I feel like I’m totally late to the Open Door party, but here I go anyway… I’ve been working on my Top 10 Coffee Shops in Cape Town, and here is my second stop!
I often find myself wondering why I even bother trying to go to nice coffee shops and restaurants with a two year old. And, many times ask myself why I didn’t pile him in the car and go to McDonalds for an ice cream and coffee. Wouldn’t it be less stressful? Probably.
But, then I remembered hearing about Open Door. I heard about it for the first time when media raved about their incredible play area for kids. I avoided it by all costs just because I knew it would be overflowing with parents and kids. Over time, I forgot about it. We live close by, and we often take our dogs for a walk in the forest. Each time, we drive past the entrance and I think – ‘I still need to go there’. Finally, my mommy brain managed to remember, and we went for the first time on Monday during their ‘Communal’ hours.
Communal time is between main meals. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner usually need to be reserved to be safe, however, bookings are not allowed to be made for the communal hours. Open Door has special menus for these times which occur twice a day. Between breakfast and lunch – you can order a Sticky Bun (ORDER THE STICKY BUN!!!!) or a croissant with your usual hot drinks, cool drinks, etc. And in the afternoons, between lunch and dinner, you can choose from platters, a couple of other delicious sounding light snacks, cake of the day, a few sweet treats for the kids and of course hot drinks, cold drinks, cocktails and a large selection of drinks off of their wine menu.
I must admit that both times I have gone, yes, two days in a row, I went at Communal Hour. On Monday I went in the morning and enjoyed a divine Sticky Bun with a delicious Cappuccino and yesterday I went in the afternoon and Olly enjoyed his cold chocolate milk with freshly baked cookies! I had a Strawberry Daquiri, which, might I add – is made CORRECTLY, just the correct amount of everything, and finished off my afternoon with a delicious G&T. What better way to end off a scorching HOT public holiday?
Ok, to the part that is most valuable for you mamas… the play area. Honestly, I’m not quite sure where to even begin. Can I quickly tell you a story?
Growing up, we would go to the States every couple years to visit my Moms family. They’re spread out across America, and we would make a point to visit as many family members as we could in the time that we were there. We would always go in school holidays, and usually spent the entire holiday there. Being kids, we just wanted to be exploring and playing outdoors. We were lucky enough to get to experience every Season. My fondest memories were playing in their beautifully thought out play parks. Kept so incredibly clean and in tip-top condition, it was truly an experience.
The point of my story is, I have rarely seen parks like these in South Africa. Every now and then, you come across a nicer one, but walking into Open Door, and seeing their play area, not only did I feel proud for them, but I also had this feeling of immense excitement, almost like butterflies in my stomach. Knowing that my little guy could experience such a wonderful play area equipped with everything a little person could possibly need, just made me so happy.
Believe it or not, it gets better! The play area is visible from the patio, where on a nice day, you can’t resist sitting out there. The play area is also fenced off, which means that you can sit down and enjoy your coffee or drink in peace! You can relax and have a conversation without a worry. The jungle gym and play equipment is low and was obviously created with kids of all age in mind. There is a wooden tractor, beautiful swings, and motorbikes as well as little balance surfboards. The jungle gym has been complete with the sweetest little binoculars for the kids to really just escape into their own little imaginary world.
On our second outing yesterday, Olly learnt how to open the gate himself. The beauty is that they can’t get anywhere else from the play area. The pathway literally brings them directly to the deck which means that they can’t get past you without you seeing them. They can’t, however let other kids escape as there is a spring on the gate which means that it automatically closes behind them.
I honestly cannot even begin to rave enough about Open Door. I have never been there for a main meal, however, I do hope to get there soon for date night. But, wow… what a beautiful place. Sophisticated, however, I don’t feel out of place being there. I know that my child is playing contently just a few steps away, and I get to enjoy a morning out with a friend where I can actually talk over a GOOD cup of coffee without any distractions!
We don’t always have to leave our kids at home when we go out – sometimes we just have to find the right place. And, I’ve found mine. My little treasure, just down the road from me. SCORE!
For the mama’s that live far out, it’s totally worth the drive on a Saturday morning. Just be sure to make an appointment the day before for a main meal.
Check out their social media in the meanwhile!