When you are on maternity leave and the 'newborn fog' has started to lift, you realise that, in the early months, your little baby human doesn't actually do much other than feed, sleep and cry. For fresh air and sanity, you need to get out of the house but what do you do? Walking is a good one. I walked a lot in those first months. Another, arguably better, idea is to head to a lovely, local coffee shop for tea and cake and hope the baby stays asleep. Maternity leave is full of tea and cake: chocolate cake on a Wednesday afternoon; a brownie and a cup of tea at the weekend; a cheeky slice of lemon cheesecake in the morning. Well, that day I had been up since the middle of night and it really did help soothe the soul. With this said, I'm sure you can imagine my uninhibited yelps of glee to discover a new coffee shop opening it's doors in Twickenham. There's somewhere new to try? Let me grab my baby bag and the baby, I'm coming for you, Ruben's Bakehouse.
In October last year, Ruben's Bakehouse opened its doors in St Margaret's. It's actually the second Ruben's Bakehouse, the original is in the centre of Twickenham. It was a little nerve-wracking testing out Ruben's new premises. Are second albums ever as good? The answer, in this case, is yes.
From the outside, Ruben's immediately catches your eye. The exterior is stylish and inviting. It's looks like a step above its rather less glam neighbours. There are a few tables outside, but this is winter and I'm really not very hardy. The pram, baby and I head inside.
The inside is as welcoming as the exterior with lovely quaint tables at the front and longer sociable tables at the back. Ruben's isn't just a coffee shop. As the name says, it's a 'Bakehouse' where they bake hand-made breads and sourdough pizzas. Walking inside, you are greeted with a view of its wonderful wood fired oven. Today it's only 4pm, so I don't indulge in a pizza but I do put my guilt aside and try the brownie with my cup of tea. Flaky on the top, moist in the middle, it is definitely a guilty pleasure.
When you have a baby in tow, confined spaces can be tricky. There needs to be enough room for the pram and I like to feel like being noisy is acceptable, because it's inevitable. In Ruben's, there is plenty of space and I (we) certainly were welcome. There's a baby change and high chairs too.
This is definitely a spot to check out during the day for a coffee and cake or in the evening for a pizza. As a little aside, the last time I went to the original Ruben's Bakehouse for a pizza (which was delicious), the lovely staff gave me a free loaf of bread as I left. While that doesn't happen on every visit, it does show the kind of place this is. Pop in. You won't regret it.