Review: Cobbs Play Barn, Hungerford
With all of the Corona Virus news at the moment I was in two minds whether to go along to review Cobbs Play Barn, but we have honestly never been to such a clean and calming play facility. With spotless, safe and compact play facilities and exceptional food and service we are so glad we did!
Cobbs Play Barn is situated in Hungerford which is just 20 miles from Swindon and easy two junctions down the Motorway (exit at Jnc. 14), it took us 25 minutes door to door so don't let fact that it's not physically in Swindon put you off.
After a pleasant drive, although in a rural position as the Play Barn is part of the Farm and Farm Shop, it's very easy to spot at the side of the road and there is plentiful parking right outside the Play Barn.
The building is secure so excited children and toddlers can't dash in and out; you press a button for the door to open on entering and exiting.
When you enter, you are greeted by a real treat (for both parents and toddlers!), right in front of you is the timber play construction and conveniently in full view of this, is the cafe with lots of seating including booths and picnic tables with lots of handy storage for your coats, shoes and bags.
Being with my newly potty trained toddler, we headed straight for the toilets which were exceptionally clean and the facilities both for nappy changing and toddlers were fantastic. A clever toddler seat was attached to the toilet which Flo found fun thinking she was on a big girls seat!
I was then excitedly hurried in to the play barn itself which is such an impressive structure; all made out of timber and so incredibly clean. It would be wrong to compare Cobbs Play Barn to a Soft Play area. There is a small soft play for babies and younger toddler but there are several themed rooms which make for imaginitive playing rather than running riot! Florence is a busy bee so I wasn't sure whether she'd just want to keep going down the slide and the adventurous areas rather than take in the rooms.
To my surprise she took a shine to the 'Restaurant' which had two cookers and a sink, table and chairs and some fantastic chef hats and aprons. With no guidance from me she dressed us both up in the chef's outfits and got straight to work, preparing us 'breakfast'. It was wonderful to see her imagination running wild.
She then explored her workmanship skills in the construction area which had tools, mini bollards, high-vis clothing and all you need to get busy on a construction site.
To my surprise, Flo continued to ignore the slide and various climbing and adventure areas and headed to the dressing up box and library.
After a good half an hour of playing, dressing up and reading, the smell of freshly baked goods and coffee lured us in to the cafe to sample the treats on offer. Florence chose a babyccinno with marshmallows (of course!) and a chocolate millionaire shortbread, I went for the cherry and marzipan cake and a cappuccino (without the marshmallows).
Florence devoured hers the minute the food arrived and didn't leave a crumb so top marks from her (i did manage to sneak a bite and it was genuinly the most luxurious millionaire shortbread I've tasted), despite that being so fantastic I was very pleased with my choice, the cake was so soft and delicious and when complimenting the staff I learned it was vegan too!
For the puposes of the review (this is what we told ourselves) we wanted to sample something from the savoury menu; the homemade quiche was served warm with a side sald and homemade coleslaw which we both devoured. You could certainly tell the ingredients were all from the onsite farm shop. It felt like we were eating in a remote award winning cafe and not in a children's play area!
I've never felt so relaxed in a children's play area. Cobbs Play Barn have managed to create something special, which with the food, drinks and surroundings, makes you feel like you can really unwind while being able to watch your little one safely enjoying themselves. All in the company of other parents and children to so you don't have to worry about disturbing anyone.
Fuelled by all the sugar, we spent another 45 minutes back in the play barn but Florence clearly wanted to burn off some energy this time and dragged me up and down the rope climbing areas and down the helter skelter slide several times.
Had we been at an actual soft play, I would have been looking forward to home time but neither of us were in a hurry and had an absolutely delightful Mother and Daughter morning and we will most definitely be back (my husband will no doubt join us next time after he hears about the cakes!).
Cobbs Play Barn in Hungerford have regular special offers and themed and seasonal events for all the family so check out their website to find out more.