Over the last couple of weeks, the 5pm Blog has been running its eye over the finalists in the different categories of the Scottish Restaurant Awards. Today, we’re taking a look at the runners and riders in the Best Family Friendly Restaurant of the Year field.
Grosvenor Cafe, Glasgow
Part of a complex that includes the Grosvenor Cinema and The Lane Vinyl Bar, the Grosvenor Cafe opened on Ashton Lane in 2010. When it comes to making families feel welcome, it’s an operation that goes well beyond the familiar child-calming menus.
From family friendly weekends which feature arts and crafts plus face painters to an extensive weekly programme of family-oriented cinema screenings, The Grosvenor Cafe treats families as an integral part of the business rather than a distraction. A selection of toys; board games and a dressing-up box extends The Grosvenor Cafe’s wide appeal.
With the understandable exception of the lobster and chips, the children’s menu offers half portions of the adult menu. Just because they’re wee, it doesn’t mean that children can’t enjoy venison sausage and mash or Thai chicken and coconut.
Finally, The Grosvenor Cafe is supporting the Yorkhill Children’s Foundation Appeal by raising money for a new cardiac scanner. As well as fund-raising events, the staff are donating 10% of their tips to the cause.
The Three Sisters Bake, Quarriers Village
Launched in 2011, The Three Sisters Bake is the brainchild of Gillian, Linsey and Nichola Reith. As they explain in this Daily Record article, ‘We have set out to create a fun, lively and creative environment for all our customers, big and little, to enjoy a snack, coffee, brunch or glass of wine.
‘We wanted it to be a Willy Wonka factory for grown-ups with beautiful products and splashes of colour.’
Possibly the only places in Scotland that offers a full menu for babies, The Three Sisters Bake also feature a children’s menu which features choices such as houmous served with toast soldiers; mini picnic platters and pasta served with homemade pesto and cherry tomatoes.
Of course, providing healthy, enjoyable food for children is not the only consideration which the judges will be taking into account. The business runs regular Soul BBQ nights for adults but the children have their own version. As well as a child-friendly menu, the Kids Hi-Tea-Ho-Down features cowboy colouring-in games, a Wild West quiz and Top Your Own Ice Cream mini platters.
The Waterside Bistro, Haddington
Having already made the Family Friendly finals at two other award ceremonies, The Waterside Bistro by the River Tyne in Haddington is obviously doing something right.
According to the staff, the Waterside Bistro want to ‘welcome your little darlings with open arms’. It’s an attitude recognised by Scotland on Sunday who wrote that ‘you’re not exactly in baby heaven, you’re pretty close to it. The Waterside’s family room has good views, but mainly it has complete seclusion and plenty of goodies for youngsters to play with.’
At the weekends, the Upstairs space at the bistro is turned into a family area complete with a nook which contains a secret toy cupboard. As well as a separate children’s menu, the kitchen also offers a selection of half sized portions from the main menu.
And the winner is…
We don’t know yet. The winners will be announced at a sparkling awards ceremony, taking place in Edinburgh’s Ghillie Dhu on Tuesday 4th of June.