“ Brand: Sylvanian / Type: Doll House „
My daughters birthday is in January, which makes buying presents for her a little difficult, usually she has already received all the main gifts for Christmas and I am then found scouring the January sales with very little money for birthday presents for her. Then half way thought the year she has grown too old for these toys and doesn't have much to play with. When she turned two I decided to just buy her a few presents for her Birthday and buy her a "big" present during the summer and this seems to be working out much better. Some relatives have also jumped on-board and we now receive Amazon vouchers instead of gifts to put towards getting her a summer birthday toy.
She is now four years old and as it is the summer I began thinking about what kind of new toys she could do with. She told me she would like a house like her Peppa Pig house, now her Peppa Pig house lasted around a month before it fell apart due to its awful quality, so I was a little dubious about buying her another character house. Plus her Character fads seem to come and go and I wanted to buy her something that would be played with for a few years at least. I was prepared to pay a little more for something long lasting and which wouldn't just end up in the cupboard a few weeks after I bought it. Whilst perusing Amazon I came across some cute little Sylvanian families, I had played with these as a child and loved them and I thought my daughter would love them too. After reading lots of wonderful Amazon reviews on different Sylvanian families products I decided that I would buy her a Sylvanian house with lots of furniture to go in it, and a cute animal family too of course.
I searched the Internet looking for Sylvanian families houses hoping to find a decent offer as they were all pretty expensive. In the end I decided on Larchwood Lodge, this one is exclusive to The Entertainer and discounted from £69.99 to £34.99. Even discounted I initially thought it sounded a little expensive especially as it didn't come with any additional extras. All the furniture, figures etc had to be bought separately. However, the reviews I read for the house were brilliant, other buyers were saying it was a lovely house and of a fantastic quality, plus my research showed me Sylvanian families in general was a little on the pricey side, I guess its true - you get what you pay for. I decided to take a positive outlook on the empty house and thought it would be fun picking and choosing the furniture for ourselves, plus it may keep my daughters interest for longer if we are able to add to the house every now and then. The Entertainer offered free delivery on orders over £40, so i added a few additional Sylvanian families sets (that's the way they get you!) and checked out. We headed to Amazon for the rest of the furniture because its cheaper and I had vouchers.
A few days later a huge box arrived and my daughter was extremely excited, we had received the Amazon box the day before so we took no time in setting up the new house. Larchwood Lodge came in a large box with plenty of pictures of the house all over it. On removing the house I was pleased to discover it was 99% pre assembled, it was a simple case of clicking a few of the fences to the front of the house and it was ready to be played with, thank goodness I hate trying to assemble a toy with a very excited child asking "is it ready yet" ever five seconds.
Larchwood Lodge is absolutely stunning and it has such a charming little feeling to it. The house is made out of plastic, but it doesn't feel cheap, it is quite thick and of a brilliant quality. I love how it doesn't have a plasticky look about it, instead they have designed it to look like the wood on a real lodge. The front of the house is really cute, there is a "wooden" front door with a small gated porch, upstairs there is some double patio doors which lead onto the veranda. I really like that the front of the house has a partial open plan, through which the living room can be seen and accessed.
Turning the house around reveals the inside of the house, there are no fiddly doors to open its just open plan which I think works wonderfully. Downstairs there is a living room / dining room, my daughter currently only has a small sofa set in there but there is plenty more room for at least 2-3 more sets. Through the door there is a small kitchen with stairs in. The stairs are wonderfully constructed with a "wooden" banister running all the way up, they are actually connected to the house so they are not going to fall off or get easily broken. If I had one criticism about the stairs it would be that since they are at located at the back of the kitchen it can be difficult for my daughter to get the figures up and down the stairs without knocking over the kitchen set we added, she finds this rather frustrating at times. Upstairs is just one large room, so this doubles as a bedroom and bathroom, would it be better with two separate rooms? Yes, who wants an open plan bathroom! Still, there is plenty of room upstairs to accommodate lots of furniture, my daughter currently has three sets upstairs and I think there would still be room for a few more odds and ends.
There are lots of windows upstairs, only one of which opens, but there is also the double patio doors which lead to the veranda. The living room / dining room is completely open both sides for easy access during play, whilst the kitchen has one window which opens and the front door too.
An added feature in the house is the small draw which can be pulled out from under the kitchen. My daughter has found this an excellent place to keep the tiny accessories which all the Sylvanian families sets come with, having a little place to keep them is ideal as they would so easily get lost. The draw can be completely removed and when turned over can serve as a patio area, my daughter rarely does this preferring it to be used just as a draw, but still its a nice to have this option.
Larchwood Lodge is of a really nice size, its not so small that it is difficult to play with but not so big that it takes up too much space in my daughters small bedroom. My daughter currently has the house placed on her toy bench, this has been ideal as she can then sit in front of it to play, and boy has she played with it! She has had the house for around three weeks now and I already feel like its gotten its moneys worth. Its an ideal toy for her as she can easily play with it herself or have her older sister or me play along with her. It is a fantastic setting for imaginative play, it is so sweet to watch her applying ideas and experiences from her own life to those who reside in Larchwood Lodge.
I think this must be one of those products which is constantly on special offer because seriously £69.99 is a ridiculous amount of money to spend on a empty dolls house, whether it be with the Sylvanian families stamp of approval or not. But for the £34.99 I paid for it I am quite happy. In fact it was exactly what I was looking for, it is a brilliant quality house that I feel will last for sometime and it has the ability to grow with my daughter as she decorates it with new Sylvanian sets over the years.