Nancy’s Pantry – Child Friendly Restaurant with a Twist

A couple of weeks back I received an exciting invitation to visit a brand new child friendly restaurant in Dalston, East London. It’s a fair trek from where we live in Hertfordshire but we travel into London frequently for various activities so we jumped on the train and headed over to hip, vibrant Dalston to see what it had in store for us!

And boy were we wowed!

The restaurant, Nancy’s Pantry, is a brand new, innovative concept in eating out with the kids.

This is the outside of the restaurant. Loving the glass facade of this very contemporary building.

This is the outside of the restaurant. I thought it looked very contemporary and trendy and couldn’t wait to see what was inside.

Named after the owners beautiful little girl, Nancy, this place is truly a gem and easily worth an hour or so jumping on different trains to get here! In fact, I’d go as far as to say it’s worth a visit where ever you’re travelling from!

It’s such a cool place. Very simple and minimalistic in it’s decor, yet warm and welcoming. The first thing we noticed were the tables that were covered in drawing paper and pots of colouring pens, my three children couldn’t wait to get stuck in, practically dragging me over so they could add to the funky artwork already set on the long line of paper!

How amazing is this?

How amazing is this?

The idea for the restaurant came about because eating out with children usually requires a compromise; either you go somewhere for them, which normally means sitting in a crowded play area eating unhealthy fast food, or your children are bored because they have to sit still at a restaurant where the emphasis is on good food, but has a reserved atmosphere.

Nancy’s Pantry marries both perfectly. There are many sections for the children to go off on their own into and enjoy fun but educational activities, while their parents can sit close by and enjoy a varied, organic menu that caters for a variety of food intolerances.

This is the owner, Andrew, in the middle photo, which incidentally didn't come out very well which I'm a bit miffed about, his cute little baby Douglas and the very important Nancy!

This is the owner Andrew, in the middle photo (which incidentally didn’t come out very well) with his cute little baby Douglas and the very important Nancy! Andrew’s wife was here too, but working hard in the cafe and ensuring all the customers were happy 🙂 They are a lovely couple who only came up with the idea for Nancy’s Pantry in September of last year! And here it is, already opened and doing well!

What’s completely unique about this place is the way the children are allowed to have fun. They are practically encouraged to let their hair down, run around freely and enjoy themselves. There are even dedicated play reps floating around to teach, do various experiments and even play games with the children!

The different kiddie ‘zones’ were cleverly designed to ensure your children have not only lots of fun, but are inspired, educated and entertained!

dalston kids cafe

These fun projector light tables provided hours of fun for my children, they hadn’t seen anything like this before, especially in a restaurant! Most of the flooring is covered in a soft, grassy looking material which as you can see, kids are welcome to lounge around on if they so wish!

kids cafe

This is the ‘Object Zone’ where experiments and fun science type games take place. There was also a video camera filming this table which was projected onto a large screen on one of the walls, which was immensely fascinating for the kids!

This are is to cater for the younger child, with everything one needs for imaginative play

This area is to cater for the younger child, with everything one needs for imaginative play

We were treated to a spot of lunch to sample some of the delicious, healthy food that’s on offer. I was there with my favourite blogging buddy Ruth from Rocknrollerbaby, and we ate in private in the events room where the lovely Tim, a drama therapist will be holding drop in classes in the future including childrens yoga, drama and more! I think this is a fantastic idea.

Tim entertained our children during lunch with some games, reading and a spot of ukulele playing!

Tim entertained our children during lunch with some games, reading and a spot of ukulele playing!

I have to say the food was absolutely delicious. You could immediately taste the goodness and the home cooked, fresh vibe was such a plus. I’ve been to places before where they say everything is freshly cooked but you just know it isn’t. Well this most definitely is! My daughter is very fussy and they catered to her wonderfully by making up a very plain sandwich just for her, nothing was too much trouble.

The kitchen area, all so spacious, neat, tidy and clean

The ordering food area, so spacious, neat, tidy and clean

We didn’t sample any of the hot food but we could smell it and see it and it looked very appetizing I can tell you. And so reasonably priced too, cheap even, which you certainly don’t expect from this neck of the woods in London, and especially in such a brilliant establishment as this is!

Ruth and I sat in the restaurant all afternoon and into early evening, drinking tea and having nibbles… in fact they were literally chucking us out in the end! I’ve never been so relaxed on a day out with the kids! My four year old twins are notoriously shy, clingy and don’t always mix well with other kids that they don’t know. But here they were off, playing all day with all the other children that were there including the lovely Nancy!

What I noticed too was that however busy it got, it never felt noisy or rowdy like kids play areas do, it seemed calm. Civilised.

The spacious, relaxed restaurant, people chatting and mingling!

The spacious, relaxed restaurant, people chatting and mingling! This was actually taken rather late as people were getting ready to leave!

Our children had so much fun.


More structured game playing with the reps and a hot chocolate treat for my twins and their teddies from school!

I cannot rave enough about this place. I haven’t been anywhere even remotely like this before and I truly believe the owners are sitting on THE best place to eat with kids!

I wish I lived closer, I’d be in here all the time! Ruth isn’t too far away and she says she’ll be heading back very soon with lots of friends as will I at some point. Maybe when the weather is warmer as the restaurant is located in a fabulous cosmopolitan Square and we were told they’ll be utilising this outdoor space which will be amazing on a hot summers day!

So if you’re looking for somewhere fabulous to eat with the children, look no further, you won’t be disappointed.

If you want to know more then visit their brand new website for more details.

We were invited to the restaurant for a complimentary lunch in exchange for  an honest review.


  1. That looks and sounds like an amazing place!!

  2. Looks fab! 🙂 xx

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