It is with much anticipation that we have waited for the new cafe down the road to open up. It's quite literally at the end of our street. But our interest in this cafe is more about the type of place it is and the niche it is going to fill in our neighbourhood.
Roncesvalles has experienced a rejuvenation over the past twelve months or so. There are some amazing little stores popping up, fabulous fishmongers and frozen yoghurt places and lots of restaurants. But the renewal has also been the death of taking your kids out for lunch or dinner (unless you fancy the pub, which is ok too). The new restaurants on the strip are pretty awesome but my kid isn't much of a fan. She finds the food too fancy or just doesn't feel like chicken 'tenders' (fingers).
Insert Smock Cafe and Wonder Workshop here. Yes, that's really it's fabulous name!
Not only does Smock offer a family environment, with open and bright decor (sooo my kind of space, I want to put a bed in the corner and move in), and even a kids' reading nook tucked away out of sight. The staff are very friendly and accommodating, and I had the best panini I've had since we moved to Toronto. Poppet has finally found a grilled cheese sandwich she likes too (usually they're too rich and greasy for her 7 year old pallette).
Yes, it's all very relaxed and groovy. But wait, there's more! Smock offers a drop-in art and craft station at the back of the cafe. Just drop your kid at the table, provide them with their choice of crafty bits and pieces and leave them to work on a little something special with the facilitator whilst you relax over coffee and read from the stack of National Geographics in peace.
Even better, there's a summer camp on offer at Smock. We have already enrolled Poppet into the week-long introduction to digital photography (wondering if there's a way for me to pretend to be a 7 year old so I can pick up some pointers too). There are lots of other camps on offer for a variety of ages, from sculpture to printmaking. You can have a birthday party there too.
I am really looking forward to spending some lazy summer holiday time in this space. But we'll have to get there early, this place is going to be packed!
If you don't live in Toronto, are you very jealous?! Well, it's mine, all mine.....