This weekend was delicious and stomach churning in equal measure as we visited Cafe Rouge in Stratford Upon Avon with the boys to sample their new children’s menu. I love Shakespeare’s County – I grew up there, ate ice cream with my American penfriend [of some 34 years now!] whilst they were on their tour of Europe, I chased butterflies with my granny in the farm every Summer, and ran my first ever Race for Life here whilst I was training for for Regular Commissions Board to be an Army Officer back at the turn of the century [now I feel very old].
So, we arrived in the downpour and after a few rounds with the car park payment machine, we splished and splashed…and sploshed our way to Cafe Rouge on Sheep Street. Although we were visiting to try the children’s menu at Cafe Rouge with our boys and to see what they thought, we also bought my parents along to sample a little French fayre before our holiday together at Glisten in The Dordogne.
All I knew of Cafe Rouge before we visited was that it’s a French bistro chain of sorts – so it was refreshing to be able to visit somewhere that wasn’t an establishment we’d normally choose to eat at with the boys, and from the outside it looked rather more upmarket than the usual restaurants we’ve visited – except for Disney, of course – there’s no restaurant more grand than Cinderella’s Table at the Castle.
Anyhow, eating with three boys who are five years and under is always going to be a challenge. I learned from my first son that restaurants and baby boys generally do not mix. He wasn’t disruptive as in noisy – he just wanted to be up and about, which meant one of us wasn’t seated at the restaurant table. Hardly a family meal. Lyoto decided to run laps in Disney World and although Hero is always content in his high chair at home, in the public arena all bets are off with children.
Anyhow, we arrived ten minutes late and introduced ourselves, whereupon we were greeted warmly, seated immediately and offered a high chair which we gladly accepted. The mister kept Hero on his lap until the food arrived as we didn’t want him getting twitchy waiting. The high chair was a pull-to-the-table design [which I prefer as it allows Hero to get close to the dinner table like his brothers] clean and wooden, with a lap strap for safety.
The menus arrived and the boys were very excited that they got separate colour-in menus with a pop a point crayon, and they all settled down to colour whilst we scoured the menu to see what was available. Jensen decided to translate the menu for Granny and teach her know how to say ‘Bonjour’.
Our waitress was absolutely lovely and offered us drinks within minutes of seating, then came back for our orders. Being wet, soggy and English I ordered a cup of tea like my dad, granny had water, the mister ordered a limon pressé and the boys had orange juice [which came with delicious pulp] and cola.
The brilliant aspect of the menu is that if your little one wants to try something a little more French and grown up, they can choose from the “petits plats”, which Jensen did, and had king prawns in garlic and smoked chill butter with baked in-house baguette, which filled him up but left room for dessert too.
In total, we ordered: