Finland's most famous export, the lovable little hippo-like trolls have decamped to London's West End
Do you remember the Moomins? Do the names Moominmamma, Moominpappa, Moomintroll, Little My and Snufkin mean anything to you? If you're a mummy of a certain age you might remember growing up with the BBC TV programme featuring these cute hippo-like troll characters. We remember the TV programmes with real fondness, so jumped at the chance to visit their new home.
The Moomins are one of, if not the most important export from Finland. They were created by Finnish artist and author Tove Jansson who created and illustrated the nine Moomin novels between 1945 and 1970.
The books were published in the mid-1950s and since then they've been translated into more than 40 language. As well as the TV programmes and books there are Moomin animated films, a theme park and £370m of Moomin goods sold around the world each year.
And it's with a nod to these goods that the new shop has been created, right in the heart of London's Covent Garden.The shop magically recreates Moomin Valley, where the famous Finnish cartoon is set. Walking through Moomin Forest and Moomin Cave, visitors then enter the heart of the store – Moomin Valley. Here, books, toys and merchandise are displayed in little blue Moomin "houses".
New and old fans alike can choose from cuddly Moomins, Moomin homewares (the Moomin cake slice has pride of place in my house!), Moomin baby clothes, Moomin party accessories and the aforementioned books, as well as lots of coveted limited edition items the ardent Moomins fan will love. The store's open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 8pm and Sundays from 11am to 5pm in the Market Building in Covent Garden Piazza. The nearest's tube is Covent Garden, then turn right, walk straight ahead into the big market building, hang a right and the store is just at the end of the row.
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Market Building, Covent Garden PiazzaWC2E 8HD
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