Eating Out with Kids: The Peacehaven Restaurant

The Peacehaven restaurant used to be under Mitchell & Butler's Crown Carveries marque, but has recently reopened as a Stonehouse Pizza & Carvery.  We went along to find out what they had to offer, and how child-friendly the food and the atmosphere is.

Set on the cliffs above Peacehaven beach, the restaurant/pub is on the A259 heading east out of Brighton, and has a wide and varied menu including pizzas, burgers, carvery and various vegan and vegetarian options.  You just choose your main course, then help yourself to the salad bar or extensive carvery vegetable section.  Be prepared to take a while over this as the menu is HUGE!

None of us wanted pizza that day, but I had a sneaky peek at other diners' pizzas and they looked great.  The pizza making area is very stylish and modern looking, with great ovens.  The whole place looks very neat and clean, with plenty of space between tables to move around, and a relaxed atmosphere.  There were lots of older people in for lunch, presumably as it is such great value for money.

Our friendly server soon grabbed drinks for the girls, whilst Steve and I perused the menu.  Lara soon sussed out the salad bar and helped herself to the usual fresh vegetables and some nicely done slightly spicy pasta salad.  Everyone seemed quite happy for the older two girls to walk around helping themselves with minimal supervision, and there was plenty of space.

The children's menu isn't huge but offers pizzas, mac'n'cheese, chicken nuggets, fish fingers, chicken burger and a kid's version of the carvery.  It would be nice to see another veggie option, or even a vegan one, on there.  Perhaps sausages or a mini version of one or two of the adult options.  All thre of ours went for the macaroni cheese, which was presented in a fun way in an enamel pie dish, making it easier for them to take their plates up to get vegetables etc.  You can see Sophia's motley collection below.

Steve, creature of habit that he is, opted for the veggie burger, a chickpea and butternut squash version.  I think he was then supposed to help himself to salad and chips, but instead went for roast dinner veggies with his burger which was a bit odd, but hey, maybe it's a man thing!

I opted for the vegetable tart which was a maize pastry tart case with a garlic and kale sauce topped with butternut squash, red peppers, red onions and pumpkin seeds.  I'm not the biggest fan of pastry, but it sounded good, and was a vegan option.  The pastry was crisp and delicious, and the filling was very tasty.  Impressive value too.

The range of vegetables and accompaniments is seriously impressive, and everything is fresh and piping hot, not always the case at carveries.  The possibilities are endless, so if you're one of those funny sorts who wants chips or mash with your roast dinner, you're catered for.  Or you could even have three different versions of your dinner, as it is a help yourself buffet.

It's worry-free for us dietary oddities too.  All accompaniments are suitable for vegetarians, including the roast potatoes and gravy, and they also offer butter-free vegetables if you are vegan.  Definitely something for everyone!

If you do have room left for it, the dessert menu is no less impressive.  The girls couldn't wait to get their hands on the squirty ice cream, but Steve and I took some time to consider our options.

The self-serve ice cream bar offers 4 sauces: chocolate, strawberry, toffee and lemon, and various accompaniments, although the branded ones do require a 50p coin.

After much debate, Steve opted for the clotted cream and strawberry cheesecake, while I had the treacle sponge, half quickly stolen by Sophia and Tatiana!  (Yes, I'm odd and don't do the custard/cream/ice cream thing.)

The whole meal for five came in at under £50, which is fantastic value for money.  Steve and I shared a jug of tap water, so had we had soft drinks or alcoholic drinks it would of course have cost more, but even then it would still probably have only been around the £60 mark.  Great value for 5 people!

My only quibble would be that the restaurant is the wrong way round!  With the stunning sea views below, it is such a waste having the kitchens at the back and the restaurant area facing on to the road.  Never mind, you just have to do what we did and go for a cliff top walk after your meal.

Head over to the Stonehouse Pizza & Carvery website to find your nearest branch.

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