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your next gathering | Rye Bakery, Frome

There may be two reasons you haven’t been to Frome yet. One: it seems like it’s really far away (it’s an hour by car and an hour by direct train from Temple Meads), and two: you might be, as I was, worried about how you pronounce it (FROOOM – and add a nice little Bristol muh on the end for good luck and you’ll be grand).

I think you should bin those reasons, and just go for it. I imagine you might have friends who’ve moved there from Bristol, and it’s really easy to see why they would do that, Frome is stunning, stuffed full of cool stuff to do, and incredible for families.

You may have considered coming to the Frome Sunday Market, which is very, very good, but also damned busy and not 100% ace if you have a pushchair or a kid who likes to touch everything, slowly. I suggest you come on another day instead, bring a group of folk that you like, and head straight to the Rye Bakery.

The Rye Bakery is a central feature of the HubNub Centre, a co-curated space for work, events and the arts, in the most glorious setting. I am struggling to think of such an artful, sympathetic church conversion, it’s really stunning with an emphasis on craftsmanship and natural materials.

The whole space is set out to be useful and relaxing to those with children, without being soul-destroyingly child-focused.

The cafe and bakery provides reasonably priced, very tasty foods with an emphasis on healthy, local and balanced. We had a local ploughman’s, a pea fritter, and a piping hot, tangy pizza. The vast majority of the baking was gluten/dairy free or vegan options.

Tibbs played and played and took herself off to the relaxing reading nook, and went investigating the garden and the playspace. She was in good company – children of all ages were playing whilst parents ate, drank, chatted, played as well.

There was even a dog sat patiently next to one mum, feeding a newborn (guaranteed melter of my heart, that scene!).

A glance at the notice board suggested that there was a lot going on there, from family friendly gigs to child’s yoga sessions, both midweek and at weekends. There was also a lot of collaborative entertainment with other Frome businesses.

I didn’t ask if you would have to book for large groups. I imagine it does get busy. But it’s really worth the trip. We felt so relaxed being there, it’s ever so welcoming.

 

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