Five child-friendly, independent, coffee shops in Harrogate

Going for a coffee with the Small Boy never fails to cheer us both up and makes me feel a little more part of the human race. We watch the world go by, chat about our day, indulge in a treat, do a bit of colouring together and enjoy our surroundings.

We’ve been going since he was really little so he knows the drill come cafe time; sit nicely and good things will come!

Here are five of our favourite child friendly coffee spots in Harrogate:

1. Fodder

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Fodder is great as you can park right outside, which is perfect for rainy days or to save you lugging the pushchair out. They have a lovely little children’s menu, offer colouring and crayons and on brighter days there’s the wooden horses and tractor to play on outside. The shop is also great for a quick browse and they were offering free fruit to kids too. Well done Fodder for supporting the local families out there, as well as the local food producers!

Fodder is at Great Yorkshire Showground, Railway Rd, Harrogate HG2 8QZ

2. Christians

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We love Christians as they have not one, but two coffee shop options to choose from! If you want a quick in and out the small cafe is perfect and next door is the bigger restaurant offering a much wider choice of hot meals. The restaurant has lots of space to get your buggy in and plenty of high chairs. They do a great kids menu that can also be coloured in with pens provided. The other great thing about Christians is that they have a large outdoor space, perfect for running of some steam on sunny days, and on rainy ones we’ve been known to kill a good half an hour browsing the Crimple Hall garden centre it’s attached too! Winning at life!

Christians is at Crimple Hall, Leeds Road, Pannal, Harrogate, North Yorks HG3 1EW

3. Waterstones Cafe

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Harrogate’s Waterstones opened up their cafe in late 2016. It so well laid out, bright, open and homely at the same time. There’s a lift up, so you can get the buggy in and baby changing on the top floor too. They were offering free hot drinks to new mums (not sure if they still are!) and there’s room enough for pushchairs too. It’s located near the children’s department too, with loads of fab gifts to look at and a lovely little reading bench for a quick flick through a few classics on your way out!

Waterstones is at 15 James Street, Harrogate, HG1 1QS.

4. Goose

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Goose is a cafe come play centre. You do have to pay £3 per child to go in, but once inside you can play with a whole host of toys, books and activities. The cafe is really well designed with lots of open space and big solid wooden tables. All the food is made on site, from scratch, even down to the ketchup and it’s to a brilliant standard. They open for a breakfast and lunch menu with a separate good value kids menu too. If you’re looking for peace and quiet, this is probably not the one for you, but if you’re looking for a decent latte  and a place to keep your kids happy for a few hours you’re on to a winner!

Goose is at The Lenz, Ground Floor, Hornbeam Business Park, Harrogate, HG2 8RE 5. Bettys

5. Betty’s

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This wouldn’t be a cafe round up about Harrogate if it didn’t mention Bettys! I love Bettys, and I think they cater really well for children! The kids menu is perfect, there’s pre-planned areas (in both the town centre and Harlow Carr tea rooms) to leave buggies out of the way and you’re always offered toys and colouring with pencils. Since it’s Betty’s you do  pay over the odds for a pot of tea at £3.10, but comparatively a kids butter biscuit is around £1.80. For that you do get to sit in beautiful surroundings and enjoy being a little part of Bettys for a little while!

Betty’s is at 1 Parliament Street, Harrogate, HG1 2QU and RHS Garden Harlow Carr Crag Lane , Beckwithshaw, HG3 1QA

Do your kids like to go out to a cafe? Where would you recommend in Harrogate?

lucy-xx

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Afternoon Tea at Dulcie Butterfly in Boston Spa

The Small Boy, Grandma and I found the perfect Afternoon Tea spot in Boston Spa last week! Dulcie Butterfly is the chintzy, prettiest, little vintage tea rooms you could possibly imagine!

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Dulcie Butterfly in Boston Spa

The cafe is right in the heart of Botson Spa’s high street, which is a lovely little village to go and visit if you haven’t been recently, it’s really grown in lots of ways. Boston Spa is just off the A1 past Wetherby, about twenty minutes away from Harrogate, and it has a great park for the Smalls and lots of gifty type shops to have a mooch around too!

