The key to a good family meal is food that looks and tastes good, is high in nutritional value and is served with love. The Storyteller’s Café puts children and their families first and stays true to Barefoot Books’ belief in the power of story to create deep and lasting connections
Chefs sometimes underestimate children – they go with what is currently considered the ‘norm’ for children’s meals, fish fingers or chicken nuggets with beans and chips. Children are curious and creative at heart – they want to know where food comes from, how it grows and, once they feel safe, they will want to taste recipes from all over the world.
The Storyteller’s Café is a place where children are free to play, draw pictures, pick up books and just explore the space they’re in, while their parents and carers can unwind over a lazy breakfast or a cup of coffee. Our Chefs are create organic, vegan, gluten and dairy free snacks, cakes and hot foods using our award-winning books as inspiration.
If parents are worried about taking their children to restaurants, I would say, be comfortable! The place you choose needs to be right - eating and sharing is fun and the confidence and the pleasure it gives you can become part of your family’s own story.
My favourite meal is a lovely, simple Spaghetti Bolognese, which is always popular with families – from little ones wielding a tiny, plastic fork, to grandparents enjoying a hearty lunch. Our homemade macaroni cheese (with hidden cauliflower) is a favourite for sneaking some goodness into a picky eater too.
My dream dinner party guests (fictional and real) would be; Herb the Vegetarian Dragon (he’s a great veggie cook), and Fiona Bird, who has also just produced a book called The Forager’s Kitchen. I would serve Herb’s Lakewater Veggie Slurp, Fiona Bird’s Herby Burgers, with Lentil Crunchies and Amazing Tater Mash, using the Magic Porridge Pot and for Dessert, Mama Panya’s Banana Pancakes!
Izzie Martin is Studio Manager of the Barefoot Books Studio in Oxford
Barefoot Books Soryteller's Cafe was the winner of the Best Family Restaurant, in the Junior Design Awards 2012 and 2013