Recent Mummies and Daddies of Bristol – this one is for you. I’m going to dive in at the deep end here, no messing. Let’s be truthful, looking after a baby is TOUGH
Yes, you have a miraculous little human you love more than anything else in the world. Becoming a parent is bloomin’ brilliant, and without doubt the best thing you have done with your life
But the same time, parenting can be can be an exhausting, worrisome and lonely place. The sleep deprivation alone makes your body, quite literally, ache with tiredness. Every day it seems almost impossible to even leave the house, let alone having had time to wash or brushed hair. Plucking your eyebrows? Forget about it. Just grow a fringe or wear a large hat.
I wholeheartedly believe that practising a little ‘self-care’ and doing something for YOU is immensely important to Mum and Dads wellbeing. After all, you can’t pour from an empty jug, can you?
So, here’s my answer: TEA AND CAKE (Brought to you, and drunk while hot. I know… WHAT. A. LUXURY.) Luckily for us Bristolians there are loads of places that are accommodating to the needs of tired Mummies and Daddies. These places have been recommended by hundreds of fellow Bristolian parents, so you can GUARANTEE the following essential criteria will be met:
- Space for buggies
- Seats comfy enough to lounge in for hours (and quite possibly have a quick nap, should the opportunity arise…)
- Clean baby changing facilities
- Staff who can bring you food when the only communication you have made with them is a series of binks, winks and eyebrow waggles. (Because he sleep-thief has finally fallen asleep on your chest, and you daren’t move or talk)
- Other adult humans who you can talk to, and who won’t judge you if you decide you need wine with your third slice of cake.
- Something to occupy any older children you have in tow. Because you guys with more than one child deserve a bloody medal.
As an added bonus, LOTS of these places are ‘Breastfeeding Friendly’. Of course, it is 100% legal to whip out ya ‘mammaries to feed your child wherever you damn well please in this country. *Quite rightly too*. Yet it can still be quite a daunting prospect to some new mums, and some eateries make it easier and more comfortable than others. The list below was put together by hundreds of Bristol mums (I love you ladies), who have been welcomed in all these places
Important note: But whether you are a Mummy, Daddy, Boober or Bottler, we ALL deserve cake – so this list is for EVERYONE
The Milk Shed Baby Cafe
Address: 26 North Street, Bristol BS3
This café is a comfortable home from home for new parents, where you can enjoy so much more than delicious cakes, snacks and drinks. The Milk Shed runs classes, workshops and support groups from pregnancy through to first steps and beyond, and is the perfect spot to make some new friends.Going the extra mile to support and empower new mums, they run a Breastfeeding Support Group every Monday, and have the aid of a Lactation Consultant once per month.
The Faraway Tree Cafe
Address: 136 Church Road, Bristol BS5
This cosy and relaxed little café is the sort of place I would get excited about visiting pre-children, so its wonderful that its family friendly. The food is superb; comforting, bright and uplifting, it always puts a smile on my face. While the cakes are delicious, its hard to ignore the main menu, so my advice is to arrive hungry! They have a MAGICAL little ‘kids play area’ at the back of the café, choc full of games, toys, books and even an exquisite giant fish costume. There’s plenty to keep them occupied while you tuck into some grub – perfect! Plenty of locals can contest this is the perfect spot to visit with babies and children. Recently the Faraway Tree scooped up second place for ‘Best Family Friendly Restaurant’ at the 2018 Bristol Good Food Awards.
The Orchard Coffee and Co
Address: Clouds Hill Road, Bristol BS5
A very family friendly and community-oriented serving up truly scrummy food.The menu is hearty and comforting, featuring plenty of things (like toasties and tapas) that you can eat with one hand – because this is the only way we get to eat, right? They have a toy area to occupy toddlers, and kind staff who are happy to lend their arms for those mad moments when one pair is not enough!
The cakes and just heavenly. Take a peek at their Instagram. To quote another Orchard enthusiast, ‘You will want to lick your screen!’.
Address: Paintworks, Bath Road BS4
The casual dining area is the perfect spot for a ‘group meet’; lots of large comfy sofas, and plenty of space for buggies, nappy bags, and all the other stuff you carry with you these days to keep one tiny human alive. There are loads of comfy sofas centred around coffee tables, and plenty of space for buggies. Sink into your seat and share some delicious pizza, or eat a whole one, (why not?!) with its industrial feel and eclectic décor, you still feel like you are somewhere grown-up and trendy.(And it’s a stone’s throw from the beautiful Arnos Vale for a post-cake stroll).
Windmill Hill City Farm Cafe
Address: Philip Street, Bristol BS3
This award-winning community café is located in the heart of Windmill Hill City Farm. The café reflects the ethos of the Farm; offering home-cooked, carefully sourced food, with lots of produce coming from the farm itself. Offering cakes, salads, frittatas, homemade sausage rolls and toasties, the menu is colourful, healthy and delicious. The kid’s menu is varied and juts as exciting as the main menu. For older kids there are books and a play area to run around in, meaning plenty of time for you to finish off that chocolate brownie.
Home from Home Café
Address: Stanton Drew, Bristol BS39
Located in historical village on Stanton Drew, in the picturesque Chew Valley, is this summertime* treat.
Lizzie (the owner) has a passion for baking and good company, and so she brought her dream to life and made a true ‘home from home’. She has lovingly created a relaxed space where family and friends can meet and enjoy the amazing views whilst enjoying a hot drink and cake. Children are free to explore and play in the naturally designed play area, and perhaps cool down with an ice-cream after running around in all that fresh air.
Created by a mother, for other mothers. If the sun is shining this place wins EVERY TIME. *please note – its only open during the spring and summer, so be sure to keep an eye on the facebook page for updates….
Baby Club @ Everyman Cinema
Address: Whiteladies Road, Bristol BS8
Don’t let the name fool you, you are NOT in for 120 minutes of Peppa Pig…Baby Club is a weekly daytime screening showing the latest (grown-up) release, where you can take babies under 12 months. (And nobody will mind if they cry, babble or poo!) This is a great place to unwind when baba is still at the sleepy/insatiable feeding stage. The lights are dimmed, the sound is softened, and a ticket includes a hot drink and a slice of cake. Genius! This is perfect for the days when you really need to get out of the house but haven’t got the capacity to have conversations or make eye contact.
Looking for even more places to dine?
Check out this list of Child Friendly Places in Bristol