Before having children, Tim and I would eat out in restaurants fairly often. We loved going for lunch, or dinner, or tea, or brunch… It was a treat, and we could easily spend a couple of hours over a meal, just chatting, people watching and enjoying our food.
Then we had children. When Ben was a baby, we were so anxious about him crying, vomiting or having a dirty nappy that we certainly didn’t take him out to a restaurant with us. Eating out with a toddler wasn’t any better – he’d be starving by the time we got our food, then he’d be finished within 5 minutes and bored. Now he’s a bit older, we can distract him with games and the iPad but… We’ve got another toddler on our hands.
What about Prezzo?
So when Britmums invited us to try the La Famiglia sharing dish at Prezzo, I was a little apprehensive. But pasta, garlic bread and ice cream are pretty much staple food for my boys, and I thought that if we went on a quiet lunchtime, we’d be ok.
I did vlog our day, and you can take a look here to get a real sense of our lunch out:
I’d only been to Prezzo in Preston once before – on a swift dinner and cinema date with Tim. In my mind, it was quite a nice Italian restaurant – couples and friends having dinner. Not toddlers running around! But I was really pleased when we were welcomed in, the kids were given crayons and activity sheets and there were plenty of high chairs.
We’d brought the iPad and a few games for Ben, but to be honest, we didn’t actually need them at all!
What’s the La Famiglia menu?
We ordered fairly quickly, eating from the La Famiglia menu. The La Famiglia sharing dishes are a bit different to what you’d normally order at a restaurant. You choose one dish for everyone, from Penne Arrabiata, Spaghetti Bolognese, Spaghetti Carbonara or Penne Alla Rusticana. With a few garlic breads, it’s a great way to eat at a restaurant for a really reasonable price.
We ordered the Spaghetti Carbonara and no starters. In my experience, this could have been a bit risky, as if there’s a long wait for the main, the children get restless and hungry. But if you order starters, the kids fill up on starters! There’s no easy solution. Often we give them breadsticks and little snacks to distract them.
We had no such problem at Prezzo. Our waiters were extremely attentive, and the food arrived within 10 minutes of being ordered – I was really impressed.
At the table, the pasta is served in one giant bowl, and you share it out onto your individual plates. We had a couple of garlic breads to keep the kids distracted while their pasta cooled down, and I have to say, they both absolutely loved the food.
The spaghetti carbonara was absolutely delicious. The pasta was cooked perfectly, the sauce was smooth and flavoursome, and it was much better than I’ve ever cooked at home!
The children really enjoyed the theatre of dishing up at the table (at home we normally serve onto plates before they are at the table) and I’m sure the fact that we all had the same was a great example to them. They both ate really well, finishing their meals and having seconds. In fact, there was enough food that we could all have seconds – not bad for under £20 for the La Famiglia meal.
How did the children cope?
Once he had finished his meal, Samuel was a bit restless and wanted to get out of his highchair. Although it wasn’t busy, there were a few other families dining, and I wandered around the restaurant with him. I have to say, the staff at Prezzo Preston were excellent – making a fuss of him, showing him the pizza oven, chatting to him. I felt that we were really welcomed, and I’d certainly go back there.
The only thing we had to wait for were our ice creams… We each had a scoop of ice cream for dessert, which, again, everyone ate. (Who doesn’t love ice cream?) However, this did give Ben enough time to finish his activity sheet, including the wordsearch.
The La Famiglia sharing dish really is a great idea if you want to go out for a relaxed family lunch. It’s fast and fuss-free – there’s no chance of food envy! I really like the fact that it does away with the need for a separate children’s menu too. Often, a children’s menu wouldn’t be quite enough for Ben and would be a bit wasted on Samuel. Part of me felt a bit of regret that I wouldn’t be able to order a fancy meal, but I know from experience that the wait for the fancy meal – and the stress that involves – wouldn’t make it worthwhile.
We had a really lovely time at Prezzo. It was a Bank Holiday, so Tim was off too, and it did make it a bit of a special day. If you want to take your kids out for an easy family meal, the La Famiglia meal at Prezzo restaurants would be a great option.
This post is an entry for the BritMums #PrezzoLaFamiglia Challenge, sponsored by Prezzo. https://www.prezzorestaurants.co.uk/LaFamiglia/