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My youngest daughter loves to use her imagination when playing and pretend to be just like Mummy, so the Rose Petal Cottage we have for her is perfect for her to hide away in and pretend it's her very own home. When I recently went to the nearest Home Bargains I noticed they were selling the Cherry Blossom Stores grocery set. While this set complements a different make believe type 'building' (they are more like structured tents), but although it is the Cherry Blossom Store as opposed to the Rose Petal Cottage, it is by the same maker, Worlds Apart.
I had previously seen this product for sale, but dismissed it because of the high price (around a £20 RRP), favouring other more realistic shopping sets which you can find in the local Toys' R' Us for much cheaper and include a lot more. I had dismissed it for its price as the grocery set actually only comes with 5 pieces of fruit and vegetables. For a grocery set, however nice they may be, I just don't think this is sufficient for a child to really immerse into imaginative play. She can't make 'meals' out of them and she certainly can't do a food shop apparently as 'mummy buys much much more than this' according to my little terror!
Although disappointed by the amount of actual food in the set (includes a broccoli, corn on the cob, aubergine, pear and strawberry), the fabric counter display where she can pretend to put her fruit and veg out for sale, is a winner in our house. I haven't seen anything like this in any other grocery set. It is sturdy despite being fabric and easily holds the sad amount of fruit and veg. The fabric shopping bag is good, however this didn't last very long (novelty wise) as she stole my mini fabric M&S bag which is more more realistic.
The fabric contents do compliment the Worlds Apart sets well and they are well made. We haven't had any problems with stitching etc, but any families with pets in their house should be wary of this set as animals, especially dogs seem to seek these poor little pieces of fruit and veg out. We have family with dogs who visit, and no matter where they seem to be, they always appear with a aubergine or broccoli in their mouths looking mightily pleased with themselves. On the positive side, they wash well!
I'm not sure why I bothered buying these when I saw it in Home Bargains. Yes, it was much cheaper (around £7 I think), but I think other grocery sets are widely available which are much better and offer a wider range of 'groceries' for children to play with. The Tesco version springs to mind which comes in a canvas fabric Tesco bag and includes just under 20 items with a much wider range and is only £6. I ended up buying this for her too just so she had more of a variety. If you spent around £20, you could get the Tesco bag and contents and a little till which also includes a few items.