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Pink Paradise

We enjoyed a marvellous afternoon tea, which actually covered off both lunch and dinner for us as it was so filling. All the cakes and scones are homemade on site and we enjoyed tasty sandwiches, crisps, freshly made scones with jam and cream, pink coconut macaroons, and whopping wedges of lemon and orange and chocolate cake all served up with a generous pot of tea for £13 each.

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Afternoon Tea Heaven

The Small Boy loved his own children’s version, which was essentially all his favourite things on one perfectly sized plate. Sandwiches, crisps, mini marshmallows, individual gingerbread men and a little chocolate bun served up with lashings of pink lemonade.

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Afternoon Tea for the Small Boy

The tea rooms also sells gorgeous bits and bobs which forms part of a shabby chic shop; from vintage mirrors and trinkets, to jewellery and clothing right up to perfect little gifts for children.

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Shabby Chic Gift Shop

It’s evident that Dulcie, who owns the teashop, loves all things vintage and is the most charming hostess you could hope for in such a pink paradise.  The tearooms recently hosted a ‘Gin-tage’ event which saw a 1940/50’s hair and make-up masterclass, showcased the amazing voices of the Rum and Cola Girls singing, served afternoon tea and delicious gin cocktails. It proved so popular that Dulcie is planning another one soon, so check out her Facebook page for more details.

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All the Smiles of Cake

Dulcie Butterfly also has space downstairs for children’s parties or hen dos. It’s the perfect place for a craft party. There is no corkage charge if you want to bring your own Prosecco to accompany your afternoon too.

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Children’s Party Area

For locals to Boston Spa Dulcie Butterfly offers a lovely after school treat deal, which is a hot chocolate and a homemade biscuit for just £2. I know if we lived closer we’d be popping by for that pink pick me up on the way home!

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Tearoom prettiness! 

We’re already looking forward to going back to the tearooms again, it was a lovely way to spend an hour or so with the Small Boy and Grandma on a Thursday afternoon. Dulcie Butterfly is open every day except Mondays.

Lucy xx

Disclaimer: Dulcie Butterfly kindly invited us to enjoy their afternoon tea with their compliments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Wicked Wednesday – The ‘Nature Footwell’

 

I’ve seen these lovely display tables in schools and nursery settings whereby all the wonders of nature are displayed on to a ‘nature table’. Some lovely Mamas even have them in their homes! Not us though, we much prefer the rustic look with a whole car footwell set aside for our ‘nature table’.

To be honest, the car footwell looks like this most times of the year – just turns out we are en vogue with it in Autumn most of all! The addition of the conkers makes it all the more justifiable, IMO!

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Do you have one of these in your car?

#Sticksarenotallowedinthehouse #theyliveonforeverinmycar 😆😬🙈

#WickedWednesday 2nd November 2016

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(*The lovely BrummyMummyof2 shares her favourite #wickedwednesdays picks of the week over on her blog…so if you’re feeling like the only one who’s dealing with this sort of shizzle, then check out the links, for you’re not alone!)

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Lucy xx

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Wicked Wednesday – Hunt the Blu Tac

 

I kid you not – this is a game I, a 39 year old woman, played just last night! I know! This folks, is what real parenting actually looks like!

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You think you’re getting a baby, you know, the ones that look all cute in their knitted hats in the magazine, and wham, before you know it –  you’re playing hunt the blu-tac whilst trying to make the tea in an effort to prevent bat sh*t craziness ensuing from the smallest child in the house!

The game is fairly obvious. The Small Boy devised it himself 😐 he hides the tiniest pieces of blu-tac he can find, all around the house and then he waits expectantly for me to find them, giving helpful three-year old clues, like – ‘it’s der Mummy!’ as he opens the cupboard door to reveal the hiding blu-tac! This can go on for almost ten minutes – which as Mamas know is a long time when you’re TRYING TO MAKE TEA!

This game has the added bonus of finding long forgotten tiny pieces of blu-tac for days to come when you open cupboards, put on your shoe or go up the stairs!

#thestruggleisreal

#WickedWednesday 26th October 2016

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(*The lovely BrummyMummyof2 shares her favourite #wickedwednesdays picks of the week over on her blog…so if you’re feeling like the only one who’s dealing with this sort of shizzle, then check out the links, for you’re not alone!)

