My 3 year old daughter received this indoor playhouse for her birthday. The house comes in a very big box. Most of the components are wraped in their own individual packages. The instructions are very clear and easy to follow. It took me about 30 minutes to build the house. The most difficult part was to slide the fabric over the frame. I still think that the fabric is a bit small for the frame which unfortunately caused damage to one of the plastic connectors.
The house is composed of 2 parts so my daughter can use it as one closed house or she can open it and it looks like two rooms. In my opinion it would have been better for the house to have a system that attaches and locks the 2 halfs. Sometimes when my daughter plays in it they can come apart. The house has a very cute door and few windows. The door has a dog flap which is very cute and the windows have curtains. I think it would be useful if sometimes the door could be kept open but unfortunately the door does not have this option.
The house has a kennel that could be placed outside the house. The kennel is lovely designed. There is also a white fluffy toy dog, a food bowl and a brush for the dog.
The house has a lovely pattern on it which makes our play room look lovely. My daughter loves this house. She moved her toy kitchen which is not part of the set inside the house. She has taken the cushions from our sofa and built a bed for the dollies in the house. She has a lovely time playig with it and I am very happy with the present.
I will start this review by saying that this is definately not an outdoor toy - it would get absolutely ruined outside. It is not one of those play tents which you can easily replace as it is just far too expensive so I would advise to keeping it indoors and never suggest outdoor use!
We purchased the Puppy Lane Cottage for our daughter at Christmas. She had wanted one for a while but it always seemed very pricey for what it was. We came across it on a well known website with a pricing error - it should have been £69.99 but it was advertised at £44.99 so we snapped it up and luckily for us the website honoured the price.
The tent comes in a surprisingly large but thin yellow and purple box with a picture much the same as the one pictured above. Once our daughter got it on Christmas Day it was Mummy and Daddy;s mission to build it before Christmas dinner. Inside the box you find that the cottage has two halves - it is like one play tent split into two so you have the illusion of two rooms.
It was pretty easy to put together and took about 20 minutes in all. It comes with an array of white plastic poles and connectors to build the framework of each side of the cottage. The most fiddly bit was slipping the fabric covers which are the cottage on to the frame work.
It looks lovely when it is altogether. It is highly detailed and brightly coloured. It has ivy growing on "walls", a little picket fence, a thatched roof, "floorboards", windows with curtains which you can open and close and realy working doors. It also comes with a very cute Dulux looking dog by the name of Candy Floss with her own kennel (which matches the interior of course!) which has to be put together using velcro. Candy Floss also comes with a collar, lead, bowl and fabric bone.
The down side to this really beautiful tent which I play with regularly with my daughter is that the above is all it comes with. You have to buy the kitchen set, the garden set and the lounge set all seperately which makes this an absolute fortune. The set is so expensive especially for what it is.
My duaghter absolutely loves the cottage but it does need the additional items to make it what it should be. My daughter spends hours playing in it, hosting tea parties, cooking and just being very girly (which makes a change as usually she is outside playing football!). It is great fun for imaginative play but the price of it and the extras does make you wonder if it is worth it.
This play-tent was something advertised in error as costing £40 in a recent edition of the 'Tesco Direct' catalogue, but the actual catalogue price turned out to be £60, which I would say is a bit expensive for what it is. Still, despite the higher price, using Tesco's recent 'double your clubcard points' offer it was something we decided to get for our five year old daughter's main Christmas present, mainly because she had been spending a lot of time trying to improvize play houses of her own out of an old coat thrown over the winter shoe bucket, which might have been worthy and inventive and all that, but was getting a bit pathetic really, as the poorly-secured structure was dark and a bit dingy and extremely prone to collapse.
The Puppy Lane cottage is essentially a two-part play tent: it's structured like a sweet little cottage that's been split right down the middle, from the floor to the roof. The two halves each stand separately but can be pushed together to make one big room. It seems to be intended - from the picture on the front of the box - to be used with the two halves standing some what 'ajar' however. The supporting structure is made out a series of hollow tubular poles in lilac plastic that slot together using various three-pronged (separate) 'connector' joints. The poles and connectors all come lettered / numbered either with stick-on labels, or with small, raised plastic figures, which is handy as it means the tent can be taken down and re-erected later without too much trouble. There was more assembly required than I was expecting, but once we got the hang of putting the tent together (the instructions looked more complex than they actually were in practice) this was fairly straightforward.
A thin, printed polyester outer skin gets pulled over the inner lilac frame, and this is very prettily styled. It's a tight fit to get in place initially, but once it's on the frame, the tension keeps it secure quite effectively. The fabric is printed on the outside with a mainly straw yellow thatched cottage design, complete with (printed) flowery trellis, windowbox, picket fence, and even garden tools . There is a window covered with lilac fabric mesh, and a two-part stable door, again made out of fabric slightly stiffened at the edges, that opens outwards. This has a little opening dog-flap cut into it too. The outside printing shows through the thin fabric on the inside of the tent, which isn't printed apart from the floor. The tent set has nicely executed detailing - including the aforementioned doors - and also includes little sewn-on curtains at the windows that can be tied open with little tabs, a rounded dormer window in the root, and a broiderie Anglasise white polycotton trim that covers over the tent frame in the roof gable at the opening side, and makes things much prettier as a result.
There is also Candyfloss, which is a foot-long, long-haired, grey and white furred Old English sheepdog type toy, included with the set (hence this being called the 'Puppy Lane' cottage). Candyfloss also comes with her own little fold-out kennel complete with carry handle - this is made in a similar style to the tent - out of fabric, with a covered cardboard stiffener, and her own dog bowl, fabric bone, and grooming set, which is a nice extra touch. The dog itself and the accessories are all quite nicely made and not bad at all for 'extra accessories' type toys.
The tent is about five feet high at the highest point (though the roof slopes so it's much lower at the edges) and maybe four feet across. Each half is about a foot and a half deep - giving a total of three feet in the other direction across the floor, but this is roomy enough really so that the two halves of the playhouse are each about big enough to be used as separate play-houses, individually: so as we don't live in a particularly roomy 'real' house, we've ended up having one half of Puppy Lane downstairs and the other section up in my daughter's room at the moment.
Apart from an inflatable toy armchair we bought as a standalone bit last year, we don't have the various accessories that go with this series of toys, but the kids (the other is at the fast-crawling baby stage) like playing in the outer shell of the playhouse on its own, tumbling in and out of the doorway and filling it with their own bits of stuff. Something to consider, however, when kids are charging in and out of the cottage is that while the structure holds together very well, it's so lightweight that it can overturn very easily when someone runs into it - and actually my daughter managed to clonk herself on the forehead on a piece of furniture 'through' the wall of the tent when it spilled over onto its side, so it's potentially better to have it propped up against a flat wall that the kids will 'remember' is there.
The only slight reservation I have about the playhouse (apart from the price - I don't like to pay £60 for anything) is the potential fire-risk it poses, as the fabric is so thin and flimsy, potentially combustible, and stretched to cover such a large area that if it were to be exposed to a naked flame or spark, I reckon the whole thing would be on fire in about two seconds flat. And the structure is so large that indoors, that is a very scary thing to contemplate.