Let’s face it – everyone loves food. Whether it’s a slap-up four course meal, a cheeky but irresistible takeaway or half a Twix, food is a big pleasure. Children love food too. It’s the subtle clues that give it away, namely the way they lose control of their senses when presented with a biscuit or tasty bowl of pasta. The fact most of it ends up on the floor or behind their ears, is neither here nor there.
So, where are the best child friendly restaurants in London? We’ve spoken to our team of local parents and industry bigwigs, to narrow down the list.
And the winner is…
There’s so much to recommend Beanies Café. You’d be forgiven for being so busy when you’re there that you forgot to eat anything! As well as freshly prepared food that is both seasonal and very nutritious (with maybe a cake or two, thrown in for good measure) there are numerous things both parents and tots can enjoy.
Specifically aimed at under 6’s and promoting a chilled out video, which should be music to any parent’s ears, Beanies offers a fantastic play floor packed with toys designed to stimulate and encourage creative play. From fancy dress costumes to more dinosaurs than you could shake a stick at*, even mummy and daddy will struggle to tear themselves away.
Other fantastic features include a children’s hairdressing service (they’re not the ones with the clippers, just to be clear) and pamper treatments for mum. Not only that, but classes and workshops teaching everything from football and ballet, to Yoga and singing.
Founded by three mums – Karen, Hina and Prima – who know how hard it is to find a safe and secure environment where children can eat, play and learn; Beanies Café really is our sort of place.
3-7 MIDDLE STREET, CROYDON, CR0 1RE
www.beaniescafe.co.uk; 020 8680 2088
The Runner Ups are…
WOODCOTE GREEN GARDEN CENTRE & NURSERY
If organic food and locally sourced produce is key to your little one’s diet then Woodcote Green could be the place for you. A kids menu features some scrummy and (whisper it) healthy choices, while the garden is perfect for a post-meal run around. A large collection of tropical fish will also provide hours of fun, while the Garden Centre’s regular Farmer’s Market means you can stock up on all those local goodies.
WOODMANSTERNE LANE, WALLINGTON, SM6 0SU
www.woodcotegreen.com; 020 8647 6838
Finding a pub that is suitable for children can be a bit of a pain, unless you resort to using false moustaches and fake IDs, but The Florence in Herne Hill is perfect for bringing the little ones. A separate play room for the tiny ones is chock-a-block with toys, books and games, while the kids menu is so good even mum and dad will be picking from it. We suspect they would prefer to take advantage of the real ales, speciality beers and outside seating, though.
131-133 DULWICH ROAD, LONDON SE24 0NG
www.florencehernehill.com; 020 7326 4987
So there you have it, some of the best eateries in South London. Don’t say we don’t spoil you, because we do! Also, we’ve looked at some of the best Child-Friendly Pubs in London; why not take a look, here. The first round is on you!
*Important Tip: Never shake a stick at a dinosaur, they don’t like it!