Play café opens for excited toddlers and parents on Twickenham high street

Toddlers and parents are buzzing with excitement after a play café with an indoor play area opened on Twickenham high street this month.

Mike and Ruth Tilles opened Cheeky Chops Play Café in the heart of the high street on 12 October.

This comes after almost two years of planning and preparation.

The innovation proved to be popular among parents and toddlers, with booking slots selling out within 45 minutes on the first two days.

One customer said: “It is really nice to sit down and chat while our children are playing.

“It was really lovely seeing how confident she (her daughter) was on the climbing frame, I’ve never seen her on anything like that before.

“There is nowhere like this in Twickenham.”

Having two children of their own, aged five and two, Mike and Ruth felt there was nothing in the area that catered to both children and their parents.

Mike, 37, said: “The important thing that we are trying to promote is a quality experience for both adult and child.

“We wanted to create a nice, clean environment for adults but also a nice place for the children.”

Ruth, 36, a former recruitment consultant and yoga instructor, added: “I heard some children introducing themselves on the play frame the other day and I felt like my work was done, it was incredible!”

The café opens for 90 minute time slots throughout the day, with 30 minute cleaning periods between each slot in which the team sanitises the tables and play areas.

Children aged 0-5 are welcome in the café, however there is a maximum capacity of 30 children per session.

Therefore parents are encouraged to book on the Cheeky Chops website before coming in.

The play café offers a range of cakes, pastries and premium quality coffee for adults as well as a small lunch box for the children.

Mike and Ruth were preparing to open their own café before the pandemic, however COVID-19 brought these plans to a complete standstill.

Ruth said: “It did give us time to plan, as well as valuable family time.”

Mike, who previously taught French and Spanish to secondary school students, used the lockdown as an opportunity to direct his passion for poetry into becoming a published author of two children’s books, both of which are now available in Waterstones.

The café is currently supporting the charity Holding On, Letting Go, which aids grieving children who have lost someone.

They plan to subsidise other charities as the business grows.

As this is their first business venture, Mike and Ruth are eager to talk to all of their customers and receive feedback in any way they can.

Ruth added: “We are open to feedback, we are a family and we are flexible. We want to be here for a long time and be part of the community.”

To visit the Cheeky Chops website, click here. https://www.cheekychopsplaycafe.co.uk

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