It’s a family affair at Cubbyhouse Canteen, two sisters, Narelle and Bec, both with backgrounds in early childhood development recently opened this cool cafe, situated bang smack in the middle of Union St park in Armadale. Adjacent to the tennis club, playground right next door (directly accessible via a special gate) and another bigger kids playground just across the park, this cafe is located in the middle of a children’s mecca!
These sisters have thought of everything, and after meeting them and chatting with them, they are two genuinely down to earth, happy go lucky, fun loving gals, who remember what it’s like to be little again, and know how to tap into that “inner child” to deliver one of THE most kid-friendly cafes around, where the kidlets are welcomed, embraced and made to feel special.
There are toys for the kidlets, including an impressive dinosaur collection on the deck (housed, to my horror, in two of the wooden milk-crates, “they are too good to be outside” I exclaimed!), face-painting on weekends, a cute mural from old pages from Little Golden Books, terrariums on the tables with leopards, kangaroos and the like living inside, complimentary sunscreen and Aeroguard, organic baby food sachets for sale, highchairs, plenty of room for prams and strollers, baby change facilities, picnic rugs that can be taken out into the park for a relaxing picnic, and an impressive menu just for the “Little People”.
But perhaps one of the coolest things about this cafe are the little wooden steps up to the counter through the window, accessible from the park side. Chatting to the girls about the philosophy behind this makes it all the more special. With so much online shopping and credit card purchases, they wanted to create an old school feel that is not intimidating for little ones, where children can have interactions with adults as a customer, and can also start to experience the value of money and what it means to buy something by counting out the coins to pay for their treat… just like we all did as little kids.
The little people can sip on slippery dips (milkshakes) and cheeky monkeys (banana smoothie), munch on “kermit the frog” (avo on toast), “mooosli” (Flip Shelton’s famous muesli), “Humpty Dumpty and vegemite soldiers” which is a super special choice, as Humpty comes with a smiley face drawn on and a little woolen hat knitted by the girls Auntie. There’s also a junior bento box complete with mini bacon and scrambled egg roll or toastie, moosli, fruit and a toy, as well as simple old school snacks, reminiscent of my childhood afternoon teas – milk and cookies, milk and fruit, frozen orange quarters, and fruit and marshmallow skewers.
And the menu for us adults is simple, fresh and tasty and uses quality ingredient including La Madre bread. I thoroughly enjoyed my latte, wolfed down my “Billy Goats Gruff” (sourdough with avo and goats cheese) and enjoyed a second cup of coffee, this time served through the window and enjoyed out in the park while I watched my little ones play and enjoy the beautiful autumn sunshine and fresh air. Bliss.
The girls are also serving up healthy kids dinners from 5pm on Mondays to Thursdays, perfect for a quick mid-week fix, or an easy early tea after tennis lessons or a play in the park.
This cafe rocks! It’s another all-time Little Eats fave, and SO deserves 5 milkshakes out of 5! Cubbyhouse Canteen is definitely worth a visit.