A twitter conversation this morning has got me thinking.
Is there such a thing as a really welcoming child-friendly cafe? I and some of the other Mums locally are hunting for a cafe, not indoor play centre, that caters for young children.
It may be a corner with toys, it may have a small indoor soft play area. Anything to make your time there with your child much more enjoyable and relaxing. My toddler doesn't want to spend all his time strapped into a highchair.
Locally, we have one cafe that has a corner with toys and books for children, which sounds great in theory BUT every time I have visited with my toddler and friends with their children I see the look of disapproval each time the children move to get a toy or make a sound. That's NOT child-friendly in my book.
I understand that occasionally there are people carrying round hot drinks and food and if a child is running around that's completely unacceptable but don't have a selection of toys if you're not going to make children & their families welcome and at ease.
In an ideal world, if I had the money and the time I would open up a cafe in the area for families. Right now that's not practical but I'm considering it once the toddler is at school. (Any potential investors can get in touch!)
So, this is where you come in-If you know of a child-friendly cafe (this isn't limited to Suffolk) let me know so we can spread the word for other Mums in the same predicament. Write a blog post about what you think makes it so great for families and post the link here.
It would be great if we could get a nationwide list to refer to.
Here are the suggestions received so far:
- @actingtheparty recommends The Spotty Blue Teapot in Hoylake, Wirral. I love the name and it looks fabulous. If only I wasn't so far away from me.
- @gaylemacgregor recommends Cafe Abantu in Bourn, Cambs
- Gayle also likes The Alex in Felixstowe.
- Another Felixstowe recommendation was The Little Ice Cream Co. Thanks to @Suffolk_Coast for that one
- A favourite of @GreatAuntUK is Nonsuch Pantry located next to Nonsuch Mansion in Cheam, Surrey. The cakes on their website made me drool!
- @KarenCannard was singing the praises about The Coffee House in Moreton Hall, Bury St Edmunds so much that I will be taking a trip there in the not to distant future and hopefully she'll be able to show me what she loves about it.
- Costa Coffee in Woodbridge is a favourite of @missusmermaid as they have a box of toys and books for children. My children love their mini muffins.
- Her and Linda from @suffolkdays both recommend Wild Strawberry Cafe in Woodbridge because 'they are lovely, very friendly towards baby and have a fab box of toys and books for children'
- A great place to visit, particularly in the summer, is Suffolk Food Hall in Wherstead, just outside of Ipswich. With fabulous views of the Orwell and Orwell Bridge you can sit outside while your children play on the large bouncy pillow and play area. Thanks to Sophie_Spiers for reminding me of the Suffolk Food Hall!
- Linda says that The Dancing Goat in Framlingham is good with children.
- According to father of six @MisterEditorial The Table in Woodbridge is 'cool for kids!' It's a relatively new venue and I look forward to trying it out.
- @tiffinstea in Long Melford have put themselves forward, saying that they are ' mums and toddlers friendly & happy to do small portions of most meals'. They also have a private room available for children's parties.
- @penster3371 owns The Tea Hut on the riverside in Woodbridge, close to the boating lake. They serve delicious cakes up and sometimes run Wonder Bear workshops with @wonderbearjo
- Cafe Junior in Cardiff has inspired Joanne to want to open her own cafe.
- Susan recommends Cafe Ceramico in East Kilbride. See her comment below.
- A Brewer's Fayre in Inverness sounds like a great place to go. Take a look at WeeWifie's recommendation below.
- Greenacres Kids Cafe sounds fabulous! 'A great little cafe, with an area for mum to relax while the children are actually played with by staff specifically employed for the purpose!' according to Emma. Greenacres is in Teddington.
- Pennikkity Pots in Ipswich town centre is a child-friendly ceramic cafe with an outdoor patio area for those warm summer days (do we get those any more?!)