They may not be as world renowned for culinary prowess as, say, the French or the Italians, but I love eating out in Germany. All those carbohydrates appeal to my British taste buds and as for Apfelstrudel....stodge heaven! The main reason being though that most restaurants, even the more rather up-market eateries, are generally very child-friendly.
You are unlikely to be met with that "polite" grimace often offered as they spot your miniature appendage and attempt to look as though there's nothing they enjoy more than serving ungrateful kids who would probably rather be in MacDonald's. Indeed, after having been offered a booster seat your child will more often than not find itself the recipient of enough drawing materials to outfit W.H Smiths, and occasionally even a play area totally devoted to their entertainment.
They're not daft of course. They don't delight in the idea of some bored, unruly nipper, ruffling the feathers of their more ripened customers. Be that as it may, it's an attitude that usually succeeds in keeping all parties contented and I am a grateful fan.
Finje, having announced herself officially grown up, was recently able to back up her theory at my favourite restaurant. Having scoffed a child's portion of schnitzel, she eyeballed the creamed spinach with a look of pure contempt and asked if she could return to her artwork. Disappointed though not in the least bit surprised at the spinach rebuff, we allowed her to continue. She had already provided us with a caricature of her father which was nothing short of hilarious and I was eager to see what other masterpieces she would come up with.
The waitress then arrived and proceeded to make Finje's day. We ordered cappuccinos and Finje was asked if she would like one! I glanced at her in alarm as Finje, with a show of enthusiasm usually reserved for Christmas and/or chocolate, nodded maniacally.
A fleeting look at my husband's knowing grin did something to still my beating heart and I waited as expectantly as my daughter. We were then brought three identical cups and saucers. Ours filled with steaming coffee and Finje's with luke-warm frothed up milk sprinkled with Hundreds and Thousands. I'm not sure had Father Christmas in person delivered it, that it could have created more elation or a bigger smile.
A simple yet inspirational idea.
Needless to say, our favourite restaurant has now become Finje's too.
So what are your good/bad experiences eating out with children?