New Zealander runs members’ club for families in London

Meet Maggie Bolger – a native New Zealander, who came all the way to London to fulfil her dream and those of countless children and families

 
 

Once upon a time – or in 2006 to be exact – Maggie Bolger (with her three young children in tow) was hosting small creative workshops in a mews studio in W8. The events run by the industrious New Zealander soon became a haven for mums wanting an alternative to meeting up in draughty church halls.

Rose Astor meanwhile was working in the film world, and whilst out scouting for locations stumbled upon Maggie’s studio as a location. The two got chatting, and never stopped.

Soon it transpired that they shared a dream – to create a members’ club for families; one that would not only offer a warm and nurturing haven for children, but also a stylish and appealing space for grownups.

This joint vision became a reality with the purchase of a property in Kensington. With the help of Michaelis Boyd Architects (Babington House), and with a lot of hard work, sleepless nights (as well as a new baby for Rose), the unique concept that is Maggie & Rose opened its doors in August 2007.

With its growing success and popularity, six years onward, Maggie & Rose launched a second venue in the heart of Chiswick – a super cool 10,000 square foot development with the added bonus of a 2,500 square foot roof terrace. This amazing space was further enhanced with the addition of the Village Nursery.

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Maggie took as her design inspiration a New York loft style interior combined with nostalgic childhood finishes. A place where contemporary and industrial meets fairy tales and the countryside. A home from home mixed with eccentric characters and a fantastical slant, all conceived by a New Zealander, who had almost left London for good.

Maggie Bolger was born in New Zealand. After college she toyed with the idea of becoming a children’s photographer. Then for her 21st birthday her parents gave Maggie a round-the-world ticket. She met Sean, her future husband, in a London nightclub. Despite the fact that she was due to travel to Sydney the following week, she accepted his offer of a date and the rest was history. Within a short time, and at the age of just 22, she was pregnant with the first of the couple’s four children.

Maggie’s keen eye for detail and great imagination could have led her to an equally successful career in interior design, had the Maggie & Rose concept not taken off in the way it has.

There’s something for pretty much everyone at either one of Maggie & Rose’s locations. Along with cooking, art, music, dance, storytelling and exciting excursions, there is a diverse range of one-off activities during school holidays to suit the bigger kids as well.

With a ‘curriculum’ that includes inspirational artists, such as Jackson Pollock and his messy canvases, green-fingered gardening, dancing and music, Maggie & Rose cultivate imagination and creative talent at the earliest possible stage.

Maggie & Rose have also spent the last seven years building a fantastic variety of party options, for children aged from one to ten. These boast vibrant entertainers, fresh organic food and the best activities in town.

Just come in and have a look for yourself.

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