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“Warm and Very Friendly Staff.”
Review of Leaf

Leaf
Ranked #2 of 5 Coffee & Tea in Hertford
Description: We are a child friendly cafe and children's book shop in Hertford. Amongst other things we serve homemade cakes, freshly prepared toasted sandwiches, soup all served with a large dollop of friendliness. We have various gluten free options and also have a secret garden.
Restaurant details
Description: We are a child friendly cafe and children's book shop in Hertford. Amongst other things we serve homemade cakes, freshly prepared toasted sandwiches, soup all served with a large dollop of friendliness. We have various gluten free options and also have a secret garden.
Reviewed 14 July 2018

This is the first time I had been into The Leaf and was pleasantly surprised. The service was warm and very friendly. Two decaf coffees were ordered, one with only one shot, plus a slice of banana cake. I was asked if I wanted hot or cold milk. Details like this deserve an extra point.
This was delivered to us whilst we were sitting outside in the warm sunshine.
Whilst we waited for the coffee, we watched the young children and the antics of the mothers trying to keep them in order. None were excessively noisy and made a change from the usual chatter we hear.
The coffees arrived, but both were of the same strength. When we pointed this out, it was replaced with an apology, that was hardly necessary.
The banana cake was moist, but with little flavour, but with a total bill of £7.30 I wasn't complaining.
We will definitely go there again.

Date of visit: July 2018
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
2  Thank Paul R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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3 - 7 of 22 reviews

Reviewed 2 November 2017

Came across Leaf Cafe when stopped in Hertford en route to Peterborough, prefer towns to service areas! A lucky find. Coffee very good value and friendly service. Love the idea of a cafe cum bookshop, great selection of children’s books. Also a range of toys and ‘sticky fingers’ books for patrons to enjoy before or after eating. There are also a range activity afternoons. Fellow customers had toddlers and babies, tables set out on edge of room offering buggy parking. Homemade cakes looked good, but didn’t try as headed out to lunch.

Date of visit: November 2017
2  Thank Ironingqueen54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rebecca P, Owner at Leaf, responded to this reviewResponded 3 November 2017

Thanks for your review - hopefully we will see you again as you pass through Hertford!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 August 2017

Have visited many times,a lovely place to take children for lunch.Good healthy food toys and books for youngsters to play with.Pleasant outside area to sit in good weather.Can purchase children's books and many activities for children to join in Hosts a book club for children and once a month a book club for adults one evening a month with refreshments.

Date of visit: August 2017
Thank yvonnef553
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 January 2017

Yummy cakes, soups and sandwiches make this an excellent place to stop by even if you don't have children or grandchildren with you. The staff are super-friendly and obliging and there's a lovely relaxed atmosphere if you don't mind some well-behaved small children wandering about happily. The bookshop arranges reading/book/craft events for children too. It's a real community place.

Date of visit: January 2017
Thank CarolJJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rebecca P, Owner at Leaf, responded to this reviewResponded 19 January 2017

Thank you Carol - it is always great to get a review and I am glad you enjoyed your visit - we hope to see you again soon.

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Reviewed 1 October 2016 via mobile

I visited the Leaf cafe with a friend for the first time very recently . Despite the fact that I have lived in Hertford for over a year, I was excited to discover what I thought sounded like a real hidden gem. Unfortunately it did not live up to my expectations at all.

Both my friend and I have 9 month old babies, and visited because we'd heard that the cafe was 'baby friendly' and there were plenty of toys and space for them to crawl around. We were warmly welcomed when we walked in but that changed quite quickly. As my friend and I hadn't seen one another for a while we chatted ten to the dozen and didn't properly look at the menu for a while. The lady behind the counter soon appeared at our table so I assumed it was waitress service. It wasn't ... She asked abruptly 'are you going to order some food ?'. We apologised but both felt slightly embarrassed that she had assumed we would be coming in to simply use their facilities without buying something! She also gave an accusatory glance to my friends' (empty) take away coffee cup and said ' shall I get rid of that ?' in a very curt and sarcastic tone.

