If there’s one thing all children love, it’s food, and more often that not, playing with food. Stretch their culinary boundaries this spring with fine dining, cookery classes, and global fare.
Including family-friendly food festivals, doughnut making and decorating, low-waste tasting menus and picnics in the park; discover seven ways to keep your family entertained – and feeling full – this season.
1. Children’s Tasting Menu at Apricity
Who says little ones can’t enjoy the finer things in life? Not us, and definitely not Apricity. Mayfair’s new low-waste restaurant was recently awarded a Michelin Green Star thanks to its industry-leading sustainable practices. But it’s not just the environment that Chef Chantelle Nicholson is seeking to improve; she’s also encouraging children to eat better, helping them on their way to joining adults around the dinner table. Apricity’s Culinary Kids ‘cooking and learning’ sessions are creative yet accessible and will help children expand their taste buds, learn more about where food comes from, and explore seasonality. There’s also a five-course tasting menu which includes kale pesto and rhubarb crumble among other, more adventurous dishes.
2. Gordon Ramsay Academy Classes
Budding chefs will love the cookery classes on offer at the Gordon Ramsay Academy. Here they can learn how to make sushi, rustle up a Mexican feast, and bake cookies. Look out for ‘movie night’ which is all about making pizza and sweet treats for the family when you settle down for a film. Classes share easy-to-follow recipes and straightforward techniques that youngsters will pick up easily in a fun, easy format where parents are welcome too. Ramsay loves getting kids involved in the kitchen so he and his daughter Tilly pop in at least once a month, so it’s possible you’ll see them there!
3. Cooking for Your Kids Cookbook
We’ve all heard the question repeatedly, “What’s for dinner?” and sometimes it can be hard to conjure up delicious, healthy meals for kids. The Cooking for Your Kids cookbook offers a helping hand from some of the world’s greatest chefs including Margarita Forés and Sean Brock. With expert advice on 100 home-cooking recipes, this book covers everything from breakfast and lunch to snacks and supper, as well as sharing some charming and funny tales from the chefs’ own experiences with cooking for children. With insider tips on creating tasty dishes that children will actually tuck into – and may want to help creating, too – this is a great resource to add to your cookbook collection.
4. Doughnut Time Decorations Classes
Everyone loves doughnuts and a trip to Doughnut Time Academy will be a dream for most youngsters. Taking place at their flagship store in central London, budding bakers will learn all about the art of making the perfect doughnut. The ‘Chief Doughnut Designer’ takes children through the process, step-by-step, after which kids are free to get creative with icing and toppings. You’ll leave with six freshly decorated doughnuts as well as a Doughnut Time Apron and recipe book helping you recreate the recipes at home.
5. Pub in the Park Food Festival
For a food festival that welcomes kids with open arms, head to Pub in the Park. With award-winning restaurants, world-class chefs and Michelin-starred food at 10 locations across the country this summer – including Wimbledon, Chiswick and Bath – this fun-packed event makes a fantastic family day out. Kids can sample plenty of global foods and enjoy new flavours and tastes: Vietnamese, Greek and Italian, to name just a few. Add fairground attractions, face painting and live music from the likes of McFly and this is a recipe for a great day out.
6. Kiddy Cook Parties
If you’re planning a birthday celebration and looking for some seriously fun inspiration, look to the selection of cookery parties from Kiddy Cook. Armed with the ingredients and utensils needed to make pizzas, cupcakes and more, they’ll come to your home (or a suitable venue of your choice) and host the cooking party for you. The ‘Kitchen Science’ party is perfect for children who like to experiment: in it – as well as making pizza, dough balls and homemade garlic butter, they’ll make edible goo-slime and experiment with bread bubble bombs and carbon dioxide rockets that will explode at the end of the party. They even provide party bags for an extra charge. Birthday parties sorted – just what mums love to hear!
7. Dukes Hotel Picnic
Picnic season is upon us, an ideal activity for the whole family on a warm spring day. Take the hassle out of preparation with a hamper from The Dukes Hotel, the most stylish way to picnic. This five-star property will supply you with a delicious spread prepared by the chefs at their Great British Restaurant. Children will love the Little Dukes and Duchesses Picnic containing treats such as chicken lollipops with BBQ sauce and chocolate mousse with marshmallows. Adults may want to opt for the Perrier-Jouët Picnic instead. Hampers come complete with a rug to sit on and cutlery. Reserve in advance, collect your basket of treats and enjoy them in the nearby London Royal Parks (The Green Park and St James’s Park).