IT can be a daunting prospect, the thought of a family meal out with a pre-schooler.

Admittedly, it’s gotten easier as time’s gone on, and our particular three-year-old pre-schooler, Samuel, has never made it too hard for my wife and me.

But even so - it doesn’t take much to send what should have been a nice lunch out spiralling out of control (chiefly: tiredness, impatience, disapproval of the menu or the onset of the latest illness).

When we went to lunch at the Kings Hotel in Stokenchurch, we weren’t sure what to expect, not having been before. But this one - The Kings Eating House - to our pleasant surprise, was very family friendly.

Far from being an uninviting hotel restaurant (as too many are). The bar and eating area were airy and welcoming, with an attractive décor and a very pleasant atmosphere. The choice is good and reasonably priced, with a mix of hearty favourites like steak and chips, fish and chips, chicken or beefburger, or something a little different. The vast majority of ingredients are locally sourced, we were proudly told, and the menu changes seasonally.

For starters I went for the lamb koftas. These were succulent, moist and full of flavour, a pleasure to bite into. They were served with a cool minty raitha and a deliciously zingy cucumber relish.

My wife, Marie, went for the scallops, which she let me sample. They were plump, juicy and beautifully cooked, set off perfectly by a punchy chorizo accompaniment and a subtle parsnip puree. Samuel, not quite ready for these courses, enjoyed a few bites of each of ours to keep him going, which he thoroughly approved of.

The mains were equally delicious. Continuing my theme, I went for the spiced lamb shank, served with creamed potatoes and rosemary gravy. The lamb was perfectly cooked, the flavoursome meat falling from the bone with the slightest of touches - a perfect bit of wintry comfort food. The gravy was rich and tasty without being overbearing and the potatoes provided the perfect means of soaking it up.

Marie opted for the slow roasted cinnamon pork belly, served with mash, sage crisps, braised red cabbage and cider gravy. She thoroughly enjoyed the dish, clearing the plate, citing the braised cabbage, with a sweet, tangy flavour, as a particular favourite.

Meanwhile Samuel sampled the fish and chips. Most children’s menus offer a safe range of options, and this was no different -choices included pasta in tomato sauce, chicken burger or chicken goujons (£6.95 including a drink and some delicious ice cream - good value).

The fish was crisply battered - not too oily - and the twice cooked chips firm and fluffy. It was also well presented - a smaller version of the adult meal, rather than the poor relation kids’ meals often tend to be. He thoroughly enjoyed it (especially the chips).

For dessert I chose the orange and chocolate bread and butter pudding, served with crème anglaise, and wasn’t disappointed. Not too stodgy or rich, it was a very satisfying end to the meal with bursts of intense chocolate flavour that went down wonderfully.

Marie chose a sticky toffee pavlova with honeycomb and vanilla cream. Again, she savoured every spoonful of the melt in the mouth dish - especially that vanilla cream. The portion sizes were - like all the courses - generous, ensuring we went home with pleasantly full bellies.

So all in all we left the King’s Hotel well satisfied and pleased to have another family friendly restaurant on our list for future meals out.

Go to for more details.