If you’re looking for a lovely cafe to visit where you can sit and enjoy a hot coffee whilst your toddler and baby both play then this is the place for you! The Watercolour Arts & Play Cafe in Henley is a lovely cafe with a great little play area for children up to 6 years old upstairs and a baby play area downstairs. They also run lots of kids classes there and most of them are free!
The Watercolour Cafe
The cafe itself is beautiful! I loved the decor, there are gorgeous velvet seats and even the play area is great to look at. Rather than loads of plastic and primary colours like you’d often find in a soft play, here you’ll find wooden play frames and pastel colours.
It’s incredibly child friendly (as you’d expect) with every details thought about for little ones from their cutlery down to the toilets. In the toilets there’s a small toilet and sink next to the adult ones. I can’t tell you how helpful this is when you have to take your toddler to the toilet whilst holding a baby!
They serve breakfast and lunch in the cafe and have a separate kids menu. The kids menu is brilliant and caters really well for little ones. Ashley would probably eat most things on the menu, which believe me is rare! This time she had the pancakes, which came shaped like a pigs face which she loved.
Here’s the link to the menus.
The adults menu has loads of great choices for breakfast and for lunch they serve pizzas, salads and soup. I went for an open sandwich with feta, avocado and cherry tomato confit and it was really tasty but I have to say very small for the price.
They also do loads of cakes, hot and cold drinks, including smoothies and even alcohol. Maybe next time I’ll set them off to play whilst I have a glass of wine!
There are two play areas at the Watercolour Cafe, one upstairs and another for babies downstairs. The upstairs area has a play frame, slide. ball pit and kitchen plus a load of other toys which you can get out and play with. Ashley actually spent a lot of her time playing with the puzzle games which are attached to the wall. We had a table right next to the play area so I could sit with my coffee whilst Ashely played.
Downstairs there is a really lovely baby play area. It has a big soft mat for them to lie on and play with the beautiful baby toys, with brands like Little Dutch. There’s also a pikler triangle with a slide which Ashley really enjoyed playing on. There are seats down here too so you can also eat here.
When we first arrived the upstairs play area was a bit o f a mess with all the toys tipped out over the floor and the ball pit balls everywhere. It was also really busy. However as soon as the lunchtime rush was over the staff cleared everything away so it was spotless and kept clearing it up throughout the afternoon (we were there for nearly 3 hours lol!). Ashley had it to herself most of the time from about 1.30pm onwards.
They run classes every morning from 9 to 11am Monday to Friday. Most of these classes are FREE of charge. There’s no need to pay or book. Just walk in and join the group.
Monday: Montessori activities
Tuesday: Story time and Singing
Wednesday: Montessori activities
Thursdays: Baking (cupcakes or biscuits)
There are also a couple of paid bookable classes and these are
Friday: Yoga (1:15pm) £8
Saturday: Pottery Class with Daddy (10:00am) £20
Best bits: I loved that this was somewhere that both Theo (5 months) and Ashley (3) could enjoy playing. I loved even more that I could relax with and hot coffee and sit watching them play.
Worst bits: Some of the menu I think is a bit expensive. Not all of it though and the kids menu I thought was great.
Cost: For the play area it’s £2.60 for children aged 1-6 and under 1’d are £1.60.
Tickets: No tickets, but you can reserve tables online
Buggy friendly: Yes
Bike & scooter friendly: n/a
Location & parking: 48 Market Pl, Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, RG9 2A. There are a couple of car parks nearby. I’ll put the postcode for the one I parked in below.
Sat nav:RG9 2AA (for nearest car park)
Baby in Bucks Top Tip
If you can, avoid peak lunchtime. You’ll have a much better experience if you go when it’s quieter. There will be fewer kids in the play area, the staff will have time to keep it tidy and it’s all round more relaxing.