Mumbler were thrilled to be invited to ASK Harrogate to help them celebrate their #myaskitalianfamily campaign, along with a group of Harrogate’s most prominent bloggers. It’s pretty unusual for bloggers to be able to get together, we’re usually all so busy squirrelling away behind our laptops! It was really lovely to get out and about with our families and have the opportunity to chat to each other in “real life”. The bloggers were: The Harrogate Girl, Momma Up North, North & Soul, Harrogate Mama, Feather & Flock, The Greedy Sisters and from a little further afield York on a Fork.
The ASK campaign is all about bringing families together for meals and as a busy family, we fail at this much of the time! It is really important to me though, so any opportunity for a meal out with friends and family and a gaggle of kids is very welcome!
Our meal at ASK was at 5pm on a Friday evening and as you would imagine, there were already quite a few families in there. It’s a well known restaurant chain and has never yet failed to impress the whole family. This time I was visiting as a party of 7. The kids vastly out numbered us. With Mr Mumbler working away, I’d gone with a friend, between the two of us mums we had… a 9 year old, a 6 year old, a 5 year old, a 4 year old and a 5 month old baby. I know, what were we thinking right!?
The staff were attentive and made a real fuss of the children and they didn’t bat an eyelid when the inevitable first full cup of juice went flying. Or the second for that matter. Starters were served quickly, the kids had ordered off the £6.95 (Prices correct Apr 2018) menu and their starters were “Vegetable sticks with bread soldiers and dip” For the adults it was a delicious mixed Antipasto sharing platter with breads, cured meats, cheeses and dips.
Thankfully (when you’ve got this many kids in tow) the main courses followed fairly swiftly after the starters and once again the food didn’t disappoint. The children had ordered a selection of pizzas and pastas from the kids menu. All were really tasty and the potions were generous. The two eldest kids (9 & 6 years) managed to finish their pizzas but the youngest two (5 and 4 years) didn’t stand a chance!
During the meal, our youngest guest- a 5 month old was getting fretful and had clearly had enough of meals out! She was beyond tired and so my friend made the decision to take her out for a run around in the car (to get her to sleep) while I stayed with the rest of the gang to finish our dinner. The staff helped us out by quickly boxing up my friend’s dinner so that she could enjoy it later on at home.
Meanwhile, the kids and I really enjoyed our main courses. Mine was a MASSIVE calzone. And then my daughters opted for a dessert off the main menu (Chocolate Etna). Had they not been so la-di-da, they could have had “Tip & Top Ice-cream” (which sounds like a make your own sundae with toppings) fruit ice-lolly, fruitti or Chocolate pizza from the children’s set menu, followed by a babyccino, all of which would have been included with the £6.95 menu.
The only minor criticism that I’d have of the place is the wooden highchairs. They’re fine if your baby is over about 7-9 months old and can sit up unsupported, but for tiddlers, they’re pretty useless. If you’re taking a young baby then take some blankets or muslins to pad out the highchair.
All in all it was a great meal out, perfect for families and if you hunt around on the internet or join the ASK mailing list, then there is usually a voucher code doing the rounds.
Please note: Dinner at ASK was kindly provided complementary (I know, tough job but someone’s got to do it!) However, no amount of Pizza would ever be enough for us to write a dishonest review, therefore reviews contain our honest views and opinions and always will.
Spring has sprung in Harrogate and we’re feeling hopeful for some ice-cream worthy weather so here at Harrogate Mumbler we’ve put together a little review of some fun days out in and around Harrogate, which all incorporate one of my favourite things – ice cream!
It’s a tough job, but all in the name of research, I’ve been in search of the best ice cream-based day out in the area. A little niche I know, but there is some seriously good ice cream making going on around here!
On to the important stuff – ice cream!
If you’re heading down to Valley Gardens then check out our first recommendation:
Vanilli’s on Cold Bath Road.
These guys have some seriously good ice creams, and milkshakes. I can highly recommend the salted caramel, mint chip, lemon cheesecake and honeycomb flavour. By the rate I’m going and if the weather stays sunny I’ll be able to get through the whole menu by the end of next week!
Next on our list is Ripley Castle.
