Bijou in Cowbridge - anyone been yet?

(22 Posts)
IwishIwasmoreorganised Tue 18-Oct-11 20:14:05

We've seen the advert in The Primary Times but there's no information about pricing, opening times, food menu etc.

Anyone been yet?

nannylil Sun 18-Dec-11 20:21:48

We tried to visit yesterday - Santa had left the building. After checking the opening hours, we tried again today, but the evil hobgoblins who had taken the place of Santa's elves had taken an executive decision to close the grotto (actually, a red plastic gazebo, although the temperature in the building was, it is true, as cold as Lapland). No sense of meeting customer expectations, and child-friendly customer service is a foreign concept - odd, seeing that they market themselves as a place for children. Won't be going back, which is probably just as well since they'll probably go bust within a short while if they keep this up. They also charge like wounded bulls. Try the gallery next to Colours if you want a child-friendly eatery - much nicer, and with excellent customer service.

TBF1 Sun 18-Dec-11 21:09:04

We went to a 4th birthday party there a few weeks back. The play area's great but the party room's a nightmare! We sat all the kids down around the table and the naff light weight benches collapsed, sending about half a dozen preschoolers tumbling in to a heap. My daughter cut her chin on the table and wouldn't stop crying. It just didn't seem to have been thought through. The staff weren't overly bothered. Needless to say we won't be back!

IwishIwasmoresparkly Sun 18-Dec-11 21:11:13

Not worth the trip then - thanks for that and I hope that your dd's ok tbf

clairycymru Wed 21-Dec-11 18:36:19

Went today as we had signed up to a Monkey Music workshop. Workshop was brilliant but Bijou was truly awful. Wasn't expecting much, given the massively out of date and limited website, plus the comments on here.

Not enough play equipment for active toddlers (all four of ours were bored within 10 mins), food menu limited (especially for veggies), service slow and staff totally disinterested. Only 4 highchairs in the whole building (there were at least 30 children needing them) and 1 toilet with changing facilities. Ended up feeding my daughter in her pushchair and changing her nappy in the car. Had I paid £4.50 entry I'd have been demanding a refund.

They advertise themselves as "a new concept in boutique kids parties, play and luxury café. A modern play facility conducive to parental enjoyment as much as it is for the kids! Free Wi-Fi, daily newspapers, quality food and great coffee’s – all add up to a great Bijou experience."

It's not a new concept, and in this case it's particularly poor.

We won't be back.

Bijoucowbridge Fri 30-Dec-11 14:37:19

Hi Claire
I am sorry to hear you had a bad experience when you visited us. I would be happy to discuss any of these points with you directly should you wish to do so.
yes we have 4 high chairs, which has always been more than adiquate as we do not usually get such a high volume of toddlers in at the same time.

The only thing we have decided not to put into our toddler area is a ball pit. The reason for this is infection control as they carry such a high risk of infection.

we have changing facilities in both our toilet facilities, one of which is at the back of the building next to the room where the Mokey Music workshop is held.

I was not in the building the day you all came but will cetainly speak with my staff as customer services is very high on my agenda.

Victoria -01446 771190

Bijoucowbridge Fri 30-Dec-11 14:40:18

I am very concerned to read your message.

We are as concerned about safety as you are. We'd only been open a couple of weeks so all the equipment we'd purchased was new to us also. This has all be changed since to an even higher specification and thankfully we have had no further accidents.

As for staff not being bothered, I have investigated and it appears that all safety procedures were carried out but I would be happy to discuss this with you directly.

Victoria - 01446 771190

Bijoucowbridge Fri 30-Dec-11 14:42:50

I'd like to say hi to all of you that have commented on Bijou.

We are a new business and just finding our feet and so far, on the whole things are going well.

Our webiste and brouchure will be launched in the next few weeks.

Fittness classes for adults and children and pre-school parent and child classes also. All classes will commence week commencing 9th January.

01446 771190

Bijoucowbridge Fri 30-Dec-11 14:47:31

All our guests that came to see Santa at Bijou left on a very happy note. Our Santa is truely amazing.

I would welcome any suggestions you may have as to what we should use other than a tempoary structure to house our grotto next year.

