On Mothering Sunday we were invited to T.G.I. Fridays in Southampton for a family meal. I can’t say I’ve had much of an opinion about T.G.I. Fridays before our visit, but now I am a fan – their food is addictive! I’ve spent all week craving some of the foods we ate on Sunday.
On arrival at T.G.I. Fridays were were welcomed by a hostess and taken to our table. The children were given an emoticon place mat, which made for a great photo mask, and they were given an activity pack – pencils, a book of activity sheets, and a Mother’s Day competition to participate in.
We ended up having a very long and leisurely lunch, spending almost three hours there, and the children were more than happy to sit with their activity books, enjoy the drinks and food and have fun with the balloon artist’s flower creations. It’s the longest we’ve ever managed to keep the kids entertained without screens in a restaurant!
As any good meal does, I’ll start with the drinks. There’s an extensive drinks menu at T.G.I. Fridays – apparently there’s over 1000 cocktails in the training manual, so you could probably request almost any cocktail you wanted, but even so, there’s a huge list of cocktails and mocktails on the menu.
Our waitress recommended the Raspberry Crush -fresh raspberries, cranberry juice, sweet & sour and orange sherbet, blended with crushed ice- which one of our party ordered, and I ordered the very tasty Gold Medalist -strawberry, banana, coconut, pineapple and BOLS Grenadine – then spent the whole drink wishing I’d ordered the Raspberry Crush, which was divine.
I did treat myself to a cocktail too, the Silver Mercedes – SKYY vodka, cranberry juice and orange sherbet poured over Champagne – while the children enjoyed their very pink fruit smoothies.
The children’s menu at T.G.I.Fridays is really good. Aside from the standard fare – fish fingers, chicken nuggets, pasta, burger – there’s also the “Major League” menu, which has smaller versions of grown up foods – meat feast pizza, monster burger, chicken wrap and BBQ ribs. I love this menu – it’s so nice to have smaller versions of what we eat, since that’s what the children get at home, and normally when you eat out there are only really bland and plain options on the children’s menu.
I also loved that they had no qualms with adapting the foods, removing chillies and trying to give the kids a good experience too.
The children’s dessert menu had two really unusual dishes on that we absolutely loved, hands down the best we’ve ever seen!
Aside from the usual suspects (chocolate brownies, ice cream, fruit cups) the two dishes we went for were the Fairground Sundae and Sweetshop Sundae.
The Fairground Sundae comes with dairy ice cream, candy floss, popcorn and mini donuts and a chocolate (or strawberry) sauce. The Sweetshop comes with real dairy ice cream and a sweet shop bag of pick ‘n’ mix sweets and popping candy, served with a chocolate (or strawberry) sauce. Aside from being tasty, they are also fun! The kids got to decorate their deserts before eating them, which kept them busy enough for us to enjoy our equally delicious deserts.
We gave up eating out for a while there, because we’d have to take turns eating, alternatively entertaining the children and taking them for walks. This was one of the first meals where that wasn’t necessary, and we just had a nice time, with good food and great service.
We will definitely be back. I’m still drooling at some of the menu items. You can read more about all the dishes we tried here.