There are a lot of things I look at when choosing a place to eat but whether or not it is baby friendly is not usually an issue I have to grapple with. In fact, to make a horrible confession, at times I am quite happy when a place is not baby friendly at all as that means that there won’t be any crying children interrupting my meal. Clearly this is the voice of a selfish, young childless person speaking and as a general rule I do love children. Really I do. However, a baby friendly place to eat became a priority when searching for a place to have dinner last night as a group of us were having dinner with our friends Rob and Michelle along with their baby Ally. My last experience of eating with children resulted in ingesting flaccid pasta in a rainforest themed basement complete with waterfalls and a life size electronic elephant (thanks Rainforest cafe). Luckily rather than be subjected to such torture again someone recommended The Normanby a bustling but family friendly pub in Putney.
The Normanby burger with bacon and cheese
The pub is modern and spacious with dark wooden floorboards, a few weathered chesterfields for lounging on and lots of tables for eating and drinking. It is a very big and open space but still feels cheery enough. Most importantly for current purposes though The Normanby quite a good job of the whole baby thing. Yes they did have a high chair. Yes we could be seated in a quieter corner of the pub out of the hustle and bustle. No, it really was not a problem to serve the Cumberland sausages and mash early for baby Ally while the grown ups (I love when in comparison I am a grown up) grazed on olives and bread. No, it still was not a problem when Ally painstakingly plucked all the petals off the gerberas adorning our table and no one batted an eyelid when a glass of water landed all over the table.
Fish and Chips
As for our meal, it was really your standard pub fare. Not great but not too bad either. The menu lists all the pub grub classics such as a pint of prawns, burgers and fishcakes. The “Normanby beef burger” is decent enough served in a warm English muffin with bacon or cheese added for an extra 50p. The burger is served with skinny but crisp fries, a salad of mixed leaves and cherry tomatoes along with a small pot of paprika aioli. Another pub staple, the fish and chips with mushy peas also fulfils its brief adequately. The cod is coated in a crispy beer batter which has puffed up around it to create an envelope which has steamed the cod gently. It is served with hand cut chips which seem to have been cooked in the same matter and the promised mushy peas.
It’s not the sort of food you would travel across town for but it does the job and if you have a baby in tow The Normanby is certainly a better option that eating at a miserable child themed restaurant.
Details: 231 Putney Bridge Road, Putney Sw15 2PU (Ph 020 8874 1555)
If you liked this you might be interested in reading about my favourite pub meal in London at the Bull and Last in Kentish town or you could try my old local, The Prince Bonaparte in Bayswater.