When Rudding Park invited the Harrogate Mumbler brood to dine in their Clocktower restaurant I’ll admit that I was apprehensive; I’d never eaten there myself but plenty of my friends have. They told me how lovely it is and what a fantastic place it is for a romantic meal for two or to get together with friends. Not a single one said that they had taken their children there. In fact when I mentioned that I would be reviewing it for Mumbler, without exception they said that it was a shame as I’d have a much nicer time without the little ones in tow.
Well friends, how wrong you were!
If I’m truthful I was actually feeling dread at the prospect of taking a “spirited” (and very prone to tantruming) two-year old and her five year old sister to the Uk’s No 1 hotel. I’d had visions of them terrorising business lunches and generally causing a nuisance in such a smart restaurant. The reality couldn’t have been further from the truth.
We were warmly welcomed by the Restaurant Manager and as it was such a beautiful and warm day we decided to sit outside on the huge terrace. There were outdoor games available such as quoits, Jenga and a football, but most importantly a vast open area of garden for the children to safely explore.
The waiting staff were incredibly attentive without being overbearing and they provided my two girls with activity bags and crayons to keep them busy. They served the children’s drinks in plastic cups without being asked- one less thing for me to worry about!
The children had their own extensive menu to choose from- both my girls elected to try the “make your own pizza’s” which I thought was great value at £5. The waitress brought out the pizza ingredients (along with chefs hats!) for the girls to assemble and then took them away to be cooked. I chose a few plates from the “Yorkshire Tapas” menu (Honey and Mustard drizzled Sausages, Yorkshire Feta and a Voakes Pork Pie) and was thoroughly impressed by the taste and quality.
The children’s desserts were well priced at around £2.50. I would have liked to try a few of the delicious sounding options such as banana split, waffles and ice-cream and donuts, however both my daughters wanted the fruit cocktail with chocolate dipping sauce. The portion sizes were very generous and both girls were served a beautiful looking dish of seasonal fruit and berries to dip inside a lovely rich chocolate sauce.
To finish off my daughters were given a Dottychino (a warm foamy-milk drink topped with a dusting of cocoa) and some lovely little Dotty the ladybird shaped petit-fours (Dotty is Rudding’s family mascot)
My girls both loved their experience at Rudding, but critically so did I! I cannot remember the last time that I was able to have a such a relaxing lunch out with young children and the opportunity to enjoy a two and a half hour meal (with desert and coffee!) whilst the children were happy and entertained. I did not want to leave and now I can’t wait to go back!
Next time I will take some of my friends with their children and we can enjoy the gorgeous surroundings and food all together.
Disclosure: Rudding Park did provide us with a free lunch for the purposes of this review. The opinion I’ve expressed here is my own.