I visited the cafe in IKEA Dublin for the first time last week and really enjoyed it. I’d never really understood families that made a trip there like a day out, but now I’ve seen the light – and it’s blue and yellow.
I always just thought of it as a furniture store that I only went to if necessary. My parents view it as a place to be endured, and my Dad still maintains he has the world record for quickest spin round the showroom. I like to linger a bit more in the room mock-ups dreaming of how I would furnish all the imaginary rooms in my dream house, but it never crossed my mind to go in the cafe.
When I was pregnant we went to buy a changing table and it was amusing how packed the place was with pregnant couples, obviously the nesting instinct is truly strong. At that stage I needed the loo all the time and I was impressed with the bathrooms.
Then last week I needed to get something that I could have got from several homeware stores, but I needed to bring my baby and the thought of decent changing facilities seemed preferable to the possibility of changing a dirty nappy in the aisles somewhere else. We were out of milk and I knew she would be hungry and I would need caffeine before tackling the maze so we planned to go to the cafe first and I was pleasantly surprised by how thoughtfully it has been designed for families.
There’s a lovely private breastfeeding area, and an area for heating bottles and baby food.
For older children there’s a play area surrounded by a circular counter so parents can watch their children play.
There’s also an area with children’s books for children in need of a quiet sit down.
There are loads of tables which reduces the stress of a self serve style cafe. The highchairs are clean and plentiful, and they even provide a nifty three tier trolley for stacking trays so parents can handle multiple meals at once.
Best of all when you buy an adult breakfast you get free children’s cereal. Later in the day they provide free baby food and fruit snacks, and water is plentiful so even if your little darling doesn’t eat much it doesn’t feel like a waste of money, and as the adult food is reasonably priced it all feels great value.
Luckily we are still at the age she is happy to be wheeled round the showroom once her belly is full. She liked looking round at all the different sights and people, but even then she was getting a bit bored and grumpy by the finish line. Once she’s walking fully and wants to explore everything it could become a whole new ordeal, but for now it is dare I say it a fun place to go.
So, would I go there on a day out? Probably not. But if I needed something I’d definitely be inclined to go there first.
Would I go there just for the cafe? I’m surprised to say yes, I would now consider popping in just for food if I was passing at a quiet time. There are lots of parent and child parking spots but at peak times it gets so busy and that would put me off going too often.
Did I end up buying a load of candles I didn’t need? Absolutely!
(Note this post is my own opinion and I have no link or connection to IKEA)