggie expresses their working relationship, “It is really important to find someone that gets your crazy ideas, so they can become a reality. The look for Chiswick is New York loft style, with some wacky elements thrown in to make sure the kids just love it.” The décor illustrates a modern-vintage vibe, maintaining the imperative comfort factor, replicating your home and building a safe environment for you and your little ones. Maggie explains the crucial home from home element, “It is really important that the experience is one of comfort and wonder and not feeling like it is all too perfect – we want members to think of this as home.”
This new project has allowed them to fuel their creativity, “The indoor play area will be based around a farm – I really don’t like the big cage-like play gyms, so the design of this is mad – the ball pond is literally a pond in the farm. We are having so much fun creating wacky and creative stuff!”
The club may be buckets of fun but it doesn’t stop there, at the nursery they will be employing a new concept in Early Years learning, incorporating this into the Maggie & Rose culture. As this is a new venture for the club, and in turn Maggie, the passion for a new way of learning is evident, “As we are building our space from scratch we’re able to really think about how we want our kids to learn and experience their day. We have designed the nursery space like a little village, with wonky houses (making what would be classrooms), a village green, a little theatre where they’ll do their drama and music, a Jackson Pollock art gallery where they can make a mess and a village café where they will eat lunch.
This is a little mini world that they can call their own. They will learn the basics through the goings on in the village, for example, maths will be taught as they pretend to be the postman for the day.” Alongside a fun learning environment, it’s apparent that the team has spent five years lovingly crafting their pride and joy, which are their classes. They encourage and inspire little, and not so little, minds and as a result many people have been asking for a nursery that the Chiswick club will be able to offer.
By incorporating a nursery, it means that the convenience for members is vast, if you have two or more children, you can simply drop one into nursery and then pop downstairs for a coffee, play and join in on a class with your other little one – keeping everybody happy and tantrums at bay! And more than anything, shaping the littlest members into developed, creative and confident people. Standing them in good stead for big school while filling the parents’ mind with a plethora of fantastic memories.
After a successful completion of funding, and some amazing investors on board, who are ready to spread the Maggie & Rose love worldwide, we hope that no destination is out of thought. Recent feedback mentioned that “…everywhere and everyone should have a Maggie & Rose!” If the next location could be destination: next-door that would be much appreciated! ✿
Become a Member!
A membership at Maggie & Rose is for the full family (including carers and grandparents) and is not priced per child.
A membership costs just £585 (Kensington) and £825 (Chiswick) per year. You’ll be entitled to exclusive access to the club, the members’ only softplay, the playroom and the snug with its cinema screen and Wii console seven days a week for the whole family. Alongside discounted Maggie & Rose classes, parties and special events.
Monday – Friday 9am-6pm, Saturday and Sunday 10am–5pm
Kensington Club: 58 Pembroke Road, Kensington,London,W8 6NX | 020 7371 2200
Chiswick Club: 1 Essex Place Square, Chiswick High Road,W4 5UJ