Sharing La Famiglia at Prezzo – Family Pasta Bowl

La Famiglia is the latest addition to the menu at Prezzo, one of our favourite family haunts when looking for a restaurant that caters for all the family with food that we enjoy.  Fortunately our local Prezzo is set in a stunning waterside location so it’s always a pleasure to enjoy a meal there and we couldn’t wait to try out the latest offering that they have introduced for families.

Inside we sat down and the children were given paper menus with plenty of activities on the back that always keep them occupied although as we were visiting during lunchtime it was fairly quiet so it wasn’t long before our Garlic Bread starters arrived.  We had two pizza style breads topped with garlic and cheese.  You can have caramelised onions but we opted without to save the children picking them off!  They were thin with a perfectly baked crispness to them and plenty of cheese – we all devoured these until the plates were empty, always a winner with the whole family!

Next up was the main course, the La Famiglia Sharing Bowl, which we were really excited to try.  You have a choice of four different pasta dishes:

  • Penne Arrabiata
  • Spaghetti Bolognese
  • Spaghetti Carbonara
  • Penne Alla Rusticana

We (or should I say I) opted for the Penne Arrabiata being vegetarian myself but knew everyone else would enjoy it just as much. The bonus of this option is multiple, not only do you not have to mess around waiting for people to pick their menu options, but it means it’s quicker to order so less hungry children and also no bickering when the food arrives as we all have exactly the same!  An added bonus is that the main dish works out a lot cheaper at £18.90 by sharing the family dish between four as opposed to buying four separate meals.

We served up the mains and all tucked in, it was thoroughly tasty and we all came back for seconds with each of us having as much or as little as we wanted.  This is the bonus of a sharing dish, you can serve up smaller amounts for little guests and daddy can have a bigger portion.  There really is a generous amount and by the time we had cleared the dish we were all quite full, but still had a little bit of room for dessert.

We all had ice cream which was the perfect finish to our meal, as you can see we are all rather fond of the chocolate flavour and it went down a treat!

We all really enjoyed trying out the La Famiglia sharing bowl, it certainly made the meal seem like proper family time with us all eating the same thing and serving it out of one bowl.  The kids got involved in helping themselves and we all enjoyed the same food.  We’d definitely go back again to enjoy eating out together as a family with a sharing dish – a great way to bring families together, especially fussy eating children as they watch everyone else eat the same food and tuck in the same!

This post is an entry for the #PrezzoLaFamiglia Challenge, sponsored by Prezzo

Marsh Mills Beefeater Restaurant – Review

Beefeater restaurants are somewhere I remember fondly from childhood.  It was often somewhere we went for a family meal when I was a child and over the years even though I now live on the opposite side of the country, my local Beefeater Marsh Mills is somewhere we go to from time to time with my own children.

With a newly refurbished restaurant and revised menu in place, I was offered the chance to review the Marsh Mills branch of the popular restaurant chain, which I was eager to do and knew my children would be keen as they love eating out.

We headed off for a 5pm booking, quite early as my children prefer to eat earlier and it tends to be less crowded at that time of day.  We were greeted with a modern looking reception area and a nicely styled restaurant.

beefeater 1We were handed menus and given a few minutes to decide our drinks order.  I loved the kids new look brightly coloured Mr Men menus.  My two children both enjoy the Mr Men characters and this certainly engaged them in looking through and picking their choices.  I was disappointed though that there was no kids activities provided as usually with Beefeater and similar style restaurants the kids look forward to doing some colouring in or puzzles but nothing was given to us which did leave the children a bit fidgety whilst waiting for food.

The kids menu is £4.49 for a main course and drink of squash, with an added course making it £5.49 or 3 courses for £5.99.  Usually I just make the children have the included squash but as we haven’t been out for a while and having spotted a rather yummy looking milkshake on their menu, I let them order the “handmade to order” chocolate milkshake with Beechdean icecream.  This was an additional £1.99 each on top of their meals, I have to say I was rather disappointed when a small carton arrived at the table for each of them as below!!  I had been tempted to order the adult milkshake for myself as I am a bit of milkshake fan but got swayed into having a glass of vino instead.  I do wonder if at £3.99 for the larger adult milkshake, would I have been presented with two cartons instead of one??

beefeater 2Starters soon arrived, of which we’d all chosen nachos, a family favourite.  The kids enjoyed theirs with a small dish of salsa to dip their tortilla chips in, but the adults version just didn’t do it for me.  I often have nachos when out and about and I have to say this was one of the poorest versions I’ve encountered.  Large lumps of raw spring onion scattered across with a sparse sprinkling of cheese and a rather unappetising looking dip in the middle.  It tasted ok, the tortillas were crisp and tasty but not a starter I’d come back for which is not normally something I say about nachos.

beefeater 3With the restaurant fairly quiet and my husband sitting facing the kitchen, he did notice a couple of meals which looked suspiciously like our main course order sitting on the hotplate while we were still enjoying our starters.  Needless to say as our starter plates were taken away, the waiter came immediately back to the table with our main courses from the hotplate meaning the fries were only lukewarm rather than piping hot and we didn’t even get a few minutes break between courses.

For main course I had a Quorn burger which came with fries and a pot of coleslaw, which tasted fine and was what of the standard I’d expect and the kids also enjoyed their chicken, fries and baked bean dinners too.

beefeater 4Desserts were also fine, I had the chocolate brownie which was served with icecream and the children had the mini chocolate challenge which they loved as all the bits came in separate bowls for them to build up themeselves.

beefeater 5So it came to the end of the meal and we paid, I did have a quick scan through the bill and it didn’t seem quite right but we paid anyway.  On returning home I checked it out and it seems the kids meals aren’t charged quite as the menu suggests.  The mains were £4.49 each but the other courses were an additional 99p each which brings each childs meal to £6.47, not the £5.99 for 3 courses that we saw on the menu.  Normally I’d expect to see a discount at the bottom of the receipt as we ordered 3 courses but not in this case.

After we paid the bill, the kids were offered a balloon and a small plastic Mr Men toy which was nice, although maybe if the toy was handed out once we arrived it would have given them something to play with rather than the cutlery.

Our overall experience of the Marsh Mills Beefeater was slightly disappointing, especially as we had all been looking forward to going.  It hasn’t left us with a feeling of rushing back there next time we are going out to a restaurant, although it’s a shame as I think it could so easily be improved and isn’t like the standard of Beefeater I’ve come to know over the years.  I do hope the points I’ve raised are taken on board and make it somewhere I’d want to visit again.

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received some vouchers towards the cost of our bill (and we paid the rest) in order to write the review.