We were invited by the Stonehouse Pizza & Carvery at Radford Bank Inn Stafford to sample their new menu following the recent relaunch of their pizza kitchen so we went along to sample the fayre and enjoy the grounds which sit alongside the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal just outside the town making it convenient for a food stop.
We chose a Saturday afternoon which was sunny and warm so we could get into the garden and use the children’s facilities too. The car park had ample spaces so there was no trouble finding a space. We were greeted with a warm welcome and guided to a table of which there are plenty. There is a children’s area inside that has some colouring and toys to play with – this was already being used so we made use of the books and colouring we had brought along with us for distraction while the food was being prepared.
There’s lots to choose from on the menu- the Little Lady made her selection from children’s menu which has a dinosaur explorer theme making it attractive for the little dinners. The usual children’s grub is available alongside the freshly created pizzas, which was the plate of choice for our hungry dino-hunter. What’s most appealing about this menu is the unlimited sides which can be selected from the carvery and salad section. This was a big hit with our hungry four-year-old as was being able to watch her very own pizza going into the huge oven to be cooked freshly for her. The rest of us indulged in a carvery. Again with unlimited amounts of veggies we were in healthy heaven which of course meant we could tuck in to the puddings later.
Dining out is not easy with two kids under five (you will appreciate the many pairs of hands you have to have, the space you need for the plates, cutlery, odds bits of plastic toys, the reading books, the colouring books and the crayons that all come in tow with you when you are dining in the company of others). We spent much of our pre-parenthood wincing at squeaking kids when we ate out so we are pretty keen not to disturb others. But, The Radford Bank is a family restaurant and it was a Saturday afternoon so the odd squeal was to go pretty much unnoticed (at least I hope so). That’s partly why we choose a carvery – for ease and speed! The service was swift at the servery and the portion size was generous. I had the standard size while Mrs VFAD went for the smaller plate – we were both stuffed by the time we had finished. Littlest VFAD polished off hers too but you might have guessed she was most smitten with the Yorkshire pudding and gravy.
Meanwhile, while the carveries had been picked and brought back to the table, the pizza was ready. The juggling act of entertaining and selecting food was mastered and the demolishing could begin. The pizza (although from the children’s menu) was huge. The typical ‘you’ll never eat that’; ‘just eat what you can’ with replies of defiant ‘yes I wills’ could be heard from table 40 as we watched the Little Lady tuck in. And defy us she did. Every last bit of cheese and tomato gone. The pizza was a hit. Pizza 0 – 4 year old 1.
But that was not all. When in Rome…. Eat a refillable ice cream – no? And a chocolate fudge cake with cream. One of us surely had eyes bigger than our bellies. This time it was me. I reneged defeated. But the Little Lady kept on going. There is nothing sweeter than proving your mom and dad wrong even if it is covered in toffee dressing and sprinkles.
After food, we edged our way outside to enjoy the sunshine and play on the climbing frames; one for older children and one for those younger. It meant that we could at least burn some of our calories off before we got back in the car to head home.
Would we recommend The Radford Bank Stafford? Yes, for value for money food, pretty humungous pizzas for kids and friendly and welcoming service and staff – you can’t go wrong for an afternoon of family food with a nice space to play out.
Find out more at www.stonehouserestaurants.co.uk
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