We enjoy eating out although on holiday the other half does despair when I organise the day around meal times. To me this makes total sense because we all know where we want to be at some point in the day and no one moans about being hungry. Thankfully N is more like me than his dad in this aspect.
Our latest trip was a few days staying in Bath. I always do research on places to visit but when it comes to eating out I tend to play it by ear and maybe look up a few leaflets or recommendations when we arrive. Anyone else obsessed with collecting tourist leaflets and spending the first evening going through them for ideas of places to go? There were plenty of restaurants in Bath, but finding suitable ones for families is never easy unless you have a child willing to try every cuisine.
I had intended to get to Sally Lunn’s house to finally try out a Sally Lunn Bun. But it wasn’t to be on this occasion. Instead we stuck with catching a bite to eat at cafes all went out and about. Nothing too strenuous when we’re away for a quick break. But dinner was different. N was determined that he was hungry by 5 p.m. which meant really being organised. Thankfully Bath didn’t seem to be like many other cities where are restaurants close in the afternoon and reopen at 6 or later. Way too late for young children but our experience in Bath was that most restaurants seemed to be open all day.
We always seem to do Italian on the first night, it’s easy and reliable and I know N will find something he’ll like to eat. But I do like to try and encourage him to try new dishes, which is often harder than it seems when children’s menus usually offer the bog standard fare of sausages, chicken nuggets, burgers and occasionally fish.
The Real Italian Pizza Company
As soon as we got off the bus in central Bath N spotted The Real Italian Pizza Company restaurant. I did drag him around a few streets in an attempt to suggest other places to eat but we still ended up in the pizza restaurant. It turned out to be a good choice with the restaurant having won a 2017 restaurant award in the city.
The staff were really friendly and although there was no specific children’s menu we were just able to ask for a smaller version of an adult pizza. More restaurants should really do this although I suppose with pizza in Italian cuisine it’s a lot easier to do than in other restaurants.
We shared garlic bread to start which was delicious and not too filling, but you definitely want to share if you intend to eat the whole of your main course. N chose his usual favourite, a pepperoni pizza. It was a decent size for for a child with a reasonable appetite and N was very taken with it looking a bit like a rabbit. He did struggle with the pepperoni a bit, because he said it was hotter than we would normally have. He had a ‘fizzy mouth’. He didn’t finish his pizza of course, but the staff had no problem packing it into a cardboard takeaway box for as.
The number of pizza options did mean I took a while to choose; I opted for a Parma Pizza, which was mozzarella, tomato, rocket and Parma ham. It was a good size pizza but not ridiculous, and was very tasty.
Neither of us had room for dessert (always annoying when on holiday when you want a treat). But it was a satisfactory meal in an authentic Italian restaurant with a nice friendly vibe.
The restaurant itself is small but this does mean you are able to watch the pizzas being made. The staff are friendly and while the price is higher than somewhere like Pizza Express, you know you’re getting the real deal.
N isn’t very adventurous with food but on a second night I wanted something other than pizza or Italian cuisine. Unfortunately in Bath unless you have children who will definitely eat Thai, Chinese or Indian food, everywhere you turn all you see is Italian restaurants. The centre also seems fairly limited on gastropubs – the pubs we went past, I wasn’t sure whether they served food or not.
I spotted Las Iguanas and made a beeline for the restaurant. N will eat fajitas but is a bit weird about what he will and won’t eat with them (no onions and raw pepper only with the chicken) so we asked to check the kids menu first. The children’s menu is a pretty standard choice of meals with the addition of tacos and macaroni. N was happy to see a burger on the menu and choose curly fries to go with that. His first experience of them and they seemed to blow him away.
I would usually choose burritos or enchiladas in a Latin restaurant, but because I wanted to get N to try some other food I decided on tapas. It’s definitely the way to go if you want to encourage children to eat other things.
I chose 3 dishes: cheese and mango empanadas, lamb meatballs in a spicy tomato sauce with cheese, and chicken quesadillas. All three were delicious and even though the meatball sauce was spicy even for me, N gave all of them a try and proclaimed them absolutely delicious. He said he never wanted to leave the restaurant and if he had to, we had to return another day. A pretty good result.
N chose raspberry jelly and ice cream for his dessert while I opted for the coconut tembleque with berries and mango sauce. It was an interesting choice, and could have done with being a little smaller after a main course.
