The Hen-House, Haslemere: A Review | Modern Mummy

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

The Hen-House, Haslemere: A Review

At last! Haslemere has a soft play of it's very own.... and I'm delighted to report it was most definitely worth waiting for!

Tucked away at the top of Lower Street (accessed by the Waitrose car park), the Hen House is an absolute gem.

It's a play cafe with a difference; this one sells healthy, homemade food and, without any shadow of a doubt, the best coffee in Surrey (v.important for eternally sleep deprived mums like me). 

The soft play area is designed for children aged 0-9 (although I do personally think 9 might be pushing it a little) and has dedicated baby and toddler areas as well as a pretty impressive double height soft play frame for the older children. It's big enough to let your kids run off steam but small enough for you not to lose them, or for them to lose you! The cafe is also entirely secure; there's no chance of a small person escaping thanks to an electric gate that can only be operated by staff, so you really can relax while you're in there.

Aside from the soft play areas, there is also a complete 'street' which contains a supermarket, a cafe and a workshop to play in, lots of ride ons to drive up and down plus there is a party room - with awesome LED disco floor and disco globe - that also holds a whole timetable of daily classes, including singing, cooking, reading and even zumba classes for parents on a Wednesday morning.

I took both girls down mid-week, for lunch and a play. We had to wait for a table (which is only to be expected when visiting a brand spanking new establishment that everyone wants to try out) but by the time we were seated the kids were already off having a whale of a time which meant I got to peruse the excellent menu at my leisure and make a few observations for this post. 

The staff are lovely, very knowledgeable and super helpful. The standards of cleanliness at The Hen-House are extraordinarily high - surfaces were constantly being wiped, floors being swept and tables cleared - but in a good way, not an invasive way at all. I loved this; I hate sitting at grubby tables or having to wait ages for my plates to be taken away after a meal. The toilets were also very clean - and stocked with nappies, nappy sacks and wipes too which is always helpful.

But back to the menu! I opted for the salt beef sandwich with a Fentiman's pink lemonade (my fave soft drink ever!) and the girls went for the kids meal deal (above) - two courses for £4.95 - and a couple of smoothies. I was a little disappointed to discover that the rumour about them having a license to sell wine was just that; a rumour, but never mind! The huge display of home made cakes looked AMAZING (there were plenty of gluten free options too) but I managed to resist...... this time.

We stayed for a little over two hours of play (we could have stayed longer; there's currently no time limit in the week) and between the three of us had one grown up's sandwich, one kid's menu, three cold drinks and a coffee - and our bill came to £23. Not the cheapest soft play in the world but the quality of the food and the beautiful, brand new equipment definitely made it worth the money.

The Hen House is open from 9am to 6pm every day of the week and there are two sessions I'm particularly looking forward to trying out. First up is the Breakfast Club, which is available from 9-11am on weekends (pre-booking essential) and whereby a full breakfast, unlimited tea/coffee and a complimentary newspaper is included in the price of entry for one child. I'm also going to take full advantage of the drop off creche. It operates on weekdays for a maximum of two hours per child, must be booked in advance and there is a webcam installed (with a log in that is changed daily) so that you can check up on your rug rats while you're doing a bit of shopping in town.

Full details of the pricing will shortly be available on The Hen House website here but the general gist is that under 1's go free, under 4's pay £3.80, and over £6.50. There are also family packages available where it costs £10 for two siblings over 4 and £9 for two siblings of different ages (ie one under 4 and one over 4). 

If you haven't popped down yet, you must - you won't be disappointed! xoxo

We did not receive payment of any kind in exchange for this review. 



  1. It looks lovely there considering most soft play places are awful

  2. over priced and over hyped

  3. Good soft play for under 6's although not big enough to keep 6 yr old boys entertained. More for pre school age but very good for those. Food good and hygiene excellent. One major worry is all the oblivious mums walking around/ standing with hot coffee whilst children in pedal cars zoom around banging into feet and legs. Need a 'seated only hot drink' rule before major accident. Saw a few near misses whilst we were there.

  4. My 4 year old had a super time and really enjoyed it but we were shocked at the exorbitant prices. A child's breakfast is the same price as an adults........?!? It's a shame as we won't be rushing back.

  5. Lovely venue but far too cramped. Tables were claimed with bags and phones but no people meaning we started our meal sitting on the floor, not ideal start for £3.90. Took ages for other tables to be cleaned though generally clean floors and play area. Food is too expensive as LO can be v fussy and you really need a selection of finger foods. Coffee and cake selection lovely and good toy/toilet facilities. Nice place just needs few small changes.


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