If you love fine dining but have young children, treating your family to a gourmet meal can be tricky. After all, many fine dining restaurants simply aren’t equipped to cater to kids, and they often have age restrictions too.
Well, if you happen to be in London, you don’t need to worry. The city is full of family-friendly fine dining restaurants – here are a few of the best to add to your must-try list.
Heddon Street Kitchen, Soho
Are you a fan of Gordon Ramsay?
While many are put off by the celebrity chef’s abrasive personality, there isn’t much to criticize when it comes to the food that he creates.
Ramsay has several restaurants in London, one of which is Heddon Street Kitchen, which you will find in the heart of Soho. The interior features a mix of both vintage and modern elements, and while the vibe may be quite relaxed, the food can definitely be considered gourmet.
What sets Heddon Street Kitchen apart when it comes to kids is the fact that the children’s menu has been designed by Tilly Ramsay, Gordon Ramsay’s daughter. It boasts popular child-friendly classics, from scampi and chips to sticky chicken wings, as well as a make-your-own ice cream bar. As you can imagine, this all goes down pretty well with kids.
What wins the parents over is that children are able to dine for free, picking anything they want from the menu.
Wondering what there is for the adults to eat here?
Well, the restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Dishes are modern and creative, featuring that distinct Gordon Ramsay twist. Whether you want a rare breed Tomahawk steak, a creamy risotto or a fresh, crisp salad, this restaurant is guaranteed to please.
As an added bonus, Heddon Street Kitchen is located near several family-friendly attractions, from the Ripley’s Believe It or Not museum to the famous Hamleys Toy Shop.
Tredwells, Covent Garden
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As the @7dialslondon food month reaches its final weeks, we wanted to thank all of the guests who have visited us and experienced our #FoodMonth curated menu. We love this photo from @tschang! 📸 thank you for the post. . You can still try the @7dials menu with 3 courses and a cocktail for £29. Catch it while you still can. . . . . #Tredwells #7dials #LoveLondon #ThisIsLondon #VisitLondon #TimeOutLondon #GuardianCities #TopLondonPhoto #PrettyLittleLondon #PrettyCityLondon #MoreLondon #foodie #eeeeeats #guestsoftredwells
Another popular British celebrity chef, Marcus Wareing, along with renowned chef Chantelle Nicholson, are at the forefront of Tredwells. Located in Covent Garden, this is a restaurant with a heavy focus on using seasonal British ingredients, with a menu that is constantly evolving.
If your kids are young foodies, Tredwells is a restaurant that they will absolutely love.
While it does have a regular children’s menu, featuring much-loved classics from pasta to lamb croquettes, the restaurant also offers up a children’s tasting menu, known as the Tredwells Culinary Kids Menu. For a set fee of £17, your child will be treated to a six course gourmet tasting meal, with each course designed to be completely appetizing to children.
Wondering what the child’s tasting menu consists of?
As mentioned above, the dishes change depending on the time of year you visit, but the restaurant’s recent menu is as follows:
- A mint and apple fizz cocktail
- Roast carrots
- Mozzarella with a mild, easy to eat chorizo
- A Cumbrian bavette
- A coconut mousse with marinated pineapple and passion fruit
- Salted caramel ice cream topped with chocolate sauce
As you can see, this isn’t a menu that is going to appeal to all kids out there, but, for those who are aspiring to be foodies just like their parents, this menu will be very much appreciated.
Speaking of parents…
Just like your kids, you can also choose from a regular a la carte menu, or go for a tasting menu, of which they have one containing meat and one designed just for vegetarians. You can also opt for wine pairings to go with each course, elevating the flavors within each dish. If you happen to be in the area on a Sunday, treat your family to Tredwells’ Sunday Roast, with a fantastic choice of proteins to choose from.
In the mood for Indian food?
If so, Tamarind, which can be found in Mayfair, should definitely be on your list. Tamarind was one of the very first Indian restaurants in the world, and the first in London, to receive a Michelin star, and this award was well-deserved.
The food here is delicate and flavorful, but still wonderfully authentic, offering up new and exciting versions of classic Indian dishes.
Now, one thing to keep in mind before visiting…
Tamarind do not offer a children’s menu. However, they do have a good reason for this – the dishes that they create are designed to be shared by the table, meaning that children can simply sample from whatever their parents order. Of course, if you need the spice to be toned down for your kids, the chefs here are more than happy to cook you milder dishes.
The dishes range from curries to grilled dishes to small plates, but if you simply cannot choose from all of the items on the delectable menu, you may be best off going for the Tasting Menu instead. For a set fee of £69 (or £59 for vegetarians), guests will be served a selection of the restaurant’s most exquisite dishes.
Once you’re done eating, make the most of the restaurant’s luxurious location by taking a stroll around Mayfair. Don’t forget to also stop by at the OROGOLD Mayfair store, where you will be able to enjoy product demonstrations, VIP facials and expert skin care advice. And yes, children are most welcome at the store too!
OXO Tower Restaurant, Bar and Brasserie, South Bank
Have you been to the OXO Tower before?
Even if you haven’t, you have likely seen the building, as this is one that is instantly recognizable in London’s skyline. As you can tell from the name, the OXO Tower Restaurant, Bar and Brasserie is located in the OXO Tower, on the eighth floor to be precise. From here, you and your family can enjoy panoramic views across the city, especially if you head out onto the restaurant’s expansive garden terrace.
