M&S Cafe at The Meadows

We’re not always out at museums and restaurants with Weasel; sometimes we have to do boring things like buy work shoes for husbands, an exceptionally dull task (would you like those in black, really really really dark blue or priest black?). So today we had a family outing to the massive M&S in Camberley (i.e. ‘The Meadows’ – a brilliant way to say ‘there were some meadows, then we put a Tesco and an M&S on top of them, ta-dah!’). Deciding to make it an exciting trip, we planned on having a lovely slice of cake and coffee, or maybe even scones with cream, yum!

I had forgotten in the years that I hadn’t visited this fine establishment, that being built in the 1990’s, when windows on shops were seen as a non-necessity, the cafe is in the middle of a dark, lifeless store. At least there will be cake right? Not the advertised, yummy-sounding ‘Sticky Toffee Triple Toffee Slice’, and no cream or jam left for scones; but a pre-packaged, mediocre brownie accompanied by a cappuccino that made me shudder. (To be fair, I could have had a Victoria Sponge, the plain-sister of all cakes)

There is a good side though, Weasel loved it here! Screw looking for lovely, natural lit places with sofas and jazz music playing softly in the background, turns out crappy strip lighting and chills coming off the nearby cold cabinets  float her boat.

To start with, Weasel is obsessed with shoes of all sorts (I don’t mind, but I draw the line at her licking her wellies, which we caught her doing the other day worryingly), so running around M&S picking out shoes was an exciting day out. The kids options were really good at the cafe – loads of sandwiches, mini-pizzas, juice boxes, smoothies, etc. although we were just after a snack so just got her a scone (without jam or cream…). The tables are quite well-spaced too, helping diffuse the noise of screeching children and leaving loads of space for buggies.

Changing facilities – alright, although a little disappointing for an M&S. There was a separate disabled/baby loo next to the ground floor cafe, and a fold down table next door in the ladies loos (as in right in the middle of). There are no loos at the upstairs cafe that has been packed into the rafters as an afterthought.

Verdict: You’ll be miserable at your lack of tasty cake but your kid will be inexplicably bouncing off the walls with happiness.

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