Since it was the boys’ first trip to London, I decided that we would get out and see some sights and wouldn’t plan our entire itinerary around our meals, like how our holidays usually end up being. But once we discovered Toptable and their amazing meal deals, we were back to our old ways again 😀
In my previous post on Bar Boulud@Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, you’ll find a link to this article which, although a little dated, will give you a rough idea of which are the more kid-friendly establishments. From our experience, I would say certainly bring your kids if they can sit down and enjoy the food. I definitely would not have attempted it with all three of my kids at their current ages because the boys will be fighting or chasing each other around, and the girl would probably get fidgety, then the younger 2 might not like the food….oh I’m getting a headache just thinking about it. Go early if you want to go for dinner, to avoid the crowd and you can also finish your meal before they get too tired. Also many restaurants have pre-dinner set menus, which are very reasonably priced.
Here’s our little summary based on a few of the restaurants we went to.
As long as your child is old enough to sit at a high counter chair, they’ll be fine. The restaurant gets quite busy so a little noise is easily drowned by the open kitchen. If the kids are interested, they can see the chefs working in the open kitchen right in front of them.
They rarely get kids but they do make an effort to welcome them. They don’t have a kids menu but cooked something specially for Mittens, and didn’t even charge us for it. Of course please don’t bring your five kids there and expect to eat for free, but it was a pleasant surprise for us. The restaurant is quite stuffy so it was just as well that due to jet lag Mittens had a nap (!) after scoffing down his dinner. Yes, it was that dim and quiet he had a nice nap!
I was a little intimidated by the chi-chi location along Grosvenor Square, with a suited up doorman at the door, but it is actually less stuffy than The Greenhouse and definitely more busy, so it gets rather noisy which is good for kids since you don’t have to worry about them talking loudly, dropping cutlery, etc! Some dishes might be a little too complicated for the little ones to appreciate, but there are so many choices on the very affordable set menu (when we were there it was 4-courses for £27!) it’s easy to find a little something that they might like.
Read about our wonderful experience here. Enough said.
On a friend’s recommendation, this celebrity chef has books, DVDs, his own line of produce, etc., and there was an outlet within walking distance from our hotel. We enjoyed a lovely wholesome breakfast. They have a few high chairs (Stokke Tripp Trapp, no less), and the food is simple but very good and so reasonably priced. We even skipped lunch because we were too stuffed! The Ottelenghi eateries are fast earning a reputation for London’s hottest spots.
Of notable mention are Mandarin Kitchen for their lobster noodles and aromatic crispy duck (Peking duck style), which the kids absolutely loved) and Gold Mine for their duck and noodles. After a few days of full on meals, we just needed something simple and Chinese, you know? Also I heard that the KFC there tastes different and we were going to try it but I thought that while in England should go eat pub food right? Well I’m never doing that again unless the pub is a notable one, otherwise you’ll feel sorry wasting your stomach space on a undeserving beef ale pie, chewy fish and chips, and what was surprising (or perhaps not so surprising) that the best thing on the menu was the chicken tikka masala. Should’ve stuck with the KFC.
Do share if you’ve had any other great places to eat to recommend!