‘Kid Friendly’ pubs and restaurants are usually synomous with CRAP pubs and restaurants. There are a rare few that manage to combine great food and setting with a chilled attitude towards crazy kids. These, sadly, are usually fully booked and rammed at the weekends and I’m not that organised to book and plan my life. So instead, when Saturday rolls around and we feel like eating out, we end up in ‘kid friendly’ locals. They are the only place we can let Eden truly be himself and play with his motorbike whilst sitting on the table and simultaneously banging a fork on it and watching Andy’s Dinosaur Adventures. Love him. Go for it mate, this place is Kid Friendly.
Let me tell you about our recent experience at said locals. We rocked up to the huge car park just off of a trading estate. Quaint. Eden loves lorries though so extra entertainment. A chalkboard welcomed us advertising 2 steaks and a bottle of wine on a Wednesday for £15 How is that even possible? Worrying. Husband declares we are coming back on Wednesday for a date night. Funny.
Our gang sauntered in and we requested a table near the play area. We have come for one thing. And it’s not the food. Eden ran off in and they had kindly put a vending machine in there with shit action figures. Start manically searching for a pound coin to avoid a tantrum. Business savvy this place. The machine was actually blocking the entrance to the play area. They probably make more profit out of that thing than they do off the food.
We grabbed a sticky high chair for the baby (germs are good for building the immune system I repeat in my head) and we start to peruse the menu. They have EVERYTHING. Except anything decent. Sweet potatoe fries are usually considered a healthier option. Not here. They are smothered in cinnamon (yes, really), toffee sauce (I shit you not) and bacon. Tell me that isn’t gourmet at it’s best? That combination of flavours is only for the most discencerning of palates. We ordered them. I could feel my arteries clogging just looking at the things. They tasted like churros if you were curious to know. Not even sure if they are classed as a dessert or what they are?
You get a free scoop of ice cream for kids here, which is just as well because this meal is going to cost us a staggering £24.75, it’s the least they could do. Choices are Strawberry, Vanilla, Brandy Butter and Rum and Raisin. Wait… Brandy Butter and Rum and Raisin. Who are these kids? We claimed two free ice creams- Xander is a kid and no one batted an eyelid that at 6 months he’s probably a bit young for Rum and Raisin. Babies round here probably start early on the sugar and booze.
After a just-about-edible meal (the side salad was brown, but I don’t think it’s ever been eaten), we decided to head outside. There was a climbing frame and a slide and Eden needed to burn these E numbers off. At least, I think there was a slide. It was swarming with kids. All going up the slide the wrong way like baboons at the zoo. There was one kid, I say kid- he was about 13, trying to launch onto the roof of the pub from the climbing frame. The next minute he was at the bar trying to order a Stella. Make your mind up mate, do you want to be an adult or a kid? Definitely the alpha of this troop.
Eden was buzzing, delighted that he had found ‘his people’. Or so he thought, at his tender age of 2 they all ignored him. All probably three times his age. One baboon came over and poked his face and grunted “chubby cheeks”. Alright, baboon boy let’s be getting back to your slide. Eden loved it- he thought he’d infiltrated the tribe.
It was announced that there was ‘treasure’ in the garden for the baboons to rummage for. All I could see was empty fag packets. Surely not. But my own little baboon came back with a packet of sweets he’d found in a bush. Some of the baboons were displaying territorial behaviour at this point and some posturing and lip smacking was observed.
Daddy baboon bellowed from an open window for Phil and Grant to “Get in and Get Pudding” and alpha and his brother went inside. Phew. Eden could actually have a go on the slide.
As we left, a guy was complaining to the manager about the ‘massive fuck off bone’ through his steak. The manager replied, calm as anything and with the most dead pan face I have ever seen- “That, Sir, was a lamb chop.”.