Thursday, September 30, 2010

Go West....Centenary Tavern is great for kids!

Centenary Tavern
96 Sumners Road
Middle Park, Qld  4074
T: 3376 8111

Rating out of 5: 4 child friendly forks.
Clean highchairs available? Yes.
Pram access? Yes
Kids' menu? Yes.

Play area? Yes, outdoor playground and indoor computer room.
Activities at the table? Yes.
Room for kids to move around? Yes.
Child friendly atmosphere? Yes.
Prices? Reasonable- normal tavern prices.

I actually took Polly and her friend from school to this venue to see Babba, the Abba impersonator kids show.  If you ever get a chance to see it I would highly recommend it for both kids and parents....I think the mothers were dancing as much of the children.  Anyway, I was really impressed with the child friendly resturant that is on offer at the Centenary Tavern. There is a fantastic playground that is perfect for children over 2 years, which is visible through the large windows and also monitored on CCTV.  The indoor computer game area was small but most of the kids were drawn to the outdoor area, so it was big enough for the demand.

The food was very much standard family tavern meals, that were reasonably priced.  But I have to say the coffee was great, and the coffee lounge area was really pleasant.  The main dining room was also nice with plenty of space in between tables which is always good with prams and highchairs

I think the Centenary Tavern would be a great location for a Mothers Group or a Mummy mid-week catch up.  But it would also be fantastic for a family dinner or a catch up with friends where everyone can relax and have fun.  They also do Kids Parties which I think would be great too.  If you live on this side of town, it is definitely a great option for dining out with the kids.

Check out our Interview page, to see the latest interview with a busy Mum; talking about favourite child friendly restaurants and cafes in Brisbane / South East Queensland.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Verve for lunchtime catch up with Daddy.

Verve Cafe and Bar
109 Edward Street
Brisbane 4000
T: 3221 5691

Rating out of 5:    3.5 child friendly forks  - great to take the children for a lunchtime quick bite with Daddy, but essentially not set up for kids. 

Clean highchairs available? Yes.
Pram access? There was enough room but there arestairs.  So you would need assistance to carry the pram down.
Kids' menu? No, but plenty to choose from off the adult menu.

Play area? No.
Activities at the table? No.
Room for kids to move around? Yes, but limited.
Child friendly atmosphere? Yes.
Prices? Reasonable- normal cafe prices.

From the street, Verve is very discreet and hidden, but once you venture down the stairs it is an amazing  and vibrant space.  Initially it feels like you are entering a nightclub as the lights are dim and the music is louder than the average lunchtime restaurant.  But this is why primarily I thought it was a great option for kids.  It is loud enough, without being deafening (you can still hear each other speak), that children will not be annoying or disruptive to those seated around them.  You don't have to continually remind them to keep their voices down or stop tapping their cutlery!!

The walls are covered in colourful and interesting skateboard artwork, which was of particular interest for our kids.  The tables and chairs are very basic, and it suits the space and feels very much like its name - "Verve". 

The salmon cakes were delicious and suitable for children to share - with a little help from the kitchen to "hold the pesto".  But there were many other options that could be tailored to kids.

I am not suggesting that this is a place to take your children for a play date.  I thought it was more suitable if Dad or a friend works in town and you wanted to take the children into the city on school holidays for a lunchtime catch up.  Afterwards you can always venture down to the Botanical Gardens, catch a Citycat from the Riverside ferry stop, or  go for a beautiful river side bike ride for an after-lunch school holiday activity.  Have fun!!

Check out our Interview page, to see the latest interview with a busy Mum; talking about favourite child friendly restaurants and cafes in Brisbane / South East Queensland.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Govs just gets better and better....

Gov's Espresso and Collectables
2457 Gold Coast Highway,
Mermaid Beach, Gold Coast

Rating out of 5:    4.5 child friendly forks - awesome set up for kids!

Clean highchairs available? Yes.
Pram access? Yes, through the side gate.
Kids' menu? No, but gorgeus cupcakes.
Play area? Yes - fantastic.
Activities at the table? No need.
Room for kids to move around? Absolutely!
Child friendly atmosphere? Ditto
Prices? Very reasonable - normal cafe prices.

I know I reviewed this one not too long ago, but I wanted to give you an update.  The new sandpit and play area is now open.  It is huge compared to the previous one and you can catch up with other Mums at unmatched collectable tables and chairs within the gated area, so the children are not crying at the gate for you.  It is fabulous and I would highly recommend a visit if you are on the Gold Coast.

The only drawback being that with the recent renovation, the access is a little disjointed, but this was okay once we worked out where to go.  Also, the GC Council has limited their ability to prepare or toast anything onsite and everything needs to be in a takeaway capacity, even if you are eating/drinking in the cafe.  So the already limited menu is even more so.  It is great for a bircher museli brekky, a lunchtime sandwich or morning/afternoon tea ....and the coffee is divine.  It really is an espresso bar with a fabulous play area for kids - makes for a great catch up with other Mums whilst enjoying a coffee, or a really lovely family outing with the spectacular Spring weather.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

There's Pandemonium here.....

Pandemonium Cafe
215 Given Tce
Paddington, Brisbane  4065
T:  3369 4420

Rating out of 5:  4 child friendly forks - very tolerent of children and the food is great!

Clean highchairs available? Yes - about 4 available.
Pram access? Yes, outside.  Inside might be a bit squishy.
Kids' menu? No, but the menu is easily adapted for children.
Play area? No.
Activities at the table? No.
Room for kids to move around? Yes, but limited.

Child friendly atmosphere? Yes.
Prices? Very reasonable.

Located in a lime green "queenslander" in the heart of Paddington, this cafe is an old favourite of mine.  It is very casual and the retro furniture and the non-precious atmosphere, makes you feel comfortable and at home from the moment you walk in the door.  The owner seems to take a hands-on role and has been there every time I go, waiting on tables, taking coffee orders and generally speaking with her patrons.  She is very welcoming of families and takes the time to talk through the menu to make it suitable for the children.

On my most recent visit, the front courtyard had a table of about 15 women, all with young babies or toddlers.  Everyone seemed happy and well looked after.

It does not have a play area or anything specific for children, but the food is fast and the atmosphere is very kid friendly. 

The coffee is lovely and they cater for all walks of life including coeliacs, vegans, vegetarians, and my family being carnivores!!  Plus they have a special on takeaway coffee - only $2 for small and $2.50 for large.  So a great stop if you are going walking with the pram through Paddington, or just want a coffee fix as you are driving through.

All the food is made to order and made on the premises and reminds me of the old style country town cafe, with big servings and wholesome food.  Great for a Spring family outing for brekky, lunch or coffee on Fathers Day.  Dad and the kids are sure to love it!!  We will definitely be back.

Check out our Interview page, to see the latest interview with a busy Mum; talking about favourite child friendly restaurants and cafes in Brisbane / South East Queensland.