Dining out with kids…always a pleasure and never a chore?…yeah right! For starters you can guarantee that when you’re starving and finally locate a half decent eatery, they don’t have a children’s menu. Or equally as bad, there is absolutely nothing on the menu that you can tempt your little, or in my case bigger, bundles of joy with.
It being the two week wonder that is the Easter Holidays and developing a slight case of cabin fever, I decided that a visit to Pontcanna fields was in order to let off some steam (mainly my steam). However, naturally after all the scooter exertion (the kids, not me!), I was met with the inevitable complaints of “I’m huuungry…FEED ME NOW!”
Thankfully, Pontcanna – a suburb on the edge of Cardiff city centre, has a number of eateries, so it’s more a decision on where to eat; as opposed to where the hell are we going to eat, that won’t take offence to small people with slightly dirty knees and trainers!
On this occasion, my two were displaying a respectable level of cleanliness, so we opted for the trendy café bar ‘Kin + Ilk’ (meaning Family + Friends). Located on Cathedral Road at the corner with Hamilton Street, it is a relatively large establishment with outside space as well. With a modern interior, and both comfier seated areas and tables for dining, the atmosphere was welcoming and friendly (well no-one appeared to raise any eyebrows as we staggered in with scooters in tow!)
Now neither of my two are particular fussy eaters, but with no children’s menu in sight and some pretty amazing ‘deli’ style sandwiches and soups on offer, I knew my taste buds were going to be catered for. However, I was a little worrried as to what I could tempt/bribe *delete as appropriate, them both with, in order that they would sit down while I enjoyed a much needed coffee for half an hour! Evidently, I needn’t have worried as they can both read and had spotted the bacon and maple syrup pancakes on the large menu board! I also know I am not going to be up for any Mum of the Year awards in Healthy Eating, but hey I would rather my kids enjoy what they eat, and needs must!
Luckily service was swift, and the all important (and much needed) coffee and white hot chocolate, which was just heaven in a cup, arrived quickly. Closely followed by our selections of warm foccacia with Serrano ham, Perl Wen and sunblushed tomato and rocket, and a grilled cheese sandwich on sourdough with Gruyère cheese, ham and tomato chutney, Welsh cheddar and home-made pickles. Both were delicious, and I especially enjoyed the Perl Wen, a brie like cheese produced locally by Caws Cenarth. However, I will say at £6.50 and £5.50 respectively, it was a little pricey for effectively a lunch of a sandwich and some salad leaves – a small pot of chips would have made a welcome addition to the dish.
Nevertheless, the same could not be said of the bacon and maple syrup pancakes, which while still £5.50, even made me sit back in awe at the portion size. However if you could bottle happiness and sell it, I would most certainly be on to a winner! The look of absolute glee on their little faces, and the questioning glances of ‘are you really going to let us eat all this?’ was fab. Needless to say, I was ‘allowed’ just the one forkful! A big thumbs up and smiley face Kin + Ilk.
- It is great to see that Kin + Ilk source from and support local suppliers such as Pettigrew Bakery and Caws Cenarth. They also have some fantastic ‘food’ artwork from the famous local artist Nathan Wyburn on display.
- While there wasn’t a menu as such, I am pretty sure if I had asked they would have put a ‘child friendly’ sandwich together for me.
- If a change of scenery is what you’re after and you fancy catching up on some work over a coffee/wine/craft beer – ha ha! (I can laugh, some of my most creative work has been done after a glass or two) then there is free WIFI and sockets with USB ports.
- While I will say that Kin + Ilk isn’t probably the best place for having a cuppa with toddlers in tow (to be fair people do seem to go there to relax and work), if you fancy a bit of rest/sit down for 2 minutes and your child will sit in one of the wooden highchairs, two are available. There are also baby changing facilities (albeit only one toilet) and plenty of space for pushchairs (or scooters!).
Would I go again?
Maybe – there are a few choices for lunch on Cathedral Road and subsequently in Pontcanna, although I think if I lived or worked in the area it would become a regular haunt. Kin + Ilk also have another café bar in The Capital Quarter on Tyndall Street, so if you’re on the other side of Cardiff city centre pop on over.
More importantly though…the kid’s verdict
Me : Did you like the Café?
Child 1 : It was ok. I liked it because you could see the menu whenever you liked on the big board and the seats were comfy. It was also a nice place to go for lunch.
Child 2 : I liked the pancakes.
Me: What was your favourite part?
Child 1 : The pancakes with syrup were lush.
Child 2 : I liked the pancakes.
(there appears to be a common theme to this visit!)
Would I recommend Kin + Ilk?
Most definitely – Kin + Ilk is a great alternative to the coffee house chains; and whether you are just grabbing a quick lunch, meeting friends, in need of a creative haven, require a relaxing drink after work or have kids in tow, it’s a contemporary space to suit all occasions.
Monday to Friday 8am – 6pm
Saturday and Sunday 9am-5pm
Address | 31 Cathedral Road, Pontcanna, Cardiff, CF11 9HB
Web | kinandilk.com