By Marie-Claire McGlade
There’s a new kid on the block in Highbury and it is the stuff of many parents’ dreams. Imagine a small but perfectly formed and spotlessly clean soft play; a gorgeous selection of books, toys and jigsaws; and cake from an award-winning café. Add in really warm and welcoming service and you have the Little Highness Play Café on Highbury Park.
The family team behind the Highness Café and Tea Rooms, voted Time Out London’s most loved café 2016, have opened a baby sister café just a stone’s throw away firmly aimed at kids and parents. You can relax with breakfast, cake or lunch (or in my case, try to stay for all three in one day!) while the little ones are free to bounce around in the soft play area or play with the lovely range of toys. No need to worry about disapproving looks from other diners while the kids run or crawl around on the floor. The set-up is particularly great if you have a little one who really isn’t happy sitting at a table for long—you can put them in the soft play while you wait for food to arrive and again afterwards so you can linger over that cake.
There is an array of delicious pastries, cakes and breakfasts on offer alongside great tea and coffee. If you are trying to err on the slightly healthier side, they have a range of tasty sandwiches and salads as well as gluten-free and vegan treats.
Nes, the co-owner and a Cordon Bleu chef, has a one-year-old daughter and you can see the care and attention she has lavished on the decor. The toilets and baby-changing facilities are spotless and there are ample high chairs and buggy-parking facilities. They even have sippy cups in case you have forgotten your own!
A full children’s menu will be available shortly but for the moment I think pretty much everyone can find something to tempt them on the menu. You really are spoilt for choice with the cakes—I guarantee that no matter what you choose you will not be disappointed. My personal favourite is probably the orange, rose and pistachio cake, closely followed by the lemon drizzle. My 6-year-old son, a complete chocoholic, declares the brownies to be the best in the world.
Baby and toddler music classes currently run three times a week, and a yoga morning runs on Fridays. More activities are in the pipeline, so keep an eye on their Facebook page. They also offer bespoke birthday parties, christening parties and baby showers.
The Little Highness Play Café (69 Highbury Park, N5 1UA) is open 9am to 5:30pm six days a week and closed Wednesdays. Check out their Facebook page for events and more info: www.facebook.com/littlehighness.