Nothing says it’s the weekend quite like a lovely brunch. And that’s exactly what we had when we were invited along to The Rattle Owl with the kids one recent Saturday morning. With the three of them flagging more the closer we got to the restaurant, I was starting to think this wasn’t one of my better ideas. It’s hard enough to eat out with young children, but even more so if they’re exhausted from spending the last hour at dance classes or DIY shopping with dad. Complaints about the cold/sore feet/lack of raisins reached fever pitch just as we rounded the corner onto Micklegate. So it was in a spirit of hope over experience that we walked into the warm and welcoming atmosphere of The Rattle Owl, praying silently to the God of Parenting that it was as child-friendly as we’d been led to believe.
As if by magic – or some sort of divine intervention – our grumpy rabble transformed almost immediately back into their happy selves by the time we were sitting at the table. Maybe it was the friendly staff or the fact that within two minutes there was a selection of owl-related children’s books for them to read. Or perhaps it was the pencil case full of pencils (no wasteful little boxes of crayons – hooray!) and owl cards to colour. Whatever it was, all three of them instantly relaxed – no mean feat in such stylish surroundings (this place is gorgeous).
And so to the food. The brunch menu – served from opening until noon – is short but sweet, with a variety of classics like eggs benedict on toasted muffin (£6) to traditional dishes with a twist, like roast Portobello mushroom with fried sourdough and truffle scrambled egg (£7). Veggies are really well catered for (as they are at lunch and dinner) and kids have the luxury of eating from the adult menu for just £3. Two of ours chose the buttermilk pancakes with maple syrup and wolfed them down (I was pleased to see they hadn’t been scarred by my attempts to make Peppa Pig pancakes the night before – note to self: never use a recipe from a comic). The other had sausage and beans, and we didn’t hear a peep out of her until her plate was empty.
As for the adults, the vegetarian breakfast was hands-down the best veggie breakfast I’ve had. I’ve been trying to decide what I liked best about it – the butternut squash & caramelised onion hash, fried sourdough, Portobello mushroom, slow roast tomato or the rich moreish scrambled egg, but I can’t. It was all brilliantly cooked and a joy to eat. The verdict on the bacon and bean cassoulet, chosen by our resident carnivore, was that it’s the best thing he’s eaten in a very long time. High praise. Fantastic food, happy kids and really good coffee: the perfect way to kick off the weekend.
The Rattle Owl, 104 Micklegate, York YO1 6JX – rattleowl.co.uk – 01904 658658
This review is taken from the Easter 2016 issue of the Little Vikings magazine.