If cafe operators want to know how to create a child friendly cafe then I suggest they pop along to Pages Cafe in West Ryde. This cafe ticks all of the boxes when it comes to child friendly dining standards. The cafe is by no means hip or happening, but seriously do you need that when dining out with children? No - you just need decent food, decent coffee, decent service and something to occupy your kids, so that you can enjoy said food and coffee in relative peace.
So let's go through the boxes shall we:
Kids menu - big tick - it's extensive, quite healthy and cheap! I was dining with only one of my boys and I was so happy to see that I could get a very ordinary ham sandwich - because my little bull loves them. The fact that it was only $3.00 made this Mumma very happy!!
His dessert treat was a frog in the pond ($3.50) and everything was washed down with an organic apple juice popper ($3.50). He was one happy little chap and I was one happy Mumma, he just dined for $10.00 and there wasn't a hot chip in sight!
Babycinos - tick - $1.50 and they come with a marshmallow.
High chairs - tick - there are loads of them.
Kids play things - tick - a big enclosed playground is located outside and undercover. There are tables and chairs out here for you to sit on and enjoy your coffee and meal whilst the kids are safe in the playground. The only problem I could see here would be on a hot summer's day, it may get a tad warm outside. Also on Wednesdays at 10.00am, they have a sing-along session in the playground where everyone is welcome.
Baby change table/toilets - tick - they are located inside the book shop (see last paragraph).
Pram friendly - tick - there is plenty of room both inside and out for prams of all shapes and sizes.
Kid friendly staff - tick - everyone was so nice to us. You order at the counter and take a number. The friendly staff bring your order to your table. Service was quick and efficient, I think we waited no longer than 5 minutes for our meals and the cafe was fairly full during the lunch time that we dined.
Parking - tick - there is a car park as well as loads of street parking.
So the kids are well taken of - what about you? I'm happy to report that it's all good. The Lavazza coffee is really well made and all of the meals served are simple cafe fare but really delicious. We had BLATS which were large and served on wholesome multigrain bread. Other items on the menu are sandwiches, nachos and burgers - everything cost less than $15.00. By the way, there is free WIFI if you aren't interested in chatting to your dining companion!
I should also mention here that Pages participate in the Suspended Coffee movement. This fantastic cause allows you to buy a coffee for someone in need who may not be able to afford one themselves. So maybe consider doing a good deed when you have a coffee at Pages.
Pages Cafe is actually located in the same building as Koorong Books - a Christian book store. Now if you're not religious, please do not let this put you off. The staff of the cafe are incredibly nice people doing an incredibly good job of running a cafe. So if any of you are non believers, don't think that they will try to convert you. The book shop is worth visiting. I popped in once I had finished my lunch for a snoop, and I found some fantastic Christmas activity books for the little bulls, so I suggest you have a little snoop too x
28 West Parade, West Ryde NSW
Open Monday - Saturday 8.30am - 4.30pm