Issuu on Google+

D EC EM B ER / JA N UA RY 2 01 7 I S S U E O N E • 2 0 A ED

After Dark Chic occasionwear for the festive season

WE CAN BE HEROES

Meet Marie-Chantal

Retro comic book style

Talking to the queen of kids' fashion

Gifts

GALORE Perfect presents for all the family

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THE PRIAM

life’s a

CLASSIC!

/ INDIVIDUALIZED MOBILITY / ICONIC DESIGN / OUTSTANDING FUNCTIONALITY cybex-online.com

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m am a / welcome

contents DECEMBER / JANUARY 2017

AGENDA

12 WHAT’S ON

Dates for the coming months

14 MEET MARIE-CHANTAL The new queen of kids' fashion

FASHION

21 WINTER WHITES A trio of festive trends

24 AFTER DARK

Maternity occasionwear for the party season

ON THE COVER: ENVIE DE FRAISE AW16

33 GRAPHIC DETAIL

A life of design with Annie Kruse from Wild Boys and Girls

34 THE MAKING OF ME

Business and babies with Jem & Bea

LIVING

59 BEAUTY GIFTS

Sparkle and shine this Christmas

61 SKIN DEEP

Expert advice from Georgie Cleeve, founder of Oskia Skincare

63 SPICE UP YOUR LIFE

How to make Christmas allspice biscuits

INTERIORS

66 NURSERY NOTES

Baby design brands we love

68 BOY MEETS WORLD

Nursery tour with international interiors blogger Live Loud Girl

72 STAR POWER

Nursery tour with Dubai-based blogger Stella and the Stars

TRAVEL

81 TRAVEL NOTES

3 of the best Puglian Masserie

82 COMFORT ZONE

An Umbrian adventure for all the family

RESOURCES

112 NEW BABY CHECKLIST

With Nicola Eyre of Cissy Wears

119 TOT GEAR

Products to make parenting easier

94 BE PREPARED

Boarding school for age 7+

December / Januar y 2017

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m am a / welcome

Editor’s

LETTER

H

Holidays are here...

ello and welcome to Absolutely Mama Emirates, the new parenting and lifestyle magazine for stylish mums. We’ve been exploring all the latest news, views, products and trends for London mamas for over a year now, and decided it was time to share the fun with all you mamas in the UAE. If you haven’t already discovered us online or in print, we strive to showcase only the very finest and most exciting stuff for mamas (expectant or otherwise), babies, children and their homes. In these pages you’ll find fashion news, interiors inspiration, advice from parenting experts, insider info from acclaimed Dubai-

based bloggers and stylists and fantastic gift guides for all the family. While this magazine feels like a new baby to me (one I’m very happy to introduce to you), I’m actually off to have my own (second) baby shortly after publication, and will be handing the mag over to another capable mama/editor. But I’ll be listening for your feedback and hoping you enjoy the amazing content we’ve worked so hard to put together. See you on the other side - and enjoy the festive season!

Helen B ar on ED I TO R

@hel_bow helen.baron@zest-media.com December / Januar y 2017

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T H E M AG A Z I N E F O R ST Y L I S H M U M S

Editor: HELEN BARON Contributing Editor: APPHIA MICHAEL Commercial Manager: KATIE AMPS Marketing & Events Manager: NEFELI KRITIKOU Acting Art Director: PHIL COUZENS Senior Designer: PAWEL KUBA Mid-weight Designer: EKREM YILMAZ Designer: REBECCA NOONAN Production Manager: STEWART HYDE Finance Director: ALEXANDRA HVID Major Accounts Director: TAMSIN LUCK PA to the Directors: MARIANNE MCFADDEN Directors: GREG HUGHES, ALEXANDRA HUNTER Managing Director: SHERIF SHALTOUT For editorial enquiries please email: helen.baron@zest-media.com For advertising enquiries please call 07535 482 213 / 020 7704 0588 or email: katie.amps@zest-media.com For media partnership enquiries please call 020 7704 0588 or email: nefeli@zest-media.com

Part of the

LON DON OFFICE :

197-199 City Road, London EC1V 1JN, UK

FACT M.E. FZ-LLC, Office 907E, TwoFour54, Park Rotana Complex, P.O. Box 769328, Abu Dhabi, UAE zest.london

ABU DHABI OFFICE:

Zest Media Publications Ltd. cannot accept responsibility for unsolicited submissions, manuscripts and photographs. While every care is taken, prices and details are subject to change and Zest Media Publications Ltd. take no responsibility for omissions or errors. We reserve the right to publish and edit any letters. All rights reserved.

F o l l o w U s O n Tw i t t e r @A B S O L U T E LY M A M A F a c e b o o k A B S O L U T E LY M A M A I n s t a g r a m A B S O L U T E LY M A M A P i n t e r e s t A B S O L U T E LY M A M A

emiratesmama.ae

Absolutely Mama Official Charity

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W W W. N I N E I N TH E M I RRO R. CO M 3 .1 P HILLIP L I M • AL E XAN D E R WANG • M ARN I • M I SSO N I • VAL E N TI N O • AN D M ANY MOR E

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agenda AB SO LU TELY MAMA

The

NUTCRACKER ON ICE

•Dubai Opera House• 6-10 December A seasonal show the entire family is sure to enjoy. Watch skaters at World, European and National Championship level speed, spin and leap their way through the classic story – accompanied, of course, by all the wonder and magic of Tchaikovsky’s timeless score. dubaiopera.com

12 • WHAT'S ON A GUIDE TO LOCAL LISTINGS

Dubai Design Week; the top local baby classes; Dubai's tropical forest

14 • MARIE-CHANTAL, QUEEN OF KIDS' FASHION 'It's all about the nostalgia of our childhoods'

December / Januar y 2017

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Highlights from Dubai Design Week and the best baby classes for you

CARL HANSEN

What's On

best of

DUBAI DESIGN WEEK ~

Carl Hansen

This venerable Danish studio has been producing iconic furniture since its inception in 1908, and is best known for the unforgettable chairs created by legendary designer Hans J. Wegner. carlhansen.com

~

Jotun

The Norwegian paint specialist is always at the forefront of colour trends and its Structure range embraces a wider move within the interiors industry to warm, elemental tones that combine subtlety and strength. jotuncolourtrends.com

~

Tom Dixon

Never one for shy, retiring designs, the British iconoclast showcased a range of typically idiosyncratic and always stylish pieces in his very own retail popup; a precursor to his first Dubai store and cafe, soon to open. tomdixon.net

THE GREEN PLANET

W hen: ongoing Where: City Walk, Al Wasl, Dubai

Experience the richness and wonder of a tropical forest right in the heart of Dubai. Children and adventurous adults alike will be fascinated by the flora and fauna on display at the Green Planet, a new and stunning recreation of one of the world’s most incredible natural habitats. thegreenplanetdubai.com 12

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m ama / age nda SHELF LIFE

WILD ANIMALS OF THE NORTH by Dieter Braun

~ An amazing illustrated encyclopedia of the wildlife of the northern hemisphere, from America in the West to the easternmost reaches of Asia. Here you’ll find polar bears, roe deer, lobsters and butterflies depicted in a fierce geometric style with oodles of atmosphere and character – plus all the knowledge you need to ignite a naturalist fire in your little ones. £20 flyingeyebooks.com

app of the month

NATURAL CYCLES

COMING SOON W hen: to be announced Where: The Louvre Abu Dhabi

husband-and-wife doctor duo devised this app, which claims to have helped an impressive 5000 women in Sweden get pregnant in the first three months since it launched. Built around an intelligent algorithm named Alba (after the founders’ daughter), the app attempts to accurately predict (and alert you to) ovulation. Your effort is limited to the simple daily task of taking your temperature. Simply input the resulting data and it will help you to understand and keep track of your cycle naturalcycles.com

A

he Louvre Abu Dhabi looks set to be worth every last drop of effort expended upon it (not to mention every last cent of its megaton budget), and its opening this December will no doubt be a star-studded affair. Architect Jean Nouvel has created a sublime structure that appears to hover, UFO-like, ‘between sand and sea’. A masterpiece, like the works it contains, and an institution of which we predict the Emirates can be justly proud. louvreabudhabi.ae

T

TOP BABY CLASSES don't miss

Baby Sign

BuggeFit Bootcamp

~

~

dubaifamilyandfriends.com Teach your baby sign language and you'll reap the rewards in the form of improved communication, reduced frustration and fewer angry tears: sounds good to us. Family & Friends, Al Fattan (opposite Bay Central), Dubai Marina, Dubai

purefitnessuae.com

Put your baby and her buggy to good use in these fantastically social buggy fitness classes. Pure Fitness UAE, Impact Dance & Music, Control Tower, Motor City and Sports Hall, Meadows Fitness First, The Meadows, Dubai

Future Kids futurekids.ae

~

A 12-week course designed to nourish growing brains with a refreshingly balanced focus on stimulating both rational and creative impulses. Future Kids Accelerated Learning Centre, G03, Block 2B, Knowledge Village, Dubai

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Fit for a

Princess W

Marie-Chantal’s NEW COLLABORATION WITH M&S BRINGS NOSTALGIC LUXE TO THE MASSES. ABSOLUTELY MAMA MEETS HER Words: Pendle Harte

14

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hen Crown Princess MarieChantal of Greece designs childrenswear, she is building on personal experience. All those lovely smocked dresses, Peter Pan collars, knickerbockers and tank tops hark back to her own childhood in Hong Kong, where her mother would dress little Marie-Chantal and her two sisters in precious little outfits. ‘My mother, being South American, paid particular attention to how we were dressed,’ she explains. Born in London, bred in Hong Kong, educated in Switzerland and married to a Greek prince, Marie-Chantal embodies the international jet set. Her father is billionaire American businessman Robert Warren Miller, who made his fortune with the Duty

Free Shops, and her sisters are married into (and divorced from) the Getty and Von Furstenberg families. With five children and an exclusive childrenswear label in her own name, Marie-Chantal is the ultimate working mother, albeit probably being spared most of the usual associated drudgery by virtue of all of the above. We’re here to talk about her newest collection, not for the Marie-Chantal label but for M&S, with whom she is collaborating to launch a collection of clothes for newborns and tots up to the age of five. It’s a departure for M&S in that it’s slightly more expensive than most of the retailer’s offerings, and a departure for Marie-Chantal in that it’s vastly cheaper than her usual product. Both parties are enormously excited about it. ‘It’s the first time I’ve been able to work at these price points,’ she enthuses. But the quality looks entirely comparable to her own

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m a ma / style

I always go back to my childhood and try and bring in some element of how my sisters and I were dressed label: everything is beautifully finished with lots of tiny detail. Ribbon is woven through the stitching and the fabrics are remarkably soft. A tiny grey pea coat could pass for cashmere but is a wool-blend, she says, as is a dinky dungaree. There’s a Fair Isle cardigan and a Fair Isle tank top, a pinafore dress and a cotton dress with gold piping – and everything has a trademark small round collar. ‘It’s about the nostalgia of our childhoods,’ she says. ‘It was all little pinafores and checked ginghams. I always go back to my childhood and try and bring in some element of how my sisters and I were dressed.’ Making sure that the fabrics are soft is one of her priorities, and this reverts to her own childhood again. While her own mother ‘loved to dress us and had – still has – great taste,’ she still refers to collective memories of ‘being put in a dress you hated’. When she was little, ‘kids had to wear what was there – we didn’t have these amazing blends, there December / Januar y 2017

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mam a / s tyl e

Kids today are so vocal, they tell you what they like and dislike – a little fouryear-old will tell you adamantly what she wants to wear

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were lots of scratchy wools’. You can’t get away with that any more, she says, since ‘kids today are so vocal, they tell you what they like and dislike – a little four-year-old will tell you adamantly what she wants to wear.’ Every mother will vouch for that. Marie-Chantal has personal experience of those battles, and admits to seeking help. ‘My daughter Olivia was the most challenging. When she was four or five she was a very strong personality and she wanted a dress a day. We battled over what she wanted to wear and what I wanted her to wear. I went to a paediatrician and asked, “how do we deal with this?” I didn’t want it to be a fight – my mother had been so determined about how we should dress and I thought my daughter should have some say. The paediatrician said “Easy – pick three and let her choose one.” So it kind of evolved that way.’

