This is the first in a regular series where I will be giving my honest opinion on places we have visited in Cardiff and beyond. First up, Cafe Junior.
We spend a lot of time at Cafe Junior. We have a membership, Little E does ballet classes there, and I pop in at least once a week with the boys while Little E is at school.
I love that is big enough that my children can run around and play yet small enough that I can keep an eye on them whilst sitting on the big, comfy sofas that surround the main play area. Especially handy when you are feeding a baby! I love that the toys and activity centres there encourage children to use their imagination. The big wooden car not only takes us on day trips to here, there and everywhere, but my little ones like to lie at the bottom and pretend it’s a bed. Of course it is! I love that I almost always bump into friends I know there. I also love that the friendly staff now know me and my children, even down to what particular plate they like to have their food on! It’s a great place to meet friends and is fun for all ages. Babies are catered for with mats and baby bouncers. They have breast-feeding pillows for you to use. They have spare clothes if your child has a little accident. We love it there!
However, it is far from perfect and there are a few issues that could do with being resolved.
Firstly, the toilets. Ever since I started going to Cafe Junior four and a half years ago, one or more of the toilets has always been out of action or under repair. CJ say it’s often down to parents throwing nappies into the toilets, which causes them to block. That’s just terrible. However, this means there just aren’t enough loos for such a busy place – and it’s not always easy for the younger clientelle to wait until one is free!
The parking. This isn’t CJ’s fault but you’re very lucky if you can park outside. Often we end up on the other side of Crwys Road – and it’s not fun crossing that busy road with a buggy and two excited little ones. A few mums I know have found themselves with parking tickets for parking on the dropped kerbs outside. Be warned and don’t do it!
The price of the food. 75p for a slice of toast?! £5+ for a jacket potato?! 70p for an apple well and truly past its best?! I respect CJ’s policy that you can’t consume your own food there but I can’t help but think more people would buy food there if it wasn’t so expensive. Especially considering you have paid to get in. They could also do with more healthy snack options for children. There’s plenty in the way of biscuits, cakes and crisps – but what about some Organix kiddie snacks, for example?
Gripes aside, I love this place and more importantly, my children love it too.