It’s not often we head out for a family dinner on a Saturday night to be honest as evening meals tend to be just Peter and I but we bucked the trend this weekend, and I’m so glad that we did. Saturday night saw us feast together as a family of four, for an early dinner at 7 pm over at the Leftside Restaurant at The Runnymede on Thames Hotel close to where we live in Windsor.
A pretty 4 star hotel in Berkshire and a mere ten minute drive, the kids were excited to be out at night time and we couldn’t wait to eat!
A buffet style feast awaited us thankfully which meant we could get stuck in as soon as we arrived, picking and choosing the dishes we fancied from the huge array on offer, as well as asking for bespoke main courses too if we wished.
The kids enjoyed homemade bread and butter with salad to start before Penne with Pomodoro sauce rustled up promptly by the chef and even hand-delivered by him to our table. What a gent!
All the staff were incredibly attentive, going above and beyond with the kids, making us all feel welcome and content.
There were lots of other children dining in the restaurant at the time (that’s the beauty of enjoying a Saturday night dinner in a hotel) and the atmosphere in the sprawling dining room felt tranquil and relaxed.
Along with a line of other kids, Oliver and Alexander had the opportunity to make mini pizzas which they garnished themselves before the chef cooked them in a open pizza oven in front of their eyes.
I loved how interactive the whole buffet experience was for kids in particular and how involved they felt throughout the meal. Neither complained of boredom once because they were up and off their seats with each course and the choice in what they could eat, appeared to empower them.
The pizza making exercise even encouraged the usually fussy Oliver to sample new ingredients as he ate yellow peppers and rarely eaten ham with gusto. Pizza-making for the win!
Xander was very proud of his pizza and requested a photo.
I opted for a robust roasted tomato soup and chunks of Brie and Stilton on the side (as you do) for starter followed by crispy roast chicken, buttery new potatoes garnished with rosemary and a selection of seasonal salads for mains. Delicious!
There was so much on offer from chicken wings and roast lamb to fresh fish and seafood that could be cooked before your eyes.
Peter sampled pretty much all of the salads as a starter from Mexican, Greek and Italian inspired sumptuous salads followed by grilled cod in a fragrant butternut squash cream sauce and long stemmed broccoli with pine nuts he all deemed as excellent.
Desserts saw the kids dip marshmallows into a captivating chocolate fountain (composed of real chocolate by the way-none of the cheap and nasty choc you can find in these sweet confectionery waterfalls) which entertained a much as it tantalised, and Peter sampled every single dessert on offer for the purpose of this review (ha) from cheesecake to pretty pink meringues, creamy chocolate mousse and perfect Crème brûlée.
I helped him out of course as I’m a generous wife like that 😉 and I must say, the desserts were hands-down my favourite course, but each one was top-notch and we’d highly recommend a trip for lunch or dinner soon!
…Decaf cappuccino rounded off the night, and walking or make that, rolling through the hotel post-dinner, wide smiles and happy hearts and tums, made me feel as if we’d been on holiday for the night, not for a hotel dinner up the road! That’s how wonderfully transformative dining at The Runnymede on Thames Hotel feels. I cannot wait to return to see the riverside view in daylight hours next time.
Thank you Leftbank Restaurant and see you soon.