After a week’s blissful staycation in Dingle it’s the topic on a lot of my followers lips. I post plenty on my stories so you saw us eating out allot and it thankfully was very successful. For me to describe an eatery as child friendly, it means I’ve had a successful meal there with my boys. By successful it must involve me eating a full meal at a normal pace, a meal I consciously ordered and I’m not leaving the building sweating, crying or embarrassed.
Child friendly for me means;
-They have a high chair, may seem obvious but if they don’t have one, they don’t really want you there with your kids and that’s fine. Accept it and move on. (Some of my favourite restaurants are my favourites because they are kid free. Delicious but also childless!)
-They must acknowledge the kids, not play with them or accept bad behaviour but yes acknowledge them.
-Service is key with kids, bring the menus take the order and get the food out in a timely fashion. I love when they have the initiative to know, to just horse out the kids food regardless of courses or what’s ready, table manners or etiquette. Everyone’s meal is more enjoyable when their mouths and bellys are full!
-Willingness to adjust portion sizes or sauces to suit a childs portion or taste. Not only makes me feel welcome with the kids but makes life easier for me all round.
-Heating baby food like a pro! Recently I asked for Billy’s pot to be heated they not only did it but brought it out in a ceramic soup bowl with a teaspoon and had my own plastic container washed for me! Thank you kindly!!!
-Space, not an acre each like but you have to have enough space between each table to fit the high chair, to be able to navigate a buggy and most importantly so as the toddler isn’t inadvertently sitting with the wrong couple.
-Volume a certain level of conversation or music needs to be surrounding you to drown out the toddlers talk of poo or whatever else is top topic of the day!
My top five choices from Dingle are:
1. Benners Hotel Dingle: The food is even better then last year.
2. My Boy Blue: Does a top brunch with ample space. The staffs were friendly and so accommodating.
3. Tír na Rí: Some of the nicest Chinese food available But their service and general kindness to us as a family will just not be beaten. They could not do enough for us! I’m pretty sure they’d have baby sat if we needed it, they were just incredibly sound!
4. Skellig Hotel Dingle: This is a family friendly hotel, we ate in the bar and they’re just old hands at this game, they don’t get it wrong and tick all the boxes.
5. Dick Macs Food Yard, a beer garden with a difference. Weather permitting you can enjoy a delicious stonecooked pizza with a drink from the bar and acres of space for the smalls. A beer garden isn’t every parents ideal eat out but it did us just fine after a day on the beach when you’ve zero interest in putting makeup on or even washing your hair!
All of the above we will return again and again to and most likely before this summer is out because they made life easy and the food was good.
Equally looking at child friendly from the other end of the lens; Stepping into a restaurant may mean you’ve the night off cooking but it does not mean you’ve a night off parenting. Basic manners are still expected from all and that includes the kids. Don’t be the family every host dreads to see coming because you’ve no control over your kids and the whole restaurant suffers accordingly. I’m not from the generation of people who believe “children should be seen and not heard” in fact I hate the saying but I am of the parenting generation that remembers, I’m the adult and that not everyone has kids so shouldn’t have to endure mine. I think Neds gas and Billy’s a stud but not everyone else is obliged to feel the same. Tantrums happen, sometimes there’s no helping that but just don’t set yourself or the kids up for failure. Bring snacks, appropriate toys and just don’t bother if you know one or all of them are like a bear, teething or down a nap. That’s what takeaways are for 👌