Put the kettle on
There’s a plethora of eateries and cafes in Stamford and Rutland, and surrounding areas - we are very fortunate to have such a wide choice. Here’s just a few that are well worth a visit in my opinion. I’ve noted family-friendly ones, with baby changing facilities - and wide/big enough for prams.
Mini Monsters whilst this is primarily a soft play in Oakham, I’ve included it in cafes because the coffee and cakes are fantastic, the sandwiches and children’s food is good too. And the bonus is you can have a coffee whilst your little one plays in the soft play. As would be expected, there are baby changing facilities.
The Hare and Hog
Worth noting, the Hare and Hog which is situated in the Oakham Enterprise Park in Ashwell. The cakes and coffees are great, and very friendly staff. The cafe offers breakfasts and lunches, and also sells the award-winning Rutland Charcuterie. It’s a small cafe but well designed and fairly easy to navigate with a pram. There are baby changing facilities. If you take your little ones to any of the sports courses available at the Active Rutland hub or Gym4Tots (also based on the Enterprise Park), then this is the perfect place to stop while you wait.
Fearnleys - Situated close to Whissendine, just off the Oakham to Melton road.
In one word ‘Yum’. If you love Ice Cream, then Fearnleys is the place for you. With cows in the field opposite, that I understand provides the milk for the ice cream, you feel assured you are getting a good quality product. Also, they do fantastic milkshakes and lovely cooked breakfasts. Inside is spacious and roomy for those not so good day, and when it’s hot and sunny the kids can play outside - there’s a sandpit, mini toy tractors, a wooden climbing frame, and an indoor tunnel with smaller toys in for the very littlest people. Baby changing facilities are good and when we visited sparkling clean.
Caffè Nero, Oakham
Opposite the market square, Caffè Nero in Oakham has a prime situation. It’s right next to Oakham Castle, so perfect to nip into before or after visiting the castle or going to Rhyme Time. The staff seem super friendly, and coffees, teas, hot chocolates, cakes, and paninis are great.
Just on the edge of Uppingham lies the Welland Valley Garden centre, which includes the Orchard cafe. A lovely cafe with good homemade soups, paninis and a great array of cakes. The outdoor verandah is perfect to catch those last summer days before we all migrate indoors! Plenty of room for your prams in this cafe!
Situated in the main square in Uppingham, Don Paddy’s is a cosy cafe during the day and a busy bar at night and is full of personality. There is a wide choice of cakes, and scones along with a good selection of lunches. Worth a visit, and baby changing facilities are available.
This particular Costa is so baby friendly that it needed mentioning here. You are served by very accommodating staff, who understand the mess children can make (which mostly they do!) and don’t seem to mind. The layout of the cafe is perfect for prams - easy to get in and around, and plenty of high chairs.
Stamford Garden Centre
The food is exceptional and prepared with lovely fresh ingredients. The cafe is spacious yet cosy during the winter. There is plenty of room for prams, and super clean, and nicely fitted out baby changing facilities with lots of space. Next, to the cafe, there’s the award-winning ‘Simpsons Butchers, and also bread baskets stocking Hambleton Bakery bread - a great place to buy something for your tea!
The Cosy Club
The Cosy Club works particularly well if you have toddlers. There’s a toy box full of toys to keep your little ones entertained and lounge area where you can easily park up a pram and choose from a vast menu of drinks ranging from hot chocolate to wine and beer. Baby changing facilities are available as well.
Café au Chocolat
Coffees, chocolate, hot chocolate, pancakes - what’s not to like! It has about five choices of different hot chocolate drinks and offers both savory and sweet pancakes which my kids love! There are baby changing facilities, and it’s relatively easy to push a pram about.
Harvest Barn - Farcet
In a rural setting of 250 acres of farmland, Harvest Barn is a farm shop and cafe well worth visiting. It’s great for kids as there are an outdoor play area and the ‘Muddy Boots Farmyard’ where children can meet the animals (ducks, sheep, goats, and hens), and on event-days take a walk around the farm. There’s a farm shop with fresh seasonal home-grown vege, locally sourced meat, and apple juice from the trees that surround their farm fields. The food in the café is tasty, offering an array of sandwiches, kids meals, and cakes. On the 22nd September, Harvest Barn has invited Act II Theatre Company to come and do a rendition of ‘Whooooo’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf!’. Baby changing facilities are available.
Gates - Cold Overton
From afternoon tea to a good plate of fish and chips, Gates Garden centre coffee shop offers just about something for everyone. It has a small soft play area, which is useful for the kiddies, whilst mums and dads can appreciate time out in the open and airy restaurant. A newly opened large farm shop provides a wide choice of locally sourced produce. There’s a fairly large toy area in the actual shop itself which entertains and fish tanks full of fish to look at - which is always a hit! The baby changing facilities are roomy making life a whole lot easier!
(NB - written pre-COVID)