I wasn't sure whether to include Stourhead on this but as it has become one of our favourite outdoor places around here I thought to list it even it is obviously more than just a place to eat. We have stopped at the Stourhead restaurant quite few times now but the pub (the Spread Eagle Inn) on the estate is still on our list to try.
I like National Trust places, you know what you are going to get: a great day out with good coffee and cakes / lunch. The restaurant at Stourhead is always a busy one but we have never failed to get a table in or out depending what we have wanted, they do the usual lovely cream teas and hot lunches. Kids are well catered for and they can choose the box to fill up with their choices if not choosing hot lunch.
Over the winter time the little cottage by the lake has been open serving hot drinks and little snacks - it has been a lovely stop walking around the gardens with the kids!
Stourhead must be one of prettiest National Trust places I have visited although from children's point of view there are a couple that beat Stourhead with their fabulous play areas (Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire and Attingham Park in Shropshire to mention couple which have the best play areas we have visited).
We must try the pub on the estate soon!