Only a short drive from Harrogate, Ripley is gorgeous! We just went for the Gardens and Parkland admission. We took a walk round the castle’s beautiful lake into the deer park. There is also a gorgeous walled garden and walled kitchen garden to have a good walk round. I love places like this – somewhere I can let my toddler run around and I know she can’t go too far. There’s also a few children’s play area – we had to literally drag my little girl away from the big multi-coloured wind chime! You could easily get lost in this place for hours – we did! And all that walking certainly builds up an appetite. So this calls for one thing only – the world famous Ripley Ice cream! It’s located a short walk from the castle entrance. According to my eight-year-old nephew – the bubble gum flavour is the best ice cream in the world – EVER! I’m all over the deliciously creamy vanilla flavour! You can also get your fill of Ripley ice cream at the café in Valley Gardens.
Our third ice cream-based day out took us to Birchfield Ice Cream Farm.
This place is just brilliant – and a big hit with you guys, as it’s always getting a mention on in the Facebook chat group. They have something going on all year round and I’ve already been advised this is the place to go for pumpkin picking in October. In summer there’s usually PYO strawberries, as well as the usual farm related activities going on. There is also plenty of play areas – including the Maize Maze set to open at the end of July. Spend a couple of hours on the farm then head to the Jersey Barn Café and Ice Cream Parlour for some – you guessed it – ice cream. We went for mint choc chip and strawberry flavours. Demolished in seconds! They must rear some seriously happy cows on this farm to produce such tasty ice cream!
My final recommendation is slightly different. We went here specifically to go to the ice cream parlour, but easily managed to make a day out of it with all the great attractions near by. Even the 30-minute detour via Ilkley didn’t put us off (the A59 is currently closed in this area). Yep you’ve guessed it –
Billy Bob’s Ice Cream Parlour!
I’d heard so much about this place – and WOW – it did not disappoint! I felt like I’d walked on to the set of Back to the Future. We got ourselves a seat in the outdoor area – in the swinging wagons! Our daughter LOVED the outdoor play area. There are also indoor barns that the children can play in for a small fee – as it was such a lovely day we didn’t go in – but I’m sure we’ll be back later on in the year to check them out! We went all in on the ice cream – coke floats, strawberry milkshakes followed by a serving of rocky road and key lime pie flavoured ice cream. All ridiculously good. We went to Hesketh Farm beforehand, which is only a few minutes’ drive away and I would highly recommend it. Animal feedings and demonstrations throughout the day, along with brilliant play areas – both indoor and outdoors. There’s also Bolton Abbey near by. But in all honestly, we could have happily spent all day at Billy Bob’s!!
So there you have it – the ice cream-based day out bar has been set pretty high. But as always we’d love to hear your recommendations – I’ll happily do more ice cream eating, sorry – I mean research!
The Mumbler team were invited along to Le Bistrot Pierre in Harrogate town centre as they have recently launched a new children’s menu and accompanying activity pack.
It has been around 4 years since I last visited the place and despite enjoying a really pleasant evening then, it’s not somewhere that I would have immediately thought of taking the children to. This recent visit has changed my mind entirely as they are very welcoming to families and the restaurant has a lovely atmosphere.
The steps up to the front door might at first glance put off pram users, however if you can make it up the stairs, there is plenty of space in the bar area to store prams and the staff are very friendly to children and babies.
As we visited just before Christmas, all the tables were laid out with crackers which were a huge hit with my children and they were each given one of the lovely activity bags on arrival. The bags contained a beautifully illustrated book (which doubled up as a “menu enfants”) and a set of colouring pencils.
The book has a French theme (with one of the activities being ‘Oú est Pierre?’) and has been designed by established artist and mum of two, Julia Whitehead and has an excellent balance of education and entertainment to keep children engaged. With 14 pages of activities to fill in (Noughts and crosses, code cracking, word searches, colouring in etc) it’s one of the best I’ve seen. The activity books kept the two seven year olds thoroughly entertained and there was plenty in there to keep my four year old from wrecking the place!
The “Menu Enfants” is very well priced at £6.50 for a meal, desert and drink and my mini guests choose macaroni and cheese and a burger. Both were served quickly and were devoured in no time. For desert they chose a delicious raspberry sundae, chocolate torte and chocolate ice-cream. The staff were good enough to put candles in my daughters ice-cream as we were celebrating her 7th birthday and even went to the trouble of writing a birthday message in raspberry sauce!