Designing childrenswear didn’t occur to MarieChantal until she was pregnant with her third child, though she was interested in retail. ‘I had some ideas for some cosmetics products and I took them to the woman who was heading up Sephora at the time in the US. She said: “Yes, yes, but you’re pregnant, so why don’t you do something closer to home?” So my idea for cosmetics went out the window’. Her first capsule collection launched in 2000, just after her son was born. ‘At the time there weren’t so many brands. Burberry didn’t do kids, Chloe didn’t do kids; there just weren’t those mass kids brands out there.’ Her oldest child is 20 now, and the youngest is eight, all of them too old to be wearing Marie-Chantal. Coping with five children is no easy task, I suggest. ‘I had a gap – first three in New York, then two after we moved to London. We managed.’ Her advice? ‘I’d say keep a calm household. And having a work ethic is important too, I was brought up with that. My father worked hard but also paid so much attention to family life.’ Marie-Chantal is predictably stylish herself. ‘I am always in my own kind of uniform, jeans and tops. I love Valentino because he’s such a great friend and did my wedding dress.’ But she’s also a fan of M&S. ‘I love their tradition; there’s such a nice story to tell.’ Living in Chelsea, she often sees local children wearing her clothes, which appeals to her focus on value and longevity. ‘I like seeing them in the old styles because I love the idea of things being passed down, that’s where the quality shows.’ Available in select UAE stores marksandspencerme.com

@mariechantalchildren

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VISIT SÉRAPHINE DUBAI Dubai Stores: Dubai Festival Centre, 1st Floor, SC158, Dubai +971 4 2694511 www.facebook.com/SeraphineMaternityDubai/ WWW.SERAPHINE.COM

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AB SO LU TELY MAMA

SHOP WE LOVE

• Seraphine • Everything you need for a fashionable pregnancy: the stunning new flagship store in Dubai’s Festival City Mall is glamorously appointed and offers a wide selection of styles. You can browse everything from dresses, to tops, jeans, swimwear, nursing clothes and even glamorous eveningwear. seraphine.com

20 • PARTY SEASON

Festive eveningwear from Seraphine

28 • WINTER WHITES

Our guide to the season's key trends

34 • THE MAKING OF US

Business and babies with Jem & Bea

December / Januar y 2017

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After

DARK Exquisite eveningwear for expectant mamas from maternity style experts Seraphine s e raph ine .c om

Photog raphy: D an Will iams S tylist: E l izabeth Jo hn s o n

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‘Florence’ dress; AED 439 by Seraphine ‘Gracie’ shoes and ‘Gigi’ clutch bag both by Carvela Rings by Alexia Jordan

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‘Sophia’ dress; AED 579 by Seraphine Earrings by Monica Vinader

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‘Seraphina’ dress; AED 659 and ‘Maude’ maternity belt; AED 114 both by Seraphine ‘Encounter’ sandals by Schuh Pram: CYBEX PPRIAM by Jeremy Scott; cybexbyjeremyscott.com

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‘Susana’ dress; AED 545 by Seraphine Necklace by Dinny Hall ‘Archer’ shoes by Miss KG

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‘Seraphina’ dress; AED 659 by Seraphine Earrings by Dinny Hall Rings by Alexia Jordan

Photographer: Dan Williams Stylist: Elizabeth Johnson Hair and make-up: Carolyn Wren Model: Zebeena Hackett

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LOVE YOU...

BESPOKE JEWELLERY WITH FINGERPRINT ENGRAVING FINE CASTING OF BABY HANDS & FEET Telephone 020 8769 4757 enquiries@philippaherbert.co.uk www.philippaherbert.co.uk

Chelsea and Westminster Health Charity Registered Charity No. 1067412

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Borne is a collaboration between Chelsea and Westminster Health Charity and Chelsea and Westminster Hospital

01/12/2016 11:28


mama / fashion

mama’s

LOOK WE ELIZABETH VON GUTTMAN

Effortless

STYLE Nine In The Mirror

nineinthemirror.com

issoni lends its signature stripes to this column dress, cut from stretch knit to flatter a growing silhouette when pregnant. Colourful stripes are woven with matallic threads to give a sheen that makes a standout piece for any special occasion. Long-sleeved, it's the perfect trans-seasonal piece for expecting. Versatile and stylish, perfect.

M

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White NIGHTS A trio of trends makes for perfect festive occasionwear

M A D D E R S O N LO N D O N

(Right) Ophelia Dress, AED745; (Above) Bailey Dress, AED 745; blushandbloom.com

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m ama / fashion

3 .1 P H I LLI P LI M

Minute Suede-fringed Metallic Leather Clutch, £300; net-a-porter.com/ae/en

edito r

’s

PICK

BAG IT UP

TI BA A N D M A R L

Your Christmas clutch is the place to add some sparkle: think metallics and iridescent fabrics.

Etta Changing Clutch in Gold, £35; tibaandmarl.com

JEM & BEA

Farah Black Changing Clutch, £120; childrenslane.com MAX MARA

Polo Neck Maxi Knit Dress, £405; harrods.com

JOSEPH

Wool Aster Trench Coat, £795; nineinthemirror.com

SA M E D E L M A N

Taye Suede Ankle Boot, £110 net-a-porter.com/ae/en

AC N E ST U D I O S

Jensens Chelsea Boot, £328; net-a-porter.com/ae/en

GOOD FORM

For party season, go with an ankle boot that’s understated and demure. Minimal forms and natural textures will have the paradoxical effect of adding confidence to your outfit.

PAU L A N D J O E

m usvte ha

Bolivia Sweater, £240; nineinthemirror.com

WINTER WHITES

Make it a white Christmas with something pure, simple and almost holy in its simplicity. Don’t want to keep things completely colourless? Add a little black for graphic impact.

M A R TI N I A N O

3 .1 P H I LLI P LI M

Puff Sleeve Split-hem Sweater, £305; nineinthemirror.com

High Glove Metallic Pumps, £332; net-a-porter.com/ae/en TI B I

Silk-panelled Cashmere Sweater, £805; net-a-porter.com/ae/en

December / Januar y 2017

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mama’s

PRODUCT WE

BAGS OF STYLE Ke r i Ki t

kerikit.com

esigned for the more stylish new parents, the multi award-winning KeriKit luxury leather baby changing bags combine quality, function and fashion. Designed for easy organisation and impeccable style, the enduring quality and flexible function associated with a KeriKit bag, ensures it adapts to your everyday baby needs.baby in a carrier or sling inside the coat post-birth. Nice.

D

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A friendly, personal service AAAfriendly, friendly, friendly,personal personal personalservice service service finding the personal best childcare A friendly, servicefor finding finding findingthe the thebest best bestchildcare childcare childcarefor for for you and the yourbest family finding childcare for you you youand and andyour your yourfamily family family you and your family • Qualified and/or Highly experienced with excellent references •• Have been through our interview, vetting and reference checking - and are usually • Qualified Qualified • Qualified and/or and/or and/or Highly Highly Highly experienced experienced experienced with with with excellent excellent excellent references references references regularly by us • Have •• used Have • Have been been been through through through our our our interview, interview, interview, vetting vetting vetting and and and reference reference reference checking checking checking - and - and - and areare usually are usually usually Qualified and/or Highly experienced with excellent references •• Love what they do, are extremely knowledgeable and are often multiple specialists used used used regularly regularly regularly by by us by us us Have been through our interview, vetting and reference checking - and are usually •• Able to look after Mum and baby and help setand first time Mums on thespecialists right track • Love Love • Love what what what they they they do, do, are do, are extremely are extremely extremely knowledgeable knowledgeable knowledgeable and and are are often are often often multiple multiple multiple specialists specialists used regularly by us ••• Able to establish routines, such as sleeping and feeding • Able Able • Able to to look to look look after after after Mum Mum Mum and and and baby baby baby and and and help help help set set first set first first time time time Mums Mums Mums on on the on the right the right right track track track Love what they do, are extremely knowledgeable and are often multiple specialists ••• Able to assimilate into situations easily and quickly • Able Able • Able to to establish to establish establish routines, routines, routines, such such such as as sleeping as sleeping sleeping and and and feeding feeding feeding Able to look after Mum and baby and help set first time Mums on the right track ••• Reassuring and sympathetic to the difficult situation parents may be in • Able Able • Able to to assimilate to assimilate assimilate into into into situations situations situations easily easily and and and quickly quickly quickly Able to establish routines, such aseasily sleeping and feeding ••• In possession of a valid DBS check (within last 12 months) • Reassuring Reassuring • Reassuring and and and sympathetic sympathetic sympathetic to to the to the difficult the difficult difficult situation situation situation parents parents may may may bebe inbe inin Able to assimilate into situations easily and quickly parents ••• Certified with up to date First Aid • In In • possession In possession possession of of a of valid a valid a valid DBS DBS DBS check check check (within (within (within last last 12 last 12 months) 12 months) months) Reassuring and sympathetic to the difficult situation parents may be in • Certified •• Certified • Certified with with with upof up toaup to date to date date First First First Aid Aid Aid In possession valid DBS check (within last 12 months) • Certified with up to date First Aid

Full Time & Part Time Full Full Full Time Time Time &&Part &Short Part Part Time Time Time Permanent Term Full Time Part Time Permanent Permanent Permanent &&Short &Short Short Term Term Term Nannies Permanent & Short Term Nannies Nannies Nannies Maternity Nurses Nannies Maternity Maternity Maternity Nurses Nurses Nurses Emergency Nannies Maternity Nurses Emergency Emergency Emergency Nannies Nannies Holiday Nannies Emergency Holiday Holiday Holiday Nannies Nannies Nannies Nanny/PAs Holiday Nannies Nanny/PAs Nanny/PAs Nanny/PAs Nanny/Housekeepers Nanny/PAs Nanny/Housekeepers Nanny/Housekeepers Nanny/Housekeepers Nanny/Housekeepers

For more information or to discuss your For For For more more more information information information ororor tototo discuss discuss discuss your your your requirements, email info@greycoatlumleys.co.uk For more information or to discuss your requirements, requirements, requirements, email email email info@greycoatlumleys.co.uk info@greycoatlumleys.co.uk info@greycoatlumleys.co.uk or call +97145560730 email info@greycoatlumleys.co.uk orrequirements, oror call call call +97145560730 +97145560730 +97145560730 or call +97145560730 www.greycoatlumleys.co.uk

www.greycoatlumleys.co.uk www.greycoatlumleys.co.uk www.greycoatlumleys.co.uk www.greycoatlumleys.co.uk GL.indd 1

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m ama / fashion

Graphic Detail Q

&

A

HOW A LIFE OF DESIGN BECAME THE DESIGN FOR LIFE FOR ANNIE KRUSE, FOUNDER OF CHILDRENSWEAR BRAND WILD BOYS & GIRLS Interview: Helen B ar on

HB: Why did you become a graphic designer? AF: I grew up in rural Northern Germany, mostly hanging out at my grandparents’ chicken farm. This was in the good old days before the internet and mobile phones and I was busy helping by collecting, washing, weighing and packaging these beautiful smooth objects. Legend has it I never dropped an egg – at least nobody ever saw me. I loved art. I loved building and creating. I had a vivid imagination. Inevitably, I was bored but developed a healthy curiosity, always on the lookout for new and exciting opportunities, music, magazines, brands, people... just stuff in general. So when I found out that there’s a whole industry built around just that I knew I had to be part of it. I packed my bags and headed off to the most exciting city I knew: London. And the rest is history, as they say. HB: What inspires you? And in your opinion, what are the tenets of good design? AF: Being inspired is an attitude for me. Maybe because I grew up in a quiet, rural and very safe environment, but I see and look for inspiration everywhere. My children are a constant source, so is my partner, my friends and the beautiful city we live in. Of course I also see a lot of inspiration online but being out and about and taking life in is just as stimulating for me, and a healthy antidote to the noise we subject ourselves to online.

aesthetic, to hone in on composition and structure. No technological wizardry can make up for the lack of a considered layout, which is why I always start off in black and white and slowly add colour, texture and imagery if appropriate.

