by Rhiane Kirkby
Coffee has always been my friend, but since becoming a mum it’s become more of a lifeline. Ironic, then, that just when I need my daily fix more than ever, some of my local coffee shops have become out of bounds due to my ‘tank’ of a double buggy and the children within it.
But where there’s a will, there’s a way, and I have managed to find some great parent and child places in and around Chiswick—and others you should save for your precious ‘me’ time. Here’s my round-up of buggy friendly coffee shops in Chiswick:
Rhythm and Brews
A quirky vinyl café with lots of character, a good atmosphere and friendly staff. Space for buggies but not the most baby-friendly place mainly due to the attitudes of the other clientele—many of whom go there to work. If you’re alone with your baby or even with a friend it’s fine, but I wouldn’t suggest going in a big group. There are comfy seats, a really good selection of teas, coffees, cakes and sandwiches and, as the name suggests, music. Pick a vinyl and they’ll add it to their playlist. Oh, and if you’re looking for a place to unwind after a testing day, they have live music nights and, perhaps more importantly, a licensed bar!
A gem of a coffee shop opposite Gap on Chiswick High Road with an excellent selection of delicious breakfasts, lunches, sweet treats and almost over-friendly staff. Sadly, it can be tricky to negotiate the entrance with a pram and there’s absolutely no chance of getting in if there’s a queue. If you do make it to a seat, there’s a big fish tank to bring down your stress levels and/or occupy an inquisitive toddler. A great place to unwind with a small baby or on your own.
They say good things come in threes and that’s certainly true of Laveli, with bakeries in Shepherd’s Bush, Acton and Chiswick. The latter is a good option for the summer months as there’s plenty of outside seating on which to enjoy their small but perfectly formed array of freshly baked goods, sandwiches and salads. They are generally very child-friendly and it is possible to get a pram inside when it’s not too busy, but best to avoid peak times. The Chiswick branch is also perfectly positioned so you can grab a takeaway on your way to the parks around Acton Green.
Despite being showered with a bowl of garlic mushrooms on my first visit (not part of a regular initiation ceremony, so I’m told!) this is a good option if you’ve got a small baby and/or are buggy-free for the day. It’s a step up from your average coffee shop with a great selection of delicious food and drink—go there for breakfast or lunch and, trust me, you won’t be disappointed. Also somewhere to bear in mind for those rare evenings off—there’s a great menu, bar and a weekly cinema night.
Hack and Veldt Delicatessen
I’m told by my coffee-loving husband that here you’ll find the best in Chiswick. Sadly, the size of the shop doesn’t really lend itself to a ‘mummy meeting place’, but there’s always the takeaway option (both hot and iced) and you can even buy the beans to take home. There’s plenty on offer to tickle your taste buds too—cheeses, sandwiches, salads, soups and, with a good selection of craft beers, ciders and wines, you can’t really go wrong!
So there you have it—my pick of Chiswick’s coffee shops—but if space and baby-change facilities are your top priority, there are other options. You can always be sure of a warm welcome at Côte Brasserie on Turnham Green Terrace. The staff there are beyond friendly and the coffee’s good too. Le Pain Quotidien is a favourite with NCT groups, as is Chiswick Fire Station (read our review here). Kitchen and Pantry have comfy leather seats for feeding and keeping toddlers contained, and I’ve always found Sam’s, now Foxlow, to be very welcoming, plus it has a baby change you can actually fit yourself and a double buggy into! Finally, if the great outdoors is what you’re after, look no further than the award-winning café at Chiswick House, which comes with the added bonus of being dog-friendly.