There are some places I would never have thought of going before I had Jack. I’m not a particularly outdoorsy type. I hyperventilate if I’m more than walking distance from a Pret A Manger or Starbucks. I don’t own a cagoule or a ruck sack. I do, however, have a 3 year old.
It was after a tip off from another mum that we first ventured to what is the largest city farm in London at Mudchute. It is now a regular fixture for us, come rain or shine. The promise of a trip on the DLR is enough to get Jack excited. The entrance to the park is right opposite the stop and walking up the sheltered, shady path to the farm does not prepare you for the striking optical illusion of Canary Wharf appearing to spring up right from the farm’s main field.
Mudchute Kitchen is right in the middle of the farm. The food can best be described as an edited menu of wholesome, home cooking. Strangely, for a place aimed at children, they don’t do child-size portions. The dishes are heavily garnished with adventurous salads which even the most adventurous of toddler eaters would baulk at. The cakes are the saving grace – homemade and huge.
It has to be said that the toilets are like farm toilets: cold with concrete floors. And you can’t avoid the distinctive farmyard smell wherever you go.
You can buy animal feed at the shop by the kitchen, so once you’ve fed and watered the children you can feed the animals. Beware though: the sheep are very scary. As we entered the open field where they were grazing, their little beady eyes spied Jack’s paper bag of food and they began running towards him, till he was completely surrounded by the woolly, smelly beasts fighting for the food. I had to beat them off.
Jack loves the place. And so, on those days when we just have to get out of the house, do I. I’ve even bought a pair of wellies.
Stylishness: 3/5 (be prepared to get muddy…)
Friendliness: 4/5 (and that’s just the sheep)
Feeding Facilities: 3/5
Changing Facilities: 3/5
Overall rating: 16/25 £