Monday, 10 October 2011

Barefoot Books Studio, Twining House, Summertown

As promised, Charlotte, Mummy and I dropped by the Barefoot Books launch weekend for their new studio space in Twining House, Summertown (it's about the prettiest building in Summertown, and harks back to the turn of the 20th Century). 

If you've been wondering what those mysterious footprints are that have been springing up on Summertown's pavements, wonder no more. Though the studio has been open for a week or two as a 'soft launch', the opening weekend marks the studio going fully operational in grand style. 

Stepping through the doors, Charlotte's face lit up as you're instantly plunged into an amazing environment packed with interesting colourful decoration, and of course lots and lots of Barefoot Books (don't worry, you aren't required to take your shoes off but I guess you can if you really feel the need). The inside space is on two levels. On ground level you have the Barefoot Books shop, the amazing Barefoot Cafe, and lots of cosy little corners and areas for a bit of spontaneous book reading (we sat down to read "Shopping with Dad" and were a bit surprised to be filmed / photographed, but didn't really mind). Charlotte was most taken by the huge throne in the corner of the room. I get the feeling that throne is going to be fought over by lots of children who visit the space. 

The Barefoot Cafe sold some extremely yummy looking cakes, excellent coffee and various meals tailored for adults and children from locally sourced organic ingredients. 

The studio's upper level contains another story and activity space, and the swish Oxford offices of Barefoot Publishing (somewhere I'd give my right arm to work, such an amazing looking office space!). The glass front means that you can curiously peer at the extremely busy folk. They don't mind, honestly. 

Our incognito ReadItDaddy visit didn't last long - we were recognised as we browsed the store but it was lovely to meet Trude and get some more background information on the launch and the future plans for the studio (we'll be covering some of the events coming up in a very packed Barefoot Books calendar). 

After a bit more browsing and a timely purchase of the excellent  Yoga Pretzels cards (Charlotte is an absolute Yoga diva!) we left feeling like it'd definitely be somewhere we'd be coming back to frequently. 

Charlotte's best bits - The throne in story corner, the superb mobiles and the wonderful world map at the back of the store

Daddy's favourite bits - The amazing looking studio space, the yummy looking cakes on sale at the cafe, and the intense aroma of that coffee. 

Mummy's favourite bits - The mobiles and the amazing world map.