My cafe reviews are designed to help an anxious Mama plan ahead. From one mentally illuminated new parent to another.
Churchfield Food Store in Acton, West London, is a cosy Italian deli come cafe which serves scrummy toasted ciabatta sarnies at a cheap as chips price and strong hot coffee. This makes it one of my favourite places for some Mum escapism time. Whether you are watching the world go by, enjoying some peace and quiet or sharing a snack with your little monster, read on for my full review.
Please note – all comments are my opinion only and relevant at time of publishing.
I’ve been meaning to post this cafe review for over a month now but we have been on a lovely holiday to end our shared parental leave in style and time has just run away with me.
Mr E works compressed hours and during my maternity leave, he would take sole care of Miss EEE on a Friday so that I could have some time to myself. On one such occasion, I headed into Acton, in search of somewhere to work on Mama’s Mind Menu. I stumbled across Churchfield Food Store and now, whenever I want to switch off from the daily grind of parenthood, this is a regular stop off. I’ve been here a few times with Miss EEE as well as she loves watching the steady stream of customers dropping in and waving.
The small unisex toilet here has a fold down changing unit. It wasn’t sparkling clean when we visited but definitely clean enough and nothing a quick Milton wipe wouldn’t fix.
We have a Bugaboo Chameleon travel system and there is no way I was getting that in the toilet with me while the changer was folded down. If you need to pee and you are solo parenting on your visit you would need to perhaps have your baby in a sling/ carrier while you spend a penny! Either that or let your little one down on the bathroom floor which I wouldn’t like to do myself.
Entry is via a single door. No issues for your average pram but could be a problem for a double buggy.
This cafe is kind of long and thin. There is a buggy width at least all the way along the counter, which is good because it is counter service. Navigation is fine around Churchfield Food Store, you have a clear run from the front part where seating is, to the back of the place where the shop part is.
I would say this is more of a solo visit or family of three kind of cafe. A couple of tables do seat 4 but it may be tricky to accommodate multiple prams directly around the tables.
When Miss EEE and I have visited, we have always managed to nab an end table and kept the buggy to the side of us. If you had a table mid way down the cafe, buggy storage would possibly be trickier. There is lots of space at the back by the shop bit, but you’d want to leave the brake off because you would block the shelves for other customers.
All the tables here are normal height (not coffee table height) which is conducive to one handed eating while holding or breastfeeding your little one. If your Baba is settling in for a long breastfeed make sure you sit on one the benches against the wall to give yourself some back support. Other than that there are small stalls which are fine for a quick snack breastfeed.
There isn’t a children’s menu here but for us that doesn’t matter as there are plenty of baby friendly sandwiches. Miss EEE is very partial to sharing an Artichoke and cheese toasted Ciabatta so it all tends to work out fine… if I can get a look in (that girl can put it away, I’m telling you!). The sandwiches are made fresh so I’m sure you could ask for ingredients to be left out or create your own if needed.
The high chairs here are the stackable Bolero wooden tray-less kind that you often see in Cafes in London. It is a bit of a squish to bring them in really close to the tables. It isn’t ideal for Baby Lead Weaning. I must admit that when we visit I just hold the sandwiches for Miss EEE and let her chomp down on it hands free.
What I like about Churchfield Food Store is that it doesn’t pretend to be something it’s not. It seems proud to be a local treasure that offers fresh, simple food to keep it’s customers coming back for more.
The atmosphere in this Italian deli is relaxed and friendly. The menu is simple and prices affordable. They describe themselves as “Little Italy in action” on their website which I wouldn’t contest.
The music is quite loud and usually kind of throw back noughties pop! But half way through my last visit and elderly Italian lady requested they change it for Italian music and they did, immediately, starting quite traditional but soon morphing into loud Italian rap! It could be a little bit loud for your baby if they like a peaceful napping environment but never seems too much of a distraction for Miss EEE once her food is ready.
There are a few tables out the front of this establishment which gives it even more brownie points in the Mama chill out trip rankings!
Overall I would say that it is a baby friendly cafe for a short visit but I wouldn’t plan a big long NCT mum meet-up here.
Churchfield Food Store specialise in simple, good quality offerings. The ingredients speak for themselves. My favourites are the Rosemary focaccia sarnies which are served warm and deliciously oozing with flavour. At £5 each you can’t go wrong!
The coffee here is strong, enough to get the most sleep deprived Mama bouncing off the walls. For comparison purposes with other reviews I always list the price of a Flat White as my dip test… £2.70 here.
The Deli itself is foodie heaven! Shelves stacked to the brim with all kinds of Italian wonders from pasta to olive oil to taste before you buy wine! Yes you heard me right, this cafe serves wine. They have a “by the glass” wine dispenser at the back of the shop. My Mum Escapism radar is on full alert here!