What?: A game I like to play when Bab is fractious is one I call ‘point at stuff’, which basically involves picking her up and wandering around the flat pointing at and naming objects . We’ve been playing this game since she was tiny in an effort to improve her vocabulary, except I don’t think it’s proving very effective because our home decor has unintentionally become exclusively themed around three things: cats, rabbits and Moomins.
If it’s not a Miniwilla bunny poster or a cat-shaped Heico lamp it’s a Moomin mobile, a Little My figurine or a map of Moominland. I’m actually amazed that Bab’s first word wasn’t Moomin (in case you’re wondering it was ‘Margot’, which is the cat’s name, followed swiftly by ‘teeth’, which are the bane of her existence). Anyway, most of our Moomin stuff was bought from this little Covent Garden store, which sells a variety of official books, toys, clothes, stationery and homeware and is an absolute haven for Tove Jansson fans of all ages.
Where?: Tucked away in a small, lofty room inside Covent Garden Market, just a four-minute walk from Covent Garden (Piccadilly), five from Leicester Square (Northern, Piccadilly), seven from Charing Cross (mainline, Northern, Bakerloo) and nine from Embankment (Circle, District, Bakerloo, Northern).
Best Bits: It’s a room full of Moomins, what’s not to love?
Worst Bits: While in their 60+-year history the Moomins have achieved as much of a cult status with adults as with their intended young audience, I do find it strange how child-unfriendly this store is with its narrow, winding staircase and total lack of lift. We literally own the world’s smallest buggy and it was still a struggle to get it up the stairs and into the shop, which by the way is also tiny.
Price Range: Moomin merchandise isn’t exactly known for its cheapness and the famous ceramicware will cost you anything from £4.99 for a coaster to £360 for a set of limited-edition mugs. That said, these collectors’ items are inarguably beautiful and probably a fairly sound investment provided you keep them away from clumsy little hands – though there are plenty of ‘pocket-money toys’ to keep those busy too.
Did We Buy?: Not on this occasion, but past purchases have included soft toys, figurines, fridge magnets, towels, Oyster card holders and kitchenware.
Would We Come Back?: Yes, though perhaps not with a buggy.
Bab gets a stern telling-off from Little My at The Moomin Shop