Our New Favorite Place To Eat Out!
Before we became parents we ate out a lot. We would decide on a whim and go to any and all the places. It was fantastic, so easy and carefree. Then we became parents and it was a little more difficult, but still manageable. I would inevitable have to feed somewhere along the way, so mood lighting and dark corners were on my look out list. We would need a restaurant with space, so we could bring the pram as well as the kitchen sink. But even with these few hurdles, we would still do it and normally leave the restaurant feeling satisfied and content. Then we became parents to a busy toddler.
And excuse the French, this is where the sh!t hit the fan, and the roof and all the things in between.
Going to dinner with a toddler is friggen hardcore guys. Don't even think for a second you can actually sit down for longer that 5 minutes to eat your food. Ha ha ha ha, that's crazy talk. Don't get me wrong we still go out for dinner, not as often, but we still do it, as it is important to us. (And I will be damed if we let this little person take all the fun out of date night for us!) We do make it work, it just takes a lot more planning. No more carefree on a whim decisions. I need to be strategic about nap time, bath and dinner time. Also now if the restaurant does not have a play area or entertainment for kids, the place is dead to me!!! Dead, I tell you! Don't give me this crayons and activity sheet, nonsense! My child is 2, she will sit still for all of two seconds!! I need jungle gyms, trapeze artists and a travelling circus to keep this active child occupied!! No lies. So in saying that here are a few of our kid friendly favorites.
We just love:
The Point Water Sport Club. (This is our beach club. It has a jungle gym, trampolines and even a paddling pool. This place is life. We are more often than not here most weekends).
Sugar Rush Parks, Digs Kitchen. (Sugar Rush has the most amazing jungle gym activity park. It also has the train rides, the animal park, the reptile park, a trampoline park and even laser tag for the older kids and adults!!! I mean there is something for everyone. For us, we just love the jungle gym area).
The Coffee Corner. (This place has the most amazing play area with jungle gyms, bikes, scooters and swings. This area is also completely enclosed and competently shaded. So your little one is safe and secure within the property. Only open for breakfasts and lunches though).
And now, (the reason I am writing this blog post) Vovo Telo!!! Can I get a whoop whoop!
A few of our special friends invited us for dinner a few weekends ago. And normally dinners out with friends can be difficult. We are the only ones with a child, so the places are not normally of the kid friendly nature. But our friends are amazing and always think of our Sunshine when planning an event. Anyway, at the moment there is an amazing special on the go at Vovo Telo. So the choice of venue was not an issue this time. The special was too good to resist. The special is a choice of any two pizzas and a carafe of sangria for R150. (One of their pizzas normally range for R80 to R110, so this is an amazing deal!) I was super excited! I love a bargain! But my very first thought was, "Please may my Sunshine not have a melt down, please may she play quietly and let us enjoy our meal. Pretty, pretty please". I know there is not much to do at Vovo Telo for kiddies...well I mean, there are no jungle gyms, no trampolines and no play areas, dom dom dom. I also knew they do have a cute little dough station for kiddies to roll their own bread, but I didn't think it would be open at night. And even if it was, I knew my Sunshine would play there for all of 5 minutes and inevitably get bored and demand us adults to entertain her.
So I packed a big bag, full of books, toys, blankies and dummies, desperately hoping that these could keep her entertained and content just till we wolfed down our pizza and sangria. We left with our fingers and toes crossed. Let's be honest it is always embarrassing when your child has a melt down when you are in public. So it's always a fingers crossed type of situation when we venture out in public.
When we got there we had a nice table inside. Our waiter was lovely, the food was amazing (seriously go try their pizzas) and the sangria...just fabuloso!!! But this is not why we are here! As lovely as the evening was for us adults, for my Sunshine it was the Best. Night. Ever!!!
When we got there we asked about the dough station and were told that Sunshine would be able to play, yay! So we went over and were told we just needed to wait for The Dough Guy. Um, ok. So we waited, not understanding why someone else couldn't help us get a bit of dough? Surely we didn't need a specific guy for the dough?! (Oh, how foolish I was). Then we met Max. Oh my word, Max, The Dough Guy, is just the best person ever. He introduced himself to Sunshine, asked her name and gave her a huge ball of dough, a roller, cookie cutters and a whole handful of choc chip cookies. He taught her how to roll and how to use the cutters. The whole time being super patient and working with her "shy with strangers" nature. After he won her (and I and let's be honest, everyone), over he then proceeded to make Sunshine a mermaid, a cat, a turtle, flowers, hearts, a crocodile and snakes using his dough. Can I just say this man is crazy talented!!! He worked like a machine, so super fast and efficiently, that every photo I took of him in action was blurry! Sunshine was in awe of this him. Instant besties!!!
Max is incredible with kids. Another little boy joined Sunshine at the station and Max performed the amazing task of keeping them both extremely happy and thoroughly entertained. He is such a personality and chats to the kids the whole time, encouraging them to interact with and copy him in his bread making creations. And while doing this he is busy doing his actual job, of rolling out rolls and loaves to bake for the next day. Seriously, this guy! Max also baked all the amazing bread he made for the kiddies (the mermaid, cat ect) as well as the kids masterpieces (Sunshine made a lumpy, blob covered in choc chips, it was just beautiful). And the cherry on top of the proverbial cake, was that we then got all that fresh, beautiful bread they made. We left with a huge brown bag full of yummies, that Sunshine was so proud of, because she helped bake them with her great friend Max! (Slow clap, right now for Vovo Telo and Max, for offering such an incredible activity for kids to enjoy, while their parents enjoy their dinner, lunch or breakfast!)
Mom and Dad got to have actual adult conversations, without interruption, we enjoyed an amazing pizza and drank some yummy sangria, all the while our Sunshine got to have the most amazing evening baking with her new bestie, Max. It was a big win all round. We gave Max a nice tip (even though he didn't expect it at all) because he really did deserve it. And I suggest if you are going to visit him and have him entertain your kids with his mad skills, you please do the same. He is amazing and does this all along side his normal job of making and baking the bread. The way he entertained our Sunshine, I would have given him my soul if he ask for it, hee hee.
So Mamas and Papas here is a new one for your list...go visit Vovo Telo, firstly for this incredible dinner special, but even more so, to go bake some yummy bread with your kids and to meet the talented Max. You will not regret it. If you do go give Vovo Telo a visit, please post a pic and tag me in it, I would love to see these adventures and your kiddies beautiful creations.