So I get irrationally irritated by that Nescafe (or similar) ad where a heap of mothers are all laughing about their parenting foibles and one says, “Mummy needs her coffee!” with this terrifying wide-eyed soul-eater expression as she attacks the mug. It’s because in the media, mothers are an overly generalised group of people who only drink coffee to recover from their monster children, and freak out visibly whenever KMart puts a cushion on sale for five dollars. BUT STILL, I will say this: I do love going out for coffee. Sometimes it defeats my minor headaches, sometimes it just tastes lovely, sometimes it wakes me up if, say, I’ve had to spend an hour in the middle of the night watching Waybuloo to calm an implacable child (don’t google it if you don’t know it, you can never unsee the horror that is some children’s television), and sometimes it’s just a great excuse to get out of the house and/or converse with an adult. My local cafe, the Twig and Two Berries, is my absolute favourite as the ladies there are all very lovely to the Rocket (and to me), and the coffee is pretty great, and they remember not to give us marshmallows but instead give the Rocket very tiny cookies that she greatly enjoys. ANYWAY, today I am not talking about my favourite relaxed haunt, but the much-less-relaxed-though-probably-fun-for-children Cocco Latte.
Located right next to Surrey Hills station, which is handy for someone like me who doesn’t always win the thumb war over who gets the car that day, Cocco Latte is a cafe that goes out of its way to cater for parents and kids. If you’re a normal kind of person who wants a relaxed cafe moment, you can sit in the front section, then there’s a glass partition, some couches and round tables, and then – squeak! – a glassed-in play room WITH A DOOR where kids can read, do puzzles, jump in the ball pit and play with all manner of things. Everything’s safe and low to the ground (don’t get me wrong, kids are still perfectly capable of injuring themselves even if you only gave them a sponge and book) so you can sit happily in your chair with your coffee and watch your kid/s empty the ball pit then weep that there are no balls in the pit. Of course, they run in and out and harrass you because GOSH kids are needy, but they have a blast in there. When they’re tired of playing, there are babycinos, and a dedicated kids menu with tiny milkshakes and toast soldiers, and at a not-alarming price. There are a fair few high chairs, and the disabled toilet has a change table on the wall; because the place is new, it’s all so delightfully CLEAN which is very thrilling. While there are steps to the two entrances, one step is quite low and the door has a button to press if you need assistance entering, which is pretty handy.
When it’s relatively quiet, it’s fabulous; if you accidentally time it with two other mothers groups, as we have in the past, it is MAYHEM. Organised chaos, and the staff are extremely friendly and breezy about everything and offer to bring extra chairs, but be warned, the parents section is not always a mellow place to be when you’re trying to wedge fifteen adults and forty-six-billion children into it. One time, a bigger kid tried to give the Rocket a hug and she pushed him over. So don’t try and hug small people who don’t want to be hugged, is what I’m warning other potential customers. (I was obviously very proud.)
111-113 Union Road
Surrey Hills, 3127
phone: 9899 8291