ANY parent will know that persuading a young child to sit still at a table is no mean feat.

Bribery is one method - ‘you can’t have an ice cream unless you eat all your vegetables’, with a dose of sugar seen as the lesser of two evils.

At The Coast, the restaurant at the Dunes Hotel in Barrow, myself and fellow mum Ros discovered a feature which any parent would spot instantly.

With the recent spell of warm weather diners would undoubtedly gravitate to the large orangery, or even eat outside, where a brand-new playground is positioned.

The ability to keep your eye on the kids to check they’re not up to mischief provides the perfect opportunity for frazzled mums to relax while the youngsters burn off some energy.

The menu had plenty of options - meat dishes, pasta, burgers, signature dishes and family favourites, but I was a tad disappointed at the lack of summer-inspired cold meals such as salads.

I opted for the pan-fried chicken breast while Ros, the mum of my daughter Abigail’s best friend Florence, went for the chicken risotto.

My chicken came with a peppery, creamy sauce and was served on a bed of peas and rocket on top of dauphinoise potatoes.

We were surprised the inseparable four-year-olds chose different dishes - our dinner dates typically involves the question ‘What would you like Abigail?’ to which she tends to reply ‘Whatever Florence is having’ and vice versa.

Florence’s sausages and mash was plentiful although I would have expected it to be accompanied by some veg.

Fiercely-independent Abigail was delighted her pasta was served with a dish of grated cheese to give her the control she constantly craves.

Thanks to a mix of threats and bribes the two girls polished off their meals sufficiently in order to warrant an ice-cream. Main courses, desserts for the kids, a bottle of wine and soft drinks and the bill came to less than £40.

And, of course, our stress-free meal was finished off with yet another spell on the playground.



Food 4

Service 5

Value 5

Atmosphere 5



Impressive surroundings

Great food



Not enough light, cold dishes