I have a new favourite cafe! The World Peace Cafe is in The Old Vicarage on Gloucester Road, Bishopston. The cafe is run by Buddhist Monks who reside there, however, it is open to the public; indeed, everyone is warmly welcomed.
Photo courtesy of john Rees
This is what one part of the cafe looks like inside...
There is another part of the cafe which has comfy sofas, perfect if you are a mum with a baby who needs feeding. There are some baskets of toys and books to occupy small children...
What's more there is a beautiful garden...
All food served is organic, fair trade, wholesome and delicious. I would recommend 'Clive's Home Made rosemary and potato pie'. Each time I go there I order a hot ginger and apple squash, this is absolutely divine, you must try this. Oh, and the cakes...well, I could go on forever! Prices for food and drinks are very reasonable. There are baby changing facilities, too.
As you might expect from a Buddhist cafe, it is quiet and peaceful. Low meditative music fills the space which encourages you to relax. On every occasion I have visited with my two (definitely non-quiet) children, the volunteers have been helpful and understanding. On the first occasion I went with my daughter for lunch, she refused to eat it preferring to fling chunks of it on the floor (a common occurrence but also slightly stressful when out in public). The volunteer serving at the time made great effort to reassure me not to worry.
When we were there last week, my daughter was a bit restless so we were walking her around to try and settle her, pointing out things in the cafe to try and distract her. One of the volunteers asked if she would like to see the Buddhist statues in the other part of the house?
My son loved exploring. What a great learning experience for him! However, he was scared of the figure in the centre of the photo below...
This figure did have quite a frightening face! The manager of the cafe, a resident monk, explained why the figure looks like this and reassured my son. He didn't want to enter the room properly but every time I closed the door he wanted to go back and have another peek! He found it scary but fascinating at the same time.
This is one of the reasons why I like living so close to Gloucester Road. Where else could be so interesting and diverse? I think it is great for my children to grow up in a place that offers such great learning experiences and variety.
I would definitely recommend visiting The World Peace Cafe, it really is lovely and tranquil; exactly what you might expect from a Buddhist cafe! It is definitely a cafe unlike any other :-)
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