Sadly, the Brockley Mess is only superficially child-friendly at best. Whilst there is a childrens' menu, box of toys, ample space for buggies and high-chairs are provided, the male proprietor has now shown his true colours as someone who is not at all tolerant of, or accommodating towards, children.
There are no nappy changing facilities in this cafe. This of itself is not a problem and hasn't phased my friends nor I in the past. As the toilet is too small and, in any event, not a safe place to change baby's nappy (you would need to put the baby on the toilet seat - cue rolling and smashed little heads) we elected to discreetly change our babies' wet (not soiled) nappies on the bench on which we sat (appropriately covered with baby blankets and nappy change mats, and armed with a packet-full of sanitising wipes), protected and camouflaged on all sides by our own bodies. This has proved successful in the past with no diners being at all bothered by this.
Today, however, the owner told us not to change our babies in the cafe. At all. Ever. When we pointed out that there is nowhere else to change out little ones he told us in no uncertain terms to either go home and change them or not bother coming into his cafe at all. He also pulled a face when I breastfed my baby.
He was then overheard telling two customers (who hadn't complained at all) that he didn't want his cafe "smelling like baby sh*t".
What a disgusting attitude towards the very people who sustain his business throughout the day (the cafe is usually full of mums with young babes during the day).
The proprietor is not so much concerned to protect his customers' interests as to ensure that he is not confronted by children for whom he has a clear dislike. He has elected not to provide baby changing facilities so it is patently obvious that he is not interested in attracting young families to his premises.
I refuse to spend another penny in there (indeed, I'm not allowed to stay on the premises if - God forbid - my child happens to need changing while I'm out) and I am sure that once word gets out the many parents from surrounding Brockley, Ladywell and Lewisham will also be boycotting the place.
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