On a weekend, after a hectic treadmill of nursery drops, corporate life, soft play dates etc. There is nothing I want more than a decent coffee and cake, and peace long enough to consume it.
My children have other ideas… but with the creation of the soft play cafe and some of the local cafes, you can literally have your cake and eat it too. But unfortunately some fall short on the coffee front.
Here are my thoughts on the ones to go for and the those best avoided.
Wacky Kingdom – Redhill
The newest soft play centre on the block. I was second in the queue on the day it opened. Full of hope for what it might have to offer. Unfortunately, it was suffering from a few open day fails. Although the cakes looked good, they had no coffee (massive fail) and they didn’t offer decaf. The children enjoyed the soft play but we didn’t stay long, hankering for refreshment. Hopefully it has since improved but the entrance cost has put me off trying again.
Little Lambs Soft Play – Coulsdon
Little Lambs is more suited to a younger child, up to 4. The soft play area is small but the cake and coffee selection is good. Although hit and miss when it comes to non-dairy. Little Lambs has the added treat for the little ones, upstairs it has a role play area, which although is restricted to one hour is great fun for the little ones.
Once upon a time soft play cafe – Epsom
This has such an opportunity to be good but unfortunately fails on the cake and coffee. It only offers soya milk for those customers that prefer non- diary. The snacks are limited to stuff in packets such as raisins, rice cakes, and crisps. The tables have good visibility of the soft play area so you can happily leave little ones whilst you drink your coffee, which sadly will be a bitter, disappointment.
Priory Farm – Nutfield
This has to be my hands down winner. A place a frequent too often. The coffee and the cake are fantastic, with so much choice and the coffee is smooth and there is always a choice of non- diary options. The kids love adding marsh mellows to their drinks and once they have finished, the outdoor space is a complete winner. From the park at the coffee shop, the pirate ship and the discovery walk. You can spend a whole morning there very easily. A total winner. Although it does require nice weather.
Finally, if you get a chance to have some mummy/ daddy time. The absolute winner for me is The Gallery – Reigate
A solo Saturday morning is a very rare treat but we all know self-care is essential so as I write this blog post I am enjoying a smooth coffee, with coconut milk, my personal favourite and a delicious coconut bar. It was hard to choose what to eat, the cake selection was a work of art itself with a vegan carrot cake, chocolate brownies and more.
The atmosphere is relaxed with some chilled out Bobby Marley playing. Great if you want to read a book or hold an adult conversation. There is a regular flow of customers but the noise isn’t loud. It is a real treat.
One coffee shop which could do better in my eyes is Canakin – Reigate.
I had such high hopes for this newly opened cafe. With a great story, the owner was in corporate life and traded in to become a baker. The window claims to offer cakes, macaroons and coffee. I foolishly took my children to this small cafe and was disappointed with the coffee which was slightly too bitter for my taste and there was no cake available, only frangipane tarts, macaroons which seems a little pricey for my mum budget and one slightly over cooked pain of chocolate. It could have been the time of day or day of the week, we went at 10am on a Thursday but making spent over £18 on two tarts and coffees for myself, my mum and warm milk for my two small children. It felt like it wasn’t somewhere for me, sadly.
Let me know if you have a hidden gem of a coffee shop which is good for kids.