When it comes to good design I live by the phrase ‘good design is as little design as possible’. There is such a skill in keeping things simple – the older I get the more I appreciate that. I get a real buzz when seeing great composition, negative space, clean typography and relevant imagery come together. This applies not only to graphic design but to all other design disciplines from architecture, interior and product design to fashion, photography and even music. Over the years I’ve moved towards a pared-back, often monochrome

HB: What did you do before going into childrenswear? AF: I’ve been running my own graphic design business for almost 10 years but with the birth of my two boys I became more interested in childrenswear and was surprised to find how difficult it was to find anything simple with a bit of an edge, arguably hip. I had a distinct American Indian headdress motif in my mind and when I couldn’t find anything I liked, I started looking into the idea of printing some t-shirts myself. I was also keen to design some interesting wall art for my boys’ room and, as I already had the contacts for printing posters, I decided it was a natural step to add some t-shirts to the range: Wild Boys & Girls was born. HB: What do you love about running Wild Boys & Girls? AF: I really enjoy the variety of jobs that come with running a small business. I am also a real perfectionist and love wrapping each individual order. @wildboysandgirls mamarland.com December / Januar y 2017

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The MAKING OF US Q

&

A

BY MATERNITY BAG MAKERS DOMINIQUE AND REBECCA OF JEM + BEA Interview: Helen B ar on 34

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Absolutely Mama: Where did the idea for Jem + Bea come from? We’re old school friends who found ourselves plunged into the baby world together. After spending our twenties in London, we ended up living back in our home town and met for regular playdates and nights out, which led to conversations about baby bag frustrations – and whether we could make our dream bags a business. We wanted to create bags with the same designer look and quality materials as a luxury handbag, but with all the practical bits and bobs you need in a changing bag, for parents who love accessories and want to keep their style identity as well as being a parent. The bags are centred around simple, modern shapes with a luxury edge and made from handpicked leathers and materials. AM: Was starting a business difficult? Did you have relevant experience? Getting the collection up and running was relatively easy as Rebecca had the relevant supplier contacts and design experience, having previously worked in the fashion industry as an accessories designer. Difficulties came in areas that we weren’t so knowledgable about, like web design, taking

emiratesmama.ae

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m ama / fashion

product to market, shipping logistics and VAT! But by talking to friends and family we were able to get lots of free advice, tips and recommendations before making any potentially expensive decisions (or mistakes!) about products or services. AM: What action have you undertaken that’s been pivotal to the business? Taking the plunge and going to our first trade fair very early on was pivotal. We found out about the Harrogate Nursery Fair from

Taking the plunge and going to our first trade fair very early on was pivotal to the business

a chance conversation with an exhibitor at The Baby Show and at that point we were only in the early sampling stages. The next fair was in the following month but we knew we had to show at this fair as it was only once a year. With this deadline looming, it really focused us and we managed to get everything from the branding to the final samples done in under a month, ready for the show. There we met many of our stockists who are still stocking us today – including John Lewis. Having such

a key department store take an interest so early on was a real boost and we knew we’d made the right decision to launch the brand and get the product out to market when we did. AM: Could the government be doing more to support small businesses? Yes, definitely. When you look into funding for a small business it’s such a minefield and nowadays the government-backed loans for small business are still quite limited and very high in interest. However, there is lots of advice available and many online business seminars giving great advice about importing, VAT and how to write a business plan.

AM: What’s the most challenging thing about being your own bosses? Not really having much time to yourself! It helps that there are two of us, so we can lean on each other when one goes on holiday, but the emails still keep coming and you can never really switch off as there’s always lots to be done between us. However, I think this is often the case, even for bosses with 100+ staff! When it’s your own business it’s difficult to switch off because you can’t help but be passionate and want it to succeed. The fact is, if we don’t do it, it won’t get done – so we are pretty disciplined and just get on with it. AM: What do you enjoy most about your work lives? With four kids between us, having the flexibility around when and where we work really helps. We also love the exciting stage at the beginning of the season when we’re designing and researching; we can let our creativity run wild! Collaborating with bloggers and brands is also really fun and rewarding. AM: Is there anything you would do differently if you were to start again? Probably get a fulfilment house sooner!! We started out packaging and sending bags from our homes but, given the size of the product, space quickly became an issue and we were prisoners in our own homes waiting for the courier to arrive. We forgot what colour our flooring was for months!

childrenslane.com

@jemandbea

December / Januar y 2017

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we can be

HEROES Presenting super-powered style for littles, as AW16 takes inspiration from comic-book iconography past and present Pho tography: G errard G ethings Styling: Helen B ar on

Models: Lola and Lotte Harte and Jarvis Gethings

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Lotte wears: Stella McCartney Kora Striped Dress, £74; alexandalexa.com Little Eleven Paris Superman Sweater, £43; harrods.com Urban Junk Bam Mini Backpack, AED 127.20; childrensalon.com Lola wears: Molo Yellow Magnus Slogan Sweatshirt, £40; alexandalexa.com Stella McCartney Nina Jeans, AED 397.50; childrensalon.com Converse, White Leather Chuck Taylor All-Star Sneaker, AED 141.75; harrods.com Stella McCartney Rocket Backpack, £74; childrensalon.com Marcel Wanders for Cybex Hausschwein, £200; peppermint.co.uk

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MSGM Black Star Dress, £115; alexandalexa.com • MSGM Black and Pink Star Cape, £244; alexandalexa.com Simonetta Mini Cooker Bag, AED 1,139.50; childrensalon.com • Bat mask, as part of a set with wings from Numero 74, £36.50; mollymeg.com Converse Sneakers, as before

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Jarvis wears: Stella McCartney Comic Scout Stickers Puffer Jacket, £95; alexandalexa.com Sweetpants, Loose Fleece Trackpants, Red, £59.95; harrods.com • Fendi Monster Slip-ons; AED 1,245.50; childrensalon.com Marcel Wanders for Cybex Hausschwein, £200; peppermint.co.uk

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Little Eleven Paris Wonderwoman Hoodie, £48; little-elevenparis.com • Someday Soon Maurius Sweatpants, £45; someday-soon.com iCandy MiChair, £250; international.icandyworld.com/ae/ar • Personalised Superhero Confetti Balloon, £30.60; bubblegumballoons.co.uk

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Molo Bat Print Romeo Sweatshirt, AED 185.50; childrensalon.com • Sweetpants, as before • Sweetpants, as before Superhero Walker Balloon. £19.95; bubblegumballoons.co.uk

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6 of the best

Star Xmas Pieces

1

3

2

5

kids’

FASHION NOTES Christmas outfits, festive slippers and bear tights to snuggle up in

CARNIVAL COOL •Gardner & The Gang•

This Singapore-based label has opted for a carnival theme for AW16, making for a collection of wearable pieces in fun, harlequinesque patterns and colours. Available at brighteyez.ae

4 6

1. Sophia Webster Chiara Minis, £135; sophiawebster.com 2. Fig & Honey Charcoal Tulle Skirt, £25; figandhoney.co.uk 3. Bang Bang Copenhagen Drama Queen Swan Dress, £49; alexandalexa.com 4. Bang Bang Copenhagen Pinafore Dress, £52; alexandalexa.com 5. Milk & Biscuits Blue Zebra Bomber Jacket, £55; fiveboysclothing.com 6. Nike Baby Trainers in Gold, £39.95; harrods.com

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CLASS OF ‘16

d Br ancus Fo

•Molo•

The AW16 collection from Danish kidswear brand Molo has something for everyone, reworking classic street styles in bold prints, patterns and animal motifs. babyshop.com

Storksak The products and brands to bookmark

THINK PINK •Quenotte•

The perfect piece for girls who like their pink with a side-serving of sass, this liquid-sheen lamé skirt should be on every mini hipster’s Christmas wishlist. £56; cissywears.com

T TIGHTS PLEASE •Braveling•

Cosy up your little darlings for the cold weather to come in these ubercute ‘bear hug’ tights, featuring warm terry lining and practical, non-slip soles. £16; mollymeg.com

HAPPY FEET A. Andreassen

hese 'Little Darling' slippers are inspired by traditional Norwegian Christmas ornaments and come in soft leather and cosy felt; tiny toes are sure to love them. But mamas needn't be jealous – the same designs are available in adult sizes too.  From £39; harrods.com

T

he humble changing bag is undergoing a revolution right now, and one of the brands leading the charge is Storksak, whose evergrowing range of practical, designconscious maternity and changing bags are as clever as they are cool. Our current fave is the Charlie changing bag in sleek, stain-resistant black fabric, complete with heavy-duty gold zippers and more pockets than seems possible in such a compact design. A classic backpack it may be, but the Charlie errs on the shorter side and comes with a light, sand-hued lining – which means that when you’re searching for that elusive snack or dummy, you can actually see what’s inside: no more rummaging around in a murky, light-absorbing bag-cavern. It features two external zip pockets, five internal pockets (one insulated for bottles), an additional insulated food and bottle bag and the all-important changing mat. Best of all? When it’s over your shoulders, you can tighten and loosen the straps securely and easily with a flick of your thumbs. And as we mamas know, it’s the little things that count. £79.

storksak.com

December / Januar y 2017

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Recipe T The The Perfect Perfect Recipe AllYour YourChildcare ChildcareSolutions SolutionsUnder UnderOne OneRoof Roof All

maternitynurse.co.uk | || tel: tel:+44 +44 (0)207 751 0320 elitenannycompany.co.uk maternitynurse.co.uk maternitynurse.co.uk tel: +44(0)207 (0)207751 7510320 0320| ||elitenannycompany.co.uk elitenannycompany.co.uk MATERNITY NURSE.indd 1

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AB SO LU TELY MAMA

SOFTLY, SOFTLY

•aden + anais• New from aden + anais, these muslin swaddles have a gentle, brushedcotton handle and open weave for safe circulation of air while little one slumbers. Super soft, they make great gifts for baby’s first Christmas. Metallic range exclusive to UAE; babysouk.com

47 • GIFTS FOR MAMA Time to draw up the wishlist

51 • GIFTS FOR BABA

Precious gifts for precious littles

53 • GIFTS FOR DAD

Stuck for ideas? Not this year...

