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The best child-friendly cafes in the local area

Posted on 10 May, 2018 by Sarah Hart

 

Going out for a coffee or lunch with little ones can either be an enjoyable experience or a logistical nightmare. It definitely helps if you can find a child-friendly cafe or restaurant that is equipped with high chairs, has a healthy and affordable kids menu and is welcoming to families. Hopefully this blog post will help you to pick a suitable place to enjoy with your kids and to suggest some new places to try out – any excuse for a cuppa and some cake!

coffee and cake with children in Tonbridge, Sevenoaks or Tunbridge Wells

Sevenoaks

Alice’s Tea Shop

Address: 114 St John’s Hill, Sevenoaks, Kent TN13 3PD

Website: www.alicessevenoaks.co.uk

Opening times: Monday to Friday, 8:30am-5pm and Saturday, 9:30am-4:30pm

This lovely little tea shop may look small from the outside, but it has hidden depths with a soft-play room at the back. The main tea shop has a little play area with books and toys, and you can pay a few of quid to let your kids loose in the small soft play room, which also has a few tables and chairs for parents to sit and supervise. There are often seasonal events going on and a number of baby and toddler classes – such as Hartbeeps, Musical Bumps and mother & baby yoga – run regularly here, too. Alice’s Tea Shop may named after tea, but it does a delicious hot chocolate with a choice of white, milk chocolate or dark. It also serves scrummy sausage rolls, light lunches, sandwiches, pastries and cakes, and has a varied kid’s menu with healthy snack pots, lunch boxes and child-friendly sandwich fillings.

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The Little Fawn Play Cafe at the Stag

Address: Stag Community Arts Centre, London Road, Sevenoaks TN13 1ZZ

Website: stagsevenoaks.co.uk

Opening times: Monday to Saturday, open from 10am

A hidden gem in the heart of Sevenoaks, the Little Fawn Cafe is a great find for parents with young children. The large cafe space is very family friendly and has a corner just for kids with books, toys, kids tables and chairs, and comfy sofas for the adults to relax on. Note: the cafe is welcoming to breastfeeding mums. There are plenty of tables and wooden high chairs, and there are baby change facilities on the same floor. The only downside is getting up there. You can either navigate the large open staircase (two flights of stairs) or parents with buggies can use the lift. This is a bit of a faff to get to and it is a small lift, but when you get upstairs there is plenty of space to park your buggy. The cafe serves hot and cold drinks, cakes, sandwiches, salads, jacket potatoes and soup, as well as a kid’s lunchbox option that includes sandwiches, crisps and a drink.

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Soft Play Cafe at Sevenoaks Rugby Club

Address: Sevenoaks Rugby Club, Knole Paddock, Plymouth Drive, Sevenoaks, Kent TN13 3RP

Website: www.thesoftplaycafe.co.uk

Opening hours: Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays school term-time ONLY, 9am-3.30pm

Based in Sevenoaks Rugby Club, the Soft Play Cafe is a brilliant place to let your kids run around and play, and it has free parking onsite for four hours. Dedicated to parents and active children under five, it has a soft-play area, mats and bouncy chairs for babies, loads of ride ons, as well as dressing up, a play kitchen and a range of toys and books. Everything is contained in one room, meaning you can sit and drink a coffee without worrying that your child has run off. There are comfortable sofas for mums who want to feed babies, as well as large tables and lots of IKEA highchairs. The cafe has hot and cold drinks and snacks, as well as light lunches. For kids, it does a lunch box and a few hot meals. There’s also free squash, water and fresh fruit available. We are big fans of owner Diane’s homemade cakes (orange rocky road is a favourite). There are baby change facilities, as well as free wipes and nappy bags. Entry is £3 per child and is just £2.50 per child if you have a LoveLocal card.

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child friendly cafes in Tonbridge, Sevenoaks or Tunbridge Wells

Tonbridge

The Clock House Baby Cafe

Address: 8 Barden Road, Tonbridge, TN9 1TX (On the road behind Tonbridge Station)

Website: www.theclockhousetonbridge.co.uk

Opening hours: Soft play area and toys are out Monday to Friday 9am-5pm and on Saturdays 9am-1pm (but do feel free to stay on for lunch).

From the outside, The Clock House looks like a trendy restaurant (which it is in the evenings). However, in the day it is a great space to come and have a coffee or lunch with your kids. On week days and Saturdays, half of the restaurant is given over to families, with a small soft-play area and lots of toys and books to keep your children entertained. The inside space is well kitted out for families with baby changing facilities, plenty of wooden high chairs and more than enough space to park a few pushchairs. And when the weather is nice there is an enclosed courtyard to sit in. From 9am until 12pm there is a lovely brunch menu that caters for children and adults, and after 12pm you can order off the main menu, which has sandwiches, burgers and larger dishes. The lunchtime kids menu is reasonably priced, with generous portion sizes. And if you are feeling naughty, there are a selection of cakes on the counter to choose from.

