Manon et Gwenaelle is a gorgeous and absolutely tiny little children and baby’s wear shop in Darlinghurst, Sydney. It’s run by the lovely Virgine Batterson – an incredibly energetic French ex-pat who now calls Sydney home, and lives in Darlinghurst with her American Husband and three gorgeous kids. The shop stocks a select range of stunning European and locally made kidswear and accessories, for seriously well-dressed tots. My favourite piece – a French cream cashmere cardigan covered in tiny red dots… too cute for words. The $350 price tag didn’t seem to faze Sydney’s doting Mums… The cardy was all sold out bar one. (for the record, there’s also a range of much more affordable pieces on offer…).
Virgine’s energy and passion for her work is truly infectious. She designs and wholesales her own children’s clothing label Mamapapa singlehandedly, and somehow also finds time for the daily demands of running retail shop Manon et Gwenaelle in collaboration with business-partner and friend Lisa. But first and foremost, Virgine is a very hands-on Mum! When I visited (during school holidays), she was manning the shop (all 2m x 5m of it) with all three kids in tow – the eldest perched in the window quietly reading, the youngest causing chaos with a pot of textas, and the gorgeous Ella, 5, eagerly chatting and ‘showing’ her brand new school shoes and her favourite Mamapapa party dress. As her kids carried on amongst themselves, Virgine chatted to us enthusiastically about the shop and Mamapapa, her wonderful lilting accent and occasional French interjections making the whole chaotic exchange all the more entertaining.
Manon et Gwenaelle is so worth a visit if you’ve ever got someone tiny to buy for. Even more fun if you visit during school holidays :) Seriously – cutest family ever.
Manon et Gwenaelle
246 Palmer st
Open Mon-Fri, closed weekends.