Sunday, 14 July 2013

West Oxford Community Centre Cafe

I've been going here since it re-opened.  We often go on a Friday lunchtime after Hilary's Music in the main hall (which I love!).
It's a small cafe and, on a Friday, is usually packed with children and babies which is loads of fun.  Mummy says it might not be quite such fun for everyone, but that it's a bit quieter on other days of the week and other times.

There are usually 4 or 5 things on the menu to choose from and always lots of vegetarian food and a special meal for children.  Sometimes I have that, but sometimes I have my own soup or share Mummy's.  My favourites recently have been the pasta (with yummy homemade sauce), a salad with halloumi, egg and olives and soup.  The cakes are also lovely.  There are often vegan cakes and things are marked for people who want gluten free food.

There are plastic cups and straws, water out on every table and little vases with flowers which are good fun to play with.  I like to look at them through a magnifying glass to see if there are any tiny snails on them. I haven't found one yet though.

There are plenty toilets and baby changing - and the best thing is that when you've finished eating, there is a massive green park to run around and a play park with swings and a slide!

This is one of my favourite places for lunch.

Baby / child friendly ratings
Changing: 4/5 - Baby changing provided, but if you use disposable nappies you need to go and hunt for a bin outside.
Seating: 5/5 plenty high chairs or normal plastic chairs - outside seating when it's warm enough
Food: 5/5 - varied, tasty and a good price
Atmosphere: 5/5 - especially on a Friday when all my friends are there
Overall baby/ child friendliness: 4/5 - Marked down slightly for the new community centre policy of no buggies - there is very little sheltered space to leave them outside and it isn't helpful if you have a sleeping baby

Cornerstone (Didcot)

Mummy got a bit excited about going here.  She said she loves the band we were going to see.  There are also lots of family shows although we haven't tried these out.

We sat towards the back of the theatre, which has tiered seats so I could see even over the tall man in front of me.  That meant we could leave quickly when I had to have a shout or the baby felt like a cry.  Mummy thought that was quite handy, although I didn't see why other people would mind me shouting.  Anyway, there is a lift up to the 2nd floor, which is the level for the back of the theatre and a big hallway if you need a run around during the interval (or even the show itself).

The bar has lots of seating and serves a fine glass of milk.  There is good baby changing (my little sister tells me) and plenty toilets - toddlers can't always wait for very long...

Baby / child friendly ratings
Changing: 5/5 
Seating: 3/5 - the seats that flip up and down are really good fun, but Mummy thought it wasn't a great idea to play with them during the show.  
Food: The cafe does lots of yummy looking food, but we didn't try it -watch this space!
Atmosphere: 5/5 - the staff were lovely and offered to find me some coloured pencils and paper for drawing
Overall baby / child friendliness: 4/5 - Can't wait to try the shows for children!

Burton Taylor Theatre

I have been to a couple of shows recently with my Mummy and little sister.  She just sleeps, but it's quite handy when she tests out the babyness of the place for me.  You just can't expect a 3 year old to lower her dignity by testing out a baby changing mat!

Anyway, there are plenty family friendly productions at the BT (that's what Mummy calls it) and we've seen the theatre set up with tiered seating and cushions at the front and also with lots of beanbags and cushions just over the floor.

The great thing is that if you arrive early for a family show, there is a little room with books and toys where you can wait.  It's available after the show too.

The theatre itself is small, which makes the action of the show immediate and makes interaction easier.  A great venue for small children (the baby just slept through!)

Baby / child friendly ratings
Changing: 5/5 - Baby changing available
Seating: 5/5 - especially when there are beanbags - great for little bottoms and babies to chill out
Food: none
Atmosphere: 5/5 - friendly staff and extra points for the waiting room
Overall baby / child friendliness: 5/5 - Book a show now!