There you go, as soon as I’ve written a new post on toddler-friendly cafes, then I go to another one. Again without my toddler. But I had a 16 month-old on loan instead. And Eva, obviously.
Our destination this time was That Place On The Corner, at Newington Green. Roo was at the childminders for the last time ever (sob!), so it was easy enough for Eva and I to hop up there on the tube and the bus, even if the 73 kept stalling. On the way, I spotted that Kennington station had taken my moanings about the inaccessibility of the Northern Line seriously, so had updated their inclusion policy accordingly. No-one wants to be seen to discriminate against disabled people, so Kennington have banned disabled people, all men AND all women. That’s fair to everyone!
So, we got there eventually and it was pretty busy. Not surprising, as this may be the most toddler-friendly cafe in London. It is entirely designed with children in mind – dressing up, toys, stacks of highchairs and -of course- a kids menu. So far, so good. We ordered, and the 16 month-old had a little play on the floor. There wasn’t a huge amount of space for the less-confident walker to move around, but Roo would have been fine in there. I felt slightly guilty for going there without him, but hey it just worked out that way!
There was a downside. We were there at a busy time (lunchtime), so expected a bit of a wait, but it did take almost an hour for three toasties to arrive. And they had to check my smoothie order twice before letting me know that they didn’t have what I asked for. Everything was very nice once it arrived, but it did feel a little chaotic. Typically, Eva woke up just as my sandwich finally arrived and both demanded feeding and filled her nappy to overflowing point. That girl sure can multi-task!
And then a singing group started in the other side, so it was time to leave. My children don’t get on well with singing groups….On the way back, we stopped at Islington. I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with that area, given that it’s lovely and has lots of nice shops and places to eat but I get nightmarish flashbacks to my first job in London, duty managing at the cinema there. 85-hour weeks, lifts that were prone to break down at the sight of a wheelchair and a boss who enjoyed playing power-games with exhausted 21 year-olds. It was the most stressful job I’ve ever had – it says something that floor-managing in Oxford St seemed peaceful by comparison. So, while I’d love to love the area I just can’t.
Still, we had a nice visit to H&M to buy some long socks for Eva’s poor chilly legs (she had written off her entire outfit at the cafe, and was dressed in some ill-fitting changing bag clothes). This is a tip I’ll give you for absolutely nothing. You can get 3 pairs of Hello Kitty snuggly socks for £7.99 (in the Ladies’ section) and they make brilliant impromptu baby-legs. Handy for days like yesterday when it’s colder than you think it will be, and you don’t want to get your baby out of the sling.
VERDICT: A nice, and very baby-friendly cafe. Be prepared to wait a while.