Back in our old pre-children SW London life, like many others our age, good food and eating out was a big deal. On many a hung over Saturday morning you would find us searching for edible treasure at local farmer’s markets, or if we were feeling particularly wealthy at the time – working our way through Borough Market’s amazing stalls. I remember then conversations about how our future children would appreciate real food, and how, from an early age, they would learn what was considered acceptable behaviour (and not so acceptable behaviour) in a restaurant environment, so that we could carry on enjoying that side of life too!
Having undoubtedly failed many other parenting ambitions, this is one I like to think we have succeeded in – although I hasten to add it’s probably more through luck than anything else – but somehow we have ended up with two mini-gourmets who will eat just about anything (apart from baked beans in the case of the Small Girl (which is just odd) and marzipan in the case of the Small Boy (slightly more understandable)). And yes, I am well aware that I have probably just cursed myself in terms of the future food appreciation of imminent Small Person No. 3… However, I will admit to having slight concerns at how children would be accepted in a Michelin Star restaurant, as Luce d’Oro would be their very first during our recent stay at the very fabulous Schloss Elmau.
Despite how family friendly Schloss Elmau is, I can’t imagine that this particular restaurant gets altogether that many small guests, but I really needn’t have worried. As soon as we walked through the door, they were treated as special guests, and although they may be adventurous eaters anyway, were completely thrilled when they were presented with a hand-picked menu aimed especially at them (and still managed to swipe plenty of bits and pieces from our “more advanced” plates)…
We started with a selection of music bread (so-called because it’s as thin as sheets of music, not because it sings or anything!) with various seed, herb and cheese toppings alongside beautiful alpine butter, and regional pork fat with crispy onions and herbs. This beauty of this type of bread was that the Small People weren’t overly full before starting their meal as they hadn’t devoured an entire bread basket… As we were presented with glasses of birthday champagne, the Small people got their own champagne flutes (slightly nerve-wracking!) filled with fizzy blackcurrant…
And, as they were served their own more child friendly amuse bouche of a delicate miniature schnitzel, we were presented with something very Harry Potter-esque, a smoke-filled chamber with a scallop for Mr R (and something more baby friendly for me) accompanied by a tiny cracker topped with a curious (but good) vegetable sphere that burst with flavour once you bit into it.
Next up for the grown ups was Norwegian Lobster with cauliflower and romaine lettuce in various forms – delicious. The Small People were presented with roast chicken and beautifully cooked vegetables. Before moving on to an inventive course of Kohlrabi with sweet corn and pearl barley. Both Germany and Denmark love Kohlrabi, it’s not something we eat a lot of in the UK, but we should!
This was followed by a fillet of John Dory with Pepper and Chick Pea, before a final savoury course of Quail, Chanterelle Mushrooms and Dandelion. I can’t say I have eaten Dandelion in a restaurant environment before, although I will admit to trying a leaf as a child when we had pet rabbits, just to see what all the fuss was about. We ate the roots this time though, which roasted reminded me slightly of salsify…
Having a very English sweet tooth, and a bit of a craving for cherries, I was more than happy with the dessert of Cherry, Rye and Sour milk, which consisted of cherries served several different ways – covered in chocolate, as a gel, sorbet and as a wafter, alongside sweet rye crackers, and tiny bubbles of iced milk, and milk panacotta. The Small people were presented with magnificent bowls of spaghetti eis, complete with generous shavings of white chocolate parmesan! Delicious!
And to string our experience out even longer, and ensure that we really did come away feeling like Augustus Gloops at the end of a special evening, we were presented with this amazing handmade selection of sweets to go with coffee.
Should you be staying at Schloss Elmau, I really would recommend a meal here (with or without children). The ambience can only be described as Alpine Chic with its cosy but stylish chalet style interior (also quite dark and atmospheric – hence the quality of the photos), and the service is impeccable (the Small People were thoroughly enchanted, and said they knew what it must feel like to be “royal people”!)… My only teeny tiny complaint would be that certain food stuffs were assumed not wanted by moi as I am expecting, but actually, were perfectly fine to eat once I had enquired as to how they were cooked. Everything else was just perfect. You are also able to eat here should you not be resident, but do make sure you book well in advance.
lisa prince says
oh wow this all looks rather special and i would loe it if someone took me there too
A beautiful place, thanks Lisa! :)
Oh my thats looks so yummy.
I’m off out with the hubby in a couple of weeks… wonder if we will go somewhere fancy or just end up in a Weatherspoons..
Do you know what though, I would be equally happy in an English pub! ;D
Trish - Mum's Gone to says
I’m just scoffing on a bit of toast at the moment and my jaw has dropped. Oh my lord – how amazing is this dinner?
By the way, I have only just discovered Borough Market on a recent trip to London – we had a delicious Malaysian chicken curry. How had we never discovered this before?
I LOVE Borough Market… So much beautiful stuff! Oh to be there now! :D Thanks Trish xx
Crikey, that looks INCREDIBLE!
