This is another London-Mother staple. It’s fairly central, easy to get to and they don’t mind you sitting there for hours without buying anything. But they also have a cafe (and a bar!) selling tea and coffee, a soup and stew of the day (always yummy and with a huge chunk of bread) and those random cakes you always find in these places- pomegranete meringue and rhubarb crumble tart. So, I quite often end up buying something anyway. But point is, you don’t have to. Which is a rarity, hence us spending large portions of the winter there. Reuben even learnt to climb steps there – a wholly inappropriate set of marble ones that led to a brass band.
Special features include a lift that makes a choral kind of “oooh” noise when you get in it. It’s a glass lift, so boys spend hours watching it go up and down. You can also see the trains from the front windows. There are always other toddlers there to play with. There is sometimes live music at lunchtimes and free kids events in the holidays. But above all, it’s somewhere you can go and not get wet or have to spend any money. And that is why we love it so.
VERDICT: Do you need me to say it? A good regular hangout for anyone local-ish or on the Bakerloo, Northern or Jubilee lines.