I am married to a chef who loves nothing more than eating out at nice restaurants Â but since having children, it has been extremely difficult to find somewhere family-friendly with good food.
We either end up in a sub-standard pub with a play area and microwave-style grub or at a decent restaurant with everyone glaring at our kids who are inevitably making noise.
And just to make it that bit harder, I am a Vegan! So trying to cater for all our needs is challenging to say the least.
As I said, when we have taken the children to nice restaurants, we end up feeling so uncomfortable that we canâ€™t enjoy the food. People judge families who shove a screen in front of their childâ€™s face, but until youâ€™ve been in the situation of getting angry stares because kids (naturally) are wanting to move and make noise, you canâ€™t judge.
The only time we have successfully managed to combine a family meal with amazing food is in Naples, Italy because over there it is just the norm for the whole family to eat out together even until late at night.https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FYorkshireFamilies%2Fvideos%2F285736468713108%2F&show_text=0&width=560
So when we were invited to review the new kids menu at The Star Inn The City in York, we jumped at the chance to go to a well-renowned restaurant who were putting on an event with children at the forefront!
Where is The Star Inn The City?
Set in the lush surroundings of the Museum Gardens (home to Yorkshire Museum), TheÂ Star Inn The City is right in the heart of Yorkâ€™s historic city centre. You can access it through the Gardens or along the river. Each entrance is as equally scenic and welcoming.
The address is TheÂ Star Inn The City, Muesum Street, York, YO1 7DR (The nearest car park is Marygate, YO30 7DT).Â
Whatâ€™s The Star Inn the City like?
The restaurant is set in the old Engine House but it is attached to a new airy extension with windows which display the stunning backdrop in which the place is set.
The restaurant has a modern but cosy vibe. Itâ€™s definitely not stuffy fine dining but more of a brasserie-style eaterie. Adorning each table are seasonal gords and pumpkins which give a nod to the restaurantâ€™s locally-sourced seasonal menu.
Special Child-Friendly Cutlery
Kate kindly offered my youngest (aged three) Arianna a special set of child-friendly cutlery by Doddl (scroll to the bottom for a discount code). Arianna was chuffed with this fun but metal cutlery as she is normally forced to use her hands or huge adult size cutlery (nobody wants Arianna near any large sharp objects!).
Meeting the Head Chef Matt Hunter
Head Chef and Director of Operations Matt Hunter who has been at The Star Inn The City since it first opened five years ago, explained how children can order anything off the kids menu or smaller sized portions of any dish from the grown-ups menu.
He said: â€œWe can cook to order, so everyone is catered for.â€
Matt also told us how the restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks to a range of customers.
â€œFrom the man whoâ€™s saved up for months to feed his family our burgers.â€
To people who like to just drop-in for lunch.
He also added that owner Andrew Pern (also owner of The Star at Harome) has six children – so children are very much a part of what they offer.
The Startlets’ Kids Menu
As we had been invited to a special influencer event, the kids got to try and share all of the dishes on the kids menu which is named â€œStartlets.â€ (We were joined by Harrogate Mama, York Mumbler, Families Vale of York Magazine, Little Vikings, Helpful Mum, Blog Up North and myself akaÂ Mama Mei.).Â
For starters there is a selection of Prawn Cocktail, Pate and toast or Yorkshire Pudding and Gravy. My girls naturally went for the Yorkshire Pudding and Gravy which they lapped up.
Next up for mains, the table of child food testers tasted the Spaghetti Bolognese (a clear favourite), followed closely by steak and skinny fries with a mushroom and, ham, egg and chips. It was good quality kids food and thankfully, there was not a Fish Finger in sight!
For Dessert, the kids had Chocolate Brownie and berries, a Bramble Mousse with Honey and Granola alongside Lemonade Ice Cream Floats. My daughters naturally went for the Chocolate Brownie!
My children, as I predicted, wouldnâ€™t sit through all the courses so there was a lot of moving around and playing musical chairs but nobody seemed deterred by there being active children in the restaurant.
Grown-Up Yorkshire Food
Us grown-ups were fed canapes too whilst we watched over our children. As a Vegan I enjoyed Cauliflower Tempura with Piccalilli Â and cup of Miso Soup which was tasty, light and warming. Perfect for a chilly Autumnal day.
I also enjoyed a drink off their Mocktail menu – Rhubarb Iced Tea by Taylors of Harrogate. It was super refreshing and sweet.
The other adults were served a sharing platter of delicious looking canapes (normally as a Vegan I get food envy but I was perfectly satisfied with my food).
Itâ€™s good quality British Food (which includes the kids menu) with a cosy family-friendly vibe. You canâ€™t beat its location and thereâ€™ll be something on the menu (or bespoke) that the chefs will cook up to please anyoneâ€™s palette.
I would definitely love to return with the whole family for a delicious meal that will suit us all, from my fussy children to myself as a Vegan and, Â I reckon the food will even meet my Chef husbandâ€™s high expectations.
PLEASE NOTE: We were invited to review and received the food and drink free-of-charge. All views are my own (with the help of my daughters). My also was reviewing the Â event for Blog Up North Magazine.
Goody Bags and First Aid
Plus, there was an Orange Kite First Aider on site and luckily we didn’t need to use her expertise.