Drinks were a bonus because at Las Iguanas they have happy hour on cocktails and mocktails every night so the waitress brought me two drinks for the price of one. I chose a really lovely mango, orange and lime drink which N promptly drank most of one glass.
Because we ate early I was also able to choose from either the lunch / daytime menu which was cheaper. And the tapas menu which is served until 7 p.m.
This was my first experience of eating at Las Iguanas and it was a success. The only downside was the wait for drinks and then food, despite it being quiet at the time we were there. It meant we had time to relax though, which I liked. N enjoyed the food trying something new. He also enjoyed grooving to the latin music, the staff were lovely to him, and were attentive enough without being overpowering. We will definitely eat at Las Iguanas in future.
I’ve not eaten in a Browns for years even though there is one Oxford. So I really fancy trying Browns in Bath. before we went I did check out the menu first for children and I knew N wanted to have fish and chips one day so Browns was going to deliver on that.
In Bath, Browns is in the former police station so has an interesting history you can read about on the wall. Again we ate early at just after 5 so the restaurant was fairly empty, but it didn’t mean there was no atmosphere. It’s a beautiful building, well decorated, and N could see through to be able to watch the waiters and waitresses at work. Our waitress was really friendly and seemed to really enjoy her job.
The menu has plenty of variety and on this occasion I decided to go for a chicken and avocado salad. It was really delicious and a good sized portion.
The children’s menu seems more generous in its options than in other restaurants. N had already decided he wanted fish and chips before we arrived and he wasn’t disappointed. The fish was a reasonable size perfect for him and the chips were delicious.
With the children’s menu you can choose two or three courses for a price so we just opted for a main and dessert with both of us choosing the salted caramel profiteroles for pudding.
N decided he didn’t actually like these. They weren’t too caramel flavoured which neither of us are a fan of and were coated in chocolate, with whipped cream on the side. They were delicious so I did gobble up N’s as. There’s no point letting them go to waste.
As we had bussed into the city and were returning by taxi, I could have had a cocktail, but alcohol seems to be affecting me even after only one drink, so I decided on a mocktail instead. I chose the elderflower sherbet drink and it was delicious. I shall be trying to replicate it at home as it is the perfect summer drink and even N enjoyed trying it. I can’t wait for the time when N will order his own exciting drinks and not steal my own.
As I hadn’t chosen off the set menu the meal was quite pricy at around £37 for the two of us, for two courses and two drinks.
Usually when eating out I would check on a voucher app to see if there were any deals and I know in the past you can sign up to Browns website and get offers and discounts. I think at this point it was a free drink after a certain time when ordered with a meal so we couldn’t partake in that because we were eating early. My voucher app also wasn’t working for the entire time we were in Bath, obviously some connectivity issues which was a little annoying. But Browns is definitely worth eating in if you’d like to eat somewhere a little more exclusive than your normal High Street chain.
Royal Victoria Park cafe
After playing miniature golf in Royal Victoria Park we decided to try out the cafe above the clubhouse/reception. The clubhouse is a bit run down as are most similar places in cities and towns but the cafe was a nice surprise.
It was obviously a well-known cafe because it look to have locals and tourists alike eating at lunchtime. If you get a window table you have lovely views overlooking the city.
There are plenty of tables and with the cafe slightly hidden away past the mini golf it’s probably not that easily found. We had no problems getting a table.
There were plenty of menu options with paninis and toasted sandwiches as well as toasted sandwiches with various filling options. A great selection of cakes was on offer and they also had jacket potato and soup options. The service was slow however, and they had issues with working out which tables they needed to take the food out to. They didn’t have a system other than remembering who had taken which order. They probably need to change this and give people table numbers or blocks with numbers, to take to the table with them so they can find each person when the order is ready.
We ordered a tuna sandwich for N which was adult sized and was rammed with tuna and salad, with more salad on the side. Great value although he could only eat half of it. I ordered a tomato mozzarella and pesto panini which was delicious with salad on the side. Unfortunately we didn’t have room for cake but we made up for that having an ice cream later on in the day, as you have to when you’re on holiday.
If you’re looking for somewhere relaxed just to stop in and have a quick lunch then try out this cafe rather than eating in a coffee shop in the middle of town.
If you’ve been to Bath where would you recommend to eat out with the family?
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