December / Januar y 2017

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soothe-me ®

AWARD WINNING ARTISAN SKINCARE LONDON

OUR SKINCARE RANGE IS HANDCRAFTED... only from the finest natural, organic and vegan ingredients, especially formulated to nourish the skin. 100% FREE FROM Parabens, SLS and Artificial Fragrance. Uniquely curated essential oils and herbal tinctures, blended with pure cold-pressed oils to nurture and support your skin during pregnancy and to protect babies delicate skin. Find out more about what we offer and to see our full range visit:

www.soothe-me.com

Created & handcrafted in London, bespoke orders by request www.soothe-me.com | suzie@soothe-me.com SOOTHEME.indd 1

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m am a / gif t guide

A LP H A B E T BAG S

edito r

No Rest For The With Kid, £20; alphabetbags.com

S E LF I S H M OTH E R

’s

Save the Children Collaboration Sweater, £45; thefmlystore.com

PICK KREAFUNK

Headphones, £84.95 harrods.com LE E B R O O M

Fulcrum Large Candlestick, £275; harrods.com

E N V I E D E F R A I S E AW 1 6

MAMA gifts for

TI BA & M A R L

Kaspar Knapsack, AED 566.99; harrods.com

Make her Christmas with these inspired picks

G R AC E : TH E A M E R I CA N VO G U E Y E A R S

By Grace Toddington, £125, Phaidon Publishing phaidon.com

F R A I S E SAU VAG E

Botanical Macarons, £16.95 harrods.com

R OX X LY N

Transocean iPhone case, £115; harrods.com

m usvte ha OTI S BAT TE R BY

Women's Pyjama Set, £160; otisbatterby.com

STE LL A M CCA R TN E Y

Elyse Star Ankle Boots, AED 3,118.47; harrods.com

LE C R E U S E T O B S E RVATO RY

Cast Iron Round Casserole Dish , £125; harrods.com

December / Januar y 2017

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SWIM SAFELY WITH JAKABEL Jakabel has a stylish, eye catching and easy-to-spot range of UV50+ swimwear and accessories, including the highly acclaimed Swimsafe floatsuits - the only ones with an anti-tip neck ring. High-quality, resilient and chlorine-safe, they look good on all the family! Sizes from 0-13yrs plus adult sizes. Delivery 2-3 days all year round. Email: Info@jakabel.com Tel: 020 8715 2385 www.jakabel.com

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m am a / gif t guide M A R I E - C H A NTA L AW 1 6

ROCKAHULA

Snowman Hair Clips, £6.95; harrods.com

AC N E J N R

Kranium White, €81.88; acnejr.com

N O B O D I N OZ

Arizona Tipi, €139; en.smallable.com TO B I A S A N D TH E B E A R

Fa La La La La Tee, £16; tobiasandthebear.com

K I DS gifts for

TI N Y COT TO N S

I Like Your Face Socks, £7.50; hiplittlepeople.com

A A N D R E A S S E N AW 1 6

From stocking-fillers to festive fashion

TO B I A S A N D TH E B E A R

Mr Men Leggings, £18; tobiasandthebear.com

edito r

’s

PICK FA B

Indoor Ball Swing, €149; en.smallable.com C I S SY W E A R S

Robot Money Box £14; cissywears.com

ng stoiclklier f PENNY

Slater 22-inch Skateboard, €149; en.smallable.com

MERI MERI

LO M O G R A P H Y

Milano Edition Mini Lomo Instant Camera, €119; en.smallable.com

STE LL A M CCA R TN E Y

Peonie Days of the Week Underwear Set, £74; alexandalexa.com

Reindeer Bag, £19.95; harrods.com

December / Januar y 2017

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The TheParent Parentand andBaby BabyCoach Coachoffers offersunique uniqueexpert expert advice advicefor forparents parentsof ofbabies babiesthrough throughto totoddlers. toddlers. Having Havingtrouble troublewith withyour yourbaby’s baby’ssleep? sleep? Need Needsome someadvice adviceon onthe thebest bestroutine routinefor foryour yourbaby? baby? Looking Lookingto toimprove improveyour yourchild’s child’seating eatinghabits? habits?

Sleep Sleep - - Routines Routines - - Breastfeeding Breastfeeding - - Bottles Bottles

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ToddlerBehaviour Behaviour - - Potty PottyTraining Training- - PND PND Toddler

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Packages Packagesincluding: including:

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Home HomeVisits Visits

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24 24Hour HourPackages Packages

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PBC.indd 1

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m am a / gif t guide

S M A LL S

Aroha Bodysuit in Pink, £44.50; lovemysmalls.com

B E LLE E N FA NT B O U TI Q U E

Cashmere Gift Box, £365; harrods.com

O R G A N I C P E O P LE

Natural Milk Body, £23; hiplittlepeople.com

edito r

’s

PICK

YO U N G S O LE S

Baby Walker Shoes, £44, youngsoles.co.uk

BABIES gifts for

B I M B LE S H O E S

Limited Edition Platinum Luxe Moccasin, £70; bimbleshoes.com

Precious gifts for precious little ones

MINI RODINI

Blue Pom Pom Beanie Hat £35; the-mini-edit.com

M O LLY & M O O

Muslin Squares, £17.50; mollyandmoo.co.uk KID O

Pull & Hop Bunny, £34; meandbuddy.com LIT TLE M A LD O D

Monochrome Gift Set, £29.95; littlemaldod.com

P I N C H TOYS

Vintage Wooden Cars €18; pinchtoys.com

m usvte ha

LAPIN & ME

Pink Woodland Doll, £15.95; lapinandme.co.uk

M A R I E - C H A NTA L

Musical Whale Toy, £47; mariechantal.com

I L G U FO

Baby Crown, £54.95; harrods.com

N O O D O LL

Riceturnip Doll, £19.50; meandbuddy.com

December / Januar y 2017

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Summer holid

Day & residential ca

ays!

mps

01749 812 307 Bruton, Somerset BA10 0BA www.millonthebrue.co.uk

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m am a / gif t guide

MARKS AND SPENCER

Record Player, £70; marksandspencerme.com COWS H E D N E V I LLE

Clean and Shave, 200ml, AED 103.95; harrods.com

D I P T YQ U E

L'Ombre Dans L'Eau Eau De Toilette, 50ml AED 227.48; mrporter.com FO LK

Striped Cotton-blend socks, AED 60.65; mrporter.com

A LP H A B E T BAG S

Rad Dad Grey Wash Bag, £22; alphabetbags.com

DAD

W ITH I N G S

gifts for

edito r

’s

PICK

Pop Activity Tracker, £119; harrods.com

Hard to buy for? Not this year...

MAHABI

Classic free sole slippers, £79; mahabis.com

MARKS & SPENCER

Hat (£29.50) Scarf (£19.50) Boots (£89); marksandspencer.com F R E S CO B O L CA R I O CA

Trancoso Wooden Beach Bat and Ball Set, AED 665.84; mrporter.com

COWS H E D N E V I LLE

3 piece shaving set, AED 708.74; harrods.com

m usvte ha

M A STE R A N D DY N A M I C FO R E O

Luna Cleansing System, AED 489.09; mrporter.com

MH40 Leather Over-ear Headphones, AED 1,217.77; mrporter.com

December / Januar y 2017

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NEW! Baby Carrier One Air www.babybjorn.com The Parallel Line Design is a sign of a genuine BABYBJÖRN product.

BABYBJORN.indd Mama 210x260.indd1 2

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m am a / gif ts guide

The founders of the business were both British artists and saw an opportunity to bring real artistry to this type of service, employing highly skilled sculptors, jewellers and glass artists to create the finest possible examples of this type of work, marketed to a very discerning clientele. AM: The company is fast becoming an international one. Where do you source your casting agents? AS: All of Wrightson & Platt’s international casting artists are customers turned agents. I had my children’s feet cast by the company when they were tiny and just fell in love with the concept and the stunning level of detail they manage to capture. I thought Dubai would be a great place to launch the service, got in touch to offer my services and received specialist training to cast the Wrightson & Platt way.

Lasting Impression Q

&

A

AM: Who are your regular customers and what sort of feedback do you get from them? AS: Many of our clients come from the private maternity hospitals such as The Portland – and we’re currently in talks with a leading hospital in Dubai about forming a similar relationship. We regularly work with royalty, A-list celebrities and other wealthy families who choose us because we’re the best in the business. The feedback is always incredibly positive; as Stella McCartney put it, ‘They say it all goes so fast and it really does! I’m so happy I asked you to make casts of all my newborn babies’ feet – they are among my most precious possessions.’

Amanda Scruby, DUBAI CASTING ARTIST FOR Wrightson & Platt, ON THE ART OF PRESERVING PRECIOUS MOMENTS Interview: Helen B ar on Absolutely Mama: You’re in the memento business – do you think there’s a greater demand for items of lasting personal value and meaning in our increasingly digitised, disposable age? Amanda Scruby: That’s a very good point. The pieces we create capture very particular moments in time in a uniquely tangible way that you can’t achieve with photography, for example. Our customers see them as lasting reminders of the tininess and sheer perfection of their

little ones’ hands and feet. And I do think there’s an increasing demand for great craftsmanship and traditional artisan techniques that is a response to the disposability of today. AM: What inspired you to create such intricate and personal products? AS: The original idea came from seeing the marble sculptures that Queen Victoria commissioned of her children’s hands and feet at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight.

wrightsonandplatt.com @wrightsonandplatt December / Januar y 2017

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Raising The Bar In Recruitment

Nannies Maternity Nurses Butlers Estate Managers House Managers Housekeepers

23 Hanover Square, Mayfair, London, W1S 1JB

Yacht Crew Domestic Couples Lady’s Maids Chefs Chauffeurs Bodyguards Concierge Front Desk Personal Assistants Valets Chalet Staff Hotel Staff

Polo & Tweed are a luxury domestic and corporate staffi ng specialist. The perfect placement service for clients and staff. We place staff in VIP & HNW private homes, hotels, yachts and chalets across the world. Personal and discreet. We also offer bespoke in-situ staff training for clients needing additional support.

+44 (0) 203 714 8910 | www.poloandtweed.com | info@poloandtweed.com

POLO.indd 1

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AB SO LU TELY MAMA

FESTIVE FEAST

•Marks & Spencer• Give yourself a break this Christmas: order some treats from the M&S Christmas menu instead of making everything yourself. We like the look of the red velvet cupcakes – complete with little Santa hats. marksandspencerme.com

59 • WINTER GLOW

The season's best beauty gifts

61 • NEW MAMA TLC

Postnatal wellbeing with Oskia Skincare

63 • GET YOUR BAKE ON Christmas all-spice biscuits

December / Januar y 2017

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m ama / liv ing

edito r

’s

PICK

S LI P

Silk Eye Mask, £28; net-a-porter.com/ae/en

C H A N E L N O. 5

L'Eau Spray 100ml, £96; boots.com

BEAUTY

B O B B I B R OW N

Skin Nourish Mask, AED 156.57; harrods.com

gi fts

Now all you need is a little beauty sleep

G R OW N A LC H E M I ST

Purifying Body Exfoliant, £16; net-a-porter.com/ae/en ORIGINS

Limited Edition Intensive Overnight Mask, £24; harrods.com

D I P T YQ U E

Infused Face Oil, AED 75.91; harrods.com

S M ITH & C U LT

Shattered Souls Nail Polish, £16; net-a-porter.com/ae/en

FRESH

Black Tea Age Delay Eye Concentrate, AED 332.12; harrods.com

m usvte ha E Y E KO

GHD

Eye Want It All Kit, £50; net-a-porter.com/ae/en

Platinum Edition Hair Styler, £165; ae.johnlewis.com

December / Januar y 2017

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m it...

o it

MAKING FUN HAPPEN

If

We’d love to discuss some ideas. For more inspiration, come and explore our website: twizzle.co.uk - Let us use over 35 years of you can dream it... experience to help make your party stand out from the rest and ensure everyone has a truly fabulous time - including you.

