Food review: The Lobster Pot, Bridlington
Kids are great things. Having youngsters to brighten up your lives, constantly dashing about leaving a trail of destruction in their wake while mum and dad try to maintain some semblance of order, can be a great source of joy and wonder.
But there are also downsides. There are things you can't quite enjoy like you used to, such as eating out.
Taking two children with ants in their pants for a pub lunch can be an enormously stressful experience – mainly because you spend more time trying to get them to behave while not disturbing the annoyingly perfect tutting couple on the next table than you do eating.
So when you find somewhere that is family friendly, where you feel comfortable enough to let your kids off the leash a little and which has a menu that caters for both the fish finger-obsessed child palate and more sophisticated adult tastes, you grab it with both hands and never let go.
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Ladies and gentlemen, mums and dads, I give you The Lobster Pot in Bridlington.
The Kingsgate pub, on the outskirts of the seaside resort, was taken over by Marstons last year and given a £2m revamp – and it shows.
Outside there's a small kids' playground which will come into its own in the summer and a classy-looking, covered outdoor eating area that will be nice for alfresco dining if it ever stops snowing.
Inside, it's sprawlingly spacious, the decor is bright, colourful and quirky with plush upholstery, paintings hung horizontally from the ceilings and mock portraits of Victorian ladies and gents with rabbit and fox heads. It sounds weird – but it's a funky, shabby chic kind of thing and works.
The menu is as big as the pub, ranging from rotisserie chicken, flame grills to pies, salads, fish, curry, sandwiches and lightbites.
When we arrived, the pub was offering a free bottle of wine with every food order over £15, which was a nice opening touch and wallet friendly.
The kids menu is value for money and contains all the usual favourites. Our two plumped for fish and chips (£4.99) and a friends sharer combo platter (£6.99) made up of corn cobs, chicken dippers and pizza slices. The only slight niggle was the cucumber, which was soggy – but it was a small nitpick among a decent selection of food.
The grown-ups chose a half rotisserie chicken (£8.75), which was tender and flavoursome, and a trio of mini-pies (fish, steak and chicken – £8.70) which both came with a hefty selection of veg.
The service was spot on and the waitress looking after us couldn't do enough to help with the children and tailor our order.
A few drinks, some coffees, a three- flavour knickerbocker glory and jelly and ice cream puddings followed – leaving us all stuffed to the gill and remarkably unstressed. A perfect end to a wintry day out at the seaside and stroll along the promenade.
With the final bill coming in at £54.53, we felt we'd received value for money.
Families, fret no more. Once again you can venture out and dine in public without feeling like pariahs. The place to do it is The Lobster Pot.
THE LOBSTER POT, BRIDLINGTON
Where: 184 Kingsgate, Bridlington YO15 3NG
Call: 01262 602834
Open: All day, seven days a week
Accessibility: Level, wheelchair friendly
Vegetarian: Options available
Family friendly? Definitely
Parking: Own car park outside
Type: Modern British
Quality of food: Good
Value for money: Good
Best for: Family days out
Would you go again? Yes