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Great news: the Christmas school holidays are here! Hooray! Now Mums and Dads across London can actually spend some precious time with their children, enjoying all that the London has to offer. Finding family-friendly restaurants and pubs in London can be a difficult task during the school holidays as not every restaurant is fond of kids (or maybe it’s the parents?).
To make life easy for the parents of London’s future leaders, we’ve created this essential handy guide to the best restaurants and pubs to take your kids to this summer. Whether it’s a special kids’ menu or unique children’s activities, there’s plenty for families to do together this summer.
Image courtesy of Flickr user mattshomes (Share Alike).
The Manor Arms
Streatham & Norbury / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: Pub
Streatham - this south London restaurant is officially the Best Place For Kids' Meals In London thanks to an ample, healthy kids' menu plus a full programme of weekly kids' club activities involving singing, dancing, balloon modelling, magic shows, puppets, bubbles, and face painting.
The Rainforest Cafe
West End / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: International
Piccadilly Circus - George of the Jungle; The Jungle Book; Jumanji, all evidence that kids love the jungle. This in mind, the Rainforest Cafe is the ultimate kiddy playground where the sights and sounds of the jungle are all brought together. A collection of moving animatronics, waterfalls and tropical fish tanks means the kids don't have to use their imagination. They really will believe they're living like Mowgli! Ideal for both lunch or dinner - click here for the kids menu - or something a little unusual for a birthday party or special occasion. It certainly beats McDonalds! Click the Book Now button to make a reservation.
Stratford / Restaurant / Cuisine: International
Westfield Shopping Mall Stratford - This restaurant is good for adults and kids alike. The internationally varied menu caters to all tastes and hunger sizes, plus there's always plenty of entertainment for the kids. Giraffe have won countless awards of being the top restaurants for families and the decor is as playful as your kids will want to be. Plus, being situated in Europe's biggest shopping mall, only moments away from cinemas and the Olympic Park, there's no shortage of distractions after your meal.
West End / Restaurant / Cuisine: Belgian
West End - this Covent Garden restaurant has the double bonus effects of being centrally located near to all the shops and street performers that kids love, plus an amazing array of Belgian beers meaning you can slowly self-medicate whilst your prodigy tucks into battered haddock goujons with frites and sugar snap peas followed by real fruit frenzy ice pops (made with 100% fruit) for only £4.95 from the kids'menu
Planet Hollywood London
West End / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: American
West End - this central London movie-obsessed restaurant has plenty of dinner and West End show ticket offers worth investigating if you're looking to entertain the kids during half term. It also has a substantial kids' menu at £8.95 for 2 courses.
West End / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: Italian
West End - Families out and about in the London's West End for a show or going to the cinema will need to eat at some point. This excellent Italian restaurant in Leicester Square is ideally located for exactly this AND it boasts a kids menu that has six options to choose from, all for only £5.95, and with vegetarian options if necessary.
The Lord's Tavern
Maida Vale & St Johns Wood / Bar / Cuisine: Pub
St John's Wood - This is a great pub in north London for any discerning cricket fans, whether they be of adult or childhood age. Live sports on TV, a substantial pub grub menu - click here to see the menu - and the chance to witness England or Middlesex play test matches or Twenty20 matches at Lord's Cricket Ground next door. Also, for each adult meal purchased, one child eats for free. There's also a children's menu for under 12s. Be sure to check out the tour of Lord's as well if you get a chance.
Porters English Restaurant & Bar
West End / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: English
West End - During the school holidays London's West End is an exciting suburb to visit as a family. The kids will love the shops and West End theatre shows and the fantastic performers that historically gather around the nearby Covent Garden market. This English restaurant has a strong pedigree and has been serving families for many years. The children's menu is two courses for £5.95 and there are plenty of word searches, colouring, and number quizzes to keep kids entertained whilst you wait for your food. Be advised though, it's best to book a table ahead of time.
Dulwich / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: Gastro
Dulwch - this hidden gem of a pub uses sustainable fish and organic chicken, so the kids' menu is guilt free. Plus, if the weather is clement, there's a kids play area in the beer garden.
The Waterway Bar & Restaurant
Maida Vale & St Johns Wood / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: European
Maida Vale - a stroll or bike ride along the Grand Union Canal during half term break should always be followed by a kids' menu that includes mini falafel burgers and banana smoothies.
Beaufort House Chelsea
Chelsea / Bar / Restaurant / Club / Cuisine: Traditional English
Beaufort House loves kids. If you're a parent, you should enjoy Beaufort House as much as anyone else. Your kids will be kept busy thanks to the children's menu with its specially designed activities & colouring in, whilst you sit back and relax with the papers or, if you have a laptop, tablet or smart phone, surf the net using the free wifi. And there is more. Beaufort House is the ideal place to hold a kids' party. You can book the Club Room or the Champagne Bar during the day, and the perfect party for your kids will be provided while the adults are free to enjoy the rest of the House. Click here for the Kid's party info pack.
All Star Lanes
City of London / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: American
Holborn - During the day (until 6pm), this playground for adults becomes a family friendly domain for kids and parents alike. The kids' menu features all the classic kids' favourites, including milkshakes (a must!), and for only £15 each child can choose any kids' main, kids' side, soft drink with one refill, kids' dessert or milkshake, and one game of ten pin bowling. Bargain! There are also extra light bowling balls for kids, bowling ramps, and bowling bumpers. If you're thinking of hosting a kids' birthday party, look no further!
Cantina del Ponte
City of London / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: Italian
Shad Thames - 3-course family-friendly Italian food available with the option of a pizzas as a main course which kids can garnish at the table themselves before they are dispatched to the wood-fired oven to be cooked. Not only is this culinary experience great fun, it's also great value as kids only have to pay their age for their meal. Plus, children also get FREE soft drinks with their meal.
The Highbury Barn
Angel & Islington / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: British
Highbury - This north London pub is everything families look for: space for buggies & highchairs; a clean baby changing unit; and staff who don't walk the away when kids come through the door. The lovely square outside is great for kids; all the food is homemade; and it's close to Highbury Fields (yet far enough away from the madness of Upper Street to maintain its neighbourhood charm and family appeal). To book a table at this pub, follow this link or view their menu.