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THINGS TO DO WITH THE KIDS

In East Devon, South Somerset, West Dorset and beyond

Welcome to The Down-to-Earth Parent blog, an honest guide to places to visit and everyday things to do with (and occasionally without!) children in the Lyme Regis area and beyond.


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The Community Waffle House, Axminster – afternoon treats with the kids and the ideal teen hangout

#waffles #icecream #milkshakes #smoothies #childfriendlycafe #familyfriendly #teens #axminster #eastdevon #coffeeshop #childfriendly #games


(Disclaimer - all of the decent photos in this post are credited back to Waffle. Mine are the rubbish ones.)


I’ve been salivating over the idea of taking the kids to Waffle in the centre of Axminster ever since it opened earlier in the year, thanks to the enticing photos the proprietors have been posting on social media of their Belgian waffles, dippy chocolatey sharing platters, milkshakes, smoothies and treats.


We finally dropped in today as a treat to round off the school summer holidays, and it didn’t disappoint – it’s a warm and welcoming spot with a lovely, buzzy atmosphere and really welcoming staff, as well as being super child and teen friendly.



On arrival the girls were pleased to discover the Rubik’s cube and Connect 4 provided on the table – each table had a card game, board game or toy to keep customers amused – while I checked out the menu.


It’s a not-for-profit community enterprise so pricing is very reasonable and the aim of the establishment is to provide the community with a place, essentially, just to hang out – with or without a waffle or ice cream, whatever your budget. Check out the top of the menu – it says they are concerned with more than just your money, so please feel free to just order a free glass of water and relax. It’s become incredibly popular with families with children looking for a treat, and teens wanting a relaxed and cool place to meet with no pressure to spend.



Happily though today Waffle was doing a great trade and I saw a pair of teens with the most enormous chocolate milkshake AND one of the esteemed ‘mystery waffle of the month’ each; I was genuinely impressed at their ability to get through it all!


Back at our table and my two were busy fighting to the death over the Rubik’s cube and generally making a bit of a scene, only briefly interrupted by the arrival of their giant ice cream milkshakes which gladly went down a storm.


Waffle is, of course, famed for its amazing traditional Belgian waffles which come with all manner of toppings, but they also serve milkshakes, ice creams (I liked that you could build your own bowl with a choice of scoops etc), cakes, drinks and a healthier range of fruit and veg juice smoothies.



It’s somewhere you could go for a fun experience after school or at the weekend and I thought the idea of having a monthly mystery waffle gives families a good reason to return each month, just to check out the latest offering – this month’s mystery waffle is based on a cream tea!


Inside the café there are information boards detailing all of the great things going on in and around Axminster, and the café itself plays host to a number of workshops and community groups such as a Games Night every Thursday and various A-Level and GCSE workshops for students and their parents. Give them a follow on Facebook to keep up to date with upcoming events.


Waffle is open Tuesday to Saturday, 2pm – 10pm (again lending itself well to the teen market) and is situated on the high street running through Axminster, just a one minute walk from the market square where you can park for free for an hour if there’s space.



For families with tots and babies, you needn’t worry about them making the occasional racket or staying sat up to the table – this venue has a very relaxed vibe where perfect table manners thankfully aren’t necessarily of paramount importance! (Which is just as well as mine spent more than half of our visit bellowing and squawking in some sort of milkshake induced rage.)


I was grateful to the staff who could see I was getting a bit flustered and gave me some words of encouragement as I muttered things to the effect of ‘I don’t know why I bothered’ as I reached the till! Sometimes, all you need is someone to say don’t worry, you’re doing a good job, even when your children aren’t behaving quite as you’d like them to.


Anyway - there are high chairs, baby change facilities, and there’s room for a couple of buggies, as well as toys and games at each table and tubes of colouring pencils to keep busy kids entertained – even a proper piano, which I believe customers are welcome to use, if your children are musically inclined!


A lovely place to visit and we’ll definitely be back. If you wanted to extend your visit with kids of a ‘playground age’, it’s an easy 5-minute walk to the newly refurbished playground on North Street – could prove useful to burn all of those syrup-induced calories before you head home!





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EXETER BABYSITTERS

 

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