However, there’s unfortunately no denying that eating out with kids can sometimes be a little stressful – even when they’re being totally angelic, chances are you’ll still be worrying about whether everyone will find something they want to eat, or if they’ll manage to stay seated for the duration of the meal. With all this in mind, we’ve rounded up our favourite child-friendly places to eat near us. These are pubs, restaurants and cafés where the food is great, but where you can take the whole brood and totally relax and enjoy your meal, without worrying about anything other than which pudding to choose.
The Pigs, Edgefield
There is so much to love about The Pigs, but top of the list has to be that it’s just a ten-minute walk from Wood Farm – perfect strolling distance for even the littlest of legs. Then there’s the outdoor play area, complete with zip wire, treehouse and obstacle course – not to mention a maze – and a Lego- and Brio-stocked indoor play area that’s perfect for rainy days. And let’s not forget the food – the kids’ menu is full of familiar favourites, while grown ups will enjoy the local, seasonal focus of the pub grub.
The Ffolkes, Hillington
Sister pub to The Pigs, The Ffolkes’ also has a fantastic adventure play area, big garden and family focus – it’s especially perfect for a leisurely Sunday afternoon (when kids eat free from 4pm to 6pm). A forty-minute drive from Wood Farm, the home-cooked food is a great choice throughout the week if you’re spending the day exploring nearby Sandringham or Houghton Hall. It’s also worth making a beeline here on Fridays and Saturdays for the Street Feast, when you can enjoy some of the best local street-food vendors and sounds from guest DJs.
King’s Head, Letheringsett
The big garden at the King’s Head is perfect for letting off some steam pre- or post-meal, and it’s handily located just ten minutes’ drive from us. The kids’ menu has something for everyone, including the likes of cheeseburgers and vegan macaroni cheese, while adults can choose between sophisticated à la carte offerings and the more relaxed garden menu.
The Three Swallows, Cley next the Sea
If you’re heading to Cley for some coastal explorations (we highly recommend it while you’re up this way), The Three Swallows is a great choice for a meal. Its location on the village green – and its big garden – means there’s plenty of space for kids to run around while waiting for their food, without you having to worry about other diners. The pub itself is unpretentious (always a relief with children in tow), and the main menu reflects its position with lots of fresh seafood on offer.
Fat Ted’s Streat Food, Sheringham
This fantastic takeaway (just a twenty-minute drive from Wood Farm) is an ideal option if you’re looking for something a bit different – the delicious food ranges from flatbreads and burgers to fries and nachos. As Fat Ted’s is just a stone’s throw from the seafront, we recommend grabbing your food and taking it to the beach – Sheringham’s long expanse of sand is perfect for families.
Rocket House Café, Cromer
Located right on the beach in Cromer, this light and bright café is a great, unpretentious choice that’s always popular with families. Adults will love the emphasis on local seafood (don’t miss the crab!), while even the fussiest of young eaters will be content with the offerings on the kids’ menu, which includes sandwiches, pasta and cheese on toast.