How is it June already?! Pretty soon Ace will be eight months old and it’s blowing my mind. We’ll be planing his birthday party before we know it!
If you follow me over on Instagram you might have spied the ‘awards’ do my NCT friend threw for us all and heard the story of my ‘Off License’ title. I’ll pop it into a highlights box, but to summarise…
Not so baby friendly
About 18 months (when I was NOT baby friendly) I met one of my best friends and my two godsons at a soft play centre. It was her anniversary so I brought a bottle of fizz with me… as a gift, not for a sly tipple.
Anyway, I walk in, knowing that her 2 year old is letting off some steam in the play area, her 3 month old is snoozing in the pram and she’s enjoying a brew. I spy ‘her’ with her long dark hair to the back of the door, enjoying a chat with a group of other mums.
I coo over the baby, make myself noticed and slip the fizz into the bottom of the pram.
‘She’ turns around. Look of horror that my hand is in her pram comforting her son.
Yeah you guessed it- it wasn’t my friend and this wasn’t my godson.
Rushed apologies and I run off sharpish having to return moments later to retrieve the fizz from her pram.
I was mortified. She was horrified. And definitely thought we were cracking open the booze at 10am on a Tuesday. (Although if it was allowed this would make soft play much more bearable…)
So! Yesterday, we headed to something a bit nicer than the usual soft play centre. Something with decent coffee, scrummy cake and stylish decor, that I a glass of Pinot didn’t even enter my mind.
Ginger Monkey Play
This heaven is called Ginger Monkey Play Cafe and Boutique.
Located near Chester, a 40 minute drive from our home town, this little gem is the brainchild of an entrepreneurial mum and has been open for around four months.
A bright open space with parking immediately outside, the team were welcoming and attentive. And this stylish dogtooth chair got my attention immediately 🙈
We picked a quiet spot in the corner and started with two yummy lattes… they were needed. Ace is not longer the epic sleeper he once was 😬
Play space but not as you know it
It didn’t take long for the boys to spot the play zone and pretty much insist the coffees were best drank cold.
The play space is much bigger than I predicted from their Instagram pics. It’s filled with a variety of toys, and much to my surprise, there was lots to keep Ace entertained.
A shoe free zone, the flooring is soft play mats with brightly coloured wall art and chalkboard and mirror elements.
A short break from playing we settled down for lunch and some books for the boys, before another hours play. The food was quick, reasonable and tasty, a first for most play centres!! But of course my hands were too full to even sneak a quick snap!
Before we left there was time for a quick peek at the goodies on offer in the boutique space. I held back on buying all the Strong Girls Club bits, but in future I can’t say I’ll be as frugal!!
If you live local I’d definitely give it a go! With a mischievous energetic boy on my hands places like this are a god send already, so I’ll no doubt be sharing the havens I find.
If you have anywhere you’d suggest, I’d love to know!