Review: Our Lovely Family Lunch at Cafe Rouge #ad

cafe rouge

As we hurtle along at breakneck speed towards 2017, I’ve been trying to focus on the warm and fuzzy memories that have been created this year.

We’re doing a happiness challenge advent calendar to countdown to Christmas (more on that another time), and it’s been a great exercise to get me in the mood for it. I’m hoping that by practising gratitude it will set a good example to the children, and they’ll follow suit.

Our recent family lunch at Café Rouge was awesome, and definitely one for the memory box

perfect family lunch at cafe rouge
Why can’t they get on this well every day?

I’d go as far as saying that with the exception of being on holiday, it was our most successful family lunch to date. Between allergies, autism and general moodiness, we’ve had some pretty awful meals out. Causes for disaster have included, but aren’t limited to the following:

  • Unsuitable food for the children, or only having one choice which they weren’t keen on
  • Restaurant being too busy and over crowded
  • Harsh bright lighting
  • Inattentive waiting staff
  • Food that isn’t flavoursome
  • Kids fighting (probably caused by the above)

High standards  

I’m a true foodie, and adore not only eating great food but cooking it too. In any of my bios you’ll see that I refer to myself as a ‘wannabe chef’, so as you can imagine I have high expectations when dining out. I want to leave feeling nicely full, with my palate tingling, daydreaming about what I’ll eat on my next visit.

perfect family lunch at cafe rouge
Absolutely incredible ribeye steak with bone marrow gravy

This can be a tall order when you’re with small children. Inevitably you end up sacrificing the things you’d like from a meal because it’s a safer bet for them. There are a few restaurants which we visit over and again as a family, because we know that we won’t be disappointed.

Our local Café Rouge has now been added to our list. Here’s why…

The staff were amazing, and not just to our table because I’d be writing about our experience. I watched them greet customers and run around the packed restaurant for over three hours, their smiles never faltering once. Front of house is your first impression, yet so very many restaurants have surly, unhelpful waiting staff. This is something I have never understood, and never will.

perfect family lunch at cafe rouge
Even I couldn’t resist my all time favourite dessert!

The food was top notch. As I’ve already mentioned, I can be a tough customer to please. A steak, although beautifully simple, is very easy to mess up, but my med-rare ribeye was cooked to perfection. Buttery green beans were crunchy and full of flavour, and the bone marrow gravy was utterly exquisite. Rather than have a salad on the side as I would usually, I couldn’t resist having a little pile of crunchy fries to accompany it all. Two words sum up this meal for me: food heaven.

Hubby had beef bourguignon with creamy mash, and enjoyed every morsel. I had a taste and it was absolutely delicious. The children loved their burgers, which again are simple but in my experience oh so easy to get wrong. Which needless to say Café Rouge did not.

Pudding was also divine. Hubby got two – chocolate fondant and crème brûlée – and I had a couple of mouthfuls of each. It’s all the sugar I can handle these days, and nicely satisfied my sweet tooth. I couldn’t sit watching while my two all time faves were being paraded under my nose though. The children thoroughly enjoyed their various flavours of ice cream.

perfect family lunch at cafe rouge

The kids verdict. We thought the three course £6.95 kids menu was great value. It includes bread and crudités to start, a drink, seven choices for their main course and four choices for dessert. You can read the full menu here.

The children had a whale of a time during our meal, and I honestly cannot remember a nicer family lunch.

What the children thought 

Polly, 7: “I really liked the meal, I ate everything, and my salted caramel ice cream was yummy.”

Clara, 4:
 “I loved all of it, but my favourite bit was my chocolate ice cream.”

Freddy, 2: “Nummmmy!”

perfect family lunch at cafe rouge
Do you think that Polly enjoyed her burger?

All in all it was a resounding thumbs up from us for Café Rouge.

Thanks so much for having us, we can’t wait to come back!

**disclaimer: we were given our meal free of charge in exchange for this honest review. All words and photos are my own. For my full disclosure policy please click here.**

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