There are a few things which can either make or break mummy and baby's coffee outing in London. In general, mums need to be able to breastfeed comfortably, heat up baby bottles without charge, find room for prams and enjoy their coffee without feeling like they are imposing on other customers and members of staff, even if their baby begins to cry which is something that no mother can ever plan for. In order to feel completely at home in your local coffee shop, take note of some of the best baby-friendly London cafes and feel free to add a few comments at the bottom if you have more information or personal experiences to share with other new-to-the-job mothers in London.
Large cafes are best
Unless you know of a special coffee shop close to where you live, it is always best to opt for a large cafe chain instead of popping into a tiny, quaint establishment when loaded up to the eyeballs with baby gear, shopping and a hungry mouth to feed. The large cafe chains always have more room to accommodate you and your pram and the chairs are normally a lot more comfortable. In particular, the Costa Coffee chain in Muswell Hill (376 Muswell Hill Broadway) tends to draw a heavy new mother and baby crowd. Getting the buggy through the door is a synch, getting into the disabled toiled with your buggy, baby and shopping all at once is easy (even double buggies) and at the back of the cafe there is a much quieter section which is the perfect place for breastfeeding time.
Related: Costa Coffee chain in Muswell Hill
That Place on the Corner
That Place on the Corner, in Newington Green, is quite simply a children’s cafe. There is a dressing up cupboard, a really tasty kids menu, books for children to read and a large play area to keep them entertained. Every afternoon is “story time” and there are art, music and movement clubs for young children to participate in too. The cafe is run by two mums who know exactly what the new mum needs and this is why the space is so perfect for making friends and enjoying the first, important baby months with your little gem.
Jacksons Lane is a multi-arts venue in Highgate. The building is beautiful. It is a striking red-brick gothic church conversion and houses, among other things, a 160 capacity theatre, dance rehearsal studio and a cafe bar. Why is it so fantastic for mums looking for a place to enjoy a coffee with their tiny ones in tow? The secret to the wonder of Jacksons Lane is that mums will feel like they get more than a coffee and a place to sit down, relax and breastfeed in peace. You get to meet other people interested in the arts and you get to see what kinds of programmes are available. What’s more, as your baby grows, Jacksons Lane will have interesting artistic programmes for them to join in with, which means that your coffee break can become even more peaceful as time goes by.
Cibo Cafe – Mamas and Papas
Central London and Regent Street shopping does not have to end just because you have a new born baby to look after. The very chic cafe on the second floor of the Mamas & Papas flagship store on Regent’s Street is the perfect answer for a mum looking to sit down for a coffee in peace and quiet. Everything in this cafe is freshly prepared. It is a special treat for mum with lots of low fat options on offer if you are making a concerted effort to get your figure back. The baby food menu is also devised with health and vitality in mind. Everything on the menu is organic, which means that your tiny one (if already moving onto solids) will be getting the best of the best in terms of nutrition, even when out shopping with mum along the busy streets of London town.
Dan & DeCarlo Cafe
This lovely Italian cafe opposite East Finchley station is another great spot for the tired mum with a hungry baby to breastfeed. It’s one of the nicest alternatives to the chain store cafe if you really feel like escaping the grips of the cafe monopolies every now and then. There is plenty of room for a couple of buggies, they serve babyccinos and toasted fingers for those mums with babies on solids if you want to stay for lunch too. The staff are very welcoming to new mums and their needs and the large communal table at the front of the cafe has some really great books to share with your baby whilst you take a quick break from the many duties of the day.
The Arts Depot opened in October 2004 and it has become a thriving success. Located on 5 Nether Street, London N12, this unique visual and performing arts venue is one of the very best additions to the cafe circuit in North London for new mums. As your baby grows, he or she will be able to participate in the fun play activities, or enjoy some of the family performances and puppet shows that the place organizes for children under the age of 5. However, whilst your baby is still a ball of love in arms, the bright and airy nature of this cafe is one of the best ways to revitalize your energy and rejuvenate your spirit in the middle of the day.
Combine your coffee break with a visit to the Tower of London
Many mums in London use their maternity times well and really begin to enjoy the time away from the pressures of work. One of the best ways to really take advantage of living in London with a new born baby is to get out and see it. The Tower Wharf Cafe is a great place to stop off at after a visit to The Tower of London one day during the week. Not only are there fantastic views of Tower Bridge from the cafe, particularly in the summer time, but the cafe is very friendly and accessible to mums with prams, and hungry babies.
Related: Coffee and The Tower of London
Cafe Rouge – South Bank
On a similar note, make the Cafe Rouge on the South Bank the place to stop off at when you and your baby enjoy everything that the banks on the south side of The Thames have to offer in terms of culture, history and art. The Cafe Rouge at, Unit 3-5 Hays Galleria Counter St, is a popular French cafe / restaurant chain where mums with young babies are more than welcome at any time of day. The staff in this branch are very happy to warm up bottles or baby food and there is an area upstairs where new mums can change their babies’ nappies in peace and quiet. Get your baby interested in the arts from the earliest moment possible and revitalise your creative senses at the same time.
Related: Cafe Rouge on The South Bank
Frizzante is an Italian deli/cafe, located in the Hackney City Farm at 1a Goldsmiths Row, which won the Time Out London Award for Best Family Restaurant in 2004 – 2005 and things have not changed since that time. This cafe continues to be a wonderful place for mums and their babies to enjoy a coffee, a late and long breakfast or a tasty lunch. As your baby grows, you should really introduce them to the wonderful home-made Italian ice-cream on offer too. Don't forget, the Hackney City Farm has plenty on offer for you and your baby too, which means that your coffee break can be combined with a fun activity for the pair of you to enjoy together.
Related: Italian Coffee at Frizzante
Lazy Sally’s Cafe
Lazy Sally’s Cafe is the perfect name for this small and intimate cafe in Cherry Tree Wood, London N2, which is managed by a local owner, Sally Ann Wigfield. The best thing about this particular baby-friendly London cafe is that all the food served is fresh and organic. This means that when your baby is enjoying a nutritious meal of breast-milk, you can stock up on the nutrients that your body needs to be able to reproduce the best kind of milk for your baby at the same time.