Before I had Baby J I never used to think twice about what cafe to go into for a coffee, or what shops to pop into for some groceries, but since Baby J had come along I've learnt that not all places are baby-friendly, and in fact some places are very very unfriendly when it comes to prams, so much so I've had to shop around as the last thing I want in addition to keeping an eye on baby is to worry about where I can go.
So below are a few mini reviews of places I have been with my own rating -
5*'s = excellent would go back 1*= awful avoid!
Where to get a coffee-
The Blue Boar - easy to get to, with its central location, the disabled access is down an alley way which opens up on to a lovely court yard with a mixture of sofa's, chairs and tables. Perfect for the slummy mummies! The big umbrellas ensure everyone stays dry, and the patio heaters keep you warm. If the weather is really too cold or wet for sitting outdoors, the staff are always happy for us to retreat in doors. Lots of clean high chairs available. Staff are friendly and provide an excellent service. The coffee and cakes are well priced and taste lovely. The changing facilities are are clean and tidy, alhtough the doors to get there can be a hassle so best not attempt to take the pram with you. My only minor complaint is that there are not more lower priced 'snack items' on the menu for tired mummies to nibble on whilst feeding babies. If you are going with a group, call them before hand to let them know that you are on the way, and they will prepare an area for you. 4.5*'s
Cafe Nero - easy to get to, doors open both ways & aren't too heavy, plenty of room to maneuver to the pram, and tables are spaced well so you can pull up a pram next to the table. Staff are happy to carry drinks over to the tables too. Disabled toilet has changing facilities, a bit of a tight squeeze but OK, every time I've been the changing facilities have been clean and tidy The Slummy Mummies group of Witney all came with me once for a coffee and the staff didn't blink an eye when 9 of us came in wheeling our prams, and re-arranging the tables so we all fitted. My only very minor complaint is that the service is a little slow, 4.5*'s
Huffkins - easy to get too, the fly curtain at the door is a little annoying, and it can be a tight squeeze to get to the seating bit if the bakery is busy; staff are friendly and happy to help find a table suitable, usually this has been a bit of a squeeze, and other customers have had to push past to get by, so not a lot of room to maneuver. Changing facilites are in the ladies toilets [not sure if there is anything in the men's as well?] clean and tidy with room to move, although the door leading out is a bit awkward to get through. Huffkins is table service and even at its busiest staff have been quick to take orders and coffees have never been delayed. As a large group the Slummy Mummies have never tried to get in, I think it'd be too much of a tight squeeze, which is a shame as the cakes are delicous! 4*'s **Update, 8 of us recently descended on Huffkins in the sun and were commandeered the tables outside, they staff were happy with this, just a shame there aren't some umbrellas to offer some shade
Cafe Rouge - easy to get to, and that's where the positives stop...after saying they'd happily welcome in our group for coffee and cake, the maitre'd on the day was not impressed, his face pretty much said it all, his frown forming a big furry V in the middle of his face, [there was only 3 tables occupied with plenty of room!] he marched off, reappeared scowled some more, marched off... and it was at this point we reversed out and walked away, when I explained he just shrugged. So -1*
Wetherspoons - easy to get too, with parking right outside if you're lucky! Doors are a tad heavy but once open are easy enough to wheel through. Directly upon entering there are about 5 tables on ground level, there is a wheelchair lift to go up, but to be honest the 2 stairs are not too much of a struggle, on the second level there are loads of tables and chairs and again you can easily re-arrange to make space for prams. Disabled toilet [on the second level] has the changing facilities, usually clean, but on the odd occasion there has been a nasty smell. To use the changing facility you need to a keep from staff [which sounds more of a problem than what it is] Staff have always been helpful and even served us at the table when my friend and I were both feeding. 4*'s
The Fleece - easy to get to, & like Wetherspoons parking right outside if you are lucky. Getting in, well I struggled for what seemed like hours to try and get the pram up the steps and into the door, eventually a lady stopped to help, and once I was in she kindly pointed out that there was a ramp round the corner [which made access easy!] its a tad cramped to maneuver round without taking out another table, but on the quiet day we went in it wasn't too much of a problem. Staff were friendly and did table service making it so much more easier for us. Didn't use the changing facilities this time but will be going back this week to so will check them out. 3*'s
The Hollybush - easy enough to get to, although crossing the busy road can be a case of quick run! Small step at the entrance is enough to get over, when we went en mass we used the barn [it's a small annex room in the beer garden] out the back which had a few small steps but again not too much of a problem. The staff allowed us to move tables & chairs round in the barn which made it so much easier for us, they also helped bring the coffee's out and did table service for us. It is a tad on the pricey side, great for coffee but for cheap and cheerful lunch no so. I didn't use the changing facilities but my friends did and said they were good 3.5*;s
The Blue Boar - this has recently become the Slummy Mummies favourite coffee place, inside is fairly roomy, but we have been using their courtyard area, as its got lots of room, plenty of tables and chairs and has 3 large umbrellas to keep us all dry with heaters! A decent mug of coffee is only £1 too. They staff are always friendly and helpful and have never battered an eye lid when all 9 of us turn up. Changing facilities are clean and tidy, the only sligh minor point is the doors leading to the toilets open different ways so can be a little awkward 4.5*'s