Same goes for eating out. We tend to take the kids out with us quite a bit (cheaper than getting a sitter) and its nice to get them used to being in restaurants at a young age. Sometimes it is a disaster and you wolf down your mains and take the rest of the bottle of red home with you to finish off there. But that rarely happens. Sunday for example we had a lovely hour and a half of civilised breakfast together down at High Road Brasserie and us adults in the party managed to read some of the paper (never happens).
Which takes me to another recent dining experience at Mark Hix's Tramshed. Wow, is all I can say really. I have been meaning to go for ages, so I surprised hubby and booked a table for us all for 5pm one Sunday, so we could eat dinner with the kids. Yes, it was on the other side of town (Shoreditch) and we would be risking both of them falling asleep before we got home, but sometimes a leisurely meal enjoyed with your kids is worth a slightly tougher bedtime. Tramshed is one giant room with the tables spread out around the rooms centrepiece - a Damien Hirst cow and cockerel piece.
The menu is simple: Chicken and Steak. The starters and sides change with the season but the centrepiece dishes stay the same. If there were more than two adults at our table we definitely would have got both, but as it was just us we went for the whole chicken - carved at the table and skewered onto a bed of skinny skinny fries. That was the little ones sorted really for food. Then we got an extortionate amount of sides. Isle of Wight tomatoes with feta, lettuce hearts with blue cheese and hazelnuts, some prawn cocktail thing and the BEST dish by far - the yorkshire puddings with chicken liver pate. I mean, let me just say, EVERYTHING was amazing. The chicken was so tender and the wings were incredibly salty and flavoursome, the salads so fresh and the tomatoes reminded me of the way that tomatoes can only taste in Italy (for some reason they are just 10 times better there). But these yorkies, ripped apart with a thick layer of pate spread over them were TO DIE FOR. I mean it. I am definitely emulating this combo at home in the coming weeks. Oh and then we finished off with 'credit crunch ice cream'; vanilla ice cream with crunchie mixed through and a pot of hot chocolate sauce. Mmmmnn....
So the whole meal was a success. Everyone was happy, well fed, and mum and dad got to polish off a good glass of vino each and get the kids home to bed easily enough. Oh and did I mention - kids eat COMPLETELY free most of the time there. Yep, I'm going back. And booking a table for 20 for us and a few other friends with kids for a great meal out for all.