Groote Post, where we went for our anniversary, came up trumps last weekend, as a place to visit in a mixed group of adults and children. They'd laid three places appropriately for the kids, without wine glasses, had thought of a few child-friendly options to propose, even though they had no 'kid' menu, and asked what the children would like to eat at the drinks ordering stage, so that they could start their food cooking while we were still leisurely perusing our menus and chatting.
This must be the first time I've had such thoughtful service with kids in tow. Usually restaurants are only to happy to comply with requests to divide adult portions on to two plates etc. but to have a solution already thought of and swiftly executed was great, leaving us to relax and enjoy our meal too.
We'd been given the big table in the Voorkamer (the entrance hall), so the children were able to run outside to play on the lawn and the jungle gym and feed dry leaves to the chickens in the run, without disturbing any of the other diners, plus we could still keep an eye on them through the open door, as we savoured our starters. It felt like we had our own private dining room and we were surrounded by beautiful antique furniture ...I'd love to move in there tomorrow!
The kids all chose steak rolls with hand cut chips and salad - the steak was the tenderest I've had in ages, pink in the middle and seared on the outside. They tucked in appreciatively, but a few adult eyes glanced acquisitively toward their plates and were eventually rewarded with the leftovers, when they ran back outside to play.
We were able to enjoy adult conversation over our main course and then call them back in for chocolate brownie and ice cream, while we went for a berry tart that was refreshingly tart but finished us off completely. I was ruined by my motherly tendency to clear the kids' plates as well as my own, which had me finishing off corners of brownie as well as my own dessert!