I’ve been raving about The Jelly Lounge in central Windsor to all my friends since my little one and I visited last week.
It’s like no other soft play that I’ve ever been to before. Set up in 2015 by mums, Jenny and Tamar, their aim was to create family club with a “good vibe, great food and where children and parents are looked after in equal measure” and wow they really have ticked all the boxes.
Let’s skip straight to what there is for the kids, because after all, running off some energy and having happy kids is the whole reason I usually brave the big manic soft play centres in dark warehouses, it’s definitely not for the ambience. Well, The Jelly Lounge is different. The main soft play area is bright and colourful without being garish. I loved the unusual hand embroidered tree that kids can clamber up inside and down a tunnel, relax in the swing or act like a monkey on the hanging ball.
Arranged over a few levels is the more traditional soft play equipment with a couple of great slides, a wiggley see through tunnel and fun spaces to explore. I could hardly keep up with my two year old as he laughed and ran off exploring. It feels lovely and light in this area and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it until I realised that the netting is white rather than the usual black.
If you want to sit back and chill while your kid burns off energy, you’re not going to be stuck on a sticky plastic chair. There’s a lovely run of tasteful seating and with outstanding coffee you could close your eyes and think you’re in an artisan coffee shop.
Talking about coffee, it’s damn good. Their barista knows her stuff and it tastes as good as the beautiful presentation. I’d had a particularly early 5:30am wake up from my youngest the day I visited so unusually for me also tried one of their highly recommended smoothies. I was in definite need of something to pep me up so went for ‘The Glow’. Parsley, spinach, kale, celery, cucumber, apple and lemon sounded like it would give me all the vitamins a busy Mum would need but likely to be impossible to get down me. I’m a convert, seriously you gotta try one of these if you go. I don’t know if it was the coffee, smoothie or the fab time we had but I was definitely glowing for the rest of the day.
And it just kept on getting better. Seriously, they’re not paying me to write this, I just totally fell in love with this place! After a really good run around in the soft play, we headed back to the front of The Jelly Lounge to their baby lounge for a quieter play with the toys. It’s gated so crawlers and toddlers can’t escape with a padded floor and a few tables to chill out at. The big fish tank was a hit and I had the chance to scour the menu for what we might eat.
The cafe/restaurant part of The Jelly Lounge is the icing on the cake. Tastefully decorated, you feel like you’re being treated just hanging out there. Run by a trained chef, the menu uses locally sourced and healthy fresh ingredients. There’s a great selection to suit all tastes. Jenny, one of the owners told me they have some regular Dads who bring the kids at the weekend, the kids go off and play while they tuck into a cooked breakfast and Mum gets to stay at home for a lie in. Sounds good to me!
My son loves baked beans and they were able to accommodate that while I tucked into a halloumi and mushroom open sandwich. Delicious, beautifully presented and with a lovely salad on the side, I’d happily come here for the food alone. I also spied their drinks menu, the alcoholic one! I’ll need to come back after school one day for a Prosecco playdate!
If that’s not enough, The Jelly Lounge usually run fun activities and events during the school holidays as well as regular workshops like ‘mini chef’ which sounds like cooking and fun messy play all mixed together. They also host parties and if you need a couple of hours to catch up on work or nip to the shops they also have a creche you can book.
So, you can probably tell already that I love The Jelly Lounge, hands down the best soft play and family friendly restaurant I’ve been to.