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Lucy xx

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Wicked Wednesday – The Wedding Suit

The Small Boy, his sisters, Mr P and I are going to a family wedding at the end of the month! Everyone is very excited as the Small Boy hasn’t been to a wedding since he was five months old so we can’t wait to see how he’ll enjoy it!

We’ve 😂 I’ve been looking for an outfit for him to wear, pretty dresses I’m used to for the girls, not so smart outfits for small boys! Turns out he’s not so enamoured with wearing Small Boy smart clothes either, as getting him to try them on has been some feat!

Finally I’ve found something that fits, not after quite a lot of biscuit bribery and lying around like this had gone on!

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#Thankthelordforonlineshopping #imaginethisinanactualshop #howdidourparentssurvive?

 

#WickedWednesday 19th October 2016

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(*The lovely BrummyMummyof2 shares her favourite #wickedwednesdays picks of the week over on her blog…so if you’re feeling like the only one who’s dealing with this sort of shizzle, then check out the links, for you’re not alone!)

Follow: Me (Harrogate Mama) on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram

Lucy xx

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Wicked Wednesday – The ‘Stick’

The Small Boy loves a good stick, like most small boys! However, he loves to seek out the biggest stick he can find. Here is a prime example of the type of stick he loves from when we were at Newby Hall. Not sure this even qualifies as a ‘stick’! 😝

IMG_2068.jpgAnyone else with the stick thing? Just mine then! 😬

#WickedWednesday 5th October 2016

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(*The lovely BrummyMummyof2 shares her favourite #wickedwednesdays picks of the week over on her blog…so if you’re feeling like the only one who’s dealing with this sort of shizzle, then check out the links, for you’re not alone!)

Follow: Me (Harrogate Mama) on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram

Lucy xx

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Parenting; a Europe wide issue!

The evidence is out there, we’re all doing our best;

Whilst touring around our Italian campsite for two weeks on our summer holiday I was lucky enough to be able to witness a range of nationalities; German, Dutch, Swiss, Italian, British, Polish and many others. It turns out that Venice is easily accessible to lots of countries!

What struck me most was not how different we all were as families, but how remarkably all the same we are! All I saw were parents across Europe all doing their best to raise their family.

Turns out the same conversations are going on around the globe that you are having in your very own home.

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Refusing to smile for the camera is not just a UK thing!
  • The German 10 year old is being reprimanded by his parents over a lost hat? “where did you last have it?”
  • The Italian 4 year old is being shouted at for not looking where he was going on his bike.
  • The Swiss toddler is crying and wriggling, wanting down from her Dad’s arms.
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Toddlers not giving a sh*t – that’s a global phenomenon, honest!
  • The Dutch five year old is being told off in the restaurant for swinging on his chair
  • The British teenager is embarrassed by her dad’s dancing
  • Preschoolers from every nation are persistently being told not to throw sand.
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Throwing sand is not a problem you alone are facing, it’s Europe wide!
  • 14 year old Polish lads are in bother for booting footballs high and landing them on parasols
  • Children universally are not wanting to have sun cream applied
  • Every European little one is loosing it over late nights and too much sun.

So while you might think you’re the only ones dealing with this sort of shizzle, then rest assured you’re not. The same convos are going on around the world, the same little battles over mealtimes are being fought, the same exasperated faces from parents are being shaped. For this is parenting.

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Parents trailing unhappy children around cities of culture is not limited to the UK!

I found the whole experience completely reassuring! You are not alone Mamas, the rest of the world stands with you in your parenting highs and lows!

So next time I’m stuck thinking, why does everyone else’s child put their shoes on when they’re asked?! I’ll think back to my Italian campsite and think of my European counterparts dealing with the exact same situation themselves and be relieved, in the knowledge it’s not just me it’s universal, across the globe!

For doing all these things, fighting all these battles, sharing right and wrong with your children is just called being a good parent. In whatever language you speak!

If you want to see some pretty pictures of our holiday – and there were obviously some good times! Ha! They you can read this post all about it. Five go camping in Venice.

Lucy xx

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Wicked Wednesday – Siblings

If you don’t already know I have nine year old twin girls, and the Small Boy, three!

When people ask me ‘is it very different having a boy after two girls?’ I often say, ‘somethings are…’.

