The fall out from the unobtainable A la Carte kitchen

It is George’s birthday next week. He will be two. We are giving him a play kitchen which we chose from the many available because it has a little rail on which to hang a tea towel.

In the 1980s, when my daughter was tiny. she was bewitched by the A la Carte kitchen, a plastic, wheeled contraption with a play oven and hob. She badly wanted it for Christmas but this was the year when it sold out.

A toy website recalls: “The A La Carte Kitchen, released by Bluebird Toys in 1982 was one of those classic ‘toys you always wanted but never got’, although you could guarantee your best friend had one.”

Since then it’s been mentioned it from time to time. “... and I never did get an A la Carte kitchen,” she will joke... at least I think it’s a joke. So it wasn’t unexpected, when we mentioned we were getting a play kitchen for George, that she responded as she did. “Oh, that’s right, you get George a kitchen but I never had one when I was little.”