Fringe Box



Opinion: Mum About Town – cafés and small people

Published on: 2 Jan, 2013
Updated on: 2 Jan, 2013

Mum about TownThe second of our Mum About Town article written by “Towny Mummy”. This time she writes about cafés and small people. . .

Okay so on the whole, cafés and small people don’t mix. Cafés serve hot drinks. Cafés are full of people wanting to relax and have five minutes peace. Children are loud and don’t stay still. But it is still a special treat for them and with the days getting colder, it is a welcome pit stop if you’re in town.

In my view, there aren’t that many good places to go with toddlers for a drink in Guildford, but here are my picks and please tell me if I’m missing somewhere!

The children’s corner at G Live seems child friendly enough with sofas and a tipi, but is always busy. The Garden Room has colouring pencils and paper which is a great start, and they do yummy tea. I have recently discovered that Costa does chocolate babyccinos and since Starbucks don’t pay their taxes, that is where I will be taking my custom, especially since there is one in Waterstones which also has a colouring table, a fish tank and a life-size Captain Haddock. (What more could you want, I mean really…)

Opinion Logo 2Dunkin’ doughnuts gives balloons and hats out which is fun but there is no ambience at all in that coffee shop and it has about three tables which makes you feel like you’re just sitting in a window display.

Sometimes, pubs do a much better line in seating and ambience – The Drummond for example does hot drinks in the day, has a stack of board games and a few children’s toys and has stacks of comfy sofas. But is it me or does it feel a bit wrong to be taking your child to the pub in the day?

Out of town, the Children’s Centre in Bellfields has a café which is open Monday to Friday 8.30am to 4pm, and which sells incredibly cheap and delicious cupcakes (as well as hot lunches and drinks). It has a toy kitchen and lots of books to keep the children happy.

Of course, the RHS garden at Wisley is great too – soft play in the café and colouring sheets, but they used to do babyccinos for free and have started charging 50p. Okay it’s not that bad but I was shocked at the time. A friend also recently introduced me to Tillings of Gomshall which I had driven past but not been into until the other day and I was very pleasantly surprised. A fantastic kids menu, with pick and mix items for 95p, loads of lovely kitsch seating and amazing cakes..  A real winner and I will definitely be back.

All I’m looking for is friendly service, a few toys and books, maybe colouring, to keep children entertained while they drink their not too extortionately priced drinks.

I think there is a huge gap in the market here and I think that the chains and existing coffee shops could definitely do more to keep children, mummies and daddies happy. Come on Guildford, it doesn’t take much to make me happy, honest!

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