15 May 2015

Where to go for lunch with a baby in Salisbury

When I first had my son, I used to panic a bit about where to meet my friends and family for lunch. I needed somewhere that was child friendly, big enough to fit a buggy (or several buggies) and with baby changing facilities. It is astounding how many pubs and restaurants in Salisbury don't have baby changing rooms or have steps up to the toilets. 

So, in the last 8 months, these are the places that I have found to be most child friendly. I haven't been everywhere, so if you have any recommendations then please let me know and I'll update this little post. I was going to take photos of the changing rooms, but I concluded that would be just strange!

Happy lunching mothers (and fathers)!

Cosy Club

49 New Street, Salisbury 
When eating at the Cosy Club, you can choose to eat in the bar area, the restaurant or outside in the courtyard garden. The best for buggies and babes is probably the bar area where they have sofa sections that are perfect for little ones. However, you can book tables in the restaurant online and request extra space for strollers and in my experience they have been very accommodating. The changing rooms are stand alone which means both mums and dads can change the little ones. They are on the ground floor round in the restaurant. 

Salisbury Cathedral Refectory

Salisbury Cathedral, the Close, Salisbury,
This is a staple Tuesday destination for me and my Mum friends. The toilets are large and smell nice and never seem to be occupied. Again, they are stand alone so not just women have to do the changing. There's lots of space for buggies and they have large booth areas that are perfect for families and groups of parents. They have really nice high chairs, not those dreadful wooden ones which large kids can escape from and small kids wobble around in. They also have a kid's toy area, so all-round a great choice. 

Another great thing about the Cathedral, is the Cloisters area is calm, quiet, dry and sheltered. I used to spend hours walking with my buggy round and round there on windy and wet days. The tap tap of the paving stones worked every time to lull my baby off to sleep. I guess it'll probably be less quiet during the height of the tourist season!

Chapter House

Johns Street, Salisbury 
I have written about this place in my blog before as it is very friendly and allows for dogs in the bar area. They are also very child friendly and have even offered to hold my little one during a meal! He was going a bit mental at the time! 

Lots of space in the bar area for buggies and stand alone baby changing rooms through the restaurant, round by the hotel reception. 


Silver Street, Salisbury, Starbucks Salisbury
I thought I would mention Starbucks because I think it is the most child friendly of the coffee chains in Salisbury. I wouldn't even go into Costa on the Market Square as its a nightmare trying to navigate round all the tables and chairs. Really nice staff, stand alone baby changing downstairs and lots of room for buggies. 


Out of all the Italian chains in Salisbury, this is probably the best with babies. The tables are well spread out, so lots of room for buggies (unlike Prezzo which is a nightmare!) and baby changing downstairs. 


I've only been here a couple of times because it is a bit of a walk out of the town centre. The main cafe (there are two now) is large and spacious, plus you get free coffee with your Waitrose card. Toilets can get pretty busy and can therefore be a bit dirty sometimes (but nowhere near as bad as the ones in Debenhams). But the toilets are stand alone so men and women can do the changing. 

I don't want you to think I have spent my entire maternity leave being a lady who lunches. But there has to be some benefits to all these sleepless nights and weight gain! 

I look forward to hearing from you with your suggestions of new places we can try. 

17 March 2015

Mother's Day lunch at the Chapter House, Salisbury

My son turned 6 months old the day before Mother's Day, so we had two reasons to celebrate my first ever Mothering Sunday. 

We decided to go out for lunch just as a family. The pub round the corner from my house has recently reopened so we thought we would try there. The Pub used to be called the Chapter House, then the Lazy Cow and now it is the Chapter House again. 

Mother's Day menu
It reopened in December and pretty much has the same decor as the previous incarnation but with a bit less clutter and freshened up. It's pretty funky with cow hide seats and trendy lighting but with perhaps more of a traditional feel.  

We had the second lunch sitting (2.30pm) and it was packed which was a good sign given it was so new. The staff were really friendly and they even gave us a water bowl for our dog (dogs are allowed in the bar area) and helped to clear space for our buggy. There was a British Bulldog at the next table and she and our Border Terrier soon became friends. 

A selection of the food we ordered
They had a special Mother's Day menu which was reasonably varied although might not have offered that much choice for vegetarians. Much more affordable than the previous pub, the Lazy Cow, and the food was more traditional pub fair rather than the pretentious food they served before. I think the owners must have a South African connection as there were some interesting choices on the menu which gave it an unusual twist. 

Adam opted for the Boerewors with Chakalaka to start! These were South African meaty sausages with relish. He then had the largest serving of ribs I ever saw and he nearly demolished the lot. I was so proud. I had calamari and chorizo to start followed by roast beef. I was really impressed with the roast beef as it came rare whereas it is often over cooked in pubs and with a huge Yorkshire pudding. No aunt Bessie's here. 

Backsberg Pinotage
I decided to treat myself to a glass of wine and chose a bottle of Backsberg Pinotage from South Africa. It was very fruity and herby but not too heavy, very delicious. It was £23.95 a bottle so not too bad. I had a glass and the hubby finished off the rest! Their cheapest red wine was a Chilean Cab Sav at £16.95 a bottle. 

All the food was really good quality and the staff were very attentive throughout. The bill came to £60 which I think is reasonable given we had starters, mains and a bottle of wine. 

Baxter enjoying his lunch
If you're looking for a town centre pub in Salisbury, this place is definitely now in my top 3 along with the Cosy Club and Bills. It's got 15 rooms as well for those travelling from out of town. Nearest parking is Brown Street car park or the multi storey at the Old George mall

We will definitely be back, especially since we know our furry friend is welcome. Well, it is our local after all and you should support local.....