Half term is only a week away – who’s ready? Whether you’re bound for a sun-soaked break or have planned a string of days out with your kids, our latest Table Talk guest joins us just in the nick of time with her fail-safe tips for keeping the little ones amused over the school holidays.
Carly Moosah is a mama of two and alongside her husband Dan founded the ingenious ‘KeepEmQuiet’. Bright, bold and bountiful, KeepEmQuiet’s travel packs are jam packed with toys, crafts, books, learning activity workbooks, puzzles, games, healthy snacks & more.
If like us your handbag is strewn with a myriad of crayons, toys and dog-eared books to keep your tot amused at the dining table, KeepEmQuiet’s dinky gift laden rucksacks will revolutionise entraining your little ones whilst eating out. Ranging from 1-10 years old for both boys and girls, even the tiniest members of the Royal family are fans!
From goodie bags to gastro go-tos, Carly took five with us to reveal her favourite child-friendly dining destinations around London…
1. I’d like a table for…
The more the merrier. A table like my family tables at Christmas growing up and still now. Mayhem, but full of love and fun, with a relaxed vibe, lots of food, and bubbles flowing freely.
2. Early-birds catch the coffee at…
Gail’s in West Hampstead. I don’t drink coffee but they do the most delicious hot chocolate, or if i’m feeling healthy a green tea for a caffeine fix.
3. Best brunch with kids?
Electric Portobello in Notting Hill is perfect for brunch with the kids. So cosy and comfy and great range of food to choose from, and when my son was in his fussiest phase they happily made him a marmite and butter bagel.
4. Children’s menu must-visits…
It’s got to be good old Pizza Express. Guaranteed for a pretty decent experience – my kids love the arts and crafts as they don’t just get a colouring sheet, but a whole book of activities! Which definitely helps us to enjoy a meal in relative peace, and I’m obsessed with their dressing…I could drink it!
5. Where do you grab a bite with mums en masse?
Fego in St Johns Wood is great when we are en masse – they are so good with the little ones and we have been known to take over the whole back of the restaurant. The food is great and they never seem phased by the mess or noise levels. If we are out without kids then La Brasseria is a firm favourite. Great atmosphere, delicious authentic Italian food and the perfect pale pink rose. I always go for the chicken escalope salad – I’m a total creature of habit. Incidentally they do also have a great kids menu too!
6. Hidden gem for treating tiny ones?
Benihana – not so much hidden but so much fun as an experience. And my favourite kind of food!
7. Best piece of advice for dining out with kids?
Our packs! Honestly though, I do think it helps them to have their own bag of goodies if it is going to be a long drawn out lunch. The perks of the job mean we have quite a few items for them to choose from at home, and they make up a little bag of their own. I’m all about spacious restaurants too, where they don’t mind if they don’t sit still. And I’m also not opposed to a screen, especially if it means I get to have a conversation and eat a hot meal in peace!
8. Date night – takeaway or take me out?
Take me out. My husband and I have been together for almost 20 years – 14 of which was before children so we spent the majority of our time together out and about. We both love food and the experience of eating out. Zuma is my absolutely favourite in London! Having said that there really is nothing I like more than staying in and watching Netflix these days too. I’m just not the hugest fan of takeaway food – it never seems to travel that well. But luckily my husband is an excellent cook.
9. My earliest food memory…
Roasts! Always have been and always will be my absolute favourite meal and my Mum made a great roast with Yorkshire puddings, the lot. I would slather it in mint sauce. Every birthday we were able to choose what dinner would be growing up, and I always always chose a roast.
10. Five mums, one table – who’s joining you?
Shonda Rhimes who created my favourite show on the planet, Grey’s Anatomy, because I want to know what she has in store for all the characters; Goldie Hawn & Kate Hudson because they are total mother/daughter goals and look like SO much fun; and my own Mum who passed away 9 years ago and I would give anything to have one more meal with and to hear her laugh again.