Babies that Brunch

Breakfast rocks.

Ok so maybe not the 5.56am requests for breakfast accompanied by moaning that would make anyone believe they hadn’t been fed for the entire previous day. But proper breakfasts. Gorgeous hotel spreads which make me ashamed when Mr G manages just an egg on toast and a token pastry. Weekend breakfasts at home with the kids helping make waffles, and eating strawberries as quick as you can cut them, A cheeky coffee and a pastry on a sofa in a cafe after the nursery/school run. A weekend treat getting the kids dressed and out of the house before 9am to head out for a breakfast feast with no washing up.

Mr G themed my 30th birthday party around breakfast (and cocktails, that age old pairing). I REALLY like breakfast.

Taking the children out for breakfast is a surprisingly relaxed affair. Compared to a dinner out….they aren’t tired and grumpy because it’s first thing in the morning, the restaurants/cafes are usually a little quieter if you head out early, I don’t have to convince the children to eat their vegetables, and I can be fully fueled on caffeine. Take a few activities with you (stickers/magazines) and it’s one of my favourite weekend family outings.

We recently headed to the new Forte Kitchen for a breakfast treat.

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First stumbling block for a family with 3 children 4 and under…stairs. The cafe is on the first floor. Which I knew. But I hadn’t really thought about. Luckily Mr G was there to lug the buggy up the stairs whilst I escorted the 3 little ones. There was plenty of room to stash the buggy upstairs though, and this seemed absolutely no trouble for the staff, who were very welcoming and helpful.

The inside of the Forte Kitchen is gorgeous. Beautifully decorated with stunning lights. The kind of cafe I like to sit in and while away time.

But my children are not quiet. Or shy. I sometimes worry about their enthusiasm and confidence (they aren’t usually actually naughty) being noted by others, but I didn’t feel awkward with children in here at all. They were given colouring sheets and the waitress was happy to chat with them. Happy children = happy mummy!

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The food was super. We ordered sausage sandwiches and pancakes to share. The kids soon sought out the waitress and ordered themselves a second plate of pancakes!

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And yoghurt on top of pancakes…a new one on me, but it’s already been repeated at home!

Savoury pancakes are a personal fave too. I know it’s a more controversial one. Currently my standard order at Cote for breakfast. Crepe Complete – crepe with eggs, bacon and cheese. That’ll fix a bad night of crying children, bed hopping and toilet trips. I love Cote. In fact I may be addicted. After the hospital and our home, it was the first place baby Aubs visited, 4 days old. I NEEDED eggs benedict. With runny eggs. Bella once practically blackmailed the staff into giving us a table; we’d arrived mid morning with no booking and there were no tables. Bella however already had her coat off and was working out where to order her hot chocolate. I broke the news and her face dropped. The tears started coming. A few heartstrings were pulled and the poor front of house lady suggested that if we didn’t mind a wait she could squeeze us in. She didn’t have the heart to turn away a sobbing 2 year old apparently. Thank the Lord for her kindness that day when I needed a sharp coffee and not a distraught toddler.

In fact the staff are always great, super friendly with the children, who are more than happy to go and find ‘their’ waiter in order to place their request for an extra croissant or hot chocolate. There’s plenty of room for buggies, and a baby change. And the breakfasts are always top notch.

My most recent breakfast date at Cote was just baby Aubs and I meeting one of my NCT groups. Bella and her little friends have all started preschool now. A meet up for a hot coffee and  conversation uninterrupted by requests for endless snacks or breaking up unwelcome toddler cuddles was essential, and long awaited. A comfortable table and a leisurely breakfast not feeling rushed at all as we lingered over our coffees was what 4 weary mums needed. And the baby’s a cutie so until she wants to crawl under the table (may actually not be that long) she can come along…or until she wants to eat my croissant!

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So give breakfast a go with your kids, it’s worth getting up and out early for. I promise. Winchester has so many great breakfast places. Let me know if you have any child friendly recommendations I should sample a cappuccino and pain au chocolate in. I can always fit in an extra breakfast or two!

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http://cote-restaurants.co.uk/Cote_Restaurant_Winchester.html

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