I never abuse this platform. I’m self deprecating, sarcastic, occasionally depressed, sometimes humorous but never moany! Or at least I don’t think so.

But today this is my soapbox. Mark’s away in the UK for his dad’s 70th birthday. And while he’s celebrating the aged, I’m ageing. Emma and Ben with a husband are great. Emma or Ben and me. That’s great too. Emma, Ben, me and no husband. Not good at all. So I’m stressed out attempting to run a household, ensure neurotic dogs get their various medication, make sure I take mine and make extra-double-triple sure the two don’t get mixed up. To say I feel a little out of control is an understatement and this weekend’s cold spell threw me even more.

The usual fave weekend hot spots are not that hot when it’s minus freezing temperatures. For me. Emma doesn’t feel the cold. At all. I, on the other hand, do. I can feel every gusty breath of wind blowing right through my calcified bones. My hands and feet are never warm and I run the risk of breaking in half like a stalactite.

So on Saturday morning when I asked Emma what she wanted to do and she mentioned going to see Thabani, i thought that’s okay. There’s an inside area for crappy weather days. Except this Saturday. They were setting up for some poor sod’s birthday…inside…because it was so cold.

After 20 grueling minutes outdoors, we called it quits. My boogers were frozen. My phalanges were about to fall off and my mom-eter was at an all time low. So off we went to the next spot. The Spur at Peter Place. I’m not sure if they advertise themselves as being child friendly but there’s a slide, a climb uppy thing and a child minder, which to me means child friendly (enough).

That’s if you don’t have a pram. Because there’s two stairs that you have to go up to get to the door. The door doesn’t stay open on its own so you have to find a way to hold it open with one foot while you pull the pram close enough to use that as a door stop. No small feat with a toddler in tow. Once you’re inside there’s more stairs. Three and then another three. Really? Really! There’s no space for prams or push chairs. In fact, even Ben’s nappy bag was feeling claustrophobic.

The nappy changing areas for babies is a single piece of foam, in the ladies’, right next to the basin. Not sure about you but I tremble at the thought of the germs lurking on door handles, let alone what’s wafting out some tot’s crappy nappy. Personally I didn’t go into the Gents but I’m assuming, from what they had available in the women’s toilet, there’s no facilities in the men’s. Just a thought here Spur. How about a unisex changing area for moms and single dads or dads having an outing with the kids or a one of kind kinda dad who happily changes dirty diapers?

Me asking for a jug of hot water to warm a bottle had the staff dazed and confused. One waitress brought a glass of boiling hot water which ended up overflowing, spilling and burning me. She then called our waiter to interpret what I was asking. “A jug so I can warm a baby bottle…” You would have sworn I had asked him to show me his genitalia. When he turned up with an ice bucket filled to the brim with hot water the look on my face was as if he HAD JUST SHOWN ME his genitalia.

Now I know I’m really nit-picking, but if you’re going to provide kids with balloons, please make sure they don’t EXPLODE at the slightest of touches. Blow up condoms for s***’s sake!

Maybe I’m being harsh. It is the Spur after all, and not Nanny McFee’s day care, but surely if you know your restaurant is considered child friendly, even by default, then there’s a few things that aren’t optional. They’re necessities.

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5 thoughts on “No Nanny McFee’s

  1. Oh Spurs are so not mommy friendly!! Pity the kids love it so much.
    I remember a huge furore a few years ago with Sally (@pinkhairgirl) when she tried to breastfeed in a Spur… huge drama because the bathrooms were just as shocking as you've blogged about now… and that's where they reckoned she needed to feed her baby (I'm almost sure it was her)

  2. I have to agree although our local one is a lot better than the one you describe. They have a proper baby changing station in the disabled toilet – so moms and dads can use it. But I do hate those balloons. Luckily my kids do not seem to fond of them too

  3. A lot of 'child friendly' places seem to think this means they allow kids in. A lot of them have no decent facilies for babies or small kids. Even in a hospital once, I had to change my child on the floor. Luckily most of those nappy bags come with the mats!
    We have not yet gone to a Spur, so I can't comment on those.

  4. Hi

    We have read your blog and the comments below. We take these comments very seriously as we try to go above and beyond—ensuring that all our customers’ compliments, queries and complaints are seen to as speedily as possible.

    We have assessed your concerns about the facilities and service at River Hawk Spur, and have broken down the responses for you:

    Baby changing area: We have very certain specifications that we prescribe to our franchisees, specifically with regards to our baby changing mats. River Hawk Spur has the correct specifications but unfortunately the disable toilets (which are unisex) were closed that particular day due to a water problem. We therefore had to place a temporary changing mat in the female bathroom. However, the matter has been rectified.

    Access: The access to this particular store is complex; however we will implement a solution for this as soon as possible. There is also a disabled access at the bottom of the restaurant which we can easily open for you on request. It is usually kept closed for security reasons; however we are relooking this issue and will soon find a solution for you.

    Hot water for baby bottles: We sincerely apologise—we have addressed this concern with our operations team and it will be dealt with accordingly. The waitrons/servers will also be re-trained on this.

    We are very concerned to hear about the points raised in this blog. We would really like to be in contact with all who have raised concerns and issues, in order to ascertain which restaurants were visited so that we can address these issues with the owner/operators directly. If possible, would you be able to send your contact numbers to customer-care@spur.co.za so that we can call you to find out all the details.

    Spur wants to ensure all our customers that we really do care about your Spur experience and are always open to constructive criticism to ensure that we constantly improve to meet our customer’s expectations.

    Thanking you kindly

    Spur

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