Here is what I actually mean…

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Sitting quietly, knitting

 

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Sitting quietly, knitting
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…this! 😝

😬#nowordsneeded

#WickedWednesday 28th September 2016

brummymummyof2

(*The lovely BrummyMummyof2 shares her favourite #wickedwednesdays picks of the week over on her blog…so if you’re feeling like the only one who’s dealing with this sort of shizzle, then check out the links, for you’re not alone!)

Follow: Me (Harrogate Mama) on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram

Lucy xx

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WIN a pair of Car Seat Protectors and Tablet Holder by Hakonsted!

The lovely folks at Hakonsted sent me these fab car seat protectors for my car which come with an adjustable tablet holder! They’re perfect! They fit easily, have pockets for drinks cups, space for books, extra storage pockets for storing items and even an attachment for a tablet so the Small People in the back can watch movies on the go!

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Hakonsted Car Seat Protector

The Small Boy spends a lot of time in the car on the school run and while we ferry the girls about to after school clubs and activities so it makes his journey much more exciting! Plus it helps save my car from too many muddy footprints when he kicks the back of my seat!

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The car seat protectors were really easy to install, they just clip in to place. The tablet holder was quick and straight forward to fit too. It adjusts to fit any tablet size, and also moves around very easily as well so it can be angled for better viewing.

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Tablet holder which is adjustable to fit any tablet

They normally retail at around £28 and are available on Amazon (although they were on offer at time of publishing the post at £16). The car seat protectors come as a pair of two kick mats and one car tablet holder.

GIVEAWAY: WIN A PAIR OF HACKONSTED CAR SEAT PROTECTORS AND IN CAR TABLET HOLDER

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The great news is that Hakonsted have a set of car seat protectors to giveaway to you guys along with the separate tablet holder. So to be in with a chance of getting hold of two FREE super duper kick mats for the back of your car along with an in car tablet holder all delivered straight to your door, then just send me an email! All I need is your first and last name to lucyplayford@harrogatemama.com with the subject Car Seat Protectors. That’s it!

The giveaway closes on Saturday 1st October. All the terms and conditions are below.

That’s it! Good luck!

lucy-xx

Terms and conditions:
1.) The giveaway is for you to receive one set of Hackonsted Car Seat Protector sets – which includes two kick mats and one tablet holder.
2.) The giveaway will run from Sunday 25th September until Saturday 1st October at 23.59hrs.
3.) The winner will be contacted on Monday 3rd October by email.
4.) A reply to the winning email is required within 24 hours before a new winner is chosen.
5.) There is no cash alternative for the giveaway.
6.) Hackonsted will be responsible for the redemption of the giveaway, any matters arising must be taken up with them directly.
7.) No purchase necessary to win.
8.) Entrants need to be over 18 to enter the giveaway.
9.) Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+ are in no way associated with this giveaway.
10.) I will not share or sell your email address with any other parties.
11.) The winner will be chosen randomly and contacted via email.
12.) Harrogate Mama blog reserves the right to publish winner’s first name and last initial.
13.) Harrogate Mama blog also reserves the right to choose a different winner in the case that the randomly chosen winner refuses to co-operate with rules, reply to winning email in 24 hour time period or does not have a verifiable entry.
14.) When you enter this competition you are signing up to receive emails solely from Harrogate Mama blog which will be sent infrequently and to which you will be able to unsubscribe at any given time.
15.) Only one entry per person please.
Disclaimer: Hakonsted sent me a set of kick mats with their compliments to review but the views are my  own.
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Wicked Wednesday – The Crisp

Why do they do this? The small people? Why will they only have a photo taken if it’s with their ‘sword’, ‘Peppa Pig’, ‘PomBear Crisp’? What is that all about?!

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Photobombed by a PomBear 😆

AGGH! One day I will get a nice photo of him! One day! There will be no crisps in it!!

#WickedWednesday 21st September 2016

brummymummyof2

(*The lovely BrummyMummyof2 shares her favourite #wickedwednesdays picks of the week over on her blog…so if you’re feeling like the only one who’s dealing with this sort of shizzle, then check out the links, for you’re not alone!)

Follow: Me (Harrogate Mama) on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram

Lucy xx

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