Freddie and I went on another expedition this morning. This time to South Kensington, home of London’s biggest and most popular museums (the Victoria & Albert, Natural History, and Science museums) and thus in peak holiday time, a very busy place. Hence we set off early and managed to arrive at 10.00am just as doors were opening.
We went first into the V&A who offer a wonderful programme of family events all through the summer holidays. There were lots of people around to offer advice and direct us to where we could pick up an Activity Backpack. There are backpacks for all ages and we chose (with help from an assistant) ‘An Adventure in China’, based on there being lots of animals and dragons in this particular ‘adventure’. The backpack was quite heavy but Freddie (4½) insisted on carrying it on his back. It contained six numbered drawstring bags with various activities on the relevant theme. We headed to the China room where we found some beautiful dragon robes in large glass cases and one of the numbered bags had a jigsaw of a robe, with a picture of it in the guidebook, that Freddie enjoyed putting together. The ‘backpack’ activity is free but I had to leave a credit card as a guarantee of return. There were lots of other free activities. We could have spent the whole day there but Freddie was keen to move on to the ‘Dinosaur House’, aka the Natural History Museum – just down the road.
The long queue we’d seen as we arrived in South Kensington at 10.00 had moved on with the opening of the museum and luckily we got in fairly quickly. It’s free to enter the museum and of course for little ones, the main attraction is the dinosaur room.
Well two hours of serious museum visiting is enough for any 4½ year old and his Nonna, despite the fun we’d had, and we were both ready for lunch. My plan was to go to Honest Burgers, which we’d passed on the way from South Kensington Tube Station. I’ve been to other Honest Burgers and think they’re great; the best of the chains I’ve sampled. They also have a good Kids’ Menu – and what kid can resist a good burger?
Despite the early lunch hour, just about midday, the restaurant already had lots of people sitting at tables, but we got a good one for 2 by the window at the front. A quarter of an hour later it was full and people were queuing.
A quiz and colouring sheet and crayons came quickly for Freddie, together with the menus. The service at all times was very friendly and efficient.
The kids’ deal is a Burger + chips + drink for £5.50. There was a choice of Free range chicken, 100% British beef or veggie burger. The drinks were homemade lemonade or fruit juice. Freddie chose a beef burger, that comes with their ‘famous’ rosemary and sea salt chips, and lemonade.
Honest Burgers have a different local Honest Burger for each restaurant, so I decided to have the South Ken burger: Beef, smoked raclette cheese (from La Cave à Fromage, a fantastic French cheese shop just down the road), grilled red onions, garlic and parsley mayo, tomato, rocket & pickles … and of course their wonderful rosemary chips (£12.50).
Freddie’s lemonade – of which I was given a taste – was excellent; grown-up good. I opted for a Lucky Saint, low alcohol (0.5%) unfiltered lager, that’s made in Germany (£4) and it was also excellent.
The food came quite quickly – always a good thing with a little one in tow once they’ve decided they’re hungry! Freddie’s mini burger was actually a good size and he had a huge pile of chips. It came on a special ‘smaller’ plate. There were bottles of tomato ketchup and mayonnaise on the side to help yourself to.
My burger was a great plate of food too.
Their beef is fabulous. They have their own butcher and all the beef comes from the Scottish Highlands. The potatoes for the chips come from a 5th generation potato farmer in West Sussex. Their care to acquiring the best produce shows. The burgers really are very good: meaty, tasty and tender. The chips are very special. I couldn’t manage all my large serving of them, but Freddie had most of his and liked his burger too.
You can add in an extra of vanilla or chocolate ice cream to the Kids’ Menu for £1.50 but we decided to make a move and go to a gelateria further down the road. I paid the bill (£22) and we moved on. Honest Burgers had been great though and lived up to what I’d hoped for given my previous good experiences at other branches. And such an excellent quality of food for kids at £5.50 is great value, especially in central London.
Snowflake Luxury Gelato make their gelato from organic Jersey milk and cream from a family run farm in Somerset. I’d been there before and knew it was good. We each had a small cup with two flavours. Freddie had chocolate & mango; I had watermelon & salted caramel. They have tables upstairs so we were able to sit in comfort and eat them leisurely.
What a lovely outing we had: dragons and dinosaurs; burgers and ice cream. I asked Freddie as we were heading home what his favourite thing had been. ‘Lunch,’ he replied. A true food writer’s grandson! 🙂