British kids’ club Maggie & Rose opens in Hong Kong, featuring a muted colour scheme and playful design that suits children and adults alike.
With themed Eat+Play areas, a magical soft play section, a cinema room and a rooftop complete with racetrack, Maggie & Rose Hong Kong Beach Club is a haven for children – and their parents. After all, the Hong Kong edition of British family members club Maggie & Rose doesn’t just cater to the wee ones: there’s a restaurant and bar offering food and drink that will appeal to all ages, and the look and feel of the club steers away from the garish, bright shades favoured by so many children’s spaces.
“The clubs are people’s home away from home, so each space needs to feel like that,” says Maggie Bolger, Co-Founder and CEO of Maggie & Rose Family Members Club. “It’s a concept that was overlooked in the market at the time we created our first Club back in 2007, and indeed, it’s one that is still generally lacking to this day.”
Having young children of her own and feeling uninspired by the kids’ venues on offer in London, Bolger founded the club with Rose Astor in 2007. They opened a Kensington version that year, followed by a club in Chiswick in 2013. As the first international installment, the Hong Kong Beach Club is a collaboration with Yenn Wong, CEO of the hospitality-based JIA Group.
Wong and her fellow Hong Kong partners were responsible for finding the Hong Kong site for Maggie & Rose, choosing a vast, 9,000-square-foot space at The Pulse, and for executing the design, which was conceived by Bolger.
Bolger is the driving force behind the look and feel of each of the Maggie & Rose clubs. “I have a very eclectic style and love vintage and reclaimed items. Minimalist doesn’t work for young children, so we needed to find a balance, which was warm and creative, yet still calm and collected,” says Bolger. “The [Hong Kong] space needed to be stylish and definitely not a replica of what is more commonly on offer for shared child and grown-up spaces – no ‘plastic fantastic toys’ and no over-stimulating primary colour schemes! It is imperative that the surroundings suit both young and old – that is why we are a family members club, not a kids’ club.”
It’s also family oriented in that it offers classes and workshops – this way, parents can be satisfied that their kids are learning, as well as having fun. “Everything is a journey of exploration and discovery; learning through play and interaction is a natural process for young children,” says Bolger. “We nurture that with natural objects, muted color palettes and interesting toys and books.”
The soft play area was also designed with learning in mind. “We don’t pad corners and bubble wrap every surface. We expect children to bump their heads on the wooden panels and learn how to work their way around the structures, as this encourages their ability to learn and judge risk,” says Bolger.
The themed Eat+Play booths are designed to promote learning, too. Here, says Bolger, “you can enjoy a meal whilst experimenting with our giant build-a-brick wall or imagine you are on a vintage train heading to a far-flung destination.”
It is in these themed Eat+Play areas that the Hong Kong design touches comes through. Here, there is a kid-sized cha chaan teng and a child-height mahjong table, alongside the graffitied space and vintage train. “It’s exciting to have a club where we can take London inspiration and combine it with influences from such a varied region. The Kensington club does have its own graffiti wall created by a group of our young artist with a street artist – we love graffiti!”
Much of the furniture at Maggie & Rose Hong Kong Beach Club is purpose-designed and built for the club, too. In many cases, the Maggie & Rose team hasn’t been able to find toys and furniture that are durable, original and not mass-produced, so they have taken to designing their own. “The Maggie & Rose At Home furniture and accessories range will launch mid-year. The range will feature pieces custom-made in a trusted workshop in the UK and includes dining stools, games tables and dolls houses,” says Bolger. Many of the pieces in the new collection can be found at the club here in Hong Kong.
Maggie & Rose Hong Kong Beach Club is an exclusive, family members club located at 301 The Pulse, 28 Beach Road, Repulse Bay.
Maggie & Rose
Maggie & Rose Hong Kong Beach Club