Shopping with a baby can be a tricky business, you can't linger for too long in one place, you need to plan your route there and back and you get about self conscious about having public one sided conversation with a eight month old who gurgles back. However on the plus side I do find it quite handy hanging shopping bags on baby G's pushchair and I do get to try some places lunch/brunch/breakfast. Inspired by a very sucessful Christmas shopping trip where we found a lovely top for my lovely wife and we had a incident free boys lunch at the excellent "El Pirata De Tapas" we popped up to the Westfield on Saturday morning to pick up a few bits. Unfortunatly we hadn't timed our journey up that well and at 9:30 most of the shops were still shut. I thought I would chance a spot of breakfast first and thus we went into the Westfield's branch of Balans
We were warmly greeted by the staff who were setting up but we were shown to a nice round table and plenty of room was made for the pushchair. The room is like a long rectangle with all the tables running down the length of the open kitchen and bar. It was very bright and light and there was plenty going on to keep the baby amused. I ordered myself a nice creamy mocha and went a bit leftfield and ordered a stack of pancakes with fresh fruit. Once my food turned up Baby G decided his pushchair was not to his liking so he sat on my knee and did the best to try and grab my pancakes. The waiter seeing my predicament turned up with a highchair attachment for one of the chairs and baby G was quite happy in that. Breakfast saved! the pancakes it has to be said were gorgeous. Thick but light and fluffy inside, they were quite sweet already so I didn't need to go mad on the syrup. I gave baby G some to try and he liked it. The fruit with it was less good. I think with fresh fruit you are always best to go seasonal. The rather bland melon on my plate let a very good dish down.
On the whole I was very impressed with Balans and I'm keen to return again. breakfast cost me £10 which was fine and the staff really made baby G and myself feel welcome. A lot of places seem a bit clueless when you walk in with a pushchair but not here where you get friendly pro-active service. It had a nice atmosphere and was filling up nicely by the time we left. I'm a fan of the High St Ken branch which is always very busy, the Westfield incarnation deserves to emulate it's success. A very pleasant father and son breakfast was had.
Monday, January 10, 2011
Food 8 | Service 10 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 8