Chips and Changing Tables – Eating Out With a Toddler Part 1 Zillion….

Cause, yknow we’ve done a lot of this eating out with a toddler thing now. Newborns, weaners, toddler, preschoolers, schoolkids…we’ve dropped ketchup on them all, in restaurants all over London. But here are some that have been more fun than others. And some of them might pop up in the shortlist for the Toddler-Friendly Cafe Awards…shortlist coming very, very soon…

2013-09-18 12.49.59Let’s start with the excitement of the New Nandos at Vauxhall. You might have guessed that I didn’t waste much time in visiting our new local. In fact, I went twice in three days – once with a friend and no children and then with the whole family when Nathan got all pouty and jealous.

2013-09-21 19.27.18It’s under a railway arch, so is long and thin with an interesting ceiling and seats that remind me and Nathan of the film “Kick-Ass” (not, as my colleagues kept saying, “Kiss Ass”). It’s also very much in Vauxhall – when we went there, the staff were stressed and the police had just arrived to kick someone out. You can gentrify Vauxhall but it’s still Vauxhall..

2013-09-21 19.18.14Another place we’ve been to lately is The Blacksmith and Toffeemaker to meet a couple of friends, one of whom has just started studying at City. I was a bit apprehensive about taking Eva to a trendy pub, but we got there on the stroke of 12 and we were the only people there. Then it started to fill up…with babies. Everyone there had one at their table. I was surprised by how baby-friendly it was (and it did a nice pulled pork sandwich and chips). Now that uni has started back, it may be hideously busy at lunchtimes but during the holiday months, it’s a nice, friendly pub. And yes, they have highchairs.

2013-09-13 12.49.27Then there’s the Love Walk Cafe which, I’ll be honest, we went to a few months back but I forgot to review. It’s on Denmark Hill, Camberwell and does a nice line in brunch. I ordered a smoothie, but it got snaffled by the kids so I had to order another one for myself. They also snaffled all the chips (again!) and enjoyed the sausage sandwiches. The decor is pretty funky too – check out Eva’s Soufflé Owl, hanging out with some random jars of stuff:

IMG-20130519-03087But the winning feature from a small child’s point of view had to be this rainbow coloured staircase. And I liked it too.

IMG-20130519-03085Then there’s a little cafe that we found almost by mistake in Walthamstow the other day. It’s called Arts and Crusts and they have a box of toys and books, including this one that reminded me of Reuben:

2013-09-28 13.26.00They also did a nice cappuccino and lemon drizzle cake:

2013-09-28 13.24.34It looks like Nathan’s doing some kind of obscene gesture here. But he’s smiling with it, so it can’t be all bad.

2013-09-28 13.34.57There are also pencils and colouring stuff, and so I took a photo of them. I was in a photo-taking mood. I love all 13 mega-pixies of my new cameraphone.

2013-09-28 13.29.27-2Toilets were located in a separate room round the back, which I wish we’d discovered sooner. It had a sand table in!

2013-09-28 13.51.33And a piece of art, made out of coffee cups:

2013-09-28 13.49.01There was also some outdoor seating, which we sat at for a few minutes before deciding it was just too cold. But Eva enjoyed a little climb on the chairs anyway:

2013-09-28 13.43.40So, there’s a few more ideas for places to refuel your toddler. Don’t forget to nominate any more cafes you can think of (I’ll stick the nomination form here as well cause I spoil you lot..)




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