My husband, daughter and I discovered a fantastic café in York last weekend called Rowntree Park Reading Café. We noticed a poster advertising ‘Wordless Wednesdays’, when ‘all users are welcome but encouraged to respect those who wish to sit quietly and enjoy a coffee, read a book or perhaps work on their laptop’ (I’m paraphrasing, having not written it down word-for-word).
‘What a great idea!’ we said. ‘Let’s go this week.’ She is currently working on a report related to her degree; I need to work on my very disjointed, disastrous ‘manuscript’. A change of scene seemed like a good idea, to offer us a bit of inspiration.
We set ourselves up for it well; we cycled to a 7:15am Yoga class at Yogabomb (excellent, thank you, Laura), got a spot of breakfast at Pig and Pastry (love that place!) and then wandered down to the cafe to enjoy a peaceful couple of hours of work.
Unfortunately, the staff at the Reading Café had failed to add, on their in-café poster the crucial words: ‘Term time only’. I found this on the website after we got home.
During school holidays it should be renamed ‘Rambunctious Wednesdays’ or ‘Lego Wednesdays’ or ‘Mum and loud children Wednesdays’. Wordless is NOT a word that could be used to describe our experience in this otherwise extremely pleasant space.
Don’t get me wrong, I applaud their encouragement of family time, books for children and the activities they offer. It is in a lovely location in Rowntree Park, overlooking the pond (and ducks); they serve great coffee and there are books available to borrow.
‘This is the noisiest cafe I’ve been in in a long time,’ my daughter says with a smile. Children are crying, a mother is reading a picture book aloud (VERY aloud), and giving a loud non-stop commentary about all the things her children are doing wrong. Generally everyone in here is being extremely WORD-Y instead of wordless. Though very busy, the Pig and Pastry was much calmer and quieter, probably because the clientele were all adults (parent-readers, please do not be offended, I am a parent myself – it is simply an honest observation).
We shall return another time, either during the holidays (with no intentions of working), or during term time if we ever get the opportunity. For now, home seems much quieter, even with our very own ‘judgy’ dog and extremely needy/noisy cats.
Note: on the shelf behind me was a novel titled Killing in the Café by Simon Brett. I think it was best that we escaped before we could consider its significance.
Photo courtesy of https://www.exploreyork.org.uk/cafes/rowntree-park-reading-cafe/