Our Visit to Bertie & Boo: Café with Crèche
Yesterday we went to Bertie and Boo in Clapham Junction which is a cafe with a crèche. Here’s a bit of a review of our visit.
Here’s what they say:
“Bertie and Boo Restaurant and Play, opened in the Summer of 2015, can be found on Northcote Road in SW11. Bertie and Boo thought it would be a great idea to open a quirky, fun, family-friendly restaurant that serves great food for all ages.
The master plan was to create an adjoining magical play room that is a safe, monitored environment where children can run around and have fun in whilst mums and dads take a little time to themselves, meet friends or family for coffee or lunch and are able to relax and enjoy good food and good company without worrying about their little ones.”
Why we went
We wanted to meet up with family for my mother-in-law’s birthday, we wanted Leo to be involved, and ideally we wanted to meet somewhere that would suit everyone. Although we don’t live that far away from them, the trains and roads are rubbish so it made sense to meet in the middle rather than deal with that. We were coming from Twickenham, my mother-in-law from Horsham, and my brother-in-law and fiancée from Streatham… so Clapham Junction really is a great place for all of us to get to. However Leo is currently at an age and temperament whereby sitting in a highchair will entertain him for a maximum of 30 minutes. Not exactly much of a chance to catch up with family… so when I heard about this cafe with a crèche I thought it could be perfect. We didn’t want to go to a noisy soft play with dodgy food, yet we didn’t want a cafe with nowhere Leo could run around.
Taking the train from Twickenham where we live to Clapham junction takes around 25 minutes, from there it was a 15 minute walk down Northcote Road. Leo sat on my lap and watched the world go by in the train- no way he’d stay in his pushchair without a big paddy and shouting match now.
Getting a table
You can’t pre-book tables according to their website, so we crossed our fingers and went for it- we thought we might miss the Sunday morning rush as we arrived for 11:30 - which was right- it was quite busy when we arrived but within 20 minutes, most people had gone leaving the cafe and play area quite quiet, we started on a small table and moved to a larger table for 6 people when this happened.
The menu offered a good range of breakfast and brunch options as well as more lunch-type meals like burgers and soups. We all opted for the brunch options having Eggs Benedict / Toast and bacon salads. All very much enjoyed and washed down with coffee.
The crèche runs whereby under twos you need to either stay with or keep checking them (not a big place so easy to do) or over twos you can fully leave. There were a good selection of toys (of course Leo went for the cars and toy garage) with building blocks, dinosaurs, a ball pit, a story den, and lots more we didn’t directly use. The staff were very friendly (and patient). I was able to leave Leo and keep popping my head around the corner to check he was OK- he was quite happy playing for around half an hour or so before I went to collect him to have lunch. After lunch he insisted on going back in!
Does it work?
You may think it sounds too good to be true- a nice cafe you can go and take your toddler and have just a little bit of time to talk without the usual pauses in chat where you’re responding to them throwing food or climbing out of the highchair etc. It was a great balance of spending time with him, plus time for the adults to have a proper chat!
Why aren’t there more places like this?!
Good question! I can’t believe that someone hasn’t opened something like this in the Twickenham / Richmond area where there are many young families who love a good brunch and strong coffee, yet find it difficult to do with an energetic toddler. I do think more of these sorts of things will start coming to the high street soon though as the traditional retail outlets. Check out this post by the brilliant Twickerati if you’re a local interested in hearing about Twickenham high Street updates!
After the meal- the park is on your doorstep
Bertie and Boo is situated close to both Clapham Common and Wandsworth Common so we went for a walk around Wandsworth common (slightly closer) to let Leo burn off some energy and see the ducks and dogs.
If you’re in SW London with a wriggly toddler who doesn’t mind being put in a crèche, highly worth a visit!!