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When I was little, Father Christmas clearly was lied to thought I was a well behaved child because each year he left me presents.  In my bedroom he would leave a pillowcase stuffed with gifts and then downstairs he would leave the “big” present.  Every year it was the same – it was always the one thing I really, truly hoped for and hadn’t found in the sack he left at the foot of my bed.
The same is true when he now visits our boys.  He leaves a sack of gifts upstairs and downstairs he leaves THE gift.  Father Christmas likes to make an impact, and so he’s generally looking for the  most bang for his buck.

These days [I sound old, but I’m about to sound even older], presents are getting smaller and prices are getting bigger, and it just doesn’t seem as magical to find a teeny present in your sack, no matter what the price tag – especially when you’re too little to understand how Father Christmas budgets.

So, if your Father Christmas too likes to make some David Copperfield level magic on a Gob [from Arrested Development] budget, we’ve found an answer at ASDA.

It’s a 2 in 1, wooden shop and cafe – and anything else your little one’s imaginations decide.  We were delighted to review it this week; here’s what we found.


The box was a good size [78cm x 49.5cm x 14cm] – packed very well and inside wrapped in stretchy white, thin foam that protected the contents and was easy to remove.  The item arrived intact with instructions.


Please note I did not even attempt this. I am terrible.  The mister did it and took around an hour to assemble the shop, with a small, keen, helper [and one over-excited one, subsequently and forcibly removed for bath time].

When I asked the mister his opinion on assembly, he said it was fine but with a few tricky bits, like the side panels that need to fit with 6/8 screws aligned in the correct place simultaneously and few places he had to screw together that he couldn’t actually see where he was connecting to whilst doing it.

My tip for those assembling is to make sure you screw the wheels on tightly as ours came off after a short period of play the first time around and we had little nuts everywhere [including our boys, hahaha] and it was really difficult to get them back on without disassembling the shop again and it took two of us and a great deal of patience to do this.

We Love…

That it’s on wheels – it’s light and easily portable which means it’s never in my way and no hernias when I need to move the boys play – they can do it themselves and if they want to play with me whilst I’m breastfeeding their brother, they can bring the store to me, like tinkers!
It’s pretty sturdy.  The wood seems thin before assembly but this is a solid shop.
The quality – I would have paid more than £35 for it. Way more.
It’s not too big [117cm x 56cm x 34cm],  so it can fit anywhere really!
The slot-in chalkboard header – the boys can take it off and write on it properly instead of having to reach up and over, or climb on a moving shop!
That the shop is reversible – this means there are twice as many play opportunities!
We Wish
The chalkboard side had a little canopy too, it looks a little odd without one.
All of the wood was the same colour if not the same wood – the different colour wood holding the window doesn’t match the rest of the shop.
That the wheel castors were more secure, or more easy to reassemble.


This is a fantastic present for anyone with little people who love to role play.  My boys have used it every day, being on wheels means it doesn’t scratch the floor when they move it around, and they can move it by themselves too!  It’s great value at £35; we bought a less sturdy shop which met its end a few months after purchase two years ago for Christmas and it was more than double this price.  There are so many role play scenarios that this will be used for.  It would definitely be on our list this year had we not been sent one kindly to review.

Disclosure: We were sent this toy in return for an unbiased review.  All opinions are honest, and mine. 

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  1. I'm also not good in assembling this kind of stuff. Better leave it to the boys at home! Haha. Even with the instructions and all, I often find myself lost. Truly, this activity requires much patience.

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