It really was. Way up there in the top three, possibly two meals I have had here! Amazing service too, I think you would love it! (:
oh my goodness that looks divine and I love the look of the hand made sweet selection. One of the things I miss about not working in London since having my girls is all the fine dining
I miss the amazing restaurants in London with or without kids! :D Thank you! (:
Rachel @ The Ordinary Lovely says
It looks amazing!! We got so used to taking the boys with us everywhere in Switzerland, that it still shocks me a little now that in the UK we’re encouraged to frequent more chain-type establishments where the children’s menu is inevitably bland and samey. We don’t eat out anywhere near as much anymore.
I always grew up thinking England was really child friendly, but it’s actually not in a lot of cases is it? Thanks Rachel! (:
Wow those sweets look amazing!
I can confirm they were! (: Thanks Gemma!
I like the ‘washing line’ of food in the last picture.
Clever isn’t it? Thanks Tanya! (:
Mums do travel says
This sounds like a wonderful meal. It’s great that your kids are happy to eat most foods, that must make life a lot easier on your travels.
Sooo much easier, if not a little more expensive! :D Thanks Gretta!
Shell Louise says
It all looks wonderful. The music bread sounds really nice :)
Thank you Shell! (:
It looks amazing Emma! I love the look of the smoke filled chamber, and how wonderful they were so accommodating with the little ones. xx
Thank you Emma! It was a really special meal! (:
I’d love to visit somewhere like this but I think the quality of the food would ne lost on my two – they’d probably offend by asking for ketchup ;-)
Do you know, in here, I don’t think they would have minded if they had asked for ketchup! :) Thanks Cass! (:
Oh my, this looks amazing! Definitely going on my bucket list
Thanks Kara! (:
Teach me your ways oh knowledgeable Emma ;) I so hope that our baby will be like your children at restaurants – and eat everything!
Thank you Liz! I think if you are prepared to have a lot of patience, encouragement, and of course luck, then you will be in with a good chance! :D
Donna @ Little Lilypad Co says
Oh my goodness this looks divine.
I love how the children were treated as special guests rather than a nuisance as some restaurants can seem to consider children.
Beautiful images as always too x
Thanks so much Donna! It made all the difference to know that they were welcome, and that other people weren’t bothered by them! x
Sounds like an amazing culinary experience. It is also really good that your small people are so open to trying new foods :)x
Thank you V. Can’t say it’s anything we have done as parents, apart from being greedy! :D x
Kate Williams says
Oh wow! I must admit that generally just the thought of taking my kids out to eat anywhere makes me break out in a cold sweat but for a meal like that? I think maybe even they’d be ok??!
It’s always in these kind of instances where I worry the most, that my children usually surprise me! :D Thanks Kate!
JuggleMum, Nadine Hill says
You must be so proud of your children knowing that you can take them out for fine dining and enjoy a meal. Plus, you are giving then useful life skills for older life. I think it’s important for children to know how to behave in adult settings and your exposure to these settings to your children will equip them well. The food looks very entertaining too!
Thanks so much Nadine. They don’t know any different I guess, but I think we are also just very lucky! (:
Oh I love how beautifully presented the food is.I’m digging up dandelion roots this weekend to dry out and make coffee with.I wish more eating establishments gave children a decent food choice, you need to train their palates from an early age if they are to appreciate good food.
Thank you Aly. I always said I wouldn’t be one of those parents who say “you won’t like that”, instead I have always tried to say “try it, you might like it” and more often than not they do. Just lucky too I know that though! :D
Erica Price says
I have been thinking of taking H to a posh restaurant because I think he would enjoy the experience. Might experiment with a lunch time.
Go for it, I bet he would really enjoy it! Thanks Erica! (:
Sarah Bailey says
Wow what an amazing sounding place to eat – that food sound divine. x
Thanks Sarah! :)
Wow, oh wow. When we loved down south BC, we used to eat out a lot and I too am proud that my boys are pretty adventurous eaters. We would love this meal, although we would not be able to afford it now we are poor parents. I am sure number three will be fine too!
Thank you Jen. This was for a slightly special birthday of mine hence the splashing out! I don’t think you need to spend a fortune to eat like royalty, your recipes usually prove that! (: x
angela hamilton says
oohh the food looks so yummy and very different to anything I have ever tried before. Its great you had a good experience minus the little blip x
Thanks Angela! (:
Mmmmmmmm sounds delicious – you would have to go a very long way here in England to find a restaurant that served food as good that! x
Not that far Mum, some of the best meals I have ever had have been in the UK! :D x
What a delightfully dining experience especially since you were able to share it with your children. I don’t think I could be so brave with my two!
Thanks Ness! (:
Liz Burton says
What a magical meal! I adore that little washing line of sweeties.
You’ve described it all so beautifully, my mouth is actually watering here.
Thank you Liz! (: x
Michelle Twin Mum says
Wow, ths sounds and looks like a very special meal out. It must be a decade since I have been out for such a nice meal. Food just tends to be functonal nowadays.
This was a big special occasion meal! Thanks Michelle! (: x
Oh my goodness take me there NOW! I’m all about the alpine chic ;)
Got to love a bit of Alpine Chic! :D Thanks Amanda (:
yummy, that looks delicious and those courses are making me hungry!
Thank you Emma (:
What beautiful meal!
It was really beautiful. Thanks Becky! (: