Five Great Child-Friendly Restaurants

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It can be tough planning a decent meal out when you have to worry about children, whether it’s about their safety or just trying to keep them entertained while you enjoy some company. But stress no more! Here are a few restaurant ideas that can help you keep everybody happy.

Café Roux is situated inside the Noordehoek Farm Village and is extremely child-friendly. They have a secure playground situated right next to the restaurant so that you can comfortably enjoy your meal while still being able to keep an eye on your children. They have a great kiddies menu and even cater for birthday parties. The open ground ensures your kids will be safe and have plenty of space to run around. The restaurant is open during the summer (with umbrellas scattered around to provide shade) and covered by a tarp during winter and heaters are provided to keep everybody cosy. Open daily for breakfast and lunch, Monday to Sunday 8:30 to 5:00 pm. Wheel-chair friendly, village has disabled toilets. Telephone: 021 789 2538 / email: info@caferoux.co.za

Jonkershuis is nestled inside the Historic Core of the Groot Constantia Wine Estate, with panoramic views of the peninsula and Constantia Valley. The area is monitored by security guards, ensuring your family is safe at all times, and the restaurant has seating outside so that you can dine in the sun while keeping an eye on your kids who can run around the hills and play with the ducks or splash in the pond. Their kids menu has many options, and even has a range of designs they can choose from to sit and colour in. Alternatively, you can pre-order a picnic and have them set up blankets anywhere on the property so that you can lie around and enjoy quality time with your family. Operating hours: Mondays to Saturdays 9:00 until 10:00pm; Sunday 9:00 until 5:00pm; Winter 2012 Closing Hours (June - July 2012) closed for dinner Monday through until Thursday. Telephone: 021 794 6255 / email info@jonkershuisconstantia.co.za

Spier is situated just off the R310 in Stellenbosch. You can picnic on the lawns next to the river under shady trees, or enjoy wholesome food from the farm at Eight Restaurant. Their beautiful gardens offer an ideal playground for children, who can clamour over rocks and have fun on the lawns while you enjoy a glass of wine. The birds of prey project at Eagle Encounters is a big hit with kids! Professional horse riding lessons can be scheduled at the Spier Equestrian Centre, but they also have ponies leading children around the lawn with an instructor beside them. Another great horse introduction for the little ones is a horse carriage tour. Spier - telephone: 021 809 1100 / email:info@spier.co.za; Eagle Encounters - telephone: 021 858 1826 / email: eagles@telkomsa.net; Spier Equestrian Centre - telephone: 021 881 3683.

The Beachcomber Bistro has a very relaxed atmosphere, inside the sunny main room or outside under the umbrellas. Situated on Fish Hoek beach, this comfy little restaurant is perfect for family outings. During summer the kids can play on the beach with you watching them while you eat, and in winter when it’s too cold to swim they can enjoy the playground that is right next to the restaurant. Their kid’s menu is simple and cheap, but sure to fill them up. So why not encourage everybody to get down to the beach and soak up some sunny rays? Telephone: 027 21 782 3354 / email:dine@fishhoekgalley.com

If you’re just looking for somewhere simple but fun to go with family and friends that’s kid friendly, then my best suggestion would just be to hit up any Primi Piatti near you. They have special play sections which they call Pods, which are exposed to parents caring view and enables children to feel part of the total restaurant experience. A colourful mosaic counter is set up in front of the pizza section and offers constructive and educational entertainment for kids, with caregivers teaching children how to make pizzas and bake biscuits. Their kid’s menu is deliciously fun and well priced. Website: www.primi-piatti.com / email: info@primi-piatti.com.

Lexi joined the Good Taste team as an intern at the begining of June 2012. Lexi studied journalism and has a passion for photography and travel, and one day plans to join all three loves by working as a travel photojournalist.

Lexi has an addiction to sushi and Mexican food and if someone opened a restaurant selling them both she'd would most likely marry them on the spot. Lexi also plans to travel SA in the hopes of finding the best red velvet cake and macaroons.

Follow her on Twitter @LifeAsLexi