Because we were the only people there at that time, I took the opportunity to chat to the friendly person who served us and ask him about the bistro. He told me that the bistro had been opened to the public so as to enable the people in the flats to feel less isolated. He explained that allowing the public in brought news from the outside world to the people who lived there.
Have you noticed the huge, new building on Horfield Common? If you have, you might know that it is called Horfield Lodge, and contains purpose-build flats for older people.What you may not know, however, is that hidden within this building is a cafe which is open to the public. This is called Horfield Lodge Bistro.
A friend of mine had stumbled upon this, previously undiscovered bistro, quite by chance a couple of weeks earlier. She told me about it and I thought it sounded interesting, so set out with my children last week to visit it.
I have been recently been trying to get my 3-year-old to walk whenever possible, rather than him sitting in the pushchair with his sister. Because I worry about him running onto the main road, I opted to plough through the grass on the Common rather than walk along Kellaway Avenue.
Big mistake! I did not realise how muddy it is at the moment. By the time we had reached Horfield Lodge, the wheels of the pushchair, my boots and my son’s shoes were caked in thick, wet mud. Unfortunately the pushchair wheels left muddy stripes over the entrance hall that leads into the smart, clean Bistro, and my son and I made muddy footprints on the floor, not the ideal entrance!
I was embarrassed and apologised to the person behind the counter. Luckily, he reassured me not to worry and told me that he would sweep it up after we had gone.
I ordered two cartons of apple juice and a chocolate brownie which came to the grand total of…£1.40, obviously very reasonable.
There are no toys in this bistro, however, there is plenty of space for toddlers to enjoy as my children proved! My little girl practised her standing and my little boy ran around, hiding behind armchairs.
One of the elderly residents came down and chatted for a while. She was very friendly and obviously enjoyed talking to us. My son showed her his robots and my daughter charmed her as she does everyone she meets:-)
This is a smart bistro with lots of space. No worrying about where to sit or where to park your pushchair here. It is really nicely decorated and a lovely place to sit and have a drink or have a snack. Food and drinks are VERY reasonable, for example: £1 for a coffee, £2.35 for a panini, sandwiches are £1.80 and cakes range from 50p-£1!
But because Horfield Lodge Bistro is, in the end, the home of elderly people, it is necessary to watch your children playing lest they become a trip hazard to anyone or try to escape into the lift! There are also no high chairs which would be a little difficult if you had a small child that needs to be fed.
I think opening Horfield Lodge Bistro to the public is a great idea. I am sure it will help the people who live there feel more in touch with the outside world and less lonely. And from my point of view, my children had an absolutely fantastic time time when we visited and expended much energy!
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