We were invited to a brunch this past Saturday at the River Café on the Constantia Uitsig wine estate. Naturally, I did what I normally do when going to a place I haven’t been to before – I Googled it. I specifically inserted the words “child-friendly” into my search terms as I wanted to find out whether it would at all be possible to take lo there. The funny thing was that I could not find anything on the web about whether this venue had any child-friendly facilities. I found one link on a dining and wining website that simply stated that the River Cafe was child-friendly. So with next to no knowledge about the child friendliness of this venue I ventured in to the unknown on Saturday morning. I packed about every possible thing I could think of to make this visit with friends as comfortable as it can get with lo.
We almost lost our way to the venue which is on the Spaanschemat River Road when we decided to take the M5 rather than the M3 from the N1 and had to drive through some obviously dodgy areas near Wynberg to get back onto the M3. It would have been much easier to take the M3 from the word “go”! When our friends phoned with directions from the M3 we were very grateful, otherwise our trip may have become a very extended one. When we got there I felt very good about our 1 hour journey from Stellenbosch when another couple driving from Melkbosstrand took 2 hours to get there after being direct by Google maps to drive via Plattekloof! No, I’m not mentioning any names Before I discourage you to go this venue completely let me put your mind to rest – the drive back only took 40 minutes – M3, N2, Stellenbosch off-ramp.
Back to the venue… The River Cafe was bustling with activity with two baby showers being held there at the same time. You would think that this left no space for our own little party, but this venue has more than enough room. Most tables are outside under the verandah which makes it even more spacious and relaxed. The staff is very friendly and service prompt. They were quick to bring us a high chair but lo was more interested in walking and exploring the venue. At least the chair helped when our food arrived! I had the small breakfast and was surprised at the amount of food on the plate – very close to the amount of food on my husband’s plate who had ordered the full traditional breakfast. If you plan to visit this venue do keep in mind that apart from sitting and eating there is not much to do for older children. There are no jungle gyms, lawns, sand pits or swings. They do have a very nice kids’ breakfast menu with dishes like scrambled eggs and toast or fruit salad and yoghurt. Apart from the lack of play things for older children to play with, the River Cafe is very baby-friendly. There is space for strollers and prams and they have changing facilities at the outside restrooms (not the inside restrooms). The walk to the restrooms outside is not that far and it does have a ramp leading to the entrance for wheel chairs or baby strollers.
The River Cafe is great for smaller babies (not walking/ crawling) and older children (if you only eat there – they may become bored spending more than one and a half hours here). I am glad to have also (unexpectedly) found another great venue for hosting baby showers in Cape Town for our ever-expanding list of friends who are starting families of their own…
Why River Café is baby-friendly?
- high chairs
- space for pram/ stroller
- changing facilities at the outside restrooms
Notes: We were very sad to discover that the River Café has closed in the years since this article was written. It probably was one of the best baby shower venues in the Southern Suburbs. If you, as a reader, know of a fabulous venue for hosting a baby shower in Cape Town, do let us know!