Shifting domestic trends have given rise to an increase in intergenerational living in recent years, but parents might find themselves nodding along to the suggestion that well-designed, child-friendly destinations are often few and far between.
A new club concept in St John’s Wood hopes to set a benchmark for neighbourhood spaces that appeal to all. Founded and designed by Maggie Bolger, who previously launched the pioneering family members’ club Maggie & Rose in 2006, b_together combines a childcare programme, bespoke soft play zones (no plastic ball pit here) and creative studios for workshops with meeting areas, bookable workspace, and an apartment for short stays.
Teenagers – ‘a forgotten age group’ says Bolger – will have their own study space and can access work experience placements and guidance on career skills. An all-day brasserie on the ground floor rounds out the public offering.
Drawing on her days heading up Maggie & Rose, Bolger has created a private members area on the second floor of the four storey townhouse. Signing up will grant families access to an airy private restaurant and lounge with an indoor/outdoor feel, plus an art studio, games room, library and play areas for the very youngest guests.
The earthy, organic interiors speak to Bolger’s earnest desire to ‘make the club as planet-friendly as possible’. Bespoke London workshop Unto This Last, which was tasked with making most of the tables and chairs, utilised plenty of sustainably sourced birch plywood, while many of the glazed tiles are reclaimed. Cork flooring and countertops feature throughout, lending a playful feel as well as extra eco kudos.
The menu at restaurant AT Feast is close to zero waste, and there’s a retail space specialising in sustainable wares including books, kitchenware and gifts.
‘They say it takes a village to raise a child,’ says Bolger. ‘Housing the co-work, the childcare, classes and play spaces under one roof means the time usually spent commuting can be swapped for quality time with your family – whether it’s a meal together, a play session or even a class.’ We doubt parents will disagree. b-together.com