What?: I was so excited about this place. If you’ve read my reviews of Bear & Wolf and Little Highness you’ll know I love a good play cafe, and this one looked promising with its three play areas and comprehensive activity programme. We’d never been to Stoke Newington before but since everyone wanks on about it so much I thought it was worth the awkward trek up there. It wasn’t.
Where?: Stoke Newington High Street. About eight minutes from Rectory Road and Stoke Newington stations, or 20-ish from Dalston (Kingsland or Junction) and Clapton. Very close to award-winning kids’ boutique Olive Loves Alfie. By the way I really do not recommend changing at Hackney Central/Hackney Downs – which, incidentally is the only way to get onto that branch of the Ginger line. Not with a buggy, anyway. I literally had to carry Bab up and down 15 flights of stairs to get to the right platform. Literally. How can people who live in Stoke Newington be bothered with life?
Discovery: Bab Dad found it online through some kind of wizardary. It doesn’t come up through Google unless you type YUMMY YUMMY IN MY TUMMY PLAY CAFE STOKE NEWINGTON. All of these words. Seriously, these people need better SEO. If I ran a play cafe I would make sure people knew about it. It would be the first result when you Googled the word “child” or the word “filicide”.
Best Bits: Very light and airy. Really nice, friendly staff. Lots of highchairs.
Worst Bits: Ugh. Ok so before we went I read a review on their Facebook page that was like “bla bla, the play area’s really dirty, bla bla bla” and I thought ok, well kids are by nature quite dirty and you can’t really expect these places to individually clean each toy every day, because that’s where insanity lies. But oh God it’s dirty. Bab got so filthy you could see black dirt on her black trousers. She was basically a mop. A human mop. She also got really bored by the lack of toys and kept wandering off. There were no classes running on the afternoon we visited but we went downstairs to look at the play area anyway, and while I really wish I could be more positive I have to say it was all a bit depressing and basementy. And dirty. Also people repeatedly mistook Bab for a boy since she wasn’t wearing her pink polka-dot tutu and “I am woman” T-shirt. I can’t really blame that on the cafe but it was still annoying.
What’s on the Menu?: Yummy Yummy is the offspring of the Turkish Cafe Z Bar next door and the two share a menu. There was a lot of avocado-based stuff; brunch fare, sandwiches, though weirdly no kids’ menu. We only got toast because it was just me and Bab and I don’t really get hungry during the day and there’s no point in ordering anything nice for Bab because she’ll just lick it and then shove it under her bum. Really great toast though. Top toast. Lots of jam.
Would We Come Back?: Maybe if we lived closer we’d try some classes and just deal with the dirt, but I wouldn’t schlep there from Hampstead again.
Bab plays in the Yummy Yummy in My Tummy play area