My friend ordered for us shortly after and had a conversation with the lady about the difficulty she has getting her little girl to eat her own meals and explained that they usually end up sharing so was recommended the leaf platter . When the food arrived the order seemed to include a kids sandwich which we didn't request (and which also cost 3.95 for two slices of bread, a slice of cheese and a cucumber and a carrot baton). When we explained this mistake she seemed extremely put out and asked us what we were going to to about it before very reluctantly agreeing to a refund .We were a bit bemused but it soon became clear what had irritated her.

Despite the fact that there were signs which said only food and drink purchased on the premises should be consumed EXCEPT baby food I had apparently done something terribly wrong by feeding my baby girl a stick of cheese , some
Chopped grapes and a yoghurt. She came over and said its their policy that you shouldn't bring food onto the premises apart from food you have prepared yourself for your baby. I said that's exactly what I had done , and she said it wasn't allowed as they sell the same brand of yogurts and it affects their profits, and that I also had some other things in my bag that they sold which I wasn't supposed to give to my baby (I hadn't realised she had been studying the contents!)

Any parent will recognise the struggle of getting a weaning baby to eat enough , which is why you often end up taking pre prepared food for them wherever you go. This is especially true for me as my little girl doesn't like bread so sandwiches in the cafes I often visit are a no no!

I always gravitate towards small, independent businesses and like supporting local cafes - none of which have ever taken exception to my bringing food along for my baby, so I was pretty flabbergasted and embarrassed that I was being (loudly) made an example of in a supposed baby friendly establishment . This was after I had paid 5.95 for a basic toasted sandwich and £2 for a tea, which I must add I would have no issue with if we enjoyed a pleasant atmosphere and were met with some welcoming and polite staff , but this was definitely not the case.

We ate quickly as we felt so uncomfortable and to let the babies burn off some steam we put them onto some brightly coloured cushions whilst they chatted to each other happily. Within about 30 seconds we were again taken to task as the lady said 'just to let you know this is a bookshop so please don't give them any books to play with'. Neither of us had any intention of doing so and gave no indication that we had either, so this was just a petty point and felt like another opportunity to 'tell us off !'

We both frequent local independent cafes regularly and agreed that we have never felt as uncomfortable or indeed angry as we did when we visited the leaf cafe. It's such a shame as the premise is a positive one and we really wanted to enjoy it and leave a deserved positive review, but we felt humiliated and embarrassed and agreed we would never go back. The policy on baby food is ambiguous and flawed which is a big problem, but the attitude and willingness to pass judgement among the staff, on two young mothers ,is a bigger one. We were not there to 'freeload' and simply wanted to enjoy a treat lunch whilst our babies played happily but the experience was unpleasant , uncomfortable and over priced .

I would encourage parents to try one of the other fantastic independent cafes in Hertford when visiting with their little ones . You will get a far warmer reception and will spend less in the process too.

Date of visit: September 2016
4  Thank PottersBarNat99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rebecca P, Owner at Leaf, responded to this reviewResponded 7 December 2016

Thank you for taking the time to review Leaf and I am sorry that you didn't enjoy your time at Leaf. We try very hard to ensure that people do have a positive experience when they visit but have obviously failed on this occasion. We try to communicate our policies about food and books to customers politely and clearly and are sorry that we did not do this well when you visited. The subject of 'baby food' is a difficult one as we frequently have people bringing in entire packed lunches for their children when we try very hard to supply child friendly meals. Our policy is that pureed baby food (either home made or packet) is fine to bring in and we are more than happy to warm it up for you. We sell many child friendly snacks and are happy to mix and match items from the menu to cater for those with more discerning appetites. I do hope that you will give us another try in the future and apologise that your first visit did not meet your expectations.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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