One of the big ticks I give a cafe is if it has a baby change table. I believe that if this is included in the toilet facility at a cafe then they are seriously child friendly. Some cafes have one of those wall mounted types, others have one similar to what you might find in your own home. I have to say however that in my travels I have never seen a bathroom facility kitted out as well, as the one I found at the Outside the Square Cafe in Mudgee.
This small but very popular cafe in down town Mudgee not only has a baby change table in its toilet but it also had a kid size toilet for little bottoms to use! It has freshly laundered hand towels, disinfectant spray with wipes to clean the change table with before and after use, enough space for you and other children to be in there and lots of bin space for soiled nappies etc. So top marks to the owners.
Another thing that gets a big tick is if a cafe opens early, as we all know children like to get up with the mud larks (well mine do). Sometimes however this can work against a cafe especially if their staffing is not correct. When we arrived at Outside the Square just a little after 7.30am on a weekday morning we could see that a few tables were already occupied. We walked in and sat down at a table near to where the little kids play area was. One very busy waitress was serving the other tables and there was also a cook in the kitchen. I'll just say here that it took a very long time to get a menu and get served and by this time the cafe was full to bursting point with customers and there was only was waitress to deal with it all - she was frazzled - and I completely understand why.
The food and the coffee (Tobys Estate) were all very good and hence why the cafe has such a good reputation in Mudgee. The little bulls had toast ($4) and kids size milkshakes ($2.50), which were served in a sensible small plastic cup for breakfast. They also serve kid sized smoothies, fresh juices and thick shakes for $3.80. At lunch time you can order a Kids Snack Tray: a choice of sandwich, fruit, fresh popcorn, small juice and a sweet treat for eight bucks which I think is is great value.
For adults they serve the usual breakfast and lunch staples and they were all reasonably priced for the portions served. Friends who live in the area had told us that they serve the best coffee in Mudgee and I think they are correct. By the time we left the line for takeaways was half way down the street!
Outside the Square also doubles as a shop, the items for sale are fair trade crafts items and all very cute, just be careful that your kiddliwinks don't mistake these for toys to play with whilst you are eating your meal. To occupy your kids, let them loose on the blackboard wall, our boys spent ages mucking around on this.There is also a sweet small table for little ones to sit at and enjoy their meal.
There is seating both inside and out at Inside the Square. There isn't much room for prams so make sure you bring bub in a sling or carrier. You could possibly sit outside if you have a pram with you but this is on a busy street and cars reverse park into near where the tables are, so the fumes could over power the aroma of your coffee!
Once you have finished your meal if you need to give your kiddliwinks are decent run around head on down to Lawson Park in Short Street. This beautiful old park had a great playground, loads of picnic spots and loads of space to run around.
Next time you are in Mudgee, or even if you are just passing through on your way to the Western plains Zoo at Dubbo, make sure you take time for a pit stop and coffee at Outside the Square.
83 Mortimer St Mudgee NSW 2850
02 6372 4260
Open Mon - 7am - 5pm; Sun 7.30am - 4pm