Eating out in a nice restaurant is the new bar hopping for me now I have a little family in tow.
I tried having a couple of drinks in the Blog On conference last weekend after two years off the booze and the resulting hangover made me realise drinking is something I no longer wish to partake in on a regular basis.
So eating out it is.
Pre-family I would have rocked up to a fast food restaurant or squeezed myself into a booth in a local pub. Now sadly, that’s no longer the case. Bringing a baby or a toddler out to eat with you means preparation and finding a good restaurant serving decent grub and having certain items like highchairs and friendly staff who don’t care about the amount of mess you make.
We were recently invited to The Britannia Inn in Otterspool which is in the south of the city of Liverpool. Located on the waterfront, the Britannia Inn has recently reopened after having a complete refurbishment and overhaul of its menu. Traditionally a carvery restaurant, the Britannia now serves a range of pizzas and burgers alongside its traditional cavern menu and we all went along to see what it was all about.
As previously mentioned, the Britannia is situated on the waterfront overlooking the river Mersey and promenade. There is ample seating outside and in, but on a blustery autumn day with the wind bouncing off the Mersey, the only option was indoors for us.
We were greeted on arrival by a friendly staff member who showed us to our seats. As we had reserved a table, the highchair was waiting for us which saved a lot of faffing. We got straight down to examining the menu.
The menu offers a huge range of starters which you can mix and match. The more you buy, the cheaper it gets, so we went for three starters which we could share among us all: salt and pepper mushroom, southern fried chicken dippers and garlic dough balls.
Next was choosing a main. I went for a goats cheese, spinach and red onion chutney pizza with an added topping of chicken for an extra £1. My husband chose the Great Balls of Fire pizza which comes with jalapeños, pepperoni, onion, beef and ghost chilli sauce.
We chose something for Dexter from the kids menu. You pick a main and then help yourself to as many sides as you like once it’s ready. Most of the kids meal options were pretty beige so we went with the standard chicken nuggets as he is a big fan of chicken.
We ordered our meals at the bar along with a couple of drinks and we were presented with a device that would vibrate and beep once our meals were ready.
Now, I’m pretty au fait with the device as we had experienced this while travelling in Australia, however when I am looking to eat in a baby and toddler friendly restaurant, I’d usually pick one where the food is automatically brought over to you, simply because it is a faff to leave the baby to go and collect the dishes. Luckily in our case, there were two of us, so one could simply collect the food when it was ready, but this put me off coming back if I am ever solo parenting.
The food was very promptly ready and the lovely waitress helped my husband bring the food over. We opted to have all of the starters and main arrive at the same time and my husband piled Dexter’s plate up with the veggies that were on offer.
The starters were absolutely divine. I adored the salt and pepper mushrooms and the chicken was to die for. Unfortunately I couldn’t really get a look in because before I knew it Dex had reached across and snaffled two strips. In fact, he much preferred the chicken strips over his own nuggets which he turned his nose up at.
The pizzas were delicious and a really good size too! I struggled to finish mine and was kindly offered a doggie bag by the waitress so I could finish it later. My only gripe would be that the food was not piping hot when it arrived. It did mean that we could start tucking it straight away, however I think it’s still an important note to mention.
After polishing off our food, we still had one greedy man who wanted more and so my husband went to order a bottomless sundae. He and Dexter enjoyed sharing it while I finished off my meal with a coffee. The perfect end to a good meal.
What Did We Love?
- The location is fantastic. Located near to Otterspool promenade and Festival Gardens it’s the perfect spot to fill up before heading out into the great outdoors with the kids.
- The staff are very friendly and courteous. The young waitress was patient and kind with Dexter and nothing was too much trouble. We have dined in other establishments locally when we have heard the staff moaning about customers and it just makes you never want to return.
- The menu has plenty of choice for adults and felt very fresh. I’d like to see the kids menu updated as not all kids these days are after the same old fish fingers, nuggets and pizzas. Dex much preferred having bits of our grown up pizzas and couldn’t stop eating the chicken strips starter we ordered. Next time we go I’ll be sure to order him something from the starters menu instead.
- The price! This restaurant was great value for money. We spent less than £50 and got three starters, two mains, a kids meal, a dessert, two coffees and two colas. An absolute bargain for a Saturday afternoon.
Our Overall Opinion?
We had a lovely time out as a family in the Britannia inn. It is always a pleasure to take Dex out to eat and watch him try new things and learn from us. It’s always particularly nice when you are in an environment where the staff are friendly and willing to help wherever they can.
I would definitely recommend the Britannia to anyone visiting Liverpool or living locally who is looking for a baby and toddler friendly restaurant. But please do bear in mind that it may not be suitable if you are solo parenting due to having to order at the bar and collect your food from the counter when it is ready.
Britannia Inn is located on Riverside Drive in Liverpool.