City Taste and Tipples: Coffee, cakes and books for your children

He took his inspiration from a business tucked away on the streets of Reykjavik in Iceland.

WARMING: Robert Waft.
WARMING: Robert Waft.

And Robert Waft, previously a teacher for 26 years, felt Brews, Bites and Books would bring a unique offering not only to Wakefield, but to the north.

The children’s book and coffee shop, which sits on the corner of Northgate and Cross Street, is painted an inviting, warm brown, with an array of mismatched wooden and leather chairs. The large windows in its red brick frontage frame a row of book shelves, packed to the rafters with fiction and non-fiction for babies, toddlers, children and young adults.

Mr Waft said: “When I was doing my research before setting up, the nearest place I could find another children’s book shop and coffee shop was Hertford. There was nothing like it and it does pull people in.

“I often get people saying they are quite struck by how different it is when they walk in, before even buying or ordering anything.” People use the venue, which celebrates its first birthday next month, to relax with a drink, hold meetings for work or socialise with friends.

And it’s hardly surprising it attracts a wide clientele - as well as there being a variety of children’s books to buy and a small sample of ‘sticky finger’ stories for youngsters to read in the shop, there’s a tempting selection of cakes and sweet treats and a food and drink menu that prides itself on great coffee, paninis and sandwiches, and homemade hummus, coleslaw and couscous.

Mr Waft also hosts book clubs for children aged 7 to 9 and 9 to 11 at the shop each month, two toddler storytime sessions each week, a home education group and regular poetry evenings.

Opening times: 8am-4.30pm Monday to Friday, 9.30am - 4.30pm Saturdays and 10am - 2pm Sundays. See Brews, Bites and Books on Facebook for details of book clubs and events. Try the shop’s own blend of coffee and homemade hummus, couscous and coleslaw. Don’t miss toddler storytime and open mic and poetry evenings.

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