Our cafes are beautiful spaces, carefully designed to be sympathetic to the character of the building and the local area.
We’ve always wanted them to be more than this – to be a hub for the communities that we serve. So with this in mind, our cafes are able to be used as a meeting point for groups and projects who need a space to utilise. Whether Good for Nothing meetings in Bath, quizzes and music nights or flower arranging classes, we host a wide range of events. One of our favourite partnerships was set up by Karl, the general manager of our Stratford-upon-Avon café.
Kate stepped into our cafe just like any other customer. But unlike every other customer, she carried a wooden rainbow with her. This got Karl interested, and after a little chat, Karl suggested that Boston might be the perfect place for her to tell stories. And so the Storytree stretched its branches into Boston Tea Party.
Kate’s Storytree is a space made of people, stories and toys. It is a museum and a library and a great big art cupboard. It’s a weekly escape for under fives to another world, where a scarf becomes a river and a box becomes a boat. It’s also an escape for mum and dad, who get to enjoy a coffee and cake while the little ones are entranced.
Kate’s journey began as a bookseller in her 20’s looking after the children’s section. It was then she discovered her love for storytelling as a teaching assistant and then through therapeutic story writing, a process in which the writer tells their story and their voice is held and honoured and preserved. This led to studying the work of Maria Montessori, the Italian educationalist and training as a Montessori teacher before having an epiphany moment whilst nannying in London – swinging on a swing telling stories to three children and realising being a storyteller was her calling. Just like a modern day Mary Poppins!
So the Storytree was born. It is founded on a love of books and stories, and we’re so pleased Kate has brought her magical world to our cafes. As a dad of an 18 month old, I know how important story time is (and how often you have to repeat the same books) and these sessions are an incredible way of bringing stories to life in an interactive and fun way, keeping stories fresh and up to date (for the parents as much as the kids!). The feedback from our customers who attend is hugely positive and we can’t wait to see the Storytree’s branches grow into more of our cafes.
The StoryTree sessions take place each week:
Wednesday mornings 9.30-10.30am
Wednesday afternoons 2-3pm
Thursday mornings 10-11am
Plus Harborne to follow in the near future.
The sessions cost £5 per adult with child. Babies under 1 go free. Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times. The sessions are followed by time to play and create your own stories using props and art materials.
If you’re in the area and can make one of the sessions, please do head in and check them out, you’ll love them!