While big pools and sandcastle-worthy beaches are an important factor in choosing a family holiday, we also know that food is an important consideration – after all, no-one wants to race around the pool or join in with a game of football when they’ve got a hungry tummy. So we’ve put together a selection of properties that really hit the mark when it comes to kids’ dining, whether it’s restaurants that cater for adventurous palates, or hotels that make feeding a six-month-old baby a piece of cake.
Authentic local cuisine
At Borgo Egnazia, in the Italian region of Puglia, children can tuck in to traditional Apulian dishes at Il Colonnato, a stylish restaurant with sleek white tables and chairs and olive trees planted in oversized white pots. Local dishes are also on the menu at La Frasca, a poolside venue that often hosts barbecues. Early dining sittings mean younger ones won’t have to wait up to have their dinner, either.
Greek specialities are the order of the day at The Westin Resort in Costa Navarino, Greece. There are home-cooked favourites at Taverna, Greek stews and salads at beachfront Barbouni (which has a great kids’ menu) and souvlaki wraps and skewers at Souvlakerie. For snack time, there’s Kayak – an ice-cream boutique offering authentic Greek ice-cream in unique flavours.
Gourmet restaurants and children aren’t often put together. But the Princesa Yaiza Suite Hotel Resort’s smart Isla de Lobos restaurant has a dedicated children’s menu, so little ones can sample simple Canarian specialities. Kids can also help themselves to local (and international) goodies in the buffet restaurant – they’ve got their own corner.
The kids’ menu at the Ritz-Carlton, Abama in Tenerife has plenty to choose from, including healthy options that’ll keep mums and dads happy. They could tuck in to a turkey, avocado and tomato wrap, try freshly grilled fish, or enjoy a homemade burger. Gluten-free pasta dishes are on offer, too. And as for pudding, there’s fresh fruit salad or tasty treats like double-chocolate brownies.
As well as laid-back lunches by the pool (the menu includes club sandwich wraps and cheesy nachos), the Jumeirah Beach Hotel in Dubai has plenty of family-friendly dinner options. Go for pizzas cooked in a traditional stone oven at La Veranda or sample Pan-Asian cuisine at Beachcombers, which also fits in a kids’ play area. Latitude buffet restaurant is also worth a visit – little ones love the chocolate fountain.
The Forte Village resort in Sardinia goes one better than a kids’ menu – they’ve got a whole restaurant just for younger diners. Tables, chairs and serving stations are all kid-sized, and there’s a special toy-train shuttle that’ll take kids back to Children’s City after they’ve eaten. Most of the resort’s other dining options are child-friendly, too, with high chairs for toddlers and special menus for babies, toddlers and older children.
There’s no danger of going hungry at Dubai’s Atlantis, The Palm, with dozens of restaurants to choose from. Tex Mex favourites like fajitas and burritos are on the cards at The Shore, Ronda Locatelli (created with celeb chef Giorgio Locatelli) serves wood-fired pizzas and traditional cannoli, and The Burger Joint deals in gourmet burgers and thick milkshakes (save room for one of the raspberry cheesecake sundaes for afters). Kids can even try out Arabic street food at Shwafel, which has a menu of shawarma wraps and falafel.
If your little ones have allergies or intolerances, Anassa in Cyprus is a good bet – the Executive Chef will help you tailor a menu plan for any dietary requirements. Family favourite venues here include Amphore, a buffet restaurant with a kids’ menu and views of the sea, and Pelagos, which serves Cypriot specialities like fresh seafood and mezze dishes.
Hotel Almyra, in Cyprus, is well geared up for parents with babies. Before you even leave the UK, you can take advantage of their Baby-Go-Lightly service and order essentials like bottles, bottle warmers and sterilisers – ideal for saving space in your suitcase. The hotel’s baby and toddler club, Globetrotters, offers little ones freshly prepared meals during club hours, plus the option of fresh milk and purées for younger ones.
Fancy travelling long haul with your new arrival? Take a look at Heritage Le Telfair Golf & Spa Resort in Mauritius. You can hire bottle warmers and hot and cold sterilisers for your room, the concierge can order in milk and baby products, and there’s even a handy Baby Care Room kitted out with sterilisers, bottle warmers, a microwave and a fridge – so you won’t need to pop back to your room all the time.
New parents will love the baby kitchen at the Gloria Golf Resort in Turkey. It’s stocked with organic infant milk and HiPP organic purées, and has an activity area too. You can also leave your baby at the VIM (Very Important Minis) club, where staff will feed them when you want – great if you’re sticking to a schedule. You can also request products like bottles and sterilisers, which will be waiting for you in your room when you arrive.