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01/12/2016 14:38

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m ama / liv ing

SKIN DEEP

Advice for new mamas from beauty expert and founder of Oskia Skincare, Georgie Reeve

P

regnancy can be tough on women and you’d be forgiven for wanting to get back to normal as soon as possible after birth. The key, however, is to be patient – and to be smart about how you look after yourself in those tumultuous first months of motherhood.

NUTRITION TIPS

➻ Eat! Trying to lose weight too soon after the birth can slow milk production. Breastfeeding burns 500 calories a day and can cause constant hunger (it did with me), so this is a time to really enjoy food. ➻ Follow a well-balanced diet with lots of fresh, wholesome food and a good balance of protein, carbs, fruit and vegetables. ➻ Cook an extra portion or two of supper so you always have a meal ready for the next day.

PURELAN 100 (37G), £6.99

OSKIA GET UP & GLOW (30ML), AED 298.71

BEST FOODS FOR BREASTFEEDING MOTHERS:

➻ Oats – known to boost milk production. ➻ Salmon – contains a high level of the fat DHA, crucial to baby’s nervous system (it can also help prevent postnatal depression). ➻ Dairy – for vitamin D and bone strength as well as B vitamins, which will benefit your skin. ➻ Iron – eating enough beef or

DLUX PREGNANCY VITAMIN D ORAL SPRAY. £9.95

OSKIA RENAISSANCE CLEANSING GEL (100ML), AED 133.51

iron-rich vegetables is vital. Without iron you can feel lethargic and find it difficult to keep up with your newborn. ➻ Oranges – breastfeeding mums need more vitamin C than pregnant ladies. ➻ Water – drink 2-3 times as much as usual. Breastfeeding can dehydrate you and cause constipation.

BEAUTY TIPS

➻ Expect your skin to go through changes in the three weeks after birth, as hormones settle down. ➻ Melasma can now be treated as hormonal triggers settle. Great ingredients to use include vitamin C (though more doesn't always mean better), niacinamide, glutathione and arbutin. My recommendation: Oskia Renaissance BrightLight Serum. ➻ Lack of sleep lowers ATP (your skin’s energy resource). This is why you look worse after less sleep, so pick ingredients that boost ATP, like ribose. My recommendation: Oskia Get Up & Glow. ➻ Time for make-up is a luxury, so fake it – tint lashes and brows and apply a good fake tan, like Clarins Radiance Plus Golden Glow Booster or Vita Liberata Tristal Loose Selftanning Powder. ➻ Use clever, multi-use products. A mild AHA cleanser or toner will double up as a face-mask if left on while you brush your teeth. Personally, I think glycolic acid is too strong when skin will be at its most sensitive. My recommendations: Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel, Merumaya Exfoliating Toner. ➻ Lanolin is your new best friend. Use on lips, nipples and to highlight cheek and brow bones. ➻ If you’re breastfeeding, now's a good time to switch to a natural deodorant. Aurelia’s new Botanical Cream Deodorant is glorious (launching soon).

sulisandthermae.com @oskiaskincare

December / Januar y 2017

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A Beautiful Business Capturing precious memories has enabled a Great British photography brand to plan for further global expansion. After another exciting year that has seen Photography for Little People expand overseas to Singapore, Hong Kong and Macau, the company is looking to award Master Franchise Licence to suitable candidates in the region. Photography for Little People is the UK’s family fine art mobile portrait studio franchise, founded in 2008 by mother and daughter team Jan Massey and Melanie Armstrong. It specialises in taking impressions of children’s hand and feet, as well as maternity, newborn and family photography ( our youngest client was just 6 hours new). For further information www.photographyforlittlepeople.com jan@photographyforlittlepeople.com Build A Beautiful Business for your family

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Seeking International Childcare? www.harmonyathome.co.uk Search no more...

Trustworthy, premier, established British agency. Passionate about great childcare

If you are based outside of the UK please contact: Suzanna Harwood (Registered Jordan Office) If you are based outside of the UK, please contact: Iman Bint Abdullah 1, Dabouq, 11822, Jordan Suzanna Harwood (Registered JordanAmman Office) Iman Bint Abdullah 1, Dabouq, Amman 11822, Jordan t: +962 797 777 023 t: +962 797 777 023 e: suzanna@harmonyathome.co.uk e: suzanna@harmonyathome.co.uk If you are based in the UK, please contact:

If you are based in the UK please contact: Judy Paish (London, UK) t: + 44 (0) 2037130160 e: judy@harmonyathome.co.uk

Judy Paish – Harmony at Home Green Park House, 15 Stratton Street, London, W1J 8LQ, UK t: 020 7 8701044 e: judy@harmonyathome.co.uk

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02/12/2016 11:11


m ama / liv ing

TABLE TALK •Ferm Living•

An ideal stocking fi ller, this kids’ tableware from Ferm Living can only enhance the big event that is Christmas dinner... bearing party-hat motifs in a striking graphic print, the design is festive yet evergreen enough to use all year-round. AED 95; marmarland.com

mama’s

FOOD NOTES

Festive feasting and a revolutionary non-alcoholic gin

RAW POWER

LIP SERVICE

Balance your festive indulgences out with something healthful yet delicious from Dubai's Wild and the Moon, whose 'slow food set to an urban beat' – raw, wholesome and natural – is as delectable as it is good for you and the planet. wildandthemoon.com

Solving the problem of 'what to drink when you're not drinking', this new 'gin' is a social life-saver for mums-to-be and breastfeeding mamas who miss a tipple – a nonalcoholic, grown-up drink made with herbs and spices. £27.99; seedlipdrinks.com

•Wild and the Moon•

•Seedlip•

ALL SPICE BISCUITS • Makes 24 INGREDIENTS: 200g plain flour • teaspoon baking powder • ground ginger • cinnamon • mixed spice • 50g dark brown sugar • 100g salted butter, diced • 50g black treacle or molasses METHOD: 1 Preheat the oven to 170°C/350°F/gas mark 4 before you begin making your biscuits. 2 Sift the flour, baking powder and all the spices into a mixing

bowl. Add the sugar and mix well. 3 Add the butter. Using just the tips of your fingers, rub together the ingredients until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. 4 Make a well in the centre and add the treacle and bring it all together. You will know when it is all mixed in as it will have an even colour all over with not too many streaks of treacle. 5 Divide the dough in two and squash into two even-sized flat discs. Cover and

chill until ready to use, or roll out immediately. 6 Cut your biscuits using biscuit cutters and evenly place onto lined baking trays. 7 Bake for 14-18 minutes. 8 When the biscuits are evenly cooked and turning golden, transfer them to a cooling rack. 9 Leave to totally cool before storing or icing as the icing will melt. From The Biscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuits, £12.99; biscuiteers.com December / Januar y 2017

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AB SO LU TELY MAMA

CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN •Ferm Living• Nothing makes kids happier than ticking off the days till Santa’s visit – and this stylish monochrome house advent calendar lets you add your own treats to each numbered room. AED 240; marmarland.com

66 • NURSERY NOTES Design brands we love

68 • BOY MEETS WORLD Cool looks for stylish little guys

72 • STAR POWER

Nursery tour with Stella and the Stars

December / Januar y 2017

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mama’s

5 of the best

BA BY GYMS

NURSERY NOTES

1

4

2 3

Modern design brands we love and five of the best baby gyms

SHELF LIFE •Ferm Living•

Scandi interiors experts Ferm Living have hit the sweet spot once again – this time with their Funkis dolls' house, which is made from natural plywood and can be handily wall-mounted. €199.00; fermliving.com

5 1. Magic Stargaze Playmat + Gym, AED 399; mamasandpapas.ae • 2. mamasandpapas.ae • 2. Finn + Emma Play Gym, AED 914; desertcart.ae desertcart.ae • 3. 3. Reach Baby Gym, £68; oskoe.com • 4. Sleepyhead Activity Arch, £tbc; sleepyheadwebshop.com • 5. Handmade Wooden Baby Gym, £69; littlegoldie.com

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m am a / inte riors

SLIDE AWAY

d Br ancus o F

•Jupiduu•

A slide chic enough to live inside your home? Yes, those clever Scandinavians have done it again. Available in four colours – with ‘white elephant’ very much our pick of the bunch. AED 2,119; desertcart.ae

Jacadi A spotlight on the brands we absolutely love

DORMEZ-VOUS

•Mum and Dad Factory•

This French furniture brand has stolen our hearts again – this time with the cutest, most elegant junior bed imaginable. Made from solid beech, it’ll last for generations. €285; mumanddadfactory.com

N BLOCK PARTY •Ooh Noo•

A simple idea, an essential item – and yet the result is anything but basic. These stylishly minimal alphabet blocks are a great stocking-fi ller for creative tots. €48.50; ooh-noo.com

Curtain Call Neo

onochrome minimalism keeps fi nding new ways to snag our attention – not least these black-and-white striped Roman blinds. Contemporary and clean, they make for an exceptionally sharp look in a modern nursery – and these are just one style of many.  £24.90; kidsconcept.co.uk

M

o one does classic like Jacadi. Founded in 1976, such was the demand for the French brand's children's clothing that within a few decades it had expanded as far west as Los Angeles and as far east as Taiwan – as well as to Dubai in the Mall of Emirates. Today it operates 276 stores around the world. The secret formula? High-end garments designed with one eye always on timelessness and traditional charm. Simply put, Jacadi makes the kind of clothing that crosses the boundaries of intergenerational taste, eliciting sighs of delight and approval from great-grandmas and trend-conscious fi rst-time mamas alike. Highlights from the AW16 collections include schoolwearinspired day-dresses in blue gingham check, cute workshirts in steely blue for little boys and a range of nautical sweaters emblazoned with fun insignia. There's even a red beret for little misses of a francophile persuasion – while our pick for babies are the newly introduced fleece-lined, lace-up newborn booties.  jacadi.us

December / Januar y 2017

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boy meets

WORLD

A cool room for stylish little guys by Linda Dekkers of interiors blog Live Loud Girl Ph o t o g rap hy: @natel ee co ck s p h o to g ra p hy

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Oeuf NYC Perch Bunk Bed, £1,208; nubie.co.uk Fromage La Rue Lightning Bolt Light, £99; decobaby.co.uk Noe & Zoe Large Cloud Cushion, £30; bobbyrabbit.co.uk Le Petit M Glow in the Dark Lightbulb Cushion, £34.50; junioredition House Doctor Fabric Laundry Basket; £11.99; finenordic.co.uk Egmont Mushroom Lamp, €76; smallable.com Kolour Reusable Toy Sack, £7.50; thismodernlife.co.uk Lucky Boy Sunday Balthazar Doll, £70; thekidwho.eu

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Lucky Boy Sunday

We use these dolls a lot in our styling since they can really add that bit of extra fun to a corner. They are beautifully made and original – perfect for both boys and girls.  Lucky Boy Sunday Balthazar Doll, £70; thekidwho.eu

Get The Look

Egmont Mushroom Lamp

A retro item that we’ve been working with for a long time. This beautiful light is always one of the favourite items when kids walk into a newly installed room. A keeper!  €76; smallable.com

Dubai-based interiors blogger Linda Dekkers' guide to the looks she loves...

