I was amazed by the level of family friendliness in every restaurant and cafe we walked into in Greece and it makes me sad that eating out with kids can be so difficult in the UK. All the money that is spent on climbing frames and ball pits could be so much better spent on training staff in simple thoughtfulness.
These are the things that most impressed me:
- Highchairs in every restaurant. In one restaurant, the waiter decided my toddler was “a big girl” so stacked 2 stable chairs together so she could sit at our height. She grinned for the next 2 hours and ate like a dream!
- Most had a childrens menu with smaller versions of real Greek food, not a standardised menu of fishfingers, sausage, burger. It seems the small one likes kalamari…
- Everyone offered starter sized portions or automatically brought a plate for her to have a selection of our food.
- The small one’s food was always brought first. Not after the starters.
- We were offered a set of childrens cutlery in 2 places.
- The waiters talked directly to the children and smiled at them.
- There was always somewhere to put the buggy.
- There is an expectation that adults will need to entertain their children during the meal. If there was likely to be a wait for food, they told us.
- At our hotel restaurant they offered to put the leftovers in a “doggy bag” for the small one’s lunch the next day.
- If someone needed to breastfeed, the only drama was in making sure they were comfortable.
We would love to repeat the experience at home but we’ve yet to have an easy evening meal out. Small things like a box of colouring stuff mean a trip to our little local pub is always pleasant but unfortunately legalities conspire against us and we can’t stay long. They aren’t allowed kids in the pub (even asleep in prams…) after 8pm!