As anyone with kids will testify, the days of calm, romantic candlelit dinners are long gone. Chaos tends to ensue and for most of us, the experience becomes a race to get out of the door with as few hiccups as possible. For most parents, this is something that tends to go on for a few years. Sure, there are enjoyable parts, and nothing is quite as rewarding as having a family meal, at a restaurant, without anything going awry.
Today is all about helping you get to that stage. If you happen to have young children, read on to find the best ways to dine out with them on a stress-free basis.
Location, location, location
Remember we spoke about those candlelit settings? Well, if you have chosen such an environment, there is a high probability that it’s not going to be a suitable place for the kids. The last thing you need is to “change” an atmosphere, you need to slot straight into the setting you are stepping into.
A walk around many of Covent Garden’s restaurants will reveal many restaurants that provide the perfect environment for kids. More often than not, you need to target those places which already have kids in and are more along the informal lines. This article provides some of the factors you should be looking towards when assessing a restaurants’ child friendly qualities!
Timing is everything
There are a couple of strands to this next point. Firstly, the last thing you want is to be waiting in a queue with the kids. As we all know, kids hate queuing, and this gets everything off on a bad foot.
Then, there’s the people-factor. The equation is simple, the more people around, and the busier a restaurant, the more things that can go wrong. The solution is therefore simple; simply skirt away from the peak eating periods. These are typically between 12pm and 2pm and while it might not be possible to avoid these times entirely, try and tag onto the start or end of them to make things a little quieter.
You need to provide your own entertainment
In some ways, this links to the point we made about locations. After all, some child-friendly ones will provide coloring and other activities which will make your plight oh-so-much easier. This is something that you should never guarantee though; make sure you bring your own “supplies” to counter the boredom-factor and increase the chances of everything going smoothly.
Try and opt for familiarity
While familiarity can sometimes be perceived as being boring, at times boring is safe.
There is nothing wrong with experimenting with food and this should always be applauded when it comes to children. At the same time, going to new environments and changing the menu can open up problems. It can sometimes be worth sticking to the “tried and tested” methods, to avoid any restaurant drama! If you really want your little ones to try new foods whilst out and about, consider doing it with smaller, complementary side dishes to get started.
*This post is sponsored*