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Posts Tagged ‘baby friendly’

‘Right, I’m going to have to stop you right there.’

A young lad strides across the café and halts us in our tracks. Alyson and I stand in the doorway with our babies and buggies. After having struggled up a flight of steps with all our kit and caboodle, we’re not in the mood for a debate.

‘There’s no room for you,’ explains the lad, wiping one hand down a distressed-look t.shirt.

He looks a little nervous. I suspect he’s just clocked the set of my jaw, or possibly the gleam in Alyson’s eye.

‘Er, so what are those two seats over there, then?’

Alyson points to a table and chairs by the window. They are innocently empty, their surfaces devoid of coats, bags, glasses or, in fact, any signs of occupation whatsoever.

‘They look pretty bloody empty to me,’ I say.

‘But there’s no room,’ says the lad, and he nods towards the buggies.

‘Oh, so you mean there’s no room for these,’ says I. ‘You know, I thought for one horrible minute you were going to tell us that there was no room for us, what with having brought our two sons along for a nice lunch in your nice cafe. And that simply wouldn’t do, would it?’

I don’t know why, but I go all posh when I’m pissed off. I found myself saying ‘chop chop’ to some sullen lad at Oxford Road Station the other day (shortly before making him carry Milo’s buggy up the stairs). Anyway, back to Trof: I’m about to launch into a full tirade when I realise that a) I’m in public and b) Milo has just puked down my top.

I distract attention from the milky dribble snaking its way down my (unintentionally) distressed shirt by kicking Milo’s buggy into a corner. Alyson click, clunks and concertinas Dylan’s buggy until it’s no bigger than a lunch box. I’m impressed; she is, as ever, the epitome of calm.

Buggies safely stored, we process through the café while the young lad trails miserably behind us. Alyson and I do lunch, I annoy the lad still further by asking him to turn the music down (I only did it to wind him up) and the boys are on best behaviour, charming all who stray into their line of sight.

So there you go. No harm done, eh? The things is, I love Oxford Road and I’ve been in love with Trof since I first moved to Manchester. I naively thought that I’d feel happily at home in a Trof that’s in my favourite part of town. I know not everyone likes kids, but our boys are babes in arms; they weren’t legging it about screaming and annoying the other customers. And Trof is, by day, a cafe.

But despite the fact that I hadn’t seen Alyson in ages and we had a fantastic lunch, I just couldn’t shake the fact that I didn’t feel welcome. And that, young lad in the distressed t.shirt, just isn’t very nice, is it?

Ratings. Babychanging facilities: No. Cafe: Yes. Buggy-friendly? No. Staff: Don’t get me started. Cost: Decent priced grub. Worth it? No.

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