We often pop to Box Hill for a drive – the views are great and as National Trust members we can park for free. After a walk around we’re hungry, more often than not, and often head to the Smith & Western Bar and Grill up the road – it’s literally one minute from where we park. Every time I’ve been they’ve been busy – they seat 150 people in total – it’s a popular place (although granted some of those times have been Mothers or Fathers Day).
Today we ventured out after Christmas, and got in straight away! We were led to our seats and straight away I was impressed at how our server picked out a magazine-type thing and some crayons for H – I often have to ask, even in places like Pizza Express. There were plenty of puzzles (she’s enjoying lots of Spot The Difference at the moment) and colouring in, as well as things for older kids too. We were given a small bucket of Nachos while we waited – I love it when restaurants do that (it’s the little things, okay?).
The magazine-type thing also doubles up as the children’s menu which had a decent choice of food, from meaty dishes to pizza options. When H’s food arrived it was a decent sized portion too – actually, all the food was – though vegetable options were a bit sparse (her choice though, she didn’t want celery and carrot or corn on the cob). Anyway, this wasn’t a huge problem as we eat a lot of fruit and veg at home.
As far as choosing for vegetarian food, there was only one option burger-wise and that was a mushroom. I hate mushrooms, and had already decided against salad so ordered a vegetable fajita dish – which came with five small wraps and plenty of veg – as well as some guacamole, salsa, cheese and cream on the side. There were a few other veggie options available (a bean burger option would be nice if anyone from Smith & Western ever reads this!)
Shaun went for a burger and chose chips as his side – and it was quite a generous portion size too. We were both pretty stuffed, although did notice H’s meal really was just a sausage in a bun – she’s not (yet) a fan of sauces on her food and prefers to dip it, so had a dry bread roll with no sausage (as she picked it out and ate it and dipped it on its own.. sigh, 3 year olds…).
Someone on the next table had ordered a ‘Filling Station’ – basically around 8 pints-worth of beer in a sort of blender shaped holder which keeps the beer just right – it looked good too! We looked on in envy… You just serve yourself from the table.
H chose ice cream with banana and strawberry for dessert but was too full to finish it, so we helped her.
Being sensible we opted for diet coke which was unlimited refills (we only needed the one), H’s fruit juice was also unlimited. The kids meal was a set price which was reasonable and included drink, main and dessert. I did notice you could only have one milkshake if you chose that option, however.
We spent a short while looking for deals on our phones thinking it would come in quite expensive, and failed – but were pleasantly surprised when we saw the bill – everything came in at around £35. We were also given a couple of discount vouchers for a trip back in the new year, which we may well use – I wouldn’t mind trying out their Caesar Salad (though it doesn’t look too WW friendly!) – then again a good walk afterwards will help.
Anyway, in a nutshell, how child-friendly was it? Very! There was enough space, the toilets were spacious too which is always good when you’re having to go with your little one. The overall cost was surprisingly good, and the food was tasty (a bit oily), and very filling. I didn’t see if there was buggy storage anywhere, there was decent parking so I’ll assume most people have got there by car anyway. There were loads of kids around, which is always a good sign anyway. The menu for kids had enough activities it kept H entertained, and the people serving our table were quick – food came quickly and we were out within an hour (I do hate waiting!).
We’ll definitely be back.
(note, if you do go, take the A217 route via Headley Wood as it’s much easier!)