It is fairly ironic that I'm writing about prams in a positive way considering that when I was working in kitchens I bloody hated the things. All those times I'd run out of the kitchen bussing my own dishes on one of those shocking days where no front-of-house staff come to your call, only to trip over a pram in my path and nearly drop my plates. When there is pretty much only one avenue from kitchen to dining area, kitchen and waitstaff would appreciate if people parked their prams well out of the way. Sure, we need to watch out, we wouldn't want to pour hot soup or drop a filet steak on top of your children. You are at perfect rights to bring your pram in with you. But the pace in hospitality is so blinding fast most of the time, we don't have time to think beyond the dish in our hands at the customer across the room who is waiting for it, and the ten-or-so orders building up behind it, the coffees that need to be made and served, the man who is gesturing angrily that his breakfast is cold, the three tables who are yet to have their order taken, and the customers who have just walked in looking for a table.
In fact my collegues and I used to look out of our open kitchen and deride those 'annoying mothers' with their prams the size of a smart car, letting toddlers run wild, taking up whole ends of our communal tables. Mothers often don't realize when they drag prams inside that they are blocking off pathways in a very small space, making things difficult for staff. There are some places where it is simply smarter to use a baby carrier like a Bubzilla Sling or a BabyBjorn.
So in reviewing pram and breast-feeding friendly cafes, I'm not shunning those that are not. There's a reason not all cafes can or want to make space between tables wide enough to navigate and park a pram: money. We can make a lot more by putting tables closer together and getting more people in and out. Hospitality is already a cut-throat business, and to ask people to make a loss on the chance that they might make things easier for the few baby mamma customers they have is asking rather a lot.
But when one does find a place with wide lanes, quiet corners and a genial attitude to adorable babies and their glowing mothers, it is like finding shelter in a storm and should be awarded for being such.