Sunday, 13 March 2011

Garden Centres are the new black ... and gastro pubs hate families

Saturday 12th March
Going to a garden centre when the sun comes up is the new black and with this in mind we ventured out to a large one with a mini steam train, lots of small animals and a beautiful florists.
The day started off brilliantly with my sons eating a “99” each although it should of course now be called a “£1.75”.
After covering themselves in ice cream and chocolate ensuring my washing duties are up to speed we went to have a look at the chickens.  My husband decided that we should get a couple for the garden which sent my eldest in a frenzy wanting it “NOW!”.  Needless to say he was disappointed.
Once my son realised his cruel mother was not going to give him a chicken or three, we went on the small steam train which broke down half way through and made a funny burnt tyre smell.  The kids loved it.
After the broken steam train we ventured into the shed section where my youngest thought he would test the saying “people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones”.  It seems now they are hardened glass this phrase is no longer relevant.
Getting to the cafe ten minutes too late for the hot food my husband said he noticed a pub less than five minutes away.
So into the pub we went.  And the moment we arrived I knew it was a mistake.  The pub was a very smart gastro pub which meant two things – very child unfriendly and very expensive.  The waitress seemed really pissed off we had arrived and told us they were booked up from 8pm.  It was 5.30pm and pointed this out.  “Oh, right.  Sit here then.”  Putting us next to the kitchen we asked to move.  We were put in a much better position next to the toilets. 
Ordering food and drinks and asking it all to come as quickly as possible the drinks for the kids were in pint glasses (apple juice) with no straws and lots of ice.  My two year old thought they were fun for a few minutes.  We were fortunate enough to wait for over 45 minutes for our food resulting in tantrums, yelling and lots of throwing things.  My children were very embarrassed by me.
When the food did arrive it was lovely but we had to rush it and the bill was ridiculous ... £66 for two kids meals and two main courses. 
And the worst part, I left a tip.