There are some places that provide a kind of culinary comfort blanket. They cosset you in a warm and safe space. And they never, ever give you a nasty surprise. For us, Carluccio’s is such a place.
They manage to pull off a seemingly impossible feat of appealing equally to adults and children. You know exactly what you’ll get: simple, authentic Italian food and generally cheerful, friendly service.
Now, I know that Carluccio’s isn’t everyone’s plate of spaghetti, but the sheer number of restaurants, means that if you find yourself somewhere with a hungry toddler and need a quick, good value, child-friendly meal you could do a whole lot worse.
They have a children’s menu which doesn’t compromise on flavour at all, yet goes down really well with all the kids I know. All branches have high chairs and most have baby changing facilities.
If you’re shopping in the West End the branch in St Christopher’s Place is handy; if you’re at the Museums in South Kensington there is a branch just opposite the Tube; the one is Covent Garden is the ‘flagship’ and handy for the Galleries in Trafalgar Square; the one in Bluewater has a queue at the weekends so stick to weekdays if you can; we’ve even been to the ones in Bath and Tunbridge Wells.
But my favourite is the one in the basement of Fenwick’s on New Bond Street. It’s perfectly located for lunch on a Sunday inbetween a little sneaky shopping. Fenwick have a delightful toy section packed with unusual things. And it’s right next to the restaurant: perfect for bribes and distraction…
Stylishness: 3.5/5 (you’ll never be caught short with a hungry toddler again: what could be more stylish for a yummy mummy?)
Feeding Facilities: 4/5
Changing Facilities: 4/5
Overall rating: 19.5/25 £-££