Friday, 19 November 2010

Mum's The Word

For fear of reigniting the perennial Worcester Park Blog debate over Mums, babies and prams in Costa Coffee (see this blog post and also this one), blog reader and new Worcester Park resident LS has e-mailed me to enquire:


"We just moved into Worcester Park area and we really love the place and people! I just wanted to ask what all the mums with babies and toddlers do during the day? Is there any coffee shop for mums with a soft play area for children? I have heard there was one – what has happened to it?"

She is referring, of course, to what was Cafe Kinder in Central Road which closed its doors some years back (there was a further brief attempt at similar venture in the Knightwood Estates/Furniture premises).

So what advice would any fellow blog readers with toddlers have for LS about where to take and how to entertain your little cherubs in Worcester Parl?

19 COMMENTS (Add Yours Now!):

julie Morris said...

The aventura Italian restaurant now has a play area for children. I see a lot of mums in there chatting over coffee while their kiddies happily play.

Andrew Sillis said...

Not exactly a coffee shop, but great fun for Mums & Dads & Toddlers at 'Little Tinkers' at St Mary's Church Hall - Fridays from 10.30am (coffee is free!)

Kathie said...

Worcester Park library has activities for pre-schoolers and is generally a gem of a place for all ages. In the summer, Cuddington Recreation Ground for its dog-free well equipped playground and old-fashioned summer time picnics. If you like swimming, New Malden recreation centre has a shallow pool area away from the main pool and the Kingfisher Leisure Centre has a splash pool.

Tired of Dirty Looks said...

How lovely that the thought of a parent wanting to get some information on places to take their child in our area could be considered 'controversial'. It speaks volumes about how child-unfriendly this country is.

People who have a problem with mums and babies can just lump it. We have just as much a right to go out in public (yes, with our pushchairs and yes, at coffee shops -- shock horror!) as anyone else.

Anonymous said...

another good reason not to go to Costa !!

Minigee said...

There are also good mums and toddlers playgroups at St Matthias Church Hall (Wednesday morning) and Christchurch with St Philip (can't remember which mornings - I think it's twice a week). There are often things going on for children at Old Malden library too, there always used to be a music and story time session on Tuesday mornings, and the children's area has plenty of good books, cushions and toys and puzzles. Always nice for a quiet half hour.

I agree that WP library behind Pizza Express is good, they have lots of interesting sessions for mums/dads and little ones. I've seen everything there from baby massage to craft sessions, story time and baby signing.

Or just go for a good long walk in Nonsuch and stop at the cafe for tea and biscuits. Beautiful on a day like today. The playground at Cheam Park is good too - great big sandpit, good for picnics in the summer, but it can get very crowded in the holidays.

Chloe said...

Old Malden Libray - on a tuesday Baby Rhyme Time is at 10.30-11am, then in the afternoon 2.30-3pm is storytime.

Anonymous said...

I recently discovered the recreation ground at Motspur Park that you can access from the end of Green Lane (the path seems to be getting a bit muddy now so be warned). It has a nice looking play area for kids and a little paddling pool for the summer. I think there may be a cafe. There’s even crazy golf.

I also echo what people have said about WP Library being excellent, but with all the cuts coming, we need to use it or we may well loose it!

Anonymous said...

of course mothers have the right to go to coffee shops, but do they have the right to annoy other customers because they are too busy talking and the child is screaming most of the time - comon, play the game - go out and have fun but remember there are other people to consider and they don't want their coffee soured by screaming kids ! !

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more. I also went to H G Wells for lunch recently and had to put up with small kids running around the pub screaming. Surely it would just be good manners for parents to stop their children behaving like that?

G said...

Green Lane Primary host two stay and play sessions, Tuesdays and Thursdays.Call 0208 33007338 for times.
Everybody welcome.

BenjyP said...

In itself, isn't this actually a reflection on the lack of things for parents to do during the day that their only option outside of the house is to take them to coffee shops which in themselves are sometimes designed to be "child friendly" something quite different to an activity centre. I also sympathise with patrons of the coffee shops who want to have a pretentious breather in an overpriced cafe and not listen to a toddler crying.

Now I like the parents of screaming brats with nothing to do during the day, and I like the poncy patrons of coffee shops who seem to genuinely not have anything to do during the day(why else would they be in Costa at 10.30 in the morning during the week) but who do I like more. There's only one way to find out......

Fight!

Friday 26th November , Central Road 6-9pm
All proceeds raised will go to local charities.

Mike said...

I have lived in Worcester Park for four years now. In that time I have had two children (4 and 9 months) I find it unbelievable that an area absolutely over whelmed with young families and there is very little out there for us to do. Unless you hunt out these little gems to pass a small time in the day.
We need to utilise the old Marks and Spencer's site, sat derelict, for a large play/activity area with a small cafe inside where you can have a coffee at a reasonable price and allow your kids to have some safe fun, even get messy!

What happened to St James' (Hamptons) putting something back into WP??

Gordo's Neighbour said...

Mike,

You've got to open your eyes mate. There's lots for young kids out here - we moved to WP about 4 years ago too and have two under the age of 6. Lots of classes and playgroups, a great library (good place to get a sense of some of the classes for kids), a sports club with football and cricket right next to the train station, child friendly restaurants and coffeeshops... but the gem for the youngest ones has to be Mayflower Park (particularly when there's 6 inches of snow on the hill) and the Joseph Hood Memorial Grounds in Motspur Park. Walking along the back of Green Lane primary, through the fields where the riding school keeps the horses and on to the JHMGrounds with it's great playground and little forest reserve (on the left)... it's not Wimbledon Common but it will do nicely.

And of course, a short cycle/drive/bus ride away takes you to the swimming pools of North Cheam or New Malden, more libraries, more sports fields, Manor and Nonsuch Parks...

On the subject of child-friendly coffeeshops, try the Espresso shop linked to Avventura up the road. Great coffee and they love kids. Unfortunately, they've had to shut the child-play area on the insistence of their insurers.

Re St James, I live in the Hamptons and here's what I know about 'St James putting something back into WP'. The two most significant contributions they made were financial contributions in excess of a million to the immediately surrounding primary schools and the building of Mayflower Park (which as you'd imagine, St James would rather have built houses over that land. Mayflower Park is still private land and its upkeep is paid for by the residents of the Hamptons, but the public have access - in essence, it's a facility for the WP community paid for by St James and maintained at the cost of the homeowners in the Hamptons.

Finally, we can only dream of what we'd all like in place of the M&S (actually Mike, if you've a business idea - worth a short trying to 'guilt' St James into providing financing for it?), but my own personal nightmare would be another cafe/coffeeshop. What's wrong with what we have right now?

Geoff said...

Gordo's neighbour, you are actually correct but miss the point. Nothing that you have described is delivered to the doorstep of the parents and their kids. Also, to be of any use it has to be packaged but not so much that it becomes difficult to unwrap. That would only spoil all the excitement that will of course only last 5 minutes before they have "nuffin' to do".

Only instant gratification, on tap, is all that will do today.

Anonymous said...

Re Geoff - LOL. In that case, the moaners need to check their broadband connections and Sky contracts (again, WP comes out tops on that count).

And God help the next generation!

Anonymous said...

Geoff - you sound like a child yourself. Grow up.

Anonymous said...

I have heard a rumour that PizzaExpress worcester Park might be opening its doors early on Thursdays for 'mums coffee mornings'.Does anyone know anything about this??

mumofone said...

Centrals in the high street has a play area at the back for mums and little ones, you can  have a coffe while they play with the toys provided.

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