"Maman, est-ce qu'on peut aller au café a Cham demain?"
With the original purpose of this site in mind, one might wonder why I am today writing about Café Spatzentreff. If you are a mum trying to figure out what to do when your kids do not have school, you might have the answer already.
Located 10 minutes walk away from Cham's main station and conveniently settled next to the Neudorf Center, the Spatzentreff is one of the only places around Zug where you actually feel welcome when you enter with kids. It kinda feels like home, while being a café, while being an indoor softplay: it is cosy, soft, pink, simple, light, and the only ones you risk to bother if you move are playful toddlers rather than grumpy konditorei waitresses.
For those who haven't been there, one large section of the café is an indoor playground with a boat-shaped jungle-gym. It is fairly safe to leave the little ones play on their own as the play area is entirely carpetted and all toys are easily reachable. And if you have good eyes (or, like me, aways lived in a catalogue my entire life), furnitures and play items mostly come from IKEA (and they are therefore pretty solid but child-friendly).
Like any shared play zone, you can always risk to see a war being fought when the good-old mantra "Sharing is Caring" is in jeopardy. However with Duplos, books, bears and dolls, a garage, plastic balls, and to the biggest pleasure of my son, a furnished IKEA kitchen, the war cannot be long.
The other section is the café area, where you can sit and enjoy a drink or a bite in peace but still keep an eye on your offspring. The menu offer a good range of coffees but also kid-friendly items (milk, juice, smoothies, herbal fruit tees...), as well as freshly-baked gipfeli (aka croissants), cakes and some hot snacks.
Needless to say, one key item of the place is the fully-furnished changing station where diapers and wipes are at your disposal (a little piggy bank on the shelf is waiting for your contribution to support). And even if I should not even have to mention it as it is far too obvious, the place is absolutely breastfeeding-friendly.
Based on the weather and on my (lack of) motivation to try new things, my son and I have been around many times already. As mentioned earlier, it is nice to feel welcome and not bother whether he might make too much noise, make a mess when eating, play, sing or even breathe. It is nice to sit in a place where all people around you understand best that you might struggle to have a proper conversation because you are kindly requested to build a Duplo house, prepare snacks/bottle, drink your own coffee, change a nappy, all this simultaneously and without a glimpse of impatience or tiredness. And sometimes a simple nod or a caring look on someone else's child can bring you at peace.
If you are lucky, you might see a single dad or two join the party. It is a rare but hell-so-beloved sight.
My only advice there would be to check your consumption of liquids: if like me, drinking coffee makes you pee, the Spatzentreff's toilets are not directly onsite but in the building's parking (a key can be asked to the lovely ladies managing the place). And if like me, you are still pottytraining your child, you need to keep that in mind, too.
So, back to square one: why did I want to include Café Spatzentreff in my review? What makes the café "sustainable" to me?
The other day, I went to another coffee place to get my afternoon fix: Starbucks. The place was full, but this time not with teenagers, but with mums and kids. Some were cramped in a corner, no place for bags, with a pile of used cups and plates on the remaining space on the tables. It was noisy and the air was smelling like greasy food. And it made me sad to realize that, despite being a place that strongly values the place of women, as mothers, at home (please imagine my eyes roll cynically here), the available options around for parents to get a well-deserved break are rare, far or expensive.
I don't know where the coffee comes from. I don't know how electricity or water or managed. I don't know how Spatzentreff manages its waste.
In this case I value the comfort and "safety zone" that can in some cases make a difference between loneliness and social support, tiredness and rest, stress and moral/mental support. Sometimes the simple things are the ones you need the most.
Merci Café Spatzentreff.
Café Spatzentreff, Johannisstrasse 5, 6330 Cham
Open Monday-Friday 8.30 am - 5pm (closed on weekends and public holidays)
To be found on Facebook
Pics credits: mine