Café Review: Wigwam
Rose Lane, L18
Review by Christine Toner
As a mum of a three-year-old with an abnormal amount of energy and a 10-month-old who refuses to be still at any point, dining out has become something of a rare treat. Actually, treat is probably the wrong word. Challenge is perhaps more appropriate.
Yes, every now and again we’ll naively believe we can make a success of a restaurant outing but it takes no more than 10 minutes of my toddler yelling ‘Spider-Man’ at other diners and my youngest having a meltdown because the waiter said “hi” to realise what a mistake that was. So when the opportunity to review new eatery Wigwam came up and I was told to bring my children I was filled with dread. Nevertheless my husband and I went along with our small dictators and prepared for the usual fun and games.
Situated in the sought after location of Rose Lane – an area of the city particularly popular with families – Wigwam bills itself as “a grown up environment” for parents whilst providing children with “a whole host of fun yet educational activities”. There’s even a room offering beauty treatments for the adults and haircuts for the kids.
It’s clear this place is aiming to be both children and parent friendly (take note soft play!) and as we arrive it’s obvious that this message has caught on.
The venue is packed out with children and their parents. The picnic style tables and benches are almost all full, though there’s a table available for us near the children’s play area – much to the delight of my son.
A safety gate is in place, preventing any little people from wandering outside which is useful as the kids have the run of this place. Everywhere you look toddlers are toddling about and babies crawling. There’s singing and shouting and the best thing about it is nobody bats an eyelid. There’s no ‘shushing’, no one looks embarrassed or apologetic. It’s actually, dare I say it, relaxing.
Food is ordered at the counter then served at your table. There’s an extensive breakfast menu featuring the likes of Eggs Royale (£6.95) and a full English (£7.95) but that’s only served until 11.30am and we’re here at lunchtime.
My husband chooses a cheese and ham panini (£5.45) which comes with a large green salad and coleslaw. It’s hot and tasty with just the right amount of filling.
I opt for the pasta of the day (£5.95) which on the day of our visit is a courgette, pea and pesto fusilli dish. It’s deliciously flavoured and a very substantial size – which is wonderful as for once I get to actually finish it!
My three-year-old was very happy with his children’s lunch box – a ham or cheese sandwich (he chose ham because today he doesn’t like cheese apparently), a packet of raisins, crisps, a piece of fruit, a biscuit and a juice drink (£3.95). There are other children’s options available however, such as cheesy toast (£1.95) or a smaller portion of the pasta of the day.
Wigwam is the type of place parents have been waiting for. A child-friendly atmosphere where your little ones are free to roam and play but with the added benefit of delicious, fresh food – with not a chip or chicken nugget in sight.