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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).
Rainforest Cafe London
West End / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: International
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.
Beaufort House Chelsea
Chelsea / Bar / Restaurant / Club / Cuisine: Modern European
Beaufort House Chelsea love kids so if you bring your children to the House they will keep them occupied using specially designed puzzles and colouring-in books, complete with pencils and crayons. The £6 Kids Menu has lots of tasty but healthy options, and there are plenty of high chairs too. And there's more: Beaufort House Chelsea is the ideal place to hold a Children's Party. You can book the Club Room, Members Lounge or the Champagne Bar during the day, and they'll provide the perfect kid's party while the adults are free to enjoy the rest of the House.
Afternoon Tea at Park Lounge
Kensington / Restaurant / Hotel / Cuisine: Afternoon Tea
This 5-star Grade II listed hotel near Kensington Palace and Hyde Park might not immediately seem like a great place to bring kids. However, book the Little Prince and Princess Afternoon Tea and your rugrats can have fun decorating cupcakes, and even receive a certificate. Throw in a visit to the nearby Diana Memorial Playground and that Parent of the Year Award is all yours.
The Medieval Banquet
City of London / Restaurant / Cuisine: British
An exciting and immersive experience for the whole family, this offers a traditional British banquet along with the experience of being in the court of King Henry VIII. There are knights, troubadours, contortionists, magicians, jugglers and many more entertainers to keep your little ones entertained. There is live music drawn from the Medieval and Renaissance periods. You can also hire costumes and hats to get in the spirit of things. Child tickets are only £30 each.
Inamo - Covent Garden
West End / Restaurant / Cuisine: Japanese
At this futuristic restaurant, diners can order their food from interactive controls with illustrated menus projected onto your dining table. You can keep the children happy with fun games like pong and memory whilst they wait for the food or explore the kitchen with their chef cam. The food is pan-Asian with influences from Japan, China, Korea and Thailand, so there is guaranteed to be something to please your little ones.
Afternoon Tea in the Conservatory
Mayfair / Restaurant / Hotel / Cuisine: Afternoon Tea
A member of the prestigious Tea Guild, The Chesterfield Mayfair is recognised for outstanding quality and consistently high standards of tea service. The tempting menu is complete with homemade cakes, scones and pastries. Inspired by the theatre production currently showing in London, The Charlie and The Chesterfield Afternoon Tea is full of sweet surprises! The chocolate themed afternoon tea includes delicate finger sandwiches, chocolate dusted scones, specially blended chocolate tea and a delicious selection of cakes and pastries. For children, the Oompa Loompa menu provides nutella sandwiches, hot chocolate with marshmallows and more. Why not consider an afternoon tea party?
Planet Hollywood London
West End / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: American
This Central London movie-obsessed restaurant is an American family attraction par excellence on Haymarket in the heart of London's bustling Piccadilly area. After, or during, a family day out in the West End, Planet Hollywood is just the ticket for refuelling with quality American fare, while savouring the rich variety of film memorabilia on display and enjoying state of the art continuous soundtracks and projections. Look out for special offers and a proper kids menu.
Whitechapel & Wapping / Restaurant / Cuisine: Argentinean
Families will undoubtedly go to visit the Tower of London and take selfies with the Beefeaters, before moving onto Tower Bridge and its freaky glass floor. At some point, they will become jaded with tourism and need to eat. St Katharine Docks is a beautiful spot to relax and peer at the super-rich yachts in the marina. It is also home to some of the best specialty cut steaks in London, a funky futuristic decor, a classic indie playlist (one for the parents), and tellingly, iPhone games provided by the restaurant. Thank you Cau for shutting them the hell up for at least half an hour!
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!
Greenwich / Restaurant / Cuisine: British
You love them; they're fun, fun, tears, fun; easy on the wallet they are not, especially during the long summer holidays. The solution, according to this south London restaurant: take the kids to Greenwich to see The Cutty Sark, Maritime Museum or just to lark about by the river, and afterwards for home-made fish fingers & chips, grilled chicken, chips & peas et al at Rivington, only a stone's throw away (and next to the Picture House) ALL FOR FREE.
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