Our family loves art, so choosing the Clay Café, for one of our March Break activities was an easy choice, however, the Clay Café is fun for everyone! My mother-in-law came with us and she hasn’t painted in a long time. My youngest daughter is 9. All four of us had a wonderful time painting our ceramics and my mother-in-law commented on how relaxing it was.
When you first arrive at Clay Café, you choose a ceramic piece from the shelves on the wall to paint. They have over 300 pottery shapes to choose from! You pay for it first so you’re all ready to go when it’s done. The prices are marked on the bottom and include your paint and firing. There are many items to choose from ranging in price from approx. $1 to $60 (Averaging $12-30). There are a lot of practical ceramics such as plates, soap holders, light switch covers, mugs and bowls. There are also whimsical pieces such as moustaches, animals, letters and flying piggy banks. My girls always take a little while choosing something to paint because there are so many fun pieces.
Since we were there on a Saturday, it started to get busy quickly, but there were enough seats for everyone and it didn’t feel crowded. There was even a birthday party going on while we were there.
Once you have your piece picked out you have to decide how to paint it. There are books you can look at for ideas, stamps, stencils and sponges to make patterns with and fun paint items such as puffy and speckled paint. There are so many ways you can paint your pottery, but the one thing to remember is that you can’t paint it wrong! Art is for fun and can never be wrong! This is why ceramic painting is such a wonderful activity for children. They have the opportunity to express themselves in any way they want. My daughter painted her flying piggy bank with polka dots and I painted a mug tiki style for my husband.
It took all of us equally about 2 hours to paint our pottery. We left them to be fired and picked up in about a week.
We decided since we were in Halifax already we would check out a fun restaurant for lunch. My daughter chose The Wooden Monkey because we have been there before and love it. I was happy she choose it, because of their purpose. According to their website, The Wooden Monkey strives to support and help grow a healthier, local, sustainable food system here in Nova Scotia. They are committed to supporting as many local and organic farmers as they can. You can absolutely taste the difference in the food. It’s just delicious. From the apple in the chicken sandwich to the honey in your tea, everything is so very flavourful.
I had the weekend Eggs Benedict special, which was slightly sweet and had the most delicious thick slices of ham (and I am a pretty picky eggs benedict eater). My daughters both ate off the adult menu, although they do have a child’s menu. My youngest also had the Eggs Benedict and my oldest had the Fish and Roasties. She ate it in about 5 minutes, which is testimony to how good it was.
The décor in the restaurant is warm and inviting, with wood that was re-purposed from Hurricane Juan. Although some might not consider The Wooden Monkey a family restaurant, we have always felt comfortable bringing children in to eat there. High chairs are available if needed. The prices are a little higher than a typical chain restaurant due to the fact that the food is locally sourced and much of it is organic.