Experience East Gate Llanelli: A day out close to home*

*we were kindly invited to East Gate for the purpose of this review*

I don’t know about you, but I’m sometimes guilty of thinking weekends don’t count unless we whisk the boys off on some far flung day out. Well I discovered last week that family adventures can be had in our hometown as we experienced East Gate Llanelli.

We were so excited to be treated to an afternoon out just around the corner from home … enjoying lunch, dessert and a film without travelling far.

Saturday mornings are tied up with cycling club or gymnastics these days, and I was looking forward to having some quality time with Stew and the boys once they were done with clubs.

We started our East Gate experience by heading to Nando’s for some serious refuelling after a busy morning. I LOVE Nando’s (who doesn’t) but despite having takeaways from there now and again, we’ve only actually eaten in the restaurant with the boys in tow once or twice.

The relaxed setting and jazzy music makes it perfect for a family meal, as you don’t feel like you’re out of place with children who want to chatter loudly, or insist on refilling everyone’s drinks every five minutes.

We were shown to a booth and ordered a mini feast of chicken burgers for the boys, a pitta with chips and Perinaise for me, a wrap with chips for Stew and some sides of halloumi and hummus with pitta to share.

I love mixing and matching sides, and the children’s meals were fab for the boys as they weren’t stuck with the usual chips and peas option you get elsewhere. They could choose from sweet potato mash, corn on the cob, broccoli, grains and greens, garlic bread or little tomatoes. So much choice!

Our meals came quickly, and all together, which is always good with two hungry children, and we almost polished off the lot but had to leave space for dessert!

The boys are true Nandinos now as they cheered the chicken mascot in a Christmas parade this weekend!

Being nice and compact at East Gate, we only had to head around the corner for a sweet treat after lunch. Anyone local will know of Joe’s ice cream … and there was no objection to a scoop or two for pudding.

The only problem was what to choose. Joe’s at East Gate changes its menu quite regularly, so you never know what will be on offer. Stew went for a caramel sundae, and the staff happily replaced the hazelnut sauce with chocolate as he’s not a fan of nuts, while the boys had tubs of strawberry ice cream and mango sorbet with rainbow sprinkles and sauce.

The big windows looking out into the street are great for people watching, and in the summer the picnic tables outside are always packed. Even on a cold December day the seats inside were full as we left.

I saved myself for a coffee at Costa, as our next stop was the Odeon to watch Frozen II. Having a coffee at the cinema is the ultimate treat to me … a hot drink that nobody interrupts while you’re drinking! And if it comes with a brownie on the side, then even better!

We’re big film fans, and being able to stay local to watch the newest releases is really handy. The Odeon at East Gate is a bit of a hidden gem … the staff are really friendly, the screens are lovely and spacious, and as I said, there’s a Costa attached.

The film was sold out, but it didn’t feel crowded in the screen or in the ticket line. I’m not going to give away any spoilers, but it was really good (better than the first, in my opinion … but shhh!).

Normally after a day out we’d be faced with a drive home with two overtired children, but the beauty of East Gate Llanelli is how close to home it is. We hopped in the car and were home in no time. If you’re local to Llanelli, I’d definitely recommend spending a few hours there … a good plan for the Christmas holidays, or a date night to get away from the festive madness!

* Thank you to East Gate Llanelli for inviting us to spend the day and #ExperienceEastGate