'Where can we find a child-friendly restaurant in London?'

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The Independent Travel

Q We are going to London for the weekend with our children, aged five and 11. We plan to do the museums and sights, but don't want to end up traipsing around for ages trying to find somewhere decent to eat. Can you suggest a good child-friendly restaurant that we all might enjoy?

Q We are going to London for the weekend with our children, aged five and 11. We plan to do the museums and sights, but don't want to end up traipsing around for ages trying to find somewhere decent to eat. Can you suggest a good child-friendly restaurant that we all might enjoy?

N Mackenzie, via e-mail

A A firm favourite with my family is Giraffe (020-7935 2333, www.giraffe.net), just off Marylebone High Street on Blandford Street, which serves global cuisine, fabulous smoothies and offers a £4.95 children's menu. It's well-located if you are shopping on Oxford Street and is not too far from Madame Tussauds. It is open 8am-11pm daily (from 9am at weekends) and you can reserve - except for weekend afternoons when it's on a first-come, first-served basis. This is one of seven Giraffe restaurants in the capital and branches are no-smoking and provide high chairs and colouring sheets.

If your children like Italian, another good bet is the rapidly-expanding chain of Carluccio's cafés. There are branches all over London, including two near Oxford Street - one at St Christopher's Place and one on Market Place, which are both open from 8am to 11pm daily. Call 020-7580 3050 or go to www.carluccios.com for details. The "Per I Piccoli" children's menu costs £4.50 and includes spaghetti, focaccia, a soft drink, bread sticks and ice-cream.

If you want your children to be able to play as well as eat, head to The Blue Kangaroo (020-7371 7622 ) at 555 Kings Road, SW6, an increasingly-popular venue where your children can play downstairs while you watch them on giant TV screens from the restaurant. The Blue Kangaroo has special events such as storytelling sessions and themed parties. Its children's menu costs £4.95 and includes organic sausage and mash and scrambled egg. It opens 9.30am-8.30pm daily.

Finally, if your children are miserable without a Big Mac, the refurbished McDonald's on the Strand, next to Charing Cross station, offers passable caffé latte and internet access while your brood wolf burgers and fries and go wild in the play area.

Send your family travel Questions to The Independent Parent, Travel Desk, The Independent, 191 Marsh Wall, London E14 9RS. Or e-mail crusoe@independent.co.uk

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