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Cafe Comma

Address: Christ Church, High St, Tonbridge TN9 1SG

Website: www.christchurchtonbridge.com

Opening hours: Tuesday mornings, term time ONLY, 9.30am-11.30am

Held upstairs at Christ Church, Cafe Comma is a free playgroup that also serves hot and cold drinks and snacks. Entry is free of charge and for a £3 donation you can get a toasted teacake or cookie, a hot drink AND a cold drink and snack for your child. There’s a specific area for babies and lots of different toys and activities for children up to age five. The large hall has space for at least five buggies, baby-change facilities downstairs and plenty of different toys, from dressing up to play kitchens and sticklebricks – there’s also a different craft activity each week. Cafe Comma is up two flights of stairs, but there is a lift right next to the stairs. You don’t have to be a member of the church to attend. Best of all, there’s a group of lovely helpers who will play with your children while you drink your coffee!

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65mm Coffee at The Old Fire Station

Address: The Old Fire Station, Castle Street, Tonbridge TN9 1BH

Website: www.tofstn.com

Opening hours: Monday to Sunday, 8.30am-4pm

This historic building is mainly used as a restaurant and for events in the evenings, but The Old Fire Station (TOFS) transforms into a coffee shop in the day time. It is a beautiful building that has been sympathetically restored and has lots of character – and also plenty of space for buggies. Coffee connoisseurs will love the artisan drinks served here and the selection of cakes will have even the most health-conscious parent tempted to grab a slice – an added bonus is the gluten-free selection of treats. The staff are really friendly and helpful, and even let the kids try on fireman’s helmets (If you ask nicely!). The tables are large and spacious, so perfect for bigger groups and there are plenty of highchairs to go around.

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Tunbridge Wells

The Little Play Cafe

Address: 142 London Road, Southborough, Kent TN4 0PJ

Website: www.thelittleplaycafe.co.uk/

Opening hours: 9am-4.30pm

Recently opened in April 2018, The Little Play Cafe is a coffee shop that serves home-cooked bistro quality food. It also has a free play area for children under five. It will be hosting daily nursery-nurse-led sessions from just 50p, such a baby sensory sessions, and unique events. The cafe serves snacks, breakfast and lunch, and has an extensive children’s menu, as well as coffee, tea and home-made cakes. It also has lots of healthy options, which is a refreshing change to ‘something with chips’. The soft-play is free for toddlers and the cafe even has the motto ‘the cafe you love… as much as your child’. The décor is bright, playful and quirky, and the cafe really is geared towards parents and children. A no brainer if you want to have a relaxed coffee or lunch with your friends and family.

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Manna Cafe

Address: Holy Trinity with Christ Church, High Street, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN1 1UT

Website: www.mannatw.co.uk

Opening hours: Monday to Saturday, 9am-5pm

Manna cafe is based in Christ Church in the High Street and is run by volunteers. It is child friendly and the staff make you feel very welcome. A massive bonus is that all the cafe’s profits go to charity, so you can justify going out for coffee or lunch with your friends on a regular basis and know that you are doing good. The cafe serves the usual hot drinks and snacks, but also has a Saturday breakfast menu and serves delicious lunches that are fresh, homemade and use fair-trade produce wherever possible. Manna cafe has plenty of space for buggies, provides highchairs, has decent baby-change facilities and lots of toys to keep toddlers entertained. This cafe is popular with the locals in Tunbridge Wells and can get quite busy at times, but that all adds to the friendly, community feel of this space.

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Creams Cafe

Address: 31-37 Grosvenor Road, Tunbridge Wells TN1 2AN

Website: www.creamscafe.com

Opening hours: Monday to Sunday, 11am-5pm

Newly opened at the beginning of 2018, Creams is a popular franchise with branches around the country. If you haven’t heard the hype, the ice-cream parlour sells mouthwateringly good sundaes, waffles, milkshakes and pretty much anything that will give your children a major sugar rush! The Tunbridge Wells branch is huge with retro decor and has literally every flavour of ice cream you can imagine. Once the kids have enjoyed their sweet treats, you can let them loose in the soft play area. Creams has a very casual atmosphere and is ideal for families with older and younger children alike. It is a great place to head for tea or coffee, or an afternoon treat, but does not serve savoury, lunch items.

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