I don’t like to make a fuss. I want a coffee. I have child. If someone has to help me drag a pushchair up steps or wrangle with seventeen tables just to let me and the gargantuan pile of plastic through, that’s making a fuss. And I don’t like to make a fuss.
(By the way, I don’t like pushchairs either. But it’s not always practical to carry both baby and all their stuff like some sort of over-sized, double-shelled turtle.)
So where, as a parent with pushchair, can you enjoy a much-needed caffeine hit?
There are loads of cafes in Stratford-upon-Avon, seriously, loads. But many occupy petite spaces in buildings that existed before pushchairs were invented (1733, if you’re interested). And sky-high business rates in Stratford force some cafe owners to cram tables in to maximise profits. No complaints here, but it’s not ideal if you are with pushchair.
So, here you have it:
Top 5 pushchair-friendly cafes in Stratford-upon-Avon:
Susie’s Cafe Bar at The Other Place
Southern Lane, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 6BH; website
A kind of spare theatre for the RSC, The Other Place is a five-minute stroll along the Avon from the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. With a huge and industrial-chic space to fill, there is plenty of room between tables to accommodate pushchairs, even badly driven ones. High chairs are plentiful, there’s free WiFi, and a reasonable selection of drinks, snacks and lunches (food is served 11.30am-5pm). Older children can make use of a stack of activities.
Boston Tea Party
Henley Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 6QW; website
Occupying a gorgeous double-height former school hall just steps from Shakespeare’s Birthplace, this place is always popular. So after tackling the two shallow steps on the way in (the entrance from the back terrace, off Windsor Street, is flat) you might struggle to get a table. Rejoice if you do as the cakes are sublime (my gluten-intolerant friend declared the brownies the best she’d ever had). An all-day selection of brunch and lunch favourites and a huge choice of hot drinks make this my go-to for avocado cravings. Free WiFi and highchairs available.
Bell Court, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 6JW; website
Located in the newly made over Bell Court in the town centre (access from High Street, Wood Street and Ely Street), a lift whisks you up to the first floor cafe/bar. It’s a large, bright and funky space (the cinema only opened in 2017) with plenty of low sofas and armchairs plus long, high tables with stools. Neither are ideal with highchair-height children to feed but the big space and ease of access win over here. The selection of hot drinks is limited compared to dedicated cafes and you might have to ask for a highchair, but it’s a friendly spot with lots of space.
Pret A Manger
Bards Walk, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 6EY; website
Another newcomer to the Stratford scene, Pret A Manger is located just off Henley Street. It’s a roomy establishment and it hasn’t tried to cram in an excess of tables and chairs. If you’ve visited before, you know what you’re getting at Pret: fresh food, organic coffee and a feel-good bite to eat thanks to the chain’s ethical focus. There’s also bags of space for all your baby gear.
Old Town, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 6BG; website
The former home of Shakespeare’s daughter Susanna and her doctor husband John Hall is on a street called Old Town in the area of Old Town. It is only minutes away from the bustle of the town centre yet it’s a peaceful place with a great cafe. There’s a shallow step to overcome on the way in but — for such an historic building — plenty of space inside for a pushchair between tables. The building’s herb garden has influenced the menu, which features items such as tarts, pies, quiches and soups. You don’t have to pay to view the house to use the cafe.
The start of Stratfordblog
This post, incidentally, motivated me to begin Stratfordblog. There are excellent family-friendly listings already available on the web, and I will direct you towards a few of the best in the future, but nothing as specific as a guide as to where I could get a good cup of coffee with a pushchair in tow.
Having asked around, posted on forums and then resorted to good old-fashioned journalism and legwork, I decided to start a blog to assist both residents and visitors to find the best of Stratford-upon-Avon, from spa hotels to steaks, picnic spots to pre-theatre restaurants, cafes to cocktail joints.
What do you think? Would you add anywhere else to Stratfordblog’s list of pushchair-friendly cafes in Stratford-upon-Avon? Post your comment below.
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Information correct at date of publication