Every year at Valentine's social media comes alive with the protests from parents that they are not going out for a meal because "we are parents now". Either Valentine's goes unnoticed or it's just a card and roses and no fine dining. I would have fallen into this camp too, but thankfully with the husband always remembering the roses and card.
This year however, we've managed a meal despite having a newborn. But rather than being for Valentine's it was for my birthday, but it proves it CAN be done. You just have to pick a venue that has family friendly food, with a family friendly atmosphere (family friendly prices helps too of course).
From before we left, I had a vision of lil lady asleep in her pram, next to the table with me eating in comfort. So, I asked hubby that we bring the pram in the car. We hadn't done so yet and we were amazed by how much room it takes up in the boot. The carrycot is large as is the chassis. But we weren't going anywhere that required luggage so the pram had the boot to itself.
Turned out, that even though the meal coincided with the time of day that she sleeps the most, she did grizzle a little and I held her as much as she slept. Probably because whilst there I bottle rather than breastfed her. But also because she kept looking at the ceiling fascinated by the spotlights. I enjoyed the cuddles though and the opportunity to show off my newborn. The neighbouring table simply adored her.
Given I took a bottle for her, this was what our round of drinks looked like LOL
Anyway, below is how cute her buggy looked next to our table, despite the hubby's reluctance to clutter up the place with it (well there was no way I was having her spend that length of time in a car seat; I wanted her to be as comfortable as she'd be at home and due to the time constraints on car seats we'd have had to rush our meal). Beefeater didn't mind in the least that we brought a buggy and our meal was booked for 1800 so we were there at a family time. We loved the booth that we got which could have easily dined 8 people.
Her sleepsuit which includes its very own slippers is simply adorable.
Anyway, we missed parent's evening the week she was born, so the same day as Beefeater we got a one-to-one with Aaron's teacher at 15:30. It went very very well, so well in fact that Aaron didn't want to go home. The only thing that had him SKIPPING out of school was when I mentioned that after an hour at home, we'd be going out again, to Beefeater. He's been before and loves it.
He was the first to choose his food from the menu.
Same as last time, he ordered spaghetti bolognese and garlic bread, although this time I also ordered him a corn on the cob which he couldn't eat quick enough. Aaron's a good eater and it's a pleasure to eat out with him.
1 slice of garlic bread didn't quite cut it though so he had to order 2 more. Also, he only eats the bolognese whilst he has "getty" left and the spaghetti finished with lots of bolognese left over. We asked for more spaghetti but as they come as a pack, together, it could not be done.
Given that I am recovering from pregnancy, sleep deprivation and a C section, I decided to have the Seabass as a great nutritious option. I adore the pack that it is baked in as it oozes flavour once open - utterly delicious.
Daddy had a sharing grill platter, which when photographed looks small, but I know it packs a punch by the length of time it takes him to eat it. It also comes with unlimited chips, so at the point in the meal when they say "is everything okay?" that's when you say "more chips please" and we got enough, so that Aaron and I could steal a good few!
Despite my not getting a starter, the seabass did fill me up. I had ordered two sides though to share with the hubby: a delicious side salad and a portion of onion rings. So full was I, I could not face dessert so I had an indulgent Hot Chocolate which was the most enormous thing I have ever seen. It really hit the spot. I wasn't (with sleep deprivation) even going to consider getting my usual after dinner coffee so the hot chocolate hit the dessert AND hot drinks spot, two for the price of one.
Hubby got sticky toffee pudding which he thoroughly enjoyed and Aaron devoured cookies and icecream. He asked me what the spots were (vanilla) but only after it was all gone. So lovely, as when younger, those very same spots would have had him sending the icecream back.
If you would like to see how the cost of our meal broke down, then here is our receipt. Great value! As you can see, in choosing the Capri Sun, Aaron was getting a drink not included in his meal. Plus with me getting the bottled lemonade I missed out on the unlimited refills you get with fizzy drinks, but I was only just out of hospital and fancied it, plus it was MY birthday celebration :-)
I think for a very long time these will be my favourite photos. Thanks Beefeater for a fabulous family night:
You don't have to take my word for it that Aaron loves to eat there, I think the photo below says it all. Who needs a baby sitter when you're eating in a place the whole family can enjoy.
Our meal was complimentary for the purposes of this review. I remain unbiased and honest and have not been told what to say. I would HIGHLY recommend this establishment as the perfect place to feed your family :-)
We dined in the Emersons Green Beefeater where both the food and the service were exceptional. The restaurant was also adequately staffed, lit and was spotless. Beautifully laid out too for the comfort of its patrons.