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July 9, 2009

Even for restaurants that genuinely want to be family friendly, catering for children is often a secondary consideration. At the newly opened Yard in Leith, the kids come first.

Opened on the former site of The Courtyard on Bonnington Road, The Yard is a new venture from mother of two, Lorraine Politi. Lorraine opened Molly’s Play Centre in Edinburgh’s Ocean Terminal four years ago after becoming fed up with quality of indoor play facilities available elsewhere.

Her experience at Molly’s convinced her that there was a big demand for a venue that combined decent food with an outdoor play area. The Yard features a large outdoor play area equipped with protective flooring, playhouses, giant Connect 4 and Jenga games.

Lorraine said: “We are really looking to let kids be kids and enjoy themselves. By having the outdoor area right outside the eating area, it means youngsters have the freedom to play, then sit down for a meal, then go outside again – while the rest of the family can relax.”

As well as giving children the space to run around, The Yard wants to feed them properly which means farewell to Turkey Twizzlers and hello to dishes such as fresh chicken breast, cut into strips and coated in breadcrumbs.

Appreciating that the parents might not be quite so keen to chow down on Squishy Fishy or Chicken Lickin, the adults menu features dishes such as seafood kebabs, fishcakes and chicken cacciatore.

5pm members who also know what the kids want include Edinburgh’s Wannaburger and Glasgow’s Di Maggio chain, both of which have scooped the Family Friendly gong at the Scottish Restaurant Awards.

Fun and games are on the menu at The Yard
Fun and games are on the menu at The Yard