I remember my life before I had kids. Vaguely, it is a bit of a distant memory, but yes, I do remember! I liked sitting in cafes; having a coffee with friends, spending lots of time over my food, being able to talk. Yes, all those things you take for granted before becoming a parent. When I have my kids with me, lots of that is now much more difficult. There are only a couple of venues locally where I can properly relax and enjoy the experience. On Wednesday 13th of January, we visited The Traditional Pasty Co on the seafront in Weston-super-Mare, and discovered a place where conversation with friends and being able to properly relax whilst eating out with kids is possible!
The Traditional Pasty Co, sits next to the Lighthouse Café and is just a short walk from Weston Pier. My expectation for the café was that it would be much like most of the other ‘pasty type’ establishments that can be found on every corner of big resorts in Cornwall. I was wrong. First impressions of the café are that it is light and airy, with a really contemporary feel and plenty of tables inside and out. We were shown to the rear of the café, where there is a really lovely and well thought out toddler area. My 3 year old arrived in a super grumpy mood, but an hour later she left a completely different child. The small TV in the kids’ area was tuned to CBeebies, but to be honest she hardly looked at that. She was much more interested in what there was to play with, and spent most of the time playing with the tea set, making us all a cup of tea to go alongside our real cups of freshly ground coffee. Because she was so engaged, I was able to have a good chat with Andy and Lindsey, who co-run the café with Paul. Andy and Lindsey clearly just ‘get’ what parents want from an experience eating out, despite the fact that their kids are all grown up. They understand that you might be having a bad day but still need a quiet space to have a coffee whilst you breastfeed your baby in peace as your older one is entertained. They know how important the offer of cutting the crust off a sandwich might be. They get that if kids are happy, parents are happy, and the toddler area is great. For older kids and teenagers, they can use the free wifi. Andy and Lindsey are flexible to your requests, and super friendly and accommodating. It’s the small touches that make this place too. We walked into the toilet and there was a toddler seat and step at the sink available for use. The café was only taken over by the team fairly recently and they have been working hard to make it their own. Andy tells me that very soon they will be installing a pull down change station, which is always very welcome.
Of course, the main food here is pasties, but don’t think that is all on offer. There is a wider menu of salads, sandwiches, paninis, jacket potatoes and soup. Where possible, the owners make every effort to make as much of the menu from scratch, and when we were there Lindsey had a pot of freshly made chili on the stove for jacket potatoes. The pasties are made off site (and delicious, according to David who had a steak and stilton one), but they make their very own gluten free ones in the café due to popular demand. And the menu for children is great. You can get a kids meal deal box for £3.25 which has a sandwich, piece of fruit, crisps and either water or a fruit shoot. Alternatively, their toddler hot meals cost £1.95 and juniors £2.65.
This place is going to be packed in the summer as it is in such a great location, and amongst everything else welcomes owners and their dogs to the outdoor seating area and the front three tables inside. They are keen to welcome locals to their café all year round, and we will certainly be back. Its friendly, the food is good and reasonably priced and parents with children are very much welcomed.