Once Upon a Time, in the Land of a Play Cafe! 

Updated: Dec 12, 2020

I visited Once Upon a Time play Cafe in Blakeney with a friend. We took 9 month old Matilda and her little friend, 8 week old Henrietta with us.

When we got to the play cafe, the first thing I noticed was how lovely the building is from the outside. The play cafe is in a building which was originally the Kings Head pub. Where the pub emblem used to be, on the outside of the building, there is now a giraffe head hanging.

As you walk inside, you are greeted with your first child safety gate. There is one situated at every doorway so you know your children are going to be kept safe inside! You're then greeted by the friendly staff at the front desk, which is also where you buy drinks and order food. If you're early for your play session there are tables and chairs in this section with some books and a few toys to keep children busy while you're waiting.

Once you're ready, you're shown through into the play area. The play area is split into little sections, there's a hospital, shop, garage, hairdresser and a lovely wooden pirate ship.

The Play Area

The play area is full of little touches like those found below, as a scientist working for the blood service, these were my personal favourites!

There are props and dressing up clothes suited to each area and then there's other props dotted around, the working fire bell was great fun for Matilda and all the other kids!

There are also toys everywhere! There is a bouncer, playmat, push along walker toys and lots of instruments and other toys to keep the smaller, less mobile kids busy.

In the play area, there are a few tables and chairs so you can eat lunch and have a cup of tea or coffee while the kids play.

The area is completely enclosed with the only entrances/exits being beside the tables and chairs and guarded by child safety gates. There is one leading to the toilets and the other leads to the cafe area and exit.

We had a lovely play with instruments, safari animals and a toucan puppet that Matilda found hilarious as it squeaked!

After we'd had our play we ordered some lunch, I got nachos with chilli and my friend ordered a bacon baguette. You're given a table number and told to sit down wherever you like. The food arrived quickly and my initial thought was that my portion of nachos was massive! I wasn't expecting quite such a large portion! Not that I'm complaining you understand, they looked amazing and tasted as good as they looked. I would actually go back to the cafe, with no children, just for the nachos!

The Once Upon a Time Play Cafe isn't just for children either, they host various evening activities for adults too, wreath making, tutu making and prosecco, pudding and pamper nights to name a few. You can also book your child's birthday party at the play cafe!

I would definitely recommend a visit to Once Upon a Time Play Cafe, we travelled from Bristol to visit and I'm planning on taking my 4 year old up soon as I know he'll absolutely love it!

Since our visit, the Pirate Ship has been removed due to damage. The room that did house the Pirate ship is now a wet room. The Play cafe provides aprons to ensure the children stay dry!


Children under 12 months are free, children over 12 months are £6.25 per session.

For November only, the cost of a child over 12 months is £5.75!

Play Sessions

Play sessions are at 9.30, 11.15 and 1300 during the week and at 1000, 1145, 1330 and 1500 on Saturdays. The cafe isn't open on Sundays.


Each play session lasts 90 minutes and is limited to 15 children per session for health and safety.


There are a few parking spaces out the front of the play Cafe and more parking at the rear of the building.