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Smollensky’s on The Strand (London)


105, The Strand
London WC2R 0AA

Kid’s Days: Every Saturday and Sunday, 12.00pm – 3.00pm, kids come first! On arrival they are given goody bags, containing colouring in and little toys to keep them amused. Clowns or magicians go round the tables, playing tricks or doing magic to entertain them. Once they have eaten from their own special menu (including an under-7 menu, a mini-adult menu, and kids cocktails like Potter’s Potion) they can run around, make new friends, watch specially selected DVD’s or play on the play station. The grown ups can then sit back and relax. Oh, and every one gets a balloon!

Opening Hours: Restaurant:Mon – Wed 12 noon – 11pm,Thurs – Sat 12noon – 11.30pm,Sunday 12 noon – 10.00pm .Bar: Mon – Thurs 12noon – 11.30pm,Fri – Sat 12noon – 12.30am,Sun 12noon- 10pm

Website: Visit Smollensky’s on The Strand website

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Written by Janis P.

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  1. Brilliant for a kid friendly Sunday lunch in the heart of London.

    I last went to Smollensky’s one evening many years back, as a blushing teenager desperate to impress my then girlfriend and hoping a little wispy facial hair would mean I could order a bottle Piat D’or without fake ID… Fast forward to 2009 and I was back with 2 kids for Sunday lunch (they do a special for children – Saturday and Sunday 12 -3) – and from the moment we got to the door, the staff and the service were excellent. The entrance is down a steep flight of stairs, but without being asked, the guy on the door helped us down with the double buggy.

    You know that point when the kids need to eat – and they are just minutes away from meltdown? The staff here seemed to understand that well – they produced high chairs, took our order straight away, and then brought the kids food out quickly so we could get them stuck in and avert any meltdowns. In the intervening minutes, various ballons, colouring books and bubbles arrived at the table, and during the meal their resident entertainer – a granddad type with a deft line in ballon animals – wandered table to table providing magic and juggling which went down really well without being too distracting (or annoying!). The maitre d’ seems to have this place pretty well organised, from spotting that a hastily replaced balloon rabbit for the one my daughter had just popped would avert tears and disaster, to bringing the bill quickly and summing help to get the buggy back upstairs without being asked.
    The food is along the the lines of hand made burgers, ribs, chicken and salads but fresh and well presented. The places was busy without being crazily packed and it would be a good venue for a family or NCT party – I would certainly go back. I wonder what ever happened to that girlfriend from my youth…?

  2. Booked at Smollensky’s for lunch today after reading this page. Shockingly poor. Arrived at 12 (which was the time we had booked for) three adults plus hungry toddler. One other group of four (two adults two children) there when we arrived. We ordered as soon as our drinks arrived, then waited. And waited. And waited. The other tables around us filled up. Other people got their food. Half an hour after ordering someone turned up with two pieces of carrot and a cucumber stick for our starving toddler. We waited. We asked the waitress what was happening and she said she’d find out. That was the last we saw of her. Fifteen minutes later we caught a waiter and asked him to find out – toddler would have been asleep at this point if he hadn’t been so hungry. After another five minutes I got up and went to the bar near the kitchen looking for someone to ask, and met a woman from the other early table – their food hadn’t turned up either. Shortly afterwards the waiter returned. He was very apologetic but said that the kitchen staff wouldn’t talk to the waiting staff. He didn’t know what was going on as they wouldn’t talk to anyone. Bizarre. We left. No sign of clowns, magicians, or goody bags (just some colouring pencils and a paper place mat to draw on). Hugely disappointing, especially after a lovely trip to see The Tiger Who Came To Tea.

    I think this is the first time I felt a review was necessary – I don’t want people to visit this place with children based on the review on this site and then have such a disappointing time.

    • FK, I was shocked to read about your incredibly disappointing experience at Smollensky’s. We added the restaurant to our website based on our own experiences eating lunch there with our young children, and have always had good reports back from friends and neighbours.

      My initial thought is that perhaps they have changed management? I will call them and see what the situation is.

      Many thanks for your frank review.

      • Did you manage to find out what happened? I’m hoping to go this weekend but now I’m not so sure – have you had anymore positive feedback since the above review? Thanks Jo

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