For the views alone, this is a restaurant that most children usually really enjoy, and the dedicated children’s menu ensures that the food goes down a treat too. The menu features a wide range of child-friendly classic dishes, with the menu differing slightly between the restaurant and the brasserie. Children are also gifted with activity packs on arrival, ensuring that they have plenty to keep them busy while their parents are enjoying their meals.
Wondering what there is for the adults to eat?
All of the dishes here feature seasonal British produce, earning them the reputation for producing some of the best British fine dining dishes in the city. From slow-cooked pork belly to poached lobster to dry-aged beef fillet, just about everyone will find something that they enjoy on this menu. There are plenty of vegan and vegetarian options too, so don’t worry if you are on a meat-free diet.
If you are seeking an iconic London dining experience, afternoon tea is something that you should definitely try. Don’t worry, you won’t have to leave your kids at home, since the OXO Tower Restaurant serves up a special Kid’s Afternoon Tea, designed for children under the age of 12. Dishes include:
- A banana milkshake shot
- Finger sandwiches
- Caramel and sea salt popcorn
- Fudge brownies
- Mini scones
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Located at the Lanesborough Hotel, Céleste is another Michelin starred restaurant, as well as one that boasts three AA Rosettes.
The head chef of this restaurant, Eric Frechon, has earned himself three Michelin stars in his career, cooking up some of the finest dishes in all of France. Well, Frechon has now brought his skills to London, showcasing modern European cuisine to the city.
In addition to offering up a standard a la carte menu, Céleste also has a seasonal daily menu, featuring the freshest of British produce. From beetroot gazpacho to roasted stone bass to a confit duck leg, these dishes both look and taste absolutely spectacular. To elevate your dining experience even more, opt for the wine pairings, where you will be able to enjoy a different glass of wine with each course.
You are probably thinking…
This doesn’t sound very child-friendly!
Well, just like the ever-changing daily menu for adults, Céleste creates a bespoke children’s menu that changes each day. The children’s dishes are always fresh and flavorful, and while they may sometimes feature a few unusual ingredients, they are all cooked up in a way that children really appreciate.
What makes this restaurant even better is its location…
Knightsbridge is home to a wide range of children’s attractions, from Madame Tussauds to the London Zoo, making it easy to plan an entire day out here.
Balthazar London, Covent Garden
If you are familiar with New York’s fine dining restaurants, then Balthazar is a name that you have probably heard of before. This restaurant is a New York institution, often with a wait list of up to three months. Well, you won’t need to worry about that at Balthazar London, with this venue usually able to accommodate walk-in diners.
At first glance, you may not think that this is a very child-friendly restaurant, but the liveliness and large size of the brasserie makes it perfect for those more energetic kids.
Of course, in order to properly cater to those little ones, Balthazar London has a dedicated children’s menu that features firm favorites, such as:
- Macaroni cheese, topped with smoked bacon
- Spaghetti with a fresh tomato sauce
- Chicken nuggets served with French fries
For dessert, children can pick from a variety of ice cream and sorbet flavors, with some exciting toppings to add on as well.
What about the adults?
Dishes are French bistro style, with specials that change every day. Another aspect to this restaurant that adults tend to love is the American Whiskey Bar, where you will find whiskey from more than 15 American states, along with incredible classic cocktails.
Want to make a day of it?
Combine your visit to Balthazar London with a trip to the London Transport Museum, which is literally just around the corner from the museum. There are several child-friendly exhibits here, giving kids and adults alike the chance to learn more about London’s transportation systems.
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Meal @fredericks_n1 with work colleagues in Islington. I had Quinoa, broccoli and butternut squash 'superfood' salad and a chef's vegetable assiette. I have mixed feelings about the assiette, it looked and tasted good but I wouldn't pass that off as a main 😉 The salad on the other hand was spot on, I should have just ordered a double serving of the salad as it was amazing 🙂 #superfoodsalad , #superfood, #veganmeal,#govegan, #fredericksislington,#veganlondon, #plantbased, #plantpowered , #plantbaseddiet, #forksoverknives, #quinoasalad, #vegansofig, #vegansofinstagram, #crueltyfree, #whatsveganseat, #healthyeating,#eattherainbow, #vegatableassiette,
A family-run restaurant that has been serving up modern European dishes since the late 1960’s, Frederick’s is a much-loved London institution. The interior of the restaurant is bright, light and airy, and children are always made to feel extremely welcome.
While the chefs here are always happy to create child-sized version of the adult dishes on the a la carte menu, there is also a dedicated children’s menu available. Kids are able to choose from a three-course meal, with the dishes being classics that children always love. Plus, the babyccino that is included with the children’s meal always helps the young ones to feel more grown up.
For the adults, there are numerous dishes to choose from, with the restaurant famous for its broad menu. Whether you are in the mood for pan-fried scallops, roasted Welsh lamb or breaded goat’s cheese, each of the dishes served up here features fresh and seasonal ingredients, making the most of British produce.
For those of you who love looking at beautiful art…
Frederick’s has a collection well worth checking out. They began with a small selection of Peter Kalkhof paintings, which they first put on display to celebrate the restaurant’s 30th birthday. As you can imagine, their art collection has grown since then, with the Jill Furmanovsky photography pieces being especially popular.
Many people assume that fine dining with kids is next-to-impossible, but this isn’t the case at all…so long as you know where to go! No matter where in London you may be, those who are seeking a family-friendly fine dining restaurant will likely be able to find several to choose from, with the dishes that you will sample being just as beautiful as the restaurants themselves.