When you book your Butlins break, you’ll be offered a variety of different dining options before you can check out. The premium dining and the food court dining plans both offer breakfast and dinner in a buffet restaurant: you will be assigned to the same restaurant for the duration of your stay.
I can’t comment on the food court dining plan, as we’ve never tried it, but premium dining offers live cooking stations, different themed menus every night, and plentiful hot food. The quality was good and we enjoyed it. BUT…you have to eat in the same place every single day. So, for this trip, we decided to go off plan: we didn’t book any restaurants, we just made it up as we went along! Here are all the places we ate in Butlins Skegness, with bonus photos of the dishes we chose:
Ludos Italian, Butlins Skegness
Having eaten in Ludos before, we had high hopes for this meal and we weren’t disappointed! My pizza was thin and crispy and full of flavour, whilst the boys ordered deep pan pizzas that were thick and fluffy. My salad was lovely (though the mozzerella was a little more watery than I usually like) and Mr MumTravel said his calzone was delicious. The service was attentive and incredibly quick, and we were all so full from our enormous pizzas, we couldn’t manage dessert! We’re not talking haute cuisine here: but it is really good pizza, from the Pizza Express, rather than the Pizza Hut school (I actually think it’s better than Pizza Express!)
Scoop, Butlins Skegness
Scoop is the name of the Butlins ice cream franchise, and normally you can eat indoors on fun themed chairs, or outside on converted fun cars, but due to covid safety issues, now the ice cream parlour (in Skegness at least) is take away only. There was less selection of flavours on this trip than on our previous trips, but we still all enjoyed our delicious creamy treats. Bonus points to Butlins for only using British cream in their ice cream, and making the whole experience feel luxuriously decadent.
The Fish and Chip Shop, Butlins Skegness
I grew up in Skegness, many moons ago, so if there’s one thing I know it’s fish and chips. Which means that I know these ones…weren’t the best. They weren’t bad, but they weren’t good either. The batter wasn’t crunchy, the chips weren’t crisp, the mushy peas were watery, they didn’t have any tartare sauce. We ate them, but we wouldn’t eat them again when you can get proper fish and chips that are much cheaper (and much more delicious) just a mile down the road! If you fancy fish and chips then I would say head into Skegness and eat them whilst walking along the sea front: and if you want to eat in Butlins then there are better places to choose.
The Diner, Butlins Skegness
According to the kids, this is the best restaurant in Butlins, and I must admit that we grown ups really enjoyed it to (though I dread to think how many calories were consumed!). Both Mr MumTravel and I ordered the platter, which comprised of half a rack of ribs, two buttermilk chicken goujons, half a chicken breast, onion rings, corn and slow. Because they couldn’t fit on the plate, the fries were served separately: they came loaded with BBQ beef brisket, cheese and diced fresh spring onion. The kids ordered ribs, milk shakes, and brownies to finish. I was impressed with the ribs: usually if a restaurant doesn’t have its own smoke house I avoid ordering ribs, but these were so tender they fell off the bone and incredibly flavoursome. To be honest, we weren’t expecting much from a diner in Butlins, and we were very pleasantly surprised.
If we go to Butlins again, we will definitely stick with not having a dining plan: it suited our spontaneity to be able to eat where and when we fancied, and meant we didn’t have to worry about getting out the pool or off the beach in time for dinner. The standard of the food was much higher than I expected, and the boys (who, lets be honest, have much lower standards than I do) declared every meal the best they’d ever had. I was a pleasantly surprised mum, with a full and happy tum!