In Sweden they are called Latte Pappas, fathers not too dissimilar to myself, however who take their allocated three months paternity leave or simply remain stay at home dads. We seem to have things arse about face in this country with very few new fathers taking their allocated two weeks. We have the option, since the changes to the law in 2014 to share the parental leave allocation with our partners, how many of us do that? I would guess not too many. Let’s be honest there is no chance of me becoming a stay at home dad, don’t get me wrong as much as I’d love to there are bills to pay, kids need feeding and shoes etc. That’s not just me, both my wife and I both have to work full time just to pay for shit. That said, I’m starting to take full advantage of a Tuesday off (that’s right a Tuesday off, bet you’re well fucking jealous) and I have a plan, take the youngest boy Nathaniel out, get coffee, get food, try new places then write about it. Unfortunately the eldest boy is at school so for now it’s just the two of us. Welcome to One Man and his Nate dog.
The only criteria we have for where we are going to eat is that it needs to have dairy free options because the boy has a pretty nasty allergy to the old cow protein. Not an ideal situation when he has a reaction, his breathing struggles, his eyes swell up like a motherfucker and for days later his arse is like a baboon’s. Not really what I want on my watch, I can’t really imagine explaining to my wife when she comes home from work why our son looks like the Elephant Man with a red raw anus.
In the end I chose Waylands Yard. They definitely look like they tick the dairy free box and in a town with more Costas than Anthony from Blue reading a Spanish holiday brochure…somewhere I could get a damn fine cup of coffee.
The first thing that struck me about Waylands were the amount of customers in there working, it seems like the setup is conducive to that, raised seating in the front window, laptops everywhere plenty of seating for people on their own who need to work. Now with me having the world’s biggest pushchair I had to head out the back. Honestly though it’s worth every penny this buggy of ours, it goes off road with ease, curbs are no issue, turns on a sixpence and goes up and down steps easier than Thora Hird on a Stannah stairlift. Trouble with having all of the tech is that it’s the size of a tank and I was glad that the back area had a decent space to park the fucker. For a Tuesday lunchtime the place was busy, nice buzzy atmosphere, songs from the ‘Drive’ soundtrack on in the background. a few groups of friends, some guys behind me engrossed in some sort of meeting. They were wearing suits so I assume it was an important one, I briefly hear the words ‘International Development’ and my mind goes straight to the film ‘In the Loop’ where the minister can’t stop saying diarrhoea in an interview to which Malcolm Tucker shouts “You should be talking about food parcels not fucking arse spraying mayhem”
We had the veggie fry up with extra sweet potato hash balls, Nate got well into chowing down on some smashed avo and a thick crusty slab of Ma Bakers white bread toasted and served with dairy free butter. We basically keep vegan spread in the house now at all times to avoid any cross contamination fuck ups so I’ve become accustomed to it and it’s really not that bad. The sweet potato balls were pretty good too but the winner for me were the house beans, smokey and slightly spicy which Nate didn’t enjoy too much being a one year old but anyway, bollocks to him there’s two of us sharing this meal. To be honest by this point he was just grabbing at whatever toast and egg he could get his hands on off the plate, food disappearing down his gullet like a pelican swallowing a whole fish. That boy can really eat let me tell you. All in all, really tasty food, super friendly helpful staff and great coffee.
So week one of OMAHND (pronounced oh Mand) all went according to plan, the boy wonder was good as gold, his dad was also well behaved even after a couple of banging double espressos which have been known to cause him to do rIdiculous things in the past (see turkey face) Now I’m on the lookout for more dads who have their kids in the week, there have to be some more out there? To be fair I was the only buggy geezer that I saw whilst walking through town. Buggy geezer..did I just say that?Not too sure that will that catch on, it’s a bit wanky, ‘Latte Pappa’ just seems so much more sophisticated and continental.
Those Swedes really do know what they’re doing.