We've always tried to eat out regularly with our children, because I think it's important that they learn early on about the manners and behaviour that go along with 'eating out', plus it gives them access to different foods that they may not try to freely at home. And eating out is fun... there is none of the prep and clearing up for mummy and daddy, so we really enjoy eating out together as a family.
The Compasses at Pattiswick isn't too far from where we live, a beautiful old building in a quiet little village. Rich and I ate there quite a few times before we had children and always had lovely meals, but have only been back once as parents, and our beautiful boy wasn't even six months old at the time... so it has been far too long since we last visited.
It's something of a local gem, gets rave reviews, and as well as us having had several gorgeous meals there in the past ourselves, I have never heard anyone I know who has been say a bad word about the place. It has a really lovely authentic family run feel, with a real emphasis on good food in a friendly atmosphere. This isn't microwaved, chain restaurant pub-grub, but lovingly made home cooked food. And my goodness is it delicious. We took my mum and dad along with us, and every single one of us really enjoyed our meal from starter through to dessert.
The children love going out for dinner with the grandparents; more adults means more attention, and it also shares out the childcare load a bit, so we all get to eat our food while it's still hot. The Compasses was full of multigenerational family meals while we were there, and it was great to see so many families out enjoying some Sunday lunch together.
Aside from the lovely atmosphere and great food, a massive highlight for us was that at Sunday lunchtime they have a magician come in and do table magic. Our little man was absolutely fascinated by this and it totally made his day... in fact, who am I kidding, we all really enjoyed it. It was such a simple touch by the restaurant, but the sort of thing which is priceless for families. Happy kids = happy parents, and parents who will inevitably bring their children back to eat there again. And we definitely will be.
And I want to add that this wasn't a 'review visit', we went as a simple little adventure, paid for it ourselves, but just had the loveliest time.
^ meals out with a family; pretty flowers, cheese straws and beer, plus fruit squash and pencils
^ this word search kept us entertained for ages
^ does anybody not give their children a smart phone for a few minutes peace when they start getting bored?
^ a nice bit of table magic...
^... a totally captivated little man
^ ice-cream with sprinkles to finish
This year we are embarking on a challenge to have an adventure every single week... 52 adventures!!! They may be big excited adventures or simple ones close to home, but we want to have a 2015 full of adventures and full of amazing memories.
adventure 1 : fresh air
adventure 2 : windy walk
adventure 3 : the swedish interiors boutique
adventure 4 : castle park
adventure 5 : donut days
adventure 6 : a birthday in london
adventure 7 : signs of spring
adventure 8 : a stroll along the prom
adventure 9 : meals full of happy
adventure 10 : backyard adventures
adventure 11 : the disney dream
adventure 12 : beach hut days
adventure 13 : down on the farm
adventure 14 : little easter moments