Local West Bridgford mum of two is on a quest to find the best child-friendly eateries around Nottingham and beyond. 35 year old digital marketing specialist, Alison Turner needs the help of mums and dads, grandparents and carers to share their experiences of their favourite and most family friendly restaurants, cafes and pubs around.
Alison said “The aim is to create a simple one-stop platform similar to a TripAdvisor for families so that you can find everything in one place, share reviews and give ratings”.
She is also an ambassador for Mummy Social who supports and encourages new mums to get social with other local parents. She adds, “Maternal loneliness takes a lot of us by surprise and there’s huge importance of mum or dad friends as it’s good to talk and share the roller-coaster of parenthood. It’s good to get out of the home environment but the problem is, where is best to go to meet friends or family with young children on tow where you can get a decent meal yet keep the kids safe and entertained? Please don’t say ‘soft-play’!”
The story behind Family Friendly Eateries:
“Breastfeeding friendly places were my top concern when I had my first child and now it’s also about venues that have enough space for pushchairs. As a parent, you’re trying to avoid embarrassing yourself in public, so you avoid restaurants where your kid is going to ruin someone’s evening and everyone stares at you. Wouldn’t you just hate bashing into someone while they’re enjoying their meal?! I want to open-up this topic and ask – ‘should eateries make more of an effort and embrace family life instead of alienating this client base? I’m seeing a lot of student-friendly places but personally, I see a lack of ‘real’ baby and child-friendly establishments. “
“It is a big market. Motherhood/parenthood can be isolating at times. Most parents I know want to get out of the house, meet friends, and have somewhere where the kids are safe while you simply have a natter, a large cup of coffee and cake.”
” I’d like to encourage independents and larger chains do more to make it easier for parents to go out and not feel uneased about breastfeeding in public, or having food chucked on the floor and of course, the occasional crying child. Some eateries support this but not near enough.”
“With this community website/app, parents will be able to share their positive dining experiences, give recommendations and give their rating on numerous things such as; high-chairs, changing facility, or if it is pushchair friendly. Not only that, we parents want healthy menu choices for our little ones when we’re out and about. Eateries would also offer members of the app community exclusive offers, events and deals.”
As a first-time mum leaving the house was a daunting experience. As most parents would know it takes forever to leave the house with babies and children on tow. So, to help new parents have a positive experience I believe a truly child-friendly / family-friendly eatery should cover the following:
- Create an appealing yet healthier menu for kids – so not the usual frozen food.
- Offer activities to engage children during meals
- Build kid-friendly play areas that will work for children of various ages – I’m not talking about a huge soft-play area; just a spot to keep them entertained where parents can keep an eye on them
- Provide facilities and clean restrooms for the smallest guests
- Hire employees whose kid-friendliness is genuine
Some of Alison’s top-rated family friendly eateries so far include: Portello Lounge West Bridgford, Brewhouse and Kitchen at Trent Bridge, Café Sobar on Friar Lane in the City Centre, Newfield Ice Cream Parlour in Hockerton and the Pudding Pantry in Sherwood.
Alison added “This project is certainly going to be a fun challenge but with everyone’s honest reviews and recommendations we can build this community site that will help parents, new mums or dads know where the best places to go are.”
“I would love to hear from other parents and if they have any tips when dining out, recommendations on where to eat or would like to team up and collaborate on the project. Also, if you’re a family-friendly restaurant, pub or cafe waiting to be discovered do get in touch.”
The platform is currently under development so for now, you can support Alison and the project by submitting your reviews to the Family Friendly Eateries website, www.familyfriendlyeateries.com and follow the community @familyfriendlyeateries on Facebook and Instagram.
Family Friendly Eateries will be providing Nottingham Local News monthly reviews and recommendations so if local businesses would like to be discovered get in touch with Alison via the website www.familyfriendlyeateries.com