9 Castle Place, Ardglass, Co. Down, BT30 7TP

+44 28 4484 3328

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Margaret's Cottage

    Fussy eaters are welcome, as long as you're not family.

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    In the B&B and catering trade, I often ask our lovely customers if they have any specific food preferences.

    At Margaret’s Cottage, we have a great breakfast menu, and my cake-baking list is not exhaustive, but it’s full of variety, and our afternoon tea menu changes every two months.

    Basically, what I’m saying is …if you are a guest – ok, let me absolutely qualify what I mean here – if you are a paying guest at Margaret’s Cottage, then you are most definitely allowed to be a fussy-eater. You are the customer. The customer is always right. You know how it goes…and you would expect no less from such a fine establishment as ours.

    However – and this is a big, huge however – if you are one of my friends and/or a member of my family then you are most definitely not allowed to be a fussy eater. There are two choices for dinner…”Take it, or Leave it.”

    You see, as a child I was not allowed to be a fussy eater. Our meal was put on the table, and we ate it. End of story. So, there was NO WAY that I was going to raise a fussy eater either…Quite frankly I don’t have enough Mummy-time to put up with any fussy eating shenanigans.

    So, from as early as Kelsey can remember, we had a sticker chart on our fridge [a home-made chart] and it was divided into days of the week and spaces for Kelsey’s stickers, and spaces for Mummy’s stickers. And the rule was quite simple: You get a sticker for trying a new food, and a second sticker if you like that new food.

    Well, all bets were off…and I wasn’t going to let my little angel win, so I tried my hardest …despite being in my 40’s and Kelsey was only on solids for a few years!

    Each week we would have a winner and each week we would start a brand new chart, and each week, Kelsey would discover new and interesting foods and was always keen to try all manner of different and exotic tastes. And if you were coming to visit us [friends and family, that is], your name was added to the sticker chart and you had to participate too.

    Our fridge sticker charts have resulted in a teenager who will eat pretty much everything and who will only turn her nose up at sushi, olives and brussel sprouts….and I’m with her on the brussel sprouts!

    I feel quite smiley about this and am allowing myself a proud mummy moment, as my daughter and I have dined in some rather interesting restaurants and she will try any food once. The only difference is, I just no longer have to carry stickers in my handbag!!

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    9 Castle Place, Ardglass, Co. Down, BT30 7TP

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