OEUF NYC PERCH BUNK BED

l ivel o udg irl .c o m  @l ivel o udg irl

This bed had been on my wishlist for a long time and luckily the boys love it too. It’s such a beautiful design with a sleek finish that easily fits in with any style.  From £1,208; nubie.co.uk

Rug

We love to work with classic materials and patterns when it comes to rugs. A rug brings structure, softness and warmth into a room. In kids’ rooms they are great to play on, read a book on or just be what you step on when getting out of bed in the morning.  olli ella Beni Moroccan Rug 100 Wool, £375; trouva.com

Wild Boys & Girls Print This brand’s simplicity is brilliant. We love to work with their prints as they can be that ‘loud’ element in the room. Even though it's just words on a piece of paper, it gives the right vibe.  £24; wildboysandgirls.com December / Januar y 2017

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Bed Frame from Creative Furnitures (250AED off your order when quoting STELLAANDTHESTARS) Odette Swan Wall Head, £65; bobbyrabbit.co.uk Replica Eames Elephant Chair, 260AED; caramelandsun.com Customised Stella Chair and Desk, £120; my1styears.com White Wall Shelves, 21 DHS; ikea.com Numero 74 Star Garland (around bedframe), £22; en.smallable.com Gold Toadstool Table Lamp, £32; bobbyrabbit.co.uk Rose in April Star Cushion, £28; bobbyrabbit.co.uk

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Star POWER An enchanting nursery from the Dubai-based blogger behind Stella & the Stars ~ S tylin g: E mil ie Jac o b

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White Dollhouse Bookcase from Argos UK. A similar model is available for DHS 125 at ikea.com

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Rowen & Wren Bookshelf

My 1st Years Personalised Desk

This lovely desk and chair set is made of quality wood, is very easy to assemble (it comes flatpacked and takes literally three minutes to put together), has an integrated plastic pot to store crayons and can be personalised (for free) with your little one’s name on the back of the chair.  £120; my1styears.com

Rowen & Wren’s Baa-Baa bookshelf is such a playful storage solution, a great alternative to traditional shelves – and it makes bedtime reading much more fun, with books accessible even to younger kids.  Baa-Baa Book Shelf, £92; rowenandwren.co.uk

Get The Look

Creating a kids’ room with both style and a sense of fun... s tell a an dthes tars .n et • @s tell aan dthes tars

Mini Tent

This miniature version of a children’s play-tent is ideal to store toys and hide the mess after a full day of hard play! The mini tent comes with a carry handle (ideal for kids to move around) and a storage bag, and can be packed away easily at the end of the day.  Toy Tent, £45; bobbyrabbitkids.co.uk

WOODEN LETTERS ~

I fell in love with this collection of painted wooden letters from This Modern Life. I like the mix of lowercase and capital letters, the bright colours... and they’re a great way to personalise a room without breaking the bank. £2 per letter; thismodernlife.co.uk

Elephant Chair I added a touch of pink to the otherwise grey scheme with a replica

Eames elephant stool. It’s a clever piece that can be used either as a toy or as a decorative item – and it’s also suitable for outdoors.  Replica Eames Elephant Chair, 260AED; caramelandsun.com

December / Januar y 2017

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Designed by: Peter Opsvik

C E L E B R AT I N G 1 0 M I L L I O N T R I P P T R A P P ® C H A I R S S I N C E 1 9 7 2. This year, Stokke is celebrating Tripp Trapp® chair number 10.000.000. Designed by famous Norwegian designer Peter Opsvik in 1972, Tripp Trapp® revolutionized the whole children’s seating category. With simple lines and ingenious adjustability, it is as unique today as it was then. The design has stood the test of time, making it a true design icon. stokke.com

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travel AB SO LU TELY MAMA

SKI SUPREME

•Carlton St Moritz• Ski destinations don't get glitzier than this: half-chalet, half-fairytale castle, perched serenely on the slopes and boasting a luxurious spa, sweeping views and a daily kids' club to keep little ones amused. carlton-stmoritz.ch

79 • MAMA'S TRAVEL NOTES Our pick of Puglian masserie

80 • UMBRIA'S VILLA PIA An Italian family adventure

December / Januar y 2017

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C

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CM

MY

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Knowledge Partner

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Golden Exhibitors

Radio Partner

01/12/2016 16:08


m ama / tra vel

NORMANDY LANDING •Barriere Hotels•

Deauville's Hotel Le Normandy has reworked its kids club facilities in collaboration with interior designer Sophie Jacqmin – so now parents can relax while little ones enjoy themselves in contemporary style. hotelsbarriere.com

mama’s

TRAVEL NOTES

A dream design hotel, a supreme ski resort and three modern masserie OFF PISTE The Ecurie

eaturing an amazing open fi replace amid living quarters that are at once simply stylish and completely cosy, this stable-turned-chalet is less than five minutes from the slopes of St Martin-de-Belleville.  From £875 per person, per week based on 8 sharing on a selfcatering basis; thealpineguru.com

F

CARIBBEAN DREAM Unna Resorts

ancy a family getaway? Reef fishing, treasure hunts, swimming with turtles and a watersports centre are among the activities on offer at the Barbadian luxury resort St Peter's Bay.  £3,638 in a two-bedroom luxury beachfront home sleeping up to four; stpetersbaybarbados.com

F

3 Modern Puglian Masserie

Masseria Moroseta

• B&B • The masseria as a modernist, minimal b&b. White predominates, three-hour rustic feasts are the nightly norm and the sightlines are a photographer's dream come true. From €200 per night in high season; masseriamoroseta.it

Masseria Potenti

• Family-run • Family-owned, family-run and infused with a welcoming, familial spirt, this masseria offers an earthy yet elegant vibe, an outstanding restaurant cooking up traditional dishes and a freespirited take on rustic Puglian life. Email info@masseriapotenti.it for bookings; masseriapotenti.it

Masseria La Spinetta

• Private Villa • A heavenly slice of rural Puglia centred around a courtyard lined with fountains. From the immaculate decor to the pool and pizza oven, it's singularly luxurious. Prices start at £3,250 per week in low season – bookings start on Saturdays; essentisproperties.com December / Januar y 2017

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Comfort zone

UMBRIA’S Villa Pia IS A FAMILY-FRIENDLY HOTEL WITH A DIFFERENCE. ABSOLUTELY MAMA FINDS IT ENCHANTING Words Amanda Constance

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he mere mention of ‘familyfriendly hotels’ normally sends a small shiver down my spine. I fancy myself an intrepid traveller, a wild adventurer. Not for me the all-inclusive ease of a babyfriendly bolthole. Silly me – if only I’d known about Villa Pia I might avoided ten years of stressful, scratchy experiences with wailing toddlers on uncomfortable hot beaches. When I told a friend I was going to ‘some kiddie-friendly place’ in Umbria, she said: “You’re not going to Villa Pia are you?” in the sort of hushed reverential tones normally reserved for religious idolatry. This is the effect that the hotel has on in-the-know breeders. Its online testimonials heave with grateful parents proclaiming: “I actually had a holiday!”

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Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, Villa Pia has grown from small beginnings into a 25-room hotel in the hilltop village of Lippiano on the Tuscan/ Umbrian border. The main building is a 15th century country manor house, flanked by two converted barns, located on a steep hillside directly below an 11th century castle. The views of farmland and rolling hills, cypress trees and hazy purple mountains go on forever. The house is as beautiful as you would imagine: cool, dark rooms, wrought iron railings, painted shutters and wisteriacovered terraces. But there’s more to it than this. Many hotels look good but they don’t have the slavish following of Villa Pia. We met guests there who have been four, five, even eight times – their children growing up with annual trips to the hotel. From the moment we descended the drive into the main courtyard, we knew

Testimonials heave with grateful parents saying ‘I actually had a holiday’ we had arrived somewhere quite different. It was like arriving at a brilliant house party that was already in full swing. Mums and dads were lolling in deckchairs while little ones took over the play equipment in the courtyard and crowds of older children dashed around playing imaginary games. The bell then rang for lunch and everyone helped themselves to a resplendent buffet

before grabbing a seat and chatting to whoever was next to them. Our first experience was much like the rest of our week. Villa Pia has all the fancy trimmings of a five-star experience but none of the formality. This makes for a lovely atmosphere but the serious secret of Villa Pia’s success is that it is the very definition of ‘family friendly’. Morag and Kevin, who bought the property in 1997, raised their three children here. They understand the needs of children and, more importantly, their pie-eyed parents. Everything at Villa Pia has been developed to keep children happy and occupied, and give their parents a proper break. Children need space and Villa Pia has five acres of it. There is endless space for the kids to play freely in complete safety. The swimming pools are cut into the hillside; lying on a lounger there feels surreal. Someone cleverer than me described it December / Januar y 2017

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G IN OR

K O F 7 BO OW 1 N 20

Discover blissful baby & toddler friendly holidays

Everything that parents need for stress free getaways in luxury villas and 5* resorts

Call 0800 014 2770 or visit www.totstotravel.co.uk

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m ama / tra vel

as “like swimming in a picture, as if someone has imposed a Hockney on a Piero Della Francesco landscape painting.” The pool for the little ones is blood-warm and deep enough to be both safe and fun. Our five year-old barely left it all week. And just when you really want to be left alone to read, Villa Pia comes up trumps. It runs cooking and art classes for children, craftily timed for after lunch, so as that second glass of wine kicks in, your little darlings skip off to make pizza or cardboard guitars, leaving you with the blissful chance to snooze for a couple of hours in the sun. Then there is the glorious food for which Villa Pia is rightfully lauded. Meals are served by a small but prodigious army of ladies from the village in chef’s whites and cloche hats. Breakfast is a buffet, served in the converted barn. Lunch is a grand buffet spread – if you like lots of different, delicious salads, from roast vegetables, to lentils, melanzane parmigano (every day!) and pasta in every conceivable form then you will understand why I still miss the Villa Pia lunches. Dinner is in two parts – the children are all fed together at 6pm on friendly fare such as cheesy pasta, sausage and chips, pizza. Parents reconvene at 8pm for drinks

There is endless space for children to play in complete safety followed by a decadent four-course meal, with wines and coffee a plenty. If your baby monitor doesn’t reach the dining room Villa Pia will provide you with a babysitter so you can have a guilt-free grown-up evening. For some of the newer mothers we met, this was their first taste of freedom in months. And here we get to the crux of it. Villa Pia has guests returning again and again

because it is the staff that make it. Paola, Aniko and Alessandro make each and every person feel like they are at home. Children’s names (and yours) are learnt in jiff y and the staff work quietly and constantly to make sure you feel at home. A note of caution: guests are governed by the school timetable so during term time expect pre-schoolers. We were there in half term and the dominant age was six to nine. Our 12 year-old was slightly adrift – apparently the older children are there in July and August (along with 30c-plus temperatures). So plan accordingly. And if you are an anti-social sort, not given to pitching in and chatting, Villa Pia is not for you. If you do want to drag yourself away from the drinks room, there is loads to do in the surrounding area. This is Pierro Della Francesca country and his Madonna del Parto hangs in nearby Monterchi and his Legend of the True Cross – considered one of the Renaissance’s finest works – is in Arezzo. But unless your five yearold is alive to the charms of an early Renaissance master (ours most certainly wasn’t) I suggest you stay put at Villa Pia and do very little. The kids were brilliantly entertained which meant we could do what most exhausted parents really want on holiday… precisely nothing. I highly recommend it.  Prices for adults from £550 per person per week; for children between the ages of 2 and 12 years, from £240 per week. Villa Pia, Lippiano, 06010 MSM Tiberina (PG), Umbria, Italy, +39 075 850 2027, villapia@villapia.com; villapia.com December / Januar y 2017

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Autumn/Winter

2016

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essentials resources AB SO LU TELY MAMA

IT’S A WRAP

•Marloe London• The clever mamas behind Marloe realised that the ideal swaddling blanket, scarf and sarong were more or less the same thing. So they made one excellent, versatile product that can be used for all these purposes in beautiful dip-dyed shades. A lifesaver. AED 355; blushandbloom.com

