[AD] Contains gifted products
Where is your go-to place for eating out with children? Côte certainly wouldn’t have been our first choice. Recently though, they’ve developed some fantastic activity packs for little ones, along with a children’s menu. Better still, they were really flexible with my two. One of whom is vegetarian, and the other has just started doing meat-free Mondays. Of course, she decided this after we’d booked Côte for a Monday.
Children’s activity packs at Côte
The most difficult thing for us about taking the children out to eat is keeping them entertained. For us, it’s an opportunity to teach them how to behave in a restaurant setting. So, I won’t let them get down from the table and run around. That means they need something to entertain them at the table. I always carry a notebook in my bag so we can resort to a game of noughts and crosses. However, we’re all much happier when the restaurant provides an activity pack.
At Côte, the activity pack was a gem. On entering the restaurant, the girls were given an adorable envelope addressed to “a very special guest”. Inside was a selection of pieces of paper with fun things to on each. Stickers, colouring in, a maze and a selection of games including counting in French. There was even a postcard that Libby wrote to send to her friends.
The girls both immediately fell in love with a large poster with four characters on. Each was an item of French food. A croissant, onion, lemon and baguette. Only the outline of each one was drawn, and they all had arms and legs. The children had to colour them in and use the sticker sheet provided to create the character. There was so much in each activity pack that the girls didn’t complete them while we were there. Both insisted on bringing them home to finish.
A dedicated children’s menu is provided at Côte for anyone up to the age of 7 years old. The options varied from fish and chips to grilled chicken, sausage and mash, a cheese and ham toasty or pasta with tomato sauce. As with most restaurants, there was only one vegetarian option on the children’s menu. Libby has been veggie for a while now, and Lia has recently decided to do meat-free Mondays. As we’ve eaten out a lot on holiday and most restaurants only offer pasta on the children’s menu, they couldn’t face it again.
Instead, Côte obligingly agreed to allow the girls to choose something from the main vegetarian menu and share it. They ended up with a delicious goats cheese and roasted vegetable salad with olive tapenade. I’d love to see all restaurants offer more than one option for vegetarian children. However, it was great to be able to choose something from the regular vegetarian menu instead.
The girls had bread baskets as a starter and we all shared some olives. Libby chose a French fruit yoghurt for pudding, while Lia went for the chocolate pot. The food was delicious and I was grateful to Côte for accommodating the girls’ dietary decisions.
Numerous different menus are available at Côte. Specials for the month, an early evening menu, a set menu and the main a-la-carte selection. There’s also a dedicated vegetarian menu, which I ordered from. My husband had calamari to start, which he said was excellent. I went for the mushroom brioche, which I highly recommend.
As a main, my husband had a vegetarian ravioli containing goats cheese, walnuts and ricotta. It was clearly tasty because he made no effort to share it. I chose the Puy Lentil Stew. It felt a bit wrong to pick stew in August, it’s such a warming dish. Unfortunately though, the weather has been so chilly and autumnal that stew was exactly what I needed. The stew had a lovely, hearty flavour and I soon devoured it. It would be ideal for after a winter wild swim.
For pudding, my husband chose a lemon tart, which he’d inhaled before it even crossed my mind to take a photo. I chose a dark chocolate pot from the vegetarian menu. It turned out to be the same one Lia had ordered from the children’s menu. Small, but perfectly formed and an ideal way to finish the meal.
More information about eating with children at Côte
For more information about the children’s menus and activity packs, head to the Côte website. From there, you can also book a table at the Côte restaurant of your choice.
[AD] Contains gifted products