We spent a pleasant morning in Gallery Oldham, beginning with the library, using the wonderful first floor facilities for children. HUGE ammounts of fabulous children's books, but also nice tables and chairs, crayons and paper, sticklebricks, lego, jenga...this is just such an amazing resource in the heart of Oldham.
We had coffee (me) and quavers (George) in the refectory from the vending machines, but now I know this exists I would happily bring a packed lunch for us. Great highchairs, very clean and the baby changing facilities are brilliant.
The gallery section was interesting and interactive...in our case a bit too much as it's really hard to persuade a 17 month old that 'please touch' does not mean 'yank off the plinth and smash to smithereens' but that's not the gallery's fault. What we saw we enjoyed, especially the upcycled aluminium can installation below.
We ended our visit with lunch in the Naked Bean once we'd met Daddy and sadly, found this a bit disappointing. The lack of children's meals and subsequent inflexibility with the menu was annoying and unnecessary. We eventually managed to elicit some beans on toast for George and we just opted for Welsh rarebit so as to not be waiting forever...wrong....unfortunately the service was painfully slow despite an alarming amount of staff marauding around whisking away plates whilst you weren't looking - in our case - half a raspberry muffin we'd got to put George on during the wait and to prevent whinge.
When they arrived the beans were fine, though why, as they immediately asked ''does he want a bowl'' could they not serve us a bowl of beans as requested I will never know. Our rarebit was like nothing I have ever eaten before and made me wonder what the bugger they had put in it. As I had chosen the fireman rarebit I was quite glad that much of the taste was obliterated with chilli sauce!
Naked bean, your muffin (what we had chance to nibble) was glorious, and your coffee is good; next time, I'll take those to go and head back to the refectory. In the meantime, please work on your people skills, add a small children's menu and employ one or two less waitresses and perhaps another chef; the space at Gallery Oldham is nothing less than fantastic and you as their in-house cafe could be so so soo much more.