We had some 400 children to see Santa in December and all left with smiles on their faces and magical memories. Many parents also opted for a photo with Santa, with our professional photographer who was able to print and frame the pictures on the spot - which also doubled as great Christmas gifts.

AJmum2three Sat 31-Dec-11 11:06:58


In support of the new business I would like to say a big thank you for the great Santa's Tea Party we attended. Santa was indeed one of the best! Thank you Santa for being so wonderful with the children.

Our children had a wonderful unhurried experience of sitting, listening, talking and singing with Santa and finally being taken to the Grotto (Yes it was a Red Tent but the kids thought it was great) and having one to one time with Santa along with a present and brilliant photo. Indeed excellent value for money. Thank you Bijou and Victoria and Staff for arranging a great event. Hope to see you next year.

In reply to some of the not so nice comments might I suggest a more positive way of dealing with these points would be to be open with the staff and tell them so that they can take it as constructive criticism and make changes where they can to improve their service.

We will be continuing our visits to Bijou and enjoying their excellent coffee as well.

TBF1 Tue 24-Jan-12 19:00:22

My daughter was fine in the end. Thanks for asking Iwish!

AJ - we did attempt to be constructive and raise the issue at the time, (over the howls of an injured child), which is how I know the staff were unconcerned/disinterested. To be fair to them, they were in the middle of serving sandwiches to hoards of hungry kids at the time.

I'm glad to hear that the furniture has now been replaced for something more suitable as I would hate for the same thing to happen again.

Bijoucowbridge Fri 03-Feb-12 10:10:26

Thanks for your comments AJ. Hope we will see you at Bijou again soon.

Sophia82 Thu 08-Mar-12 13:52:42

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

clairycymru Tue 10-Apr-12 17:06:19

In response to Victoria from bijou's post:

"yes we have 4 high chairs, which has always been more than adiquate as we do not usually get such a high volume of toddlers in at the same time."

As Monkey Music hold classes for around 12 children usually, and upwards of 24 for the workshops, sold with free play afterwards, I'd have thought it obvious that 4 highchairs might be pushing it somewhat.

"The only thing we have decided not to put into our toddler area is a ball pit. The reason for this is infection control as they carry such a high risk of infection."

I'm not a fan of ball pools anyway. But there was hardly anything for toddlers when we visited. No slide, no different levels to climb up. Just softplay shapes and the odd wall mounted game. When toddlers are learning to walk and climb, they want to be active, not sitting with shapes. They are too small to use the equipment on the higher levels, and adults can't go in with them.

"we have changing facilities in both our toilet facilities, one of which is at the back of the building next to the room where the Mokey Music workshop is held."

Perhaps you should invest in some signage (if you haven't already). Certainly none of the customers there were aware of it and your staff didn't volunteer the information, despite the huge queue.

Your new website is much flashier, but still lacks information.

Have been to Coconuts in Sully a few times and it's far far superior to Bijou. Toddlers can use the toddler area (complete with slides and things to climb on) or the huge area for older children (provided they are accompanied by an adult). And it costs £1.50, not £4.50. Good coffee, regular special offers and an extensive menu. It's a no brainer for us I'm afraid.

PS, "AJmum2three" - who are you trying to kid?! wink

IwishIwasmoreorganised Wed 11-Apr-12 21:20:45

We now go to Adventure Island in Barry quite a lot.

It's great for toddlers and older children and the food and refreshments are reasonably priced.

dkcrooby Sat 02-Jun-12 18:27:16

We have just come back from having my daughter's birthday party at Bijou. After reading some of the comments on here I was really starting to panic!

Well, we couldn't have had a better time! The staff were really helpful, the place was lovely, clean and tidy and everything ran so smoothly. I felt relaxed while the kids ran around and had fun. Jolly Jester's (Merlin's Castle) gets so busy but this was great. My only comments would be that the party room have a bit more birthday decoration, removable I suppose as the room is also used for other activities.

So overall, everything was great and we would definitely return.

Mimi64 Thu 07-Jun-12 19:38:32

I visited Bijou in Cowbridge with my 2 year old grandson yesterday. It seems to me that nothing much has improved since the criticisms above.

