There’s no doubt about it: kids just don’t get as excited by eating out as grown-ups. For the adults, it’s a welcome break from the kitchen and a chance to eat something made by another (infinitely more skilled) person that contains more than four ingredients. In theory, eating out with kids might even be the family bonding experience we occasionally see on TV or in the movies (we can dream).
For kids, it’s a drag: choosing something from a limited menu that – outrageously – doesn’t feature ‘pasta with cheese’ or ‘just a bowl of cereal’, sitting down right to the end of the meal and having to be polite to the person handing over the food. That – and the fact that it can end up costing a small fortune – is what puts us off eating out too often as a family.
The government’s Eat Out to Help Out discount scheme gave us the perfect reason to try somewhere new, safe in the knowledge that, whatever dinner disasters might ensue, at least it wouldn’t break the bank. After a bit of research, we booked a table at Yolk Farm, confident that the promise of seeing some alpaca would encourage the kids into the car (that and the fact that we’d seen there were pancakes on the menu – always a winner). It sounded like a good combination of eating out and a bit of an experience – ideal.
Tucked away off the A1 just outside Boroughbridge, Yolk Farm is within easy reach of York (although beware SatNav malfunctions – ours took us on a merry tour of country roads and almost made us late). It’s a very pretty place, clearly very well cared for and maintained. Yolk Farm is just one reason to visit – the other is the fabulous Minskip Farm shop, housed within the same building. Both are warm, welcoming and run by a family with a strong commitment to Yorkshire and the environment.
Despite our SatNav’s best efforts, we arrived on time for lunch and the kids instantly cheered up at the sight of a million chickens clucking about and a big pig rolling around in the mud as they clambered from the car. We were greeted warmly at the entrance to the restaurant, shown to our (socially distanced) table and given a menu to peruse. From burgers to sandwiches and lots of brunch options, there should be something for everyone. Our kids, of course, knew exactly what they were having: pancakes with a smoothie on the side. What they lacked in veg, at least they made up for with a ton of fruit. They were delighted with their choice, chomping through their stacks with enthusiasm and gulping down their smoothies (table manners are still a work in progress).
Yolk Farm prides itself on its eggs, so we adults went for Just Beet It – a gorgeous marriage of beetroot and egg that almost looked too good to eat (almost). The goats cheese fritters were the stars, but the simple poached egg was a joy too. The coffee – a vital part of any eating out (or other) experience with kids for caffeine-reliant parents – was really good too. Had we had room for pudding, there were lots of tempting options. I’m sure we’ll be back to try them, as this was an eating out experience that worked for us. The children enjoyed the food, the restaurant itself is relaxed and fun and the staff are friendly. It felt very safe, and the measures they have put in place to keep it Covid-safe were clear. The government’s Eat Out to Help Out discount made it a bargain, too.
We loved that everything at Yolk Farm is locally sourced where possible, and the fact that we could go outside afterwards and see a newborn alpaca (so sweet!), some goats and all the hens was a huge bonus. Yolk Farm is a gem and makes eating out with kids a pleasure. Egg-scellent.