86 • NEW BABY CHECKLIST with Nicola Eyres of Cissy Wears

91 • TOT GEAR

Products to make parenting easier

92 • BE PREPARED

Flexible boarding for children aged 7+

December / Januar y 2017

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New baby

CHECKLIST

Nicola Eyres, mama of four and owner of cult homewares and kids boutique Cissy Wears, shares the key items on her new baby checklist

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m am a / resou rces

Absolutely Mama: You've just had your fourth baby, congratulations! Do you enjoy being pregnant? NIcola Eyres: I actually really do! I’ve never struggled in pregnancy as I have no sickness, no swelling, no pain... I’m a bloomer. I’ve been very lucky in that sense. I would keep having babies if I could. AM: How do you manage being a mum to so many alongside being a successful business owner? Do you run a tight ship? NE: This really made me stop and think. I was going to say no, that we are pretty chill and just roll with it. Then again I’m not sure if that’s true. Sometimes it feels so stressful I want to cry and scream. Sometimes it gets so out of control I find that I go into a zen-like state. Maybe I should say we run it with relaxed military precision. I’m just good at

Women shouldn't be afraid to say that they rely on other people to help out planning and being able to adapt. I also have an amazing husband who, despite having a difficult and hugely stressful job, does all the work in the morning – breakfast, packed lunches, school run – and who, no matter what time he comes home from work, will always clear up – and spends weekends doing the laundry. We are a very tight team – the kids are amazing at helping and I have an incredible childminder. I don’t think working women should be afraid to say or feel guilty about the fact that they rely on other people to help out. AM: How has your experience of motherhood changed with each new addition to the brood? NE: The first child throws up most

1

of the learning curves because they are the one experiencing things for the first time; as do you, alongside them. Each child is so unique that no matter how much you think you know it all, they will always find a way to throw you off course. You can use your past experience to help with the next child – but you can never expect it to work second time around! Our first child is so emotionally intense that the simplest of things can easily become a huge situation. We couldn’t leave him with a babysitter – even a close member of family – until he was about six. Our second child spoiled us by being

Sleepyhead Helps the transition from arms to cot by keeping the baby snug, so they don’t startle from being put down. £110; ae.johnlewis.com

3

Design Letters Baby’s First Book A rare stylish keepsake for all your precious early memories. £40; cissywears.com

4

Bugaboo Bee The essential city buggy - stylish and lightweight, with plenty of room underneath and the all important coffee-cup holder. AED 2958; justkidding-me.com

a self-settling, through-the-night sleeper from a matter of weeks. She didn’t cry until she was about 18 months, never made a mess and is so well-behaved… almost scarily perfect. The third was dreadfully refluxy, he literally couldn’t be put down until he was 10 months old… and then turned into this absolute wild child. The fourth – well, she seems like an old soul. She has a humour about her for sure, but she feels like my soulmate. What I’ve learned most is how much your heart can expand to allow each one in. There is no favouritism, I simply love each one in their own way. cissywears.com

@cissywears

2

5

Jem + Bea Amber Changing Bag So gorgeous it could be mistaken for a normal handbag. Room for all the essentials, and it never clashes with your outfit. £191.67; selfridges.com/AE/en/

Stokke Steps Chair Suitable from newborn with its clipon baby bouncer, this seating system can bring your baby up to the family table; AED 1,050; justkidding-me.com

December / Januar y 2017

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Heidi

SKUDDER

Heidi works as The Parent and Baby Coach, helping new parents establish good sleep habits for their little one. theparentandbabycoach.com

ASK THE

EXPERTS Q

&

A

PARENTING PROFESSIONALS AND LEADING MUMPRENEURS ANSWER SOME OF YOUR MOST PRESSING QUESTIONS 88

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Q How to ensure good sleep habits from the beginning…. A It is often a common myth among clients that newborn babies cannot sleep on their own and that they need to be rocked and cuddled to sleep from day one. Whilst it is true that they do not know how to go to sleep, it does not mean that they are unable to learn how to do so. Establishing good sleep habits from the word go is one of the most popular conversations I have with parents when I go in to sleep train older babies. The secret to a sleeping baby in the early days comes mainly down to feeding. Your newborn baby will sleep if his tummy is full. Once the baby learns to feed properly, he will then sleep better. One of the best things you can do for your baby is to teach her to self settle from the beginning. Put baby down awake! This is easier said than done in those early days where baby is so sleepy all of the time that they are constantly sleeping – however once those first two weeks pass and those melatonin (sleep hormone) that baby is born with drops, make sure to keep your baby awake after a feed even just for five minutes and then put them down. Create a bedtime routine from those first early weeks and settle baby in dark room rather than with you downstairs – it will make the world of difference. Ensure that your baby is sleeping well during both day and night, a six week old bay can only manage between 1 hour 15 and 30 minutes awake on his own maximum. If your baby is awake for longer than this he is overtired. Day sleep is equally important as night sleep and setting up a good day time routine will really help your baby sleep well in the future.

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Lucy

CHALLENGER Lucy is the CEO and founder of Polo & Tweed, a global recruitment agency based in Mayfair, London. poloandtweed.com Q Is it possible to fi nd the perfect nanny? A I am often asked how do you pick the perfect candidate in order to make sure your precious child(ren) is cared for in the way you feel is best? You could consider self-hiring, but this means you are completely responsible for the full process of findingw a nanny – from getting a job specification spread out – to selecting and vetting candidates, checking references and verifying qualifications, to setting up interviews. You can take my word

that it is a lot of work! Another option for hiring a nanny is reaching out into your personal network. Again be vigilant in your process and follow the self-hire steps carefully. Your third option for hiring a nanny is to work with a recruitment agency like Polo & Tweed. An agency will take the hard work and pre-selection off your plate, saving you a considerable amount of time. While using a professional recruiter will save you time and stress, there are still a few things to consider. Avoid nanny recruitment agencies charging a registration or other form of upfront fees.  The fee should only be paid when you offer the role to a candidate (or trial them). Always read the agency contract or terms and conditions, and understand them clearly before you sign. Value personal contact with your recruitment agency. It’s critical that you can convey your nanny requirements to your recruiter and fi lling out a form online just doesn’t cut it. If you don’t feel comfortable with your recruiter, you should consider other options.

Melanie

ARMSTRONG

Melanie is Franchise Director for Photography for Little People who specialise in family fine art mobile portraits. photographyforlittlepeople.com Q How can I become a franchisee for Photography for Little People? A If you are looking for a new challenge or a new career and love working with little ones then a Photography for Little People franchise could be the perfect option for you. We are experts at photographing bumps and newborns, little ones and toddlers, as well as family groups, including pets. Simona, who is a franchisee, graduated in marketing,

administration and advertising. Set on avoiding the 9-5, she had always planned to run her own business, but assumed she would have to spend 5 or 10 years working for someone else first “I started looking online for franchises and when I found Photography for Little People I instantly fell in love with it” Simona remembers. “I didn’t look for anything else, it just felt right for me and it was the best decision I have ever made”. The benefits include a proven franchise system which has been developed and tested over many years before launching in 2008. All of the quality products are unique, and made in-house As a franchisee you will be offered comprehensive training including practical photography and impression taking as well as how to run your business. The franchise system enables you to be trained and launched in a very short period of time. And with full support you will soon be part of the Photography for Little People family. December / Januar y 2017

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IN NEED OF A TUTOR? EDUCATION SPECIALIST Patricia Vlad ON SECURING YOUR CHILD’S ACADEMIC FUTURE

DOES YOUR CHILD NEED TUTORING?

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n today’s fast-paced and constantly transient educational landscape, many parents experience stress from the pressure of getting their child into the best pre-school, secondary school, university, and eventually the best job to secure their future. Once you understand the difference between iGCSE, MYP, IB, Cambridge, and Edexcel (to name a few), you have to make a choice for your child’s education. I spend part of my work-day ensuring that parents are aware of the latest education trends and requirements. There are three types of children that are brought in for after-school tuition: the pupils who struggle in school, the ones who get by, and the ones who whizz through it. In the case of the pupils who struggle there is a

clear necessity for after-school support, but this may not always need to be academic. Among the reasons why children fail academically, the most prevalent are dips in self-confidence, lack of understanding of special

education needs, and an unbalanced family environment. The first two can be addressed through pastoral care and academic support. However, the latter is an issue with many possible causes, like moving country, a new sibling or parental divorce. Academic help should only be introduced later, when your child is ready and if it is still needed. For pupils who excel academically, there are few legitimate reasons to fi ll their schedule with tuition: 1. If you want them to go above and beyond the school syllabus in subjects they are really passionate about; and 2. If you want them to find inspiration through an excellent tutor. Otherwise, it would be healthier to invest their time in extra-curricular activities. The trickiest types of pupils are the ones who fall in the middle, neither failing nor excelling. If your child belongs to this category, the best way to find out if they need tuition is to have a tutor conduct a core-subjects assessment. The recommendations may vary from afterschool tuition once a month for clarifying any school-work doubts, to a few times weekly to plug gaps from previous years.

Patricia Vlad is a Cambridge University graduate in Education Studies and manages the Carfax Education tutoring centre in Dubai. She can be contacted at p.vlad@carfax-education.com or 04 438 5276. carfax-education.com

DO S A ND DON ’ T S W HE N I T C OME S T O P RI VAT E T UI T ION 1. …ask your child if they want tuition and why. Their active participation is important for obtaining the best academic results. Knowing why learning is significant for them works wonders for pupil motivation. 2. …ask any questions you may have, no matter how silly. As a parent it is normal to want external reassurance, and tutors are there to share their knowledge with you. 3. …be open to trying new tutors when your regular tutor is ill. Exposing

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your child to various teachingstyles and personalities is a healthy practice that enriches their tolerance and adaptability. You probably want your child to strive under any circumstances in the future, so being able to cope with last-minute changes is a useful skill to learn. 4. …look for the right tutor replacement once you know that your current tutor is planning a career transition. Using two or more tutors at all times is a good pre-emptive tactic for these situations.

1. …push too hard if you are told that your child needs very little or no tuition. The tutor wants to see your child happy and successful. Relax and enjoy the lack of stress! 2. …be too protective if you are told your child needs a little discipline. The tutor is not implying that you are a bad parent, but simply trying to work out a solution with you. 3. …agree to regular tuition without an initial assessment. The initial assessment can be a written test,

oral examination, long academic chat or a combination of all of the above. 4. …rule out online tuition. It works for some children and is a great way to get your child used to technology in an educational setting. 5. …panic when there is a tutor-pupil personality mismatch. Give it some time to allow the two to adapt to each other. If nothing works, be open to handing over to a new tutor. The benefits of finding the right match far outweigh the transition difficulties.

