London is a great place to go as a family. It is always very much alive and awake with plenty to see and do. But all this takes a lot of energy so it is important to stop and refuel. Planet Hollywood London is a Tourist-friendly, Hollywood-inspired American restaurant with cinema memorabilia and cocktail bar. They have won the Best Group Dining Experience (as voted by readers of GTO Magazine) for the third year running at the Group Travel Awards plus they have also been presented with an award for being the No.1 Child Friendly Restaurant in London for the THIRD year running too! Located just around the corner from the West End Cinemas in Leicester Square it made perfect sense to treat ourselves the children after our visit to see Diary of a Wimpy Kid.
Disclosure: We had a complementary press table booked for four people at Planet Hollywood but were told that the service was exactly the same as any other customer. The following is a true and honest reflection of our visit.
Considerations for The Sensory Seeker at Planet Hollywood London
As we were visiting on a Saturday lunchtime our table was booked in advanced. Weekends are often much busier so it is always recommended that people book their table. It’s free to do so, and protects against the very busy periods! Straight away the needs of my family were taken into consideration when I was informed that the time of day we were visiting was somewhat noisy and energetic. That due to The Sensory Seeker’s needs we may find that the quieter time of between 15:00-16:30 would suit him better – where the volume is turned down. I was warned that there are bright flashing messages on the walls, interrupted by oud film and cartoon clips, as well as a secret roving camera which transmits live footage of diners, which often results in loud cheers (as people see themselves on the large screens). In fact the boys even had their own personal message displayed on the screen. Note that guests can also tweet messages too!
Thinking that The Sensory Seeker would be fine with the lights and noise we kept to the original time. I am not sure if it was too much for him or just because the whole day had been overwhelming and out or routine (we had to get up at 4:30 am to catch a coach to London) but he just wasn’t happy. Our server was absolutely amazing and she picked up on it straight away – noticing that he wouldn’t put his hood down (not sure if that was noise or comfort). She initially thought he was cold (as we were opposite the door, and after we told her about his sensory processing disorder she was trying to do and think of absolutely everything possible to try to help to cheer him up. She said that Planet Hollywood is a place to be happy and that he shouldn’t be sad. We were offered to move tables to further down the restaurant (where it was quieter) or to one where The Sensory Seeker could have a lie down. I took him to have a look around at all the memorabilia of which there was a fantastic range (my favourite was the Freddy Kruger glove!). The Sensory Seeker really loved the hands on the wall upstairs – where you could see which Film Star’s hands were most like your own in size. Our server also offered to make his pizza plainer for him – without us having to even bring it up – she had really listened to what we said about his needs and were really impressed.
The Food and Drink at Planet Hollywood London
I was absolutely impressed with the range of food at Planet Hollywood in terms of the choice of different food styles. Usually I struggle to find two dishes I like on a menu so the choice is easy but there was SO much that actually our server had to come back to me. She was really good at giving advice on the dishes too. We decided to go with Starters and the portions were HUGE! I ordered potato skins – but it was more like a massive jacket potato! Plus they were not badly priced at all. I am glad we followed advice to try the milkshakes – if you go these are not to be missed. In fact it is not surprising that they were pretty full by the time the main meals turned up, and the boys couldn’t quite finish all their pizzas! At Planet Hollywood London this was not a problem – as they were put into little containers (and a bag) to take away with us! I also tried a cocktail and my husband had a beer before moving on to dessert.
The Service at Planet Hollywood London
The service was above and beyond anything we have ever experienced (and believe me we eat out a lot!). The whole experience was fantastic from being greeted at the door to our server coming back off her break to say goodbye to us. I had mentioned that it was my birthday coming up (when discussing main options) and the server steered me into having a different pudding. When it arrived it became clear why as she placed a sparkler into my dessert – making me feel very special indeed. Our son had hurt his hand on a knife during a Bushcraft activity the day before and his bandage was coming off – but that was no problem and the first-aider at Planet Hollywood London helped re-secure it back down for us. Throughout our stay we were checked if both ourselves our food/drinks were okay – that everyone was happy. Plus, as I previously mentioned, offered various things to make our stay even more pleasant.
In conclusion all the food and drinks came in good time, well presented and very tasty, the service was excellent and I am not at all surprised why they keep on winning award. We look forward to returning there again soon.