Eating out with little gourmands can be tricky, but there’s plenty of choice and some brilliant children’s menus, if only you know where to look…
The White Horse, Chester
The White Horse is that rare beast – a gastropub which is as much fun for the children as it is for mum and dad.
With its elegant Scandi style and friendly staff, it offers relaxed dining, perfect for family gatherings. With its location, at the heart of the city on Chester Racecourse, it’s a great spot to enjoy a family day out or walk on the racecourse or river, followed by drinks and light bites or something heartier.
The adult menu offers delicious stone baked pizzas and sharing nibbles, alongside fresh, seasonal dishes using locally sourced produce such as crispy Cenarth brie fritters with red onion jam, luxury lamb hot pot and rhubarb & ginger crumble.
Their newly introduced ‘Sunday Sharers’ is an excellent addition for those visiting with families or in larger groups. Pre-order in advance, and enjoy generous helpings of dishes such as giant chicken pot pie or rack of pork with all the trimmings.
Kids eat free this summer – on Mondays to Fridays until August 30, there’s a free children’s meal with every adult main course purchased. It’s one of the best children’s menus around, with mini versions of adult options, and the amazing make your own pizzas – chef sends out the base with tomato sauce so that little diners can add all of their favourite toppings. It’s then cooked to crispy perfection in the woodstone oven.
Dogs are welcome throughout the pub and there’s a fantastic outdoor play area for big and little children, with a chance to captain one of the different sized ships and sail the Roodee. It’s great for sunny days, with an outdoor bar and grill, so grown ups can eat and drink outside while little ones burn off their energy.
Whether you plan to dine, drink or unwind, The White Horse is the perfect hub for couples, friends and family.
Don’t miss: Ahoy shipmates! Enjoy some swashbuckling fun at the Pirate Party throughout the summer holidays. Every Wednesday from 12-6pm, dress up in your best pirate outfit, sail the Roodee on our outdoor ship and enjoy activities such as face painting, make your own pirate hat, dance away at a kids’ disco and take away a treasure trove of prizes. It’s free, but table bookings are a good idea as it can get busy.
The White Horse, The Racecourse, Chester CH1 2LY, 01244 304 650, www.thewhitehorsechester.co.uk
Wheeler’s of St James’s at the Pullman Hotel, Liverpool
Eating out with little ones in smart restaurants can be a little nerve-wracking, even for parents who regularly eat out themselves. But at At Wheelers of St James’s in the Pullman Hotel Liverpool, they welcome children with open arms.
As you’d expect from Marco Pierre White, there are plenty of seasonal favourites on the main menu, from heritage tomato with watercress, mozzarella and fresh basil (£6.95) to pan-fried salmon with tips of summer asparagus, heritage carrot purée, the freshest new potatoes, basil oil and soft herbs (£17.50).
Marco has put his stamp on the steaks too, with hearty fillets, ribeye and chateaubriand served with a choice of sauces, triple cooked chips and roast potatoes. While it takes its food seriously, the atmosphere is relaxed and family-friendly, with a free main meal and soft drink to children under 13 with the purchase of an adult main course from the a la carte menu.
Children’s options include Marco’s mini fish and chips, chicken goujons and chips, omelettes with cheese, tomato, mushroom or ham or the chance to build a burger – a beef patty or crispy chicken patty in a warm brioche bun with French fries and a choice of cheese, bacon, tomato, onion ring, bbq sauce and iceberg lettuce.
Don’t miss: Situated next to the M&S Bank Arena and ACC Liverpool, it’s the perfect place to eat before a show, or to stop off on a walk along the stunning waterfront with its museums, galleries and attractions.
The Pullman Hotel, Kings Dock, Monarchs Quay, Liverpool, L3 4FP, 0151 945 1010, www.mpwrestaurants.co.uk
The Park Bar and Kitchen, St Helens
From a hearty children’s breakfast to delicious mains and even a tasty mini Sunday roast, little diners are well catered for at The Park Bar and Kitchen, the new clubhouse at Sherdley Park Golf Club in St Helens.
Don’t miss: The children’s bunker breakfast (£4.50) is a great start to the day, with bacon, sausage, baked beans, scrambled egg and toast, and main courses include chicken goujons, plus pasta, pizza, fish and chips all for £4.95 each. Sunday roasts change weekly – check the blackboards for details.
Sherdley Park, St Helens, WA9 5DE, www.theparkbarandkitchen.com
Santa Maluco, Liverpool
With its mouth-watering wood-fired pizzas, huge range of toppings, and tempting all-inclusive Rodizio style, it’s hard to beat the offer at this Castle Street pizza place.
During the day they also run the Bold Street Coffee menu under the Castle Street Coffee badge, with options from Egg Buoys to Smashed Avocado and Chilli on Toast, all of which can be washed down with great coffees and fantastic milkshakes for little ones.
The kids’ menu offers DIY savoury and sweet pizzas, and is free before 4pm.
Don’t miss: For grown ups, the drinks menu takes inspiration from its sister bar, Santa Chupitos, offering a creative rum-based cocktail list, alongside much-loved classics, such as the $5 Dollar Shake, made with vodka, Chambord, milk, blueberry jam and ice-cream.
2 Castle Street, L2 0NA Liverpool, www.santamaluco.com.