During the course of the meal one of my children (somewhat inevitably!) sent a drink flying, however the waiter quickly cleaned it up for us with minimal fuss and we weren’t made to feel bad about it. As anyone who dines out with children will understand; this sort of thing does happen and the way that the restaurant deals with it really does make a difference.
We thoroughly enjoyed our meal out at Le Bistrot Pierre and will be returning soon!
You can find out more here http://lebistrotpierre.co.uk/locations/harrogate
Disclosure: Le Bistrot Pierre did provide us with a free meal for the purposes of this review. The opinion I’ve expressed here is my own.
Mumbler was delighted to hear that Las Iguanas was opening in Harrogate as we’re huge fans of Mexican food and always like to try out something new. We were invited in just 10 days after opening, and other than the smell of fresh paint, it kind of already feels like it’s been around for ages. The bright colourful decor and furniture really suits the place and the open, light restaurant is really appealing to families.
We were there on a Saturday just before 6pm and the restaurant was already full. I’d recommend booking ahead whenever possible so that your little ones aren’t disappointed if they can’t squeeze you in.
Las Iguanas is very much set up for families, there were plenty of wooden highchairs available and the kids menu doubles up as an activity sheet. The waitress quickly brought over a cup of crayons so that my two daughters would be kept occupied.
The music and the restaurant size mean that it is quite a buzzy, noisy environment which I really quite like; it means that you don’t have to be constantly shush-ing the kids. As a family we were made to feel very welcome and with typical latin spirit, the waitress that served us was great with the kids, making a fuss of them and chatting to them when she passed by.
Las Iguanas has a specific “Ninos” menu for children under 12 years and is priced at £5.90 (April 2016) for a main course, dessert and a drink which I thought represented excellent value for money. My daughters choose a cheese burger and a pizza (not exactly embracing the Mexican vibe!). There were also pasta, cod and chicken options as well as tacos and quesadilla’s for children with marginally more sophisticated palates than mine!
As well as the main adults menu (which has pretty much every Mexican and latin you could desire) there is an Early Evening menu served up until 6.30pm which is great for when you’re eating out with younger children. The main courses on this menu are priced from just £6.00-£7.95 and even your first drink of wine, beer or soft drink is priced lower during the early evening menu times.
Children aren’t restricted to the standard menu either, the menu states that they offer half sized (and priced) options of many of the favourite grown-up options. As well as that, the restaurant offers free baby food and will warm up bottles which is always great to know.
Las Iguanas is situated at 1 John Street, Harrogate, HG1 1JZ
Disclosure: Las Iguanas did provide us with a free meal for the purposes of this review. The opinion I’ve expressed here is my own.
I was a bit dubious when Revolution De Cuba invited us for a family lunch as I’d always associated the place with boozy cocktails and dancing into the early hours. But how wrong was I – it turns out in the daytime it’s a really family friendly restaurant! Baby changing facilities, room for buggies and a great children’s menu – Revolution De Cuba has it all!
The first big tick is how accessible the place is! We arrived, with a pretty big buggy and a sleeping toddler and we didn’t have a single step to deal with! The place is so spacious we had no problem in manoeuvring the buggy about. There was plenty of space around the table for our buggy, a high chair and the million shopping bags we had with us. I noticed there were a few other families with buggies dining, and all had plenty of space. It was a bank holiday weekend lunchtime too – so the place was pretty packed. Its nice to go to a restaurant where they haven’t tried to fit in as many tables as possible. The extra space certainly made us feel more relaxed – even when our toddler decided to make an escape from the high chair we didn’t feel like she was disturbing any of the other diners.
We were seated at our table, given the adult and children’s menu along with an activity pack – including crayons and bubbles to keep our daughter amused. You also get a small cup of nachos to keep you going whilst you peruse the menu. Service was excellent – our waiter was Sam and he was fab – talking us through the menu and giving his recommendations. We opted for 3 tapas dishes for us adults to share as a starter – my favourite being the chorizo croquettes! My husband went for the Cuban Cheeseburger and I went for the Sunshine Salad for mains. All got the thumbs up from us! The children’s menu was £5.95 for a main, dessert and a drink. We chose the homemade chicken goujons with sweet potato fries and salad for my daughter. The portion sizes for both adult and children were just right. I also LOVED the fact they had children’s cutlery. More often then not when we dine out we usually have to deal with my 2-year-old wielding cutlery bigger than her!
