With two young children in tow sometimes you find yourself shying away from certain eating establishments as you don’t want other diners being put off by little ones.
But at Little Treasures there is absolutely no reason at all to shy away.
The tea room, tucked away on Bridge Street in Rothbury, opened at the beginning of December last year in the former Harley’s Tea Room premises.
As the reporter for Rothbury for a number of years it was always a lovely place to go and I had heard good things about the new owners.
As the Gazette reported at the time, Little Treasures has an area sepcifically for children, and their grown-ups, to enjoy, away from the main dining area of the tea room which makes you feel so much more comfortable.
Arriving on Saturday lunchtime the venue was busy, but not overly so, and we were the only ones to use the dedicated children’s area.
Not only is the ground floor filled with play kitchens and shops, a train table, a cosy snug with bean bags, books and a chalkboard to draw on as well as boxes of toys and dress-up clothes, there is also a big television screen on which the staff will put children’s films.
Offered a number of different choices our three-year-old went for her favourite Peppa Pig (as if we haven’t seen every episode about a million times already!).
But the play area meant we could relax while they just enjoyed themselves, even better for us as we had a friend visiting for the weekend.
The tea room serves an array of different meals.
Breakfast is served until 11am with a number of options from a full English to toasted crumpets.
There is then a wide selection of paninis and sandwiches catering for all tastes. And on top of that there are jacket potatoes, homemade soup and quiches.
And if you aren’t full up from your main, or indeed if you just want something sweet, there is a range of cakes, scones and bakes that looked very inviting.
There is also an extensive tea menu.
I opted for a jacket potato with cheese and beans (£5.95) while Mr M went for a pesto chicken and mozzarella panini (£5.95). Our guest, who is vegetarian, went for the pesto, sun-dried tomato and mozzarella (£5.95) sandwich.
For little ones there is again a lot of choice. You can choose from sandwiches, wraps, toasties, pasta and soup. We chose a ham wrap (£3.25) for Master Millichamp and a cheese sandwich (£2.95) for little miss.
There was also the option of a Little Treasures tapas for the kiddies, in which you could choose five different finger-food options for £3.50 - which I quite fancied myself!
Service was very quick and the food was delicious.
My potato had a decent amount of filling and came with homemade coleslaw and salad on the side.
There were positive noises being made by the other adults as well. Mr M’s panini was gooey with mozzarella but there was no shortage of chicken in there either. And our guest’s sandwich was equally full with its filling.
Both were again served with coleslaw and salad.
And portions for the little ones were also good. A full size cheese sandwich with the addition of crisps and apple went down well, and while our ten-month-old enjoyed feeding the floor with his ham wrap as much as he did himself, it also seemed to be a hit.
The addition of the fruit was a nice touch.
Drinks wise I went for a bog standard Diet Coke but the men in our party opted for chai teas which came in their own individual teapots.
Sadly we didn’t have time to try any of the cakes but instead had to salivate over them as we made our way out.
Little Treasures really is a treasure for families and I would encourage anyone I know with kids to go there.
Taking children out to eat isn’t always stressful, but sometimes you can feel that other diners are put off by your child’s singing, screaming or constant dialogue.
But Little Treasures means you don’t have to worry about that!
And with very reasonable prices and a lot of choice, it makes the perfect option for families.
The downstairs area, complete with children’s tables and chairs, is the perfect haven.
Of course, those without children will enjoy it just as much.
The upstairs dining area is much bigger and provides exactly the same service - minus the children.
MORE THAN JUST A GOOD TEA ROOM
While Little Treasures is predominantly a tea room, it also hosts a number of offers to draw in the customers.
On Wednesdays, children can decorate cookies for £1.50 from 10am; bingo is held at 11am on a Thursday; kids eat free on a Tuesday; and other events are to be held at the venue, including a night with a psychic on Monday, February 22.
Afternoon tea is also served for £9.95 per person and the tea room’s Facebook page adds events and updates all the time.
SELECTION FROM THE MENU
Veggie sausage sandwich......£3.45
Scrambled egg on toast......£2.95
Cheese (on its own or with tomato, onion or chutney)
Caramelised onion and mozzarella
Sweet chilli chicken
Prawn Marie Rose
STAR RATINGS (out of 10)
Quality of food......8
Use of local food (no mention)......6
Toilet for disabled......yes
Verdict: A brilliant family-friendly tea room.
Contact: 01669 620240 or www.facebook.com/Littletreasurestearoom
Last week’s Northumberland Gazette Eating Out column reviewed The Pantry, Market Street, Alnwick. And if you missed it, here is a link to the Gazette’s top tips of 2014.