On Friday I had myself a really lovely lunchtime stroll around Borough Market with Noah and one of my dear friends. I was a little bit anxious about venturing to London on my own with Noah, but given I was only travelling to London Bridge, I knew that we weren't far from home and that we didn't have a tube journey to contend with.
We were all having a really lovely time, Noah was taking in the sights and sounds and my friend and I were spending on delectable foodstuffs! After an hour we thought it best to have a cuppa and a cake and get Noah fed, so we went to a Patisserie on the edge of the market.
Being on maternity leave at the moment I'm finding myself having coffee and a cake in cafes quite a regular thing, so on entering the cake shop I had no inkling that we would be asked to leave as that has NEVER happened to me before, so I was blissfully making my way to a table to sit down when the waitress intercepted me and said that we couldn't come in here with THAT. I initially thought she meant the buggy and given that it was a really small shop I thought, fair do's it is a bit tight, so I said, that's fine I can fold it down (handy Maclaren!), again she said no and I mistakenly thought that as she had an Eastern European accent that she didn't understand what I meant, so I repeated that I could fold it down and put it under the table. How wrong was I? She understood quite well what I meant and she then had to think up some other reason that we weren't welcome. 'Erm, we have no seat for him'. Well that's easy I said, he can't sit up on his own anyway and he would be sitting on my lap. I'm very calm, really still not getting that she doesn't want my baby in the place - it's not the buggy at all!!! To which she just bluntly told me that her boss wouldn't welcome us. So 'THAT' which she was referring to was my baby.
The penny dropped.
I was a bit gobsmacked and anyone that knows me would know I would at that point normally have flipped, blurted out a load of angry words and flounced out. But my saviour was my friend who I hadn't seen for ages and I really didn't want to make a scene and embarrass her. So we walked off up the road perplexed, with my friend feeling bad that she'd suggested the place.
On reflection now I'm actually outraged. When we found somewhere to sit down and have coffee, Noah was brilliantly behaved, had his milk, looked cute, giggled and did not once cry, he drew admiring looks and we got on with our afternoon.
I found myself thinking about the incident quite a lot since it happened and I decided that it deserved a blog post as I've never been refused entry to a cake shop because of my kids and it got me wanting to google this particular place and I'm glad I did as I now feel that I wasn't singled out, apparently this place has a terrible reputation for pushing people out the door for not spending enough, telling people they can't use laptops and now telling people with kids that they can't come in! Unfortunately this establishment will not suffer as there is enough trade in the area but I now feel it's my duty to add to the online log of dissatisfied customers (although obviously I can't call myself that, not actually having imbibed anything!) and name the place as PATISSERIE LILA.
Don't go there unless you really can't find anywhere else and you fancy potentially being humiliated.