I never win anything. Not a dot except that is for this week when Mrs View from a Daddy won the opportunity to try out a new child friendly café that has opened in the nearby city of Lichfield. And, although it wasn’t me that won – I was going to be a claimant in the prize stakes – yes siree! Those of you who have followed the blog for a while will know that I’m not keen on soft play. In fact, I dread entering the places but this one promised to be better allowing only those below 5 years of age to use the facilities and small enough for you to be able to see your little one. Previews of the interior hinted at something fresher, cleaner and much more appealing than the usual places.
Our table was booked for a brunch slot (you can book online) and directions to it were easy to follow. A preview of the menu suggested we were in for a treat so despite my soft play dread, I was keen to make my selection from the breakfast menu – I had saved myself all morning to make sure I enjoyed it. Rumour has it that those up before me had already noshed on pancakes and chocolate spread but I’d opted for a lie in and my offerings had already been snaffled so I was more than ready for a tasty treat.
We were warmly greeted as we entered the Little Green Frog Café, by host and family man behind the new venture, Ben. Quickly shown to our table that overlooked the soft play zone (a good spot), we were given the low down on how it all worked. Kids (up to 5) can play for an hour and a half at a cost of £3.50; this is added to your bill to save on faffing with separate payments. Included in the charge is access to soft play, which is just big enough for the little ones to get around and enjoy without fear of being barged over by bigger kids. There are also play activities that take place which the children can get involved with too such as crafting or singing. A programme will be available each week and you can book a table in the café to coincide with whatever activity you fancy or you can just pop in. We were a party of four (well 3 and a bit) but much larger groups were being hosted too so the team is all set up to meet your needs big or small.
Our order was swiftly taken at our table so we could settle and suss out the setting. There’s plenty of choice on the drinks menu: smoothies, an assortment of coffees and teas, fresh juice and your usual fruit shoots for this little ones. Delightful looking cakes and tray bakes as well as lunches are on offer but we were earlier enough for the breakfast menu. There is an adult and a child’s menu available. The Little Lady opted for more pancakes – no surprise (these come with a choice of accompaniments such as honey; soft fruit; Nutella etc.) and I had my favourite a good old bacon sandwich. I was pleased to be offered smoked or unsmoked bacon suggesting some care was going to be taken over the catering. The choice of amazing looking cakes in domed covered stands also served to reassure me that the food was going to be good. I wasn’t to be disappointed.
While the food was being prepared, the play began. Our Little Lady is 3 and she loved it. Socks are a must so don’t forget them when planning a visit. There’s an interactive wall for the smaller children, the usual ball pit and slides and space for playing with free standing soft shapes for the older ones. You are responsible for your smalls when they play so you need to factor this into your visit. We had a struggle dragging the Little Lady away as she had so much fun sliding and tumbling around but we promised a return visit and just about managed to coax her out.
Our food was ‘delicious’ in the words of a three year old. The pancakes were devoured with no time wasted; our bacon sarnies were served on fresh bread with plenty of filling. The cost is comparable to other cafes locally but as it’s freshly made, it certainly has the edge.
The space is open plan and bright which makes a refreshing change. The colour scheme is bright and there’s plenty of room to move around the tables. There is buggy park, high chairs and booster seats so you can be assured that you will all be comfortable. If you fancy something a bit quieter, there is a seating area for reading in Caleb’s Corner.
Now to the practical bits… the loos. Mrs View From a Daddy did a little skip when she came back as she was pleased to see that in the adult toilets not only are there baby changing facilities but there’s a cot too where you can place your wriggler when you just need your hands to be free (if you know what I mean). The children’s toilets are all low set to avoid any unnecessary struggling and climbing and there are steps for them to be able to reach the sinks. Changing facilities are also available in here too.
The café is breast feeding friendly so nursing moms can sit back and enjoy their food and drinks too without the fear of glares or sneaky glances. ‘When you gotta feed, you gotta feed!’.
This week, the Little Green Frog cafe sees its preview for competition winners. A chance for the friendly and approachable team to settle into the swing of things but by the looks of it, they are well on their way to having a great little place where you can go to grab that coffee or lunch. We’ve had some interesting experiences from other establishments in Lichfield when children have been in tow but this place is designed just for families like ours. In the heart of the city, this is great little spot for the littlest of dinners and their grown ups. Well done Little Green Frog Café – we’ll be back, that is, if you can fit us in!
More information can be found at www.littlegreenfrog.co.uk