*On arrival nobody answered the doorbell. A workman let me in when I knocked on the window.
*Once inside there was nobody at the desk to pay or to greet us. There were no instructions at all about what to do.
*The only person visible was an older gentleman serving refreshments who was very slow and who had difficulty working out how much I should pay to enter. I could easily not have paid.
*Assuming that the parents and grandparents were responsible for the children there weren't enough seats for us all near the play area (being half-term it was very busy indeed)
*The tables near the play area had corners that were at toddler head height. Round tables would be better, or none here?

But the main thing, I felt, was the lack of greeting and helpful customer service, which is a shame as Bijou is such a good idea.

IwishIwasmoreorganised Wed 29-Aug-12 09:44:48

Well we went yesterday to use the free entry voucher in the Primary Times. I'm glad it was free entry that's all I can say!

We were buzzed in remotely, then when we tried to show our voucher neither of the staff showed us any attention for a good few mi utes despite us standing directly in front of the service area looking at them. In the end we had to announce ourselves to them!

We had lunch there - £17 for a panini, one child's sandwich (one round of bread with ham), a child's jacket with tuna (half a potato with no butter or garnish) 2 innocent smoothies and a cup of tea. The food I thought was very overpriced for the size of the portions and the drinks even more so. £1.80 for a cup with hot water and a tea bag! Not even a spoon or anywhere to put the tea bag once it was to the desired strength!

The staff were slow, I ordered our lunch straight after my 2 friends who ordered very similar things. It was obvious that we were all together as we'd arrived together and were chatting lots while in the queue. However each order was dealt with one at a time and this took a while. We couldn't all sit down to eat together as the first order would have been stone cold by the time that ours arrived!

The layout means that only a couple of tables are able to see the play area fully, this is very poor design IMO.

One of the two toilets had a soaking wet floor throughout, no attempt was made to rectify this.

My overall experience was very disappointing. We won't be going back unless we get another free entry voucher and if we do we won't be staying for lunch!!

LegArmpits Wed 29-Aug-12 09:58:49

I went last week (despite reading the bad reviews but was apprehensive.) I must be honest, I thought it was lovely. I really liked the layout, we were sat in the area further back from the play frame and I was able to let DD(5) and DS(2.6) just get on with it. Was also pleased that they absolutely couldn't wander off or past me without me seeing.
It was clean, had a good range of food, they filled my DSs cup up with squash and the toilets were fine.
I'm not sure how suitable it would be for older kids, but it definitely did the job for mine, and I didn't feel half as frazzled as after a trip to Coconuts. Cheaper entry price too.

Zenebedeb Wed 27-Mar-13 20:35:05

Visited bijou today after looking at they're website it looked fantastic, well I must say my-self and 3 children were very disappointed indeed, we arrived and there was nobody there to greet us, bare in mind it was a quiet wed afternoon after school & the place was empty so don't know reason for that as it wasn't even busy. They had 1 play frame I will never return again even my 4 yr olds face was just not a happy one!!!! Talk about false advertising!!!!! Heard loads about coconuts so will b trying them out.

JodieWard Thu 05-Jun-14 10:31:21

I visited Bijou yesterday with my son and friends and felt the urge to let parents know that the place is brilliant!!! I was greeted by friendly staff who made a lot of fuss over my son and his friends. The place was very clean which I was extremely surprised about when you've got children getting messy and enjoying their time there... I was told by the staff that Bijou is now under new ownership and that they have put a lot of time and money into the play centre to make it a great place for children! There is a new, colourful section for younger babies which my friends child wouldn't leave when it was home time! Which is always a positive sign! There is a new menu in place which contains a wide variety for parents and children.. The staff informed me that all the cakes and sweet loafs are all homemade by their head cook - I tried the raisin and courgette loaf which was amazing!!! They have great offers and have signed up for a membership card to save lots of money for my son to return! We've even considered booking his birthday with Bijou as they've got great offers.... Deff a thumbs up from me and my son! Well done Bijou ��

DuelingFanjo Thu 05-Jun-14 10:39:05

I like Bijou though I think my son is about to outgrow it.

Have to disagree about the cake though. I was there a couple of months ago and had some of their cake and it was horrible.

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