There’s a song I love by a band I adore called ‘Don’t Go Back To Dalston’. When Razorlight brought their first album out it was ALL I listened to and that song became very special to me. I remember walking with Jonny from Tower Hill to Canary Wharf one day and we sang it all the way at the tops of our voices!
That song, despite living in East London, is the closest I’ve ever actually got (until today) to Dalston but now I have realised the lyrics don’t apply to me! Don’t go back to Dalston? Are you mad?! After my visit and finding a gem of a not just a child friendly but child brilliant restaurant and I’d have to say Absolutely DO go back to Dalston, go there ALL the flipping time!
Nancy’s Pantry opened its doors a week ago and today us bloggers got to go down for a bit of a party and find out what they’re all about. It is, without doubt, one of the best finds I have made as a parent. While I was there I was furiously texting friends and arranging meet ups for the next couple of weeks and uploading pictures to my personal Facebook page so that my friends could see what’s on their doorstep!
Everywhere, every borough in London and City in the country should have a Nancy’s Pantry and if you’re a parent you should be very excited about the prospect that one day that might actually happen – they’re ambitious and considering they only brain childed this restaurant in September last year yet have managed their premiere opening already, I reckon they might just do it! Listen to what you and your children could be doing soon, REALLY soon if you can get to Dalston!
This is Andrew, Douglas and Nancy. Together with Andrew’s wife Gemma they are the family behind Nancy’s Pantry. Children’s and parent’s retreat, cafe with organic, home made, healthy and yummy food and also a place to just simply have fun in a safe surrounding!
So, what’s it all about then? Basically it’s about families, food and fun and that’s about it. Simple but oh so good! Nancy’s Pantry which is in Dalston Square offers a safe space which is comfortable for parents to sit in with fun play stations for the children to be entertained. There is even a play expert on hand to over see and help the little ones with various experiments and games… And does it cost anything to visit? Nope! You only pay for the price of your food and drinks which is exceptionally reasonable. In fact I’d say it’s on the low side but I think that’s one hell of a smart move because they will for sure have more foot fall because of it!
£2 will buy an organic, home made fish pie for children and adult food costs on average around £4-£5. For me, the price is a MASSIVE draw and takes what might be a once in a while treat into something we could do regularly! They cater for all types of allergies and provide locally sourced produce where possible – their care definitely shows. The food tastes as good as it looks and the yummy smells from the kitchen are amazing!
Some of what’s on offer at Nancy’s Pantry!
My friend Carolynne from Mummy Endeavors and I sat and chatted for ages while the children played and ran around. It was wonderful! Yes, I did say that the children ran around! A restaurant where it is encouraged and certainly not frowned upon for the little ones to eat and then tear about having fun! I SO love this!
There is a massive long table for children to sit at and draw or eat or a bit of both! Florence, Jimmy and Carolynne’s little ones spent lots of time here!
Other activities today included water games at the water table which was recorded and projected onto the wall making it even more interesting. The children also got to play with little projectors and run around the play house playing with toys in a gated area. On top of this the play specialist organised games and races while Tim, the resident drama therapist entertained them with tunes on his ukulele! Tim also takes classes in the Nancy’s Pantry event room. Here you can book classes for £5 a pop on a pay as you go basis. Classes like Tim’s drama therapy, baby yoga and after talking to them today I think I’ve convinced them to do a preschooler drama class too! I love that you can drop into these classes and don’t have to sign up for a full term and Andrew the owner said they might do books of tickets for classes at a discounted rate!
I had yummy decaffeinated herbal tea, freshly squeezed orange juice and the sweet potato chips and sandwiches were gorgeous! I can’t wait to go back and try some of the hot food too! We simply had the most wonderful afternoon, this is JUST what my friends and I have said we need for such a long time, what a brilliant idea! Chain restaurants which offer crayons and paper are going to be well and truly left behind because this works, for EVERYONE! They were so happy and helpful and wanted to have our input; when I suggested a milk cafe with some comfy feeding chairs they seemed so open to it. I think if they include something like this and it could be the perfect family eatery – it very almost is anyway!
The children didn’t want to leave despite it being very late and in fact, past their bed time! They thought this place was as brilliant as I did!
I’ve waffled too much (oh, speaking of waffles and cakes, theirs sound delish and the children can even decorate their own), I want you to see for yourself why you absolutely need to go to Dalston and then ignore Razorlight and go back, go back and go back again!
I was asked to visit Nancy’s Pantry and treated to some of their yummy offerings while the children had fun in the restaurant in return for an honest review. You can follow Nancy’s pantry on Facebook and Twitter for all their news!