Cuckoo says 'bonjour' to little ones in Fulham

Cuckoo Hibou is the brainchild of Alice Erb-Malet (far right) pictured with her family

A cosy retreat for parents and their little ones is set to open in Fulham offering enticing food, beautiful gifts and entertaining workshops – all with a French twist.

Cuckoo Hibou is the brainchild of Alice Erb-Malet, a former parisian journalist who moved to Hammersmith almost three years ago.

“When I moved here I really wanted to change my way of life and start something new,” says the 31-year-old resident of Greyhound Road.

Alice – who is half French and half English - came up with the idea of a bilingual cafe offering parents and children in the area something a little different.

The cute name comes from a traditional French nursery rhyme, literally meaning ‘Hello owl’, she explains.

Set to open at 181 New Kings Road on January 25, Cuckoo Hibou will combine the cafe with a boutique gift shop and bilingual classes for children ranging from music, drama and French speaking to arts and crafts and yoga

“I really love being surrounded by children, and being in contact with the French community, as well as the people in my neighbourhood,” says Alice.

“But going to a regular play centre is not something I love so I wanted to create a place where the children can have fun but, importantly, the parents can enjoy themselves too.”

The café will be filled with highchairs, baby bouncers and child-sized cutlery, as well as having a dedicated buggy park and play area for little ones to enjoy while parents can savour a French pastry or two.

French and Scandinavian products including toys, books, stationery, albums, homeware and party accessories will fill the family-oriented boutique.

Meanwhile, workshops aimed at parents will include baby massage, nutrition, and singing.

Alice also plans to offer birthday parties at Cuckoo Hibou – in fact, her son Ezra will celebrate his fourth birthday at the new cafe in February.

“He’s really excited,” says Alice. “There’s a little playhouse inside the shop, which he already thinks of as his own. We are looking forward to offering families a warm and welcoming space where we care for children and parents can simply relax.”