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MOTHER NATURE •Bugaboo•

The perennial parents’ favourite sets the tone for stylish strollers with the nature-inspired Cameleon3 Elements edition: featuring leaf motifs, ombre colours and all the usual bugaboo engineering expertise. AED 4,995; dbbabies.com

TOT GEAR

Top-notch baby kit designed to make parenting easier

PUMP IT UP •Medela•

Why use a single pump when the Medela Swing Maxi double breast-pump cuts expression time in half and increases milk yield by up to 18% – powerful, comfortable and easy to clean, it gets our vote. AED1,279; thebabyboutique.com

WASH AND GO •Puj & Heavea•

The Flyte baby sink bath is inspired: a collapsible cradle that fits into a small sink and enables you to bathe a little one safely and stress-free. Add a natural alternative to the classic yellow rubber duck with this Hevea one. £29.95 & £14.95; meandbuddy.com

Cosatto Giggle 2 Word s: Hel e n B ar o n

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his little beauty is a bit of a name in the stroller world, with several awards under its belt and a reputation for being practical, reliable and downright stylish. The key benefit of the Giggle 2 system is its three-in-one nature: the lightweight, easily foldable and extremely compact stroller can easily be transformed into a handy infant carrier and pram for newborns. Most of us mamas err on the side of heavyweight prams or huge strollers with carrycots in those earliest of days, but experience tells many of us that keeping things light and manoeuvrable is usually the wiser bet. The Giggle 2 for that without sacrificing comfort or security. Another big draw for many will be the sheer variety and boldness of the colourways and patterns, from monochrome stripes and stars to rainbow mosaics and fun, illustrative prints. Moreover, it comes with not just a rain-cover but a Cosy Toes muff, a substantial UPF50+ hood and even a shoulder bag with handy changing kit – all in all, excellent value.  From £470; cosatto.com

FOOD FOR THOUHT

•Design Letters•

The good folk at Design Letters have turned their Arne Jacobsen-inspired talents to something new – a monochrome bib featuring the great designer's iconic typeface. AED 80; marmarland.com

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Be Prepared

Sending your child to board at seven is not as popular as it was, but schools have adapted, and with the right groundwork from parents, children can flourish By Eleanor D oughty

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one are the days when boarding school meant that children were packed off at seven pulling their trunk behind them, only to return before university aged 18. The modern boarding school is technological, funky and full of fun – especially for those who start at prep school age. The boarding outlook has changed over the last decade. Since 2006, the number of sevenand eight-year-olds boarding at independent schools has fluctuated. According to the Independent Schools Council, which represents 80 per cent of pupils in independent schools, there were just 135 seven-yearolds boarding in 2006. This rose to 163 in 2010, but sunk to 119 by the time of the ISC’s 2016 Annual

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Parents no longer send their children far from home, they want to see them

Census. Of the 74,688 boarders at ISC schools, just 4,809 are juniors. Fewer than half of these board fulltime, just over 40 per cent board on a ‘flexi’ basis – between one and three days a week – and just over 10 per cent are weekly boarders. As society has changed, through economic crises and generational divides, the boarding landscape has changed too, confirms

Will Brooks, Headmaster of Brambletye, a preparatory school in West Sussex. “A generation ago, it was common for parents to send their children to the schools that they had attended, which were often far away from home. Nowadays, parents tend to look more locally, and consequently their requirements have changed. Parents are keen for their children to experience boarding and to benefit from everything it offers, but they would like to see them more often.” This outlook has caused schools to widen their boarding offerings, introducing flexi days and encouraging weekly boarding. At Beaudesert Park School, a co-educational prep school in Gloucestershire, pupils can board with a flexi or weekly arrangement from Year 4 upwards. Almost all of them live within 25 miles of the school, explains Headmaster James Womersley. He points to the local benefits

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RELAXING IN THE BLUEBELLS AT BRAMBLETYE

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• • • • • • • • •

Pupils leave Rendcomb College as articulate, confident 230 acres of stunning Cotswold countryside and resilient young A Level results 2016; triple A average people able to GCSE results 2016; half of grades A or A* 95% of pupils secured their chosen university deal with life’s Leavers destination 2016 include; Oxford, Bath, Exeter, challenges Imperial College London, King’s College London and Liverpool Personal Tutoring System Science Laboratories that reach the gold standard of teaching New 3.3 million pound Performing Arts Centre 90 minutes from London Heathrow

For further information visit our website www.rendcombcollege.org.uk or call Mrs Chrissy Laycock, Head of International Recruitment on: 0044 (0) 1285 832 325

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PUPILS AT BEAUDESERT PARK

of boarding school. “Parents with long commutes and other commitments tell us that our flexi boarding helps them balance the demands of professional and family life. For many families it can make the difference between employing a nanny or not.” Whatever the style of boarding, the biggest change to all prep schools now is the advent of new technologies, says Tom Rogerson, Headmaster of Cottesmore School in West Sussex, which takes boarders from age seven. Email, mobile phones and social media have had a role in revolutionising the way parents can, and do, interact with their children while at school. “I’m a big fan of Twitter because it fills in the gaps,” Rogerson enthuses. “The cricket win is a big shouty piece A RIDE AROUND BRAMBLETYE

There are some useful preparations to do at home before term starts, however. Make sure that children have done – and enjoyed – a few sleepovers, and give them a bit of responsibility for their own kit. Rogerson requests that parents put names on everything – “Every pencil, sharpener and sock, please!” he laughs. Introducing children to a little bit of everything also helps: some garden sports, chess and singing. “Get them to talk to guests in their own house,” Rogerson adds. “Teach them to look adults in the eye and smile and engage in conversation, because that’s going to be super important.” Brooks reminds parents to prepare themselves, too. “It is usually the children who are excited about embarking on the boarding adventure, and the parents who find the concept more difficult. We never forget that it is not only the child’s first experience of boarding, but sometimes it is the parents' too.”

Mobile phones have revolutionised the way parents can interact with their children at school

of news, but what about the jam that we made on Sunday? The scholarship to Eton is a great thing, but these forms of social media allow you to paint a more human picture of the school.” Connecting children to parents is critical, through a variety of methods. His charges can email home whenever they have access to a computer, and parents are invited to matches on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Rogerson stresses the importance of giving parents access to their children in between times, and credits mobile technology with this. “If Jemima has just had a birthday, at the moment of birthday action and blowing the candles out, you can take a picture. The parent will have it in five seconds. That’s a big change.” Many schools also provide endless fun such as hide-and-seek in the grounds, board game nights and hot chocolate at bedtime – and if this busy timetable seems daunting to parents, Rogerson is confident that children take it in their stride. “Prep school is all about action and getting stuck in with things. That’s what seven- or eight-year-olds are like – that’s their makeup. At that early stage it suits them because they are all about doing.” His younger boarders rarely have a difficult time, he says. “They just get on with it. It’s counter-intuitive but it’s true – they just go with the flow.”

PLAYING AT BRAMBLETYE

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EARLY-YEARS | ACADEMIC TUITION | SCHOOLS CONSULTANCY | UNIVERSITY ADMISSIONS EARLY-YEARS | TUITION | | ADMISSIONS EARLY-YEARS | ACADEMIC ACADEMIC TUITION | SCHOOLS SCHOOLS CONSULTANCY CONSULTANCY | UNIVERSITY UNIVERSITY ADMISSIONS Office G31, Block 2A, Knowledge Village, Dubai +971 4 438 5276 dubai@carfax-education.com

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Talking Head

ROBERT JONES, HEADMASTER OF RENDCOMB COLLEGE IN GLOUCESTERSHIRE, ON HIS RECIPE FOR SUCCESS

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n the heart of the Cotswolds, our magnificent setting brings a sense of calmness to the school, allowing pupils to challenge themselves in a safe environment. While the deer park, refurbished boarding houses and hi-tech Performing Arts Centre are wonderful, it is the community and people that sets Rendcomb College apart. Thoughtful pupils who think about what they do and about each other. A reflective community where we understand the opinions of others and respect differences. Our pupils are proud of the “Rendcomb Family”, supporting and encouraging each other. They think “outside of the box”, so when challenged with solving the problem of feeding the Gloucestershire Homeless, three of our pupils wrote an app bringing a local charity together with those in need. Not content with solving one problem, they set

Adventure beyond the classroom is an increasingly important part of Rendcomb life about developing the app to help with the refugee crisis. This initiative won them the prestigious Longitude Explorers Prize, beating off teams from over 600 schools to a £25,000 prize. Rendcomb pupils are adventurous. I would argue that our increasingly litigious and exams-based world is reducing opportunities for young people to explore both mentally and physically. At Rendcomb we try to develop pupils that question, explore and have freedom to take academic risks. The Science and Geography Departments use our river and “Wilderness” for experiments, while English pupils produce films about the wildlife.

Adventure beyond the classroom is an increasingly important part of Rendcomb life. Our Junior School pupils love their Forest Classroom, those in the Middle school get Bushcraft opportunities and “camp out”, while the seniors learn leadership skills, service and teamworking. We even have an independent living house where the Upper 6th get a chance at budgeting, cooking, cleaning: survival skills for life beyond school! Our pupils averaged three A grades at A level last summer. Academic ambition is focused on each individual and how they can stretch and challenge themselves. We aim to be relentless in development, seeing learning as a journey that starts at school. For me, the Junior School pupil who determinedly conquers their spellings, the GCSE pupil who spends the whole lesson speaking Spanish and the A level mathematician who “cracks” mechanics prove that setting an ambitious goal, embracing the challenge and listening to feedback will foster a mindset that is sure to thrive. Your adventure starts here...  To find out more about Rendcomb College please visit rendcombcollege.org.uk December / Januar y 2017

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60 seconds with

Sophie Pender-Cudlip MOTHER OF FOUR & DUBAI RESIDENT

them very open-minded. The challenge for my children is the size of schools here. My son came from a much smaller, rural prep school with a year group of 12 to Dubai with a year group of 200. He adapted extremely well, however, and it was probably more daunting for me as a parent than it was for him.  

Absolutely Mama: When did you make the move to Dubai? Sophie Pender-Cudlip: We moved with my

husband’s job in August 2015.  

AM: How old are your children? Where were they at school in Britain? SP: Our youngest child, aged seven, is at

school in Dubai. He was previously at Port Regis in Dorset. His older siblings are boarders in England.  

AM: What are the main differences from the UK public school system? SP: Educational standards in Dubai are

AM: How do you see the school scene in Dubai at the moment? SP: Education in Dubai is fascinating and

expanding fast. There are 17 new schools hoping to open by September 2017. The quality of education in Dubai is generally very good and standards in many schools are very high.    AM: Describe the types of school in Dubai. SP: The choice is enormous. There are

British schools following the British national curriculum, as well as American schools and French lycées not forgetting the Swiss international school and a wealth of Indian schools. The different curriculums on offer range from IGCSEs and A-Levels to the IB. As the community is so international there is something for everybody. In the UAE as a whole there are over 500 private schools and it would be difficult not to find a school that would suit a child. That said, SEN provision could improve. 

AM: Is there a typical pupil?  

No. The schools tend to have a high ratio of international students from all over the 98

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As the community is so international there is something for everybody world. As it is such a transient population, it can be difficult for some children when their best friends leave at a moment’s notice.   AM: What are the advantages and disadvantages of schooling in Dubai? SP: One obvious advantage is that

the family can stay together without compromising on the education. Another is that children are mixing with other children from all sorts of different cultural and religious backgrounds which makes

high and parents are very driven, so I would compare it more to a London-style of education than a rural UK one. There is definitely more homework than we had in England. Also, my son did sport every day in the UK. Finally, children have to learn Arabic in the UAE and this can amount to up to four hours per week.

AM: Is it as competitive to get into the best schools as it is in some parts of the UK? SP: Some of the good schools are still hard

to get into in Dubai and there are rigorous selection processes.  However, I think given the amount of schools opening, there is more choice for parents now. I’ve noticed that the ‘not for profit’ schools still seem to be extremely popular.  

AM: How do you think their schooling in the UAE has affected your children? SP: My son has adapated pretty well. He

has a much broader outlook on life having moved from a small Dorset prep school to a large international school. I just hope when he moves back that he keeps in touch with some of the friends he has met from all over the world.

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HAUSSCHWEIN

Living your most faboulous dream

M A R C E LWA N D E R S .CY B E X - O N L I N E .C O M

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Absolutely Mama Emirates - Issue One