Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Great Big Lunch Out Challenge - Number One


What is it about caterers and their idea of a children's lunch? They toss a cheap selection of dull snacks in a cardboard box, decorate it with a cartoon character, add an underripe banana to tick the 'healthy box' and charge a hapeless parent as much as £4.99. This box of delights is on sale at the vast majority of visitor attractions across Britain, in service stations, museums, castles, galleries and theme parks. So what do you do if you haven't the time to put together a picnic and you want to buy lunch for your family without spending a fortune? Well this is where the Great Big Lunch Out Challenge is going to help out. But I need your help. If you find a place where they are rising to the challenge of offering a nutritious lunch at a fair price for children without resorting to chicken nuggets and chips or the depressing cardboard box lunch, then let me know. Send me a photo, review it, rate it out of 10, tell me the worst that you find and the best.....And please, this isn't just about British sites, wherever you live in the world, tell us about what is on offer for your children. My email is in the profile section of the blog. Or leave a comment below.

This is my first offering. And because I know there are good caterers out there who do want to offer something better for children, let's start on a positive note. This Saturday we went to visit the farmers' market in Bute Street, South Kensington and the nearby museums. Sitting opposite the Natural History Museum and Science Museum is the Victoria and Albert Museum. And inside the V&A is a restaurant that has made the revolutionary decision to allow children to eat the same food as adults. There is no two-tier system here...and although part of me wants to keep this secret to myself, there is a bargain meal offer for children. For £4.95 they can have a generous children's portion of the freshly cooked adult meals with whatever organic juice drink they want and a piece of fruit. And the rooms in which you sit down to eat are beautiful; the Morris, Gamble and Poynter Rooms. The woman behind the counter told me these three rooms were the first museum restaurant in the world. And as if that isn't enough for £4.95, there is a pianist playing jazz in the background, a student from the nearby Royal College of Music.
V & A Cafe Opening times
Open everyday from 10.00-17.15 and from 10.00-21.30 on Fridays.
Freddie and Alex's score - 9/10.
My score for value - 10/10.
Remember that you don't have to pay to visit any of these museums.Right, its over to you - calling all parents or grandparents and carers to join the Great Big Lunch Out Challenge!
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  1. Mmmm! A friend recommended the V&A restaurant to me when I had just a few days in London last year - the dining rooms are stunning, and I think the food sets a fine standard for museums and galleries everywhere.

    I'll be interested to see if you can find better during this challenge!

  2. Cindy
    I know but I think it is important to show what some caterers can achieve. Aim high!

  3. This sounds like a wonderful opportunity for everyone to share their finds Charlotte.

  4. Thank you Bellini - if you can let anyone in Canada know that might be interested in revieiwing their local eateries...

  5. Anonymous3:34 AM

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