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Review: Plum Cottage Kitchen Set

Find out if the Plum 'Cottage' kitchen set is perfect for your little Heston or Delia.
The Review: Ryan, Alison & their little one tested Plum's Cottage Kitchen Play Set.

Plum's kitchen range features beautifully designed and thoughtfully built kitchen spaces for little ones. Their 'Cottage' kitchen has a stunning pink fridge-freezer with ice dispenser detail, plus an accessory kit containing cooking pot, saucepan and utensils.

I've been desperately looking to get a kitchen set for my little one for ages and have looked at a large variety of different designs and makes; I'm so pleased with our Plum Cottage Kitchen Set. My daughter has spent every day for the past 10 days cooking little dinners for her teddies, doing her 'washing up' and force feeding me soapy water from her sink.

Perfect for a little girl's bedroom or playroom, it comes in a very cute, modern design with striking bold colours and beautiful attention to detail. There are little drawings of a telephone, memo board, ice dispenser and clock upon the wood with little clicking dials on the oven and taps that turn.

The kitchen also came with a selection of accessories that match the unit - a couple of pots and pans and some cooking utensils. Although a little cheap looking compared to the rest of the unit (our saucepan had a chip in it when opened), it is a good way to start your kitchen accessory collection.

The one thing that is always missing in wooden kitchen sets and would be a great next step for the company to do is small, simulated noises. It would be fantastic if when my little girl closed the microwave or oven, it 'pinged' at her or when she turned the taps, you could hear the rushing of water.

The kitchen's paint finish was flawless and the wood is solid so it looks and feels high quality, very sturdy and well made. It's the perfect size as well, especially if you have more than one child, not too big that it takes up a whole room but not so small that a child will outgrow it. At the moment my daughter is using the fridge as storage space for some of her books (now called her cookery books) until we get a toy kettle, toaster etc.

In regard to assembly, I found it to be very well made and easy to put together. There are a lot of pieces so put aside a good hour or two to build the kitchen depending on your skill level. It didn't take me as long as I initially expected - approximately 1½ hours. The instructions are picture only but it's easy enough once you get past the first stages. Every part was numbered with stickers, all screws and fittings came on a cardboard sheet in individual plastic compartments, also numbered, along with an Allen key and small spanner (you'll also need a crosshead screwdriver).

My only problems have been that the magnets that hold the doors closed didn't quite match so I had to reposition them further forward. The door magnets seem quite strong, however this could just be because of the age of my daughter and with time she will get used to giving it a firm pull to open.

Also, compared to the rest of the kitchen unit I worried that the backboard could get water damaged. I noticed that, when letting my daughter play with the water in the sink, she would (as children do) splash water on the countertop. Over a long period of time this might damage the patterned surface. I solved this by going out and buying a roll of laminating paper to cover the backboard and sealing the joint where it meets the countertop.

Overall, at a RRP of £160 it's quite an expensive set but worth every penny in my opinion. Compared to the reviews I've seen about competing products, the Plum set seems much sturdier and the price is either similar or slightly cheaper depending on where you shop. This kitchen set will stay with my family for years to come and will still be going strong when my younger children are old enough to play!

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