I find play cafes to be a great fallback option during the cold and wet winter months when options for getting your little one to let off steam is limited. We’ve been fortunately to have had several local play cafes in what is a fairly rural area however I’ve been saddened to see two close in nearly as many weeks, meaning the search for new venues is on.
Please note that this venue is now closed. Play cafes tend to feature a climbing frame but our latest discovery in Beaconsfield offers more traditional play along with impressive food and drink.
Every once in a while a business comes along that seems to perfectly fit a glaring gap in the market. Metro Lounge, the newest of the Loungers chain of cafe bars, which opened its doors in Amersham-on-the-Hill this week may well achieve just that. Given that the area has been bordering on going tee-total of late with the demise of most remaining pubs up the hill, I’m thrilled by the prospect of a decent social venue. Tilly and I popped in for brunch on its opening day to see what was on offer.
A new addition to Old Amersham’s line up of eateries, Cote Brasserie has taken over the former Chimichanga site, so it’s farewell Tex-Mex and hello modern european dining. We decided to pay a weekend morning visit to see how the newcomer compares with the other brunch options in Amersham and to check out its family friendly credentials.
Industrial (estate) sized soft play is something I’ve been avoiding for months. I had visions of hundreds of children running amok, intense noise and dashing about trying to keep track of Tilly and avoid her being knocked over by bigger children. Having won a ticket to Playtrain in High Wycombe it was finally time to see whether my fears were founded. I found I was pleasantly surprised.
We recently had the opportunity to visit the family-friendly American diner TGI Fridays for an early Father’s Day treat. It was a welcome opportunity to rekindle childhood memories both of eating out in US diners and early visits to TGI itself on holidays to London. Our local TGI Fridays is in High Wycombe, extremely convenient for the local John Lewis store amongst other things, so between shopping and dining it was one of our most indulgent days for some time.
I was rather ignorant about the NHS’s advice on vitamins for children until I took Tilly to her 2-year development assessment. It turns out that daily vitamin D supplements are recommended and the multivitamin liquids are a good way of providing this. There are plenty of products on the market but looking at the packets doesn’t give much idea about what’s going to work for your child. Having now tried a couple of products we’ve had one miss and one resounding hit.
Another day of the holidays with no activities planned made for the perfect excuse to try out one more of the play cafes in the area. Little Beans & Co is located in the village of Chorleywood, handy for both SW Herts and South Bucks and just a few minutes off the M25. Chorleywood has a reasonable selection of shops for its size although it’s main attraction is the sizeable and unfeasibly picturesque common situated between the main road and the village. Access to the village is a little narrow but there’s free parking bays near the cafe with a car park for shoppers at the other end of the main street.
I’m something of a recent convert to play cafés, having discovered the Hidden Tea Shop a few months back. Since then, I’ve become aware that there’s a few of them around. In Chesham, ‘Thé, Stay and Play’ is making itself a name as fixture amongst local play venues. Soft play normally requires a trip to one of the larger towns – Wycombe, Aylesbury, Watford and the like so having something more local, even on a smaller scale, is welcome. Being in a smaller town also has its advantages, as the shop backs on to one of the larger car parks, making it an easy walk even for tiny legs.
5am starts aren’t much fun. The toddler demands to get up, you’ve not had enough sleep to manage the long day ahead and by the end of the day you want to cut short your precious ‘me’ time to gain back a little extra sleep before doing it again. We’ve had a lot of early starts and despite managing the clocks going back the early starts were become too frequent. It was time to try out technology and that popular piece of sleep training kit: the Groclock.