Thursday 24 January 2013

A Review of The Mulberry Bush Cafe, Wilmslow

Playing on one of the rockers
Today, I visited the recently opened The Mulberry Bush Cafe in Wilmslow, Cheshire. I was so impressed that I thought I’d share it with all of you.

The Mulberry Bush Cafe is a family-friendly cafe. Many cafes claim to be family-friendly, but I certainly haven’t been to one as accommodating as The Mulberry Bush Cafe before. The idea behind the cafe is that it’s a place that serves quality food and drink in an environment where children can be entertained.

I'm sure most parents face the problem of who is going to enjoy the day better. If it’s the kids, you’re probably spending the afternoon in an overly bright, overly loud, soft play centre where you’ll be forced to eat soggy french fries that are impossible to enjoy. Or, you’re going to have lunch in a really great cafe, but you will have to take your entire toy box to entertain the little ones, and even then there’s no guarantee you’ll actually get to enjoy the meal you’ve just paid so much for. Neither of those options is great, and either way it can feel like you lost out.

The Wooden Play House
I had heard rumours of this new restaurant that claimed to service good food
and had a decent play area for children, and so today, my friend and I took our babies (maybe they’re actually toddlers now, but I can’t cope with saying that just yet) along to see what all the fuss was about. 

As we walked in from the street, we were greeted by the stocked bar. We went during the day, so we weren’t drinking, but I can imagine it’s a lovely place to enjoy a glass of wine in the evening. The downstairs has a small-ish play area, which at first we thought was the whole play area and felt a little cheated, but then we discovered the upstairs. Or as I call it, Ebony’s dream playroom. There are tables up there, so you can have your meal and keep an eye on your kids. About half of the room is dedicated to the play area, which is, quite honestly, amazing. There is a library area filled with books, and a table and stools nearby. The floor is filled with beautiful wooden rockers, and big soft animals to sit on. At the far end of the play area is the piece de resistance, the wooden play house. It’s huge. Well, huge for children. Not huge for me, I banged my head. Inside the wooden house is a very beautiful wooden kitchen that Ebony played with for a long time. 

Cooking up a storm
The play area looks beautiful with all the wooden toys, it’s very quaint and nice to look it. Ebony and Daisy both really enjoyed exploring the play area, riding the rockers, and chasing the other children out of the wooden house. 

So, the babies were happy, what about the food? I’m not really a fair person to judge soft play centres on their menu, because I’m vegan and my diet doesn’t seem to be catered for by any of the play centres near where I live. On Thursdays (soft play Thursday, the poorer, more depressing cousin of pub Thursday), I live on an exclusive diet of chips because that’s all I can ever seem to eat. But, at The Mulberry Bush Cafe they had a vegan option on the menu! I had to bite my lip to stop myself crying for joy. I had a falafel burger with sweet potato chips. It was amazing. AMAZING. Definitely a much better dining experience than the soft play centre where the chef looked close to punching my friend for asking for no coleslaw. 

Gourmet baby food
For children, they sell lunchboxes, kind of like happy meal boxes but filled with healthier food. Daisy seemed to enjoy her lunchbox, especially the cow mask which kept her entertained the whole way home. Ebony didn’t have a lunchbox because they weren’t very vegan friendly, so instead the chef made her up a plate of finger foods. Now, when I say finger foods you are probably just imagining a pile of carrot slices roughly thrown together. That’s not what she got. She got an array of fruit and vegetables, on a rectangular plate, in fan shapes. Gourmet baby led weaning, if you will.
The food was amazing, the staff were really friendly, and the babies loved the play area. If you live locally, I strongly recommend visiting The Mulberry Bush Cafe with your family!

I shall definitely be going back.

This is not a sponsored post.

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