Her drink – a choice of fizzy drinks or juices – came in a plastic pineapple – she loved it, and so did we. It was knocked over a few times and there were no spillages! Desserts were ice cream for the little one and chocolate cake and Churros for Mum and Dad. Wowzer – those Churros were gorgeous – and a really generous portion!
All in all, we had a fab time here, the staff were great and the food delicious – a great family friendly restaurant we’ll be sure to frequent again! Check out their Facebook page for special offers – they usually run promotions over school holidays – kids eat free etc. On last Thursday of every month they also host Boomchikkboom parties – basically parties (discos, bubbles, messy play etc.) for babies and toddler. Turns out partying at Revolution De Cuba isn’t just for the adults!
Reviewed August 2018
Disclosure: Mumbler was lucky enough to receive this lunch for free however we pinky promised to only write a truthful account of our meal. Phew, we really enjoyed it! (otherwise that could have been awks!)
MUMbler were invited to try out the George Carvery so I decided to give it a go on Sunday 12th March with my hubby and little boy. I had always driven past and wondered what it was like! I had also seen lots of people recommending it on Facebook so there was no reason not to try it out.
We pulled up and the car park was busy but there were plenty of spaces so it was lovely and easy to park. On arrival, it was busy inside but it’s actually a lot bigger than I thought so there was space available for us to sit down straight away. Having never been before we sat down and checked out the carvery price card which also explained that we needed to go through to the bar to purchase our carvery tickets and drinks. The staff were very friendly and helpful, and also explained the process to us. Highchairs were available and they also provided my little boy with colouring pencils and a Peppa Pig colouring sheet to keep him entertained.
Getting the tickets was quick and easy and as we had our 19 month old little boy with us we decided to get his first as he can get a bit fidgety in his highchair if he doesn’t have food to distract him!
I joined the queue and let him point to what he wanted. The selection of food was great – there were 3 meats on offer: Turkey, Gammon and Beef. We opted for turkey for the little one and of course a large homemade Yorkshire pudding plus all the trimmings. Gravy was available to add as much or as little to our plates as we wanted (which is great because we are a gravy loving family!)
Finlay loved his and ate more than I thought he would, particularly as he has been a bit fussy with food recently. His favourite thing by far was the Yorkshire pudding!
We got our own plates and (in the interests of the review of course!) I had a bit of each meat. My hubby had the gammon and turkey. All in all, we were really impressed with the quality of the food. Sometimes carveries get a bad reputation as the food can get cold but it was lovely and warm and the meat was really tender. The sides were good too, offering peas and green beans, broccoli and honey roasted carrots and parsnips, stuffing, as well as mash and roasties of course!
There were plenty of sauces available for the side too, such as cranberry and apple, mustard etc.
One thing I noticed which is really helpful is that they have plastic cutlery available for the children. We had brought some in anticipation but hadn’t managed to pick up a fork from home, so it was great to find some there for us already.
Once we had finished our meal (there was no room for dessert unfortunately even though they sounded lovely!), we headed outside to the beer garden. This was great for Finlay as he could run around and there was a small play area with a slide which he loved! An added bonus was the kitchen washed up Finlay’s plate and cutlery we had brought with us.
There are baby changing facilities and when the weather isn’t so lovely, an air hockey table and table football in the bar area to keep the older kids amused.
We went at the peak of Sunday lunchtime and it was really busy. The carvery queue got quite long atone point but was dealt with quickly and did die down. We were sat quite near to the queue which was a bit inconvenient when there was a long queue so I would advise sitting in the main part of the restaurant or by the front entrance. The staff were all friendly and fresh food was coming out the kitchen regularly so there was always plenty available.
Overall, it is a great place for families as there is no waiting (Finlay is not very patient so long waits for food are a big no no for us!), you can have as much or as little as you want (as long as it will fit on the plate!), and the facilities for children are great.
Carveries at the George are available all week and the best part is kids (under 12) eat free with a paying adult from Monday to Saturday! Adults are £9.95 Mon-Sat and £10.95 on Sundays and kids are usually £5.95 so it’s a nice saving if you go during the week or on a Saturday.
Disclosure: The George did provide us with a free lunch for the purposes of this review. The opinion I’ve expressed here is my own.