No seriously, whilst we did show them the Uni, the river and the shops - lots of shops folks, LOTS OF SHOPS, we were there primarily to eat. We were to review Giraffe the family friendly restaurant.
Now, if you get too close to me at the average cafe/restaurant kinda place you'll here this whiney drone that goes like this; "I mean how difficult is it??? Don't they know that if the kids are happy the parents are??? Kids are easy to please, right??? Why don't they? Can't they???" Yes, I'm pretty much best avoided.
Giraffe though, they know how to make kids happy; the formula for family-friendly dining is thus:
Have a good range of meals on the kids menu, proper food like good quality chicken burgers and shepherds pie, but always, always include pasta with garlic bread. There has never been a child that snubs pasta and garlic bread. Giraffe gets a tick.
As our children had eaten a famished giant's portion of pasta and garlic bread just last night - they went for fish, chips and peas.
Have something the kids know they can take home. This doesn't have to be good, it can in fact be crap. Kids love crap. How else do you think Claire's Accessories stays open? Sorry Claire but your accessories stink, yet my kids would happily exchange at least one parent for a single item you sell. In Giraffe each child is issued with a colouring-in / activity sheet thing - remarkably un-crap - which they can complete on waiting for their food.
Be nice. It's nice to be nice. The service was excellent. They were ridiculously busy for a Wednesday lunch, with a long line of wannabe diners stretching out the door, but the staff were un-flustered and clearly used to dealing with kids (there was a 'sharing issue' with my 2 and the crayons - an extra pot of crayons were swept in as an emergency).
Don't sacrifice on quality - you can't get away with it just because you're 'child-friendly'. Adults don't suddenly loose all sense of taste the second they procreate. At Giraffe the food is tempting, scrumptious, and not always all that basic. Here are the prawns we had for starters...
So, when it comes to eating out, Giraffe gets a definite thumbs-up from the kids and a huge "thank you" from me.