Cristina, Alex et Loulou, et “Georgette” in progress. Buggy Caméléon Bugaboo.
With a Swedish mother and an Italian father, Cristina is today the happy mummy to Alex (Alexandre), 4 and Loulou (Louis), 3. The newest member of the family, Georgette, will be making an appearance at the start of 2017. In the meantime, we can follow their daily adventures on Instagram @bonjourgeorges
Interview Marie Hocepied. Picture Oskar.
What’s your favourite walk? We used to live in Uccle until this summer. We went to Wolvendael park every day since Alex was born, I think. It only took us ten minutes and we could enjoy the playground then go home. Now it’s easier for us to get to the forest, which is really near our house, or say hi to the horses, there are lots of them around our new home. The Sauvagère park is also one of our favourite places. It’s calm and gentle, there are lots of animals and it stays cool on really hot days.
What are your favourite kinds of holidays? We like to rent a house for our tribe near the sea in a warm country, or at the North Sea in summer and we like city trips. Our favourite destination is Finland, without a moment’s hesitation. We have a house in the woods there. We go everywhere by boat, we fish, we eat well, we hunt trolls and elks (only pretend, obviously), we have saunas and picnic on any one of 1001 islands. They are by far the most magical holidays imaginable.
What’s your typical day? Take a Saturday, for example. We wake up slowly, the kids have always been good sleepers. Then everyone comes into our bed while we rouse ourselves. We take them to their music lessons, then we take advantage of that free hour to do a bit of shopping or tidy the house. At lunchtime we head for Caffè al Dente in Uccle for a nice plate of pasta. We rarely stay in our little family of four, because friends usually join us. Then it’s nap time for everyone! After that, a walk in the park or a bit of shopping in the local boutiques for our evening meal. In the evening we often meet up with friends, usually with the kids, at one or other’s house or at a Restauration Nouvelle brasserie if no one fancies cooking.
Becoming a mother means… I always wanted to be a mother! When I was little I used to say I wanted ten kids. I’ve come down to four now I’m a bit more grown up (laughter)! It’s just the most natural thing I’ve ever done in my life. I had Alex at 24 and Louis at 25. That’s early for this generation, or at least early for my circle of friends who are only just now getting started. At the start I had to juggle to reconcile my various lives: young cool rebel, young mum and wife to my husband, Fred. But now everything is falling into place, I’m not frustrated by any potential expectation gaps.
Five things you like to do with your kids:
– Watching a Disney film in bed with a kid either side under the duvet is a moment of pure happiness. If there are sweets or other unhealthy things to eat, even better.
– Talking, and even more importantly, listening. Listening to the new words they’ve learned and what has made an impression on them during the day, what they want to do, the way they think (which can get quite complicated), their stories that make no senses and the ones that make more sense than my own.
– Doing slightly naughty things and saying its our secret. They look priceless when they’re up to no good and I love being their accomplice.
– “Gouli gouli” (Loulou’s word for tickles) battles
But the very best thing is cuddles.
What are your favourite “buggy welcome” spots?
I love brunch at Fabrique en Ville, it’s the perfect spot for kids.
I often go to the Chalet Robinson with them, they love the crossing by boat and exploring the island and the waffles are to die for.
Garage à Manger, with its great, huge space. The food is good and I love going to the Pêle-Mêle bookshop afterwards.
Bon, of course, my husband’s juice bar, for a fresh juice pitstop.
In the evening, Les Petits Bouchons in Uccle, the food is perfect and Momo, the owner, is a delight, he loves what he does.
Why is Bugaboo is your ally? The Bugaboo buggy is the only restrained-looking pushchair that doesn’t feel too gadget-y. It’s by far and away the best-looking and its wonderfully easy to handle. It ages well, the materials they use are hard-wearing. Mine still looks new after two kids….