My cafe reviews are designed to help an anxious Mama plan ahead. From one mentally illuminated new parent to another.
Kiss the Hippo in Richmond, West London, is an uber trendy coffee bar which isn’t sniffy about letting Mamas and Babas join their calm little haven. Find out how I got on when I visited with Miss EEE.
(Please note – all comments are only my opinion and relevant at time of publishing)
Soon, March will signal spring being in sight and normally a more cheery time for me! In the meantime, I will always have Flat Whites and Cinnamon Swirls to keeps me plodding on. It’s a rainy Thursday in February and feeling decidedly low but full of good intentions, I set off for Richmond – a bracing riverside walk the order of the day. Instead, five minutes off the train and I decided a coffee hit in a warm cafe was more appealing than the soggy stroll intended. I ducked into Kiss the Hippo to escape the rain.
At the time of publishing, there is an accessible toilet downstairs which has a portable changing station inside.
The toilet is unisex which is a big thumbs up from us at Mama’s Mind Menu.
Being a temporary thing it is a little wobbly so I had my eyes on Miss EEE at all times. She seemed to enjoy the thrill of wobbling the structure and was a little flummoxed by the sloped sides which were actually really useful as she normally attempts to make a roly-poly bid for freedom in these situations now!
The facilities look really clean and the changer itself is a kind of wipe clean material.
There is space to leave the pram right outside the toilet but I think it would be tight to try and squeeze the beast sized monstrosity in there with you.
There is one step at the entrance but the step really is tiny – no problem for my Bugaboo. Double doors at the entrance mean if you had a double/ twin pram it would equally not be a problem.
Counter access with a pram is excellent in this place. There is a wide walkway next to the counter, completely clear of tables and chairs. Getting to the counter and waiting for drinks is not a problem, even with a queue.
The tables are quite close together, downstairs at least and if it was busy, navigating to your seat, particularly if there was more than one pram, would potentially be a challenge. Space to leave a buggy, other than at your table is also at a premium, although there is a clear area at the back near the accessible toilet.
There is a additional seating upstairs but there is no lift.
The downstairs seating mostly has back support making it comfortable for breastfeeding your little one and the tables are quite high which I also used to find very useful when perfecting ambidextrous one handed eating while breastfeeding Miss EEE! If your little one is at that annoying easily distracted stage, there’s not really any little private nooks you can squirrel yourself away to so you might want to bring a feeding scarf to keep their eyes on the prize.
Miss EEE is no longer breastfed these days and we have a bottle refuser on our hands. She drinks from an open Doidy Cup at the moment. This, depending on Little Madam’s mood, can get very messy. The high chairs at Kiss the Hippo were a welcome sight as I have learnt the hard way not to attempt giving her milk sat on my lap unless a fancy a cleopatra style milk shower. They have a mix of high chairs without trays and high chairs with trays – a rarity in London cafes and a winner for BLW Mamas like me!
I didn’t see a children’s menu but have emailed Kiss the Hippo to find out if they have one and will update this post when I receive a reply.
Kiss the Hippo describe themselves on their website as, “a speciality coffee brand devoted to creating the ultimate coffee experience” and this ethos definitely shines through. I was greeted at the counter by a passionate Barista who recommended an Ethiopian blend for my Flat White. I have never experienced this level of enthusiasm and commitment when ordering a Flat White in London before. I was somewhat bemused but also it was a nice touch to feel like a respected coffee buff, instead of just a sleep deprived Mother stumbling towards the neon coffee sign.
On first appearances I was concerned that I had dragged my pac-a-mac clad mum-self into the wrong type of joint. Everything looks clean and the very grown up chill out music is just loud enough to promote a sense of undisturbed calm, which I was terrified of destroying with a crying baby. I needn’t have worried, as a slew of other windswept Mamas descended to also take shelter from the rain, not once did I see a disapproving look from the other clientele.
Miss EEE seemed to cope with the music level quite well and it wasn’t jarring at all so she managed a twenty minute nap while I decompressed in my uber cool surroundings with my very special coffee.
The staff were extremely friendly and if they were at all concerned at the arrival of me and my damp Bugaboo leaving track marks all over their polished floor they didn’t let it show! When I asked for a cup of hot water to heat up Miss EEE’s milk there was no issue at all.
Coffee is the star here. They offer a carefully curated selection and are keen to stress their focus on sustainability and provenance.
The Flat White price is £2.80 (at time of publishing). Quite frankly, since becoming a Mama, I’ll drink anything warm and caffeinated (needs must!) but this coffee really was as fab as promised.
There are a selection of tempting cakes and pastries on display, including vegan options. I opted for a cinnamon swirl which was smothered in gooey deliciousness.
Larger plates are also on offer and the food I saw coming out of the kitchen looked fresh and well balanced.
50 George Street, Richmond, London, TW9 1HJ