Bierton, Aylesbury HP22 5GA
I heard about this place on Facebook as it has recently re-opened, and thought I’d give it a try. You know how most places that market themselves as “family friendly” are actually a little bit grubby and mostly quite functional? Well this place couldn’t be further from that. It was very refreshing to be sitting in really nice surroundings with friends (and the kids of course) without having to worry about them making too much noise or wondering around etc. It was like being a grown-up again!
If you have been to the Barn before and weren’t that impressed then please give it another try. There have been some huge changes and it’s a world away from its previous incarnation.
So, onto the food and drink. The drinks are actually very reasonable; £1.90 for a coffee or hot chocolate. The hot chocolate was lovely and made from actual chocolate for once! Top tip – the drinks are served at drinkable temperature so don’t wait for it to cool down otherwise it will just be cold! They had a good range of cakes at £2.50-£3.00. The brownies were homemade by Eva and they were SCRUMMY. We also tried the apple cake which was nice enough, but no-where near the brownie!
We ended up staying for lunch as well. The prices for hot food were quite typical, but the food was all made to order and good quality. The hot children’s meal was good value (£5) but I did think that the cold option, at £4.50, was a little expensive for what you got. We choose the cheese sandwich and got half a round, a few carrot sticks, a few slices of cucumber and a handful of crisps with a glass of squash. Next time I think I’d either get the hot food or just have a snack.
At the back of the cafe there is a play area for the children and this is what makes it so family friendly. They have a little play kitchen, shop, dolls house, colouring, books and lots of other toys to play with. What is nice is that the kids can play in there whilst you have a drink and it’s relaxed enough that they can wander in and out without you worrying they’re disturbing other people.
The only problem with the kid’s area is that you cannot really see what’s going on in there when you’re sat at the tables. We sat on the sofas just outside the door, so we could keep an eye on them, but that was the best spot. Unfortunately it does mean that people can ignore their kids, even if they’re really messing the play area up, which doesn’t seem to be particularly fair on the owners. There is one sofa inside the play room that you can sit on though.
They’ve got fantastic plans for the place. Outside there are already some ducks you can look at (always a hit in our house) but they’re also installing a play area, sandpit and outside seating. It’s going to be really good in the spring and summer.
They have relatively limited opening hours (have a look at the sign in the pictures) but it’s also open for hire. Apparently they’re fully booked on Saturdays for a while which is great. They’re also open on Friday nights until late. As much as it’s a family friendly place, I think it also has a great atmosphere and would be a lovely place to take friends – without the children – for the evening.
We were there for three hours and had a lovely time. We didn’t feel at all rushed or like we should move on. The staff were so nice and accommodating. The children had a lovely time too – they thought they were just at playground. It was a brilliant way to spend a few hours.
Entry – Free
Parking – Plenty on-site
Food – It’s a cafe so there’s food and you cannot bring your own
Toilets – on-site
Rating – 4 / 5