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Susan Jan 14th, 2003 06:27 PM

Kids in pubs?
I'm travelling to London in March with my 2 sons, ages 12 and 14. We will be looking for inexpensive, informal places to eat. Are kids of this age allowed in pubs that serve food?<BR><BR>Thanks!

Esther Jan 14th, 2003 07:43 PM

Your boys will be allowed in most pubs serving food. It is always polite to ask while coming in. Many of the pubs now have separate dining areas / family areas. We've toured most of England with all ages (including 4 kids) and have eaten almost solely in pubs (cause we love British beer). Let me know where you're staying and I'll check some pubs nearby.<BR><BR>A couple of other favorites in London include Chelsea Kitchen (Kings Road), Wagamamas, and Belgo (a little pricier than the others but very fun and friendly). Yo! Sushi is also fun but the little plates can add up quickly.<BR><BR>Esther

Susan Jan 14th, 2003 07:57 PM

Esther:<BR><BR>Thanks for the reply. We're staying in an apartment near the Sloane Square tube. I think Chelsea Kitchen, that you mentioned, is nearby.<BR><BR>Any suggestions for other reasonably priced restaurants or cafes are welcome.

erica Jan 14th, 2003 08:26 PM

Maybe we were just unlucky in the pubs we chose, but we had a very hard time finding pubs that would accept my niece. Granted, we didn't go to restaurants like Belgo, Wagamama or Yo Sushi, we tried normal, corner pubs. In London, Bath and Winchester, we had to try several places each night until we found one. We ended up eating at a very mediocre pub for several nights in London because it was the only one in walking distance that let my niece in.

Birgid Jan 14th, 2003 08:36 PM

It depends a bit on timing - most pubs that serve food will let children of almost any age in during the day, but after dark many begin checking to ensure that kids are 16 or older.

StCirq Jan 14th, 2003 09:21 PM

We found two years ago when ours were 10 and 13 that we could not expect to get served at any London pub for dinner. We were turned away at any number of places. I wouldn't count on being able to eat at pubs with kids at that age.

Nigel Doran Jan 15th, 2003 04:04 AM

Why take children into smoky places where alcohol is served, a substance that parents spend a lot of time dissauding their children from drinking? <BR>Pubs, I feel, are for adults. There is often strong language and ribadlry in pubs in the UK, places were adults go to be adults. Why would children want to experience that? Why should parents want them to experience that? <BR>Granted, some touristy pubs do welcome children, but most pubs in London are for those people who live and work there, and while they welcome anyone who behaves themselves and pays for what they consume, don't make special concessions for tourists - come one, come all is the feeling. Out of the cities, country pubs often welcome children, with special areas for families. These are not typical pubs, but are morel likely to be part of a chain of pub/restaurant hybrids. <BR>Try places like Belgo, Wagamama, Wok Wok, Strada, Pizza Express and Indian restaurants for affordable, filling meals where everyone is welcome.

Rich Jan 15th, 2003 04:48 AM

Hi Susan,<BR>There are some restaurants in the UK especially for families, although central London is not well catered for. You could try &quot;Planet Hollywood&quot; or &quot;Garfunkels&quot; they are fairly ok American style places, although inexpensive is not a word usually associated with London.<BR>If you were to go outside Central London you could find restaurants in the &quot;Brewers Fayre&quot; group. If you search the internet for Brewers Fayre, you can find where their pubs are, although they do have adult only areas they have both family areas and child play areas for very young kids.<BR>But generally in UK most pubs with a restaurant will welcome children in the restaurant. Your sons are at a sensible age. Although pubs without a dedicated restaurant may refuse children in the evening but be quite happy to serve them at lunchtime.<BR>It is good advice to ask the landlord first.<BR>If all else fails; macdonalds is on every street corner. If its a sandwich or snack you need, find the store &quot;Marks and Spencer&quot; there is one in Covent garden.<BR>Its a good store and they don't seem to increase their prices in London.Canned drinks and salad bar foods are quite reasonable to take out.<BR><BR>Hope this is of some help<BR><BR>Have fun<BR><BR>Rich <BR>ps You could always visit Cardiff in Wales (2hrs by train from London) its a fantastic city and plenty of reasonable restaurants that accept children.<BR><BR><BR>

m Jan 15th, 2003 06:50 AM

We found the combination pub/restaurants accomodate kids - and also give the parents what they want (good beers and pub food). Just ask at your hotel for places like this. We stayed a few weeks ago in Mayfair at the Chesterfield, and were able to walk a block to the Red Lion (1, Waverton St <BR>London W1J 5QN )which has a pub in front and a restaurant in the back. This place had great food and nice folks - interestingly enough, we didn't have to sit in the restaurant and even locals brought a kid or two in the pub area. <BR>When we tried other places, we always asked at the door - sometimes we were turned down. But when we were allowed, we made sure that our 14 year old daughter wasn't too loud or otherwise attracted too much attention.<BR>

Susan Jan 15th, 2003 02:55 PM

Thanks for all the replies and suggestions.<BR><BR>Nigel - It's not that my goal is to take my kids into a pub. Many people on this forum have suggested pubs as a reasonably priced place to eat, so I wanted to know if that was an option that was open to us.<BR>

xxx Jan 15th, 2003 03:07 PM

Well here's a thought Nigel. Parents who try to prevent their children from seeing the inside of a pub or other place where they serve alcohol and who treat alcohol as something reserved for adults and rather mysterious and something to look forward to, are likely to find their children going off and getting drunk at the very first opportunity. Parents who freely let their children accompany them to such places are likely to have children who grow up not so excited by the idea of this new found excitement that they are less likely to go off the deep end where alcohol is concerned.

D. Phinney Jan 15th, 2003 03:49 PM

Susan<BR><BR><BR>At least one pub-finding website,, lists child-friendly pubs. They are even listed separately for your convenience. They also list smoke-free pubs; I would bet that many of these pubs would also welcome children.<BR><BR>Good luck-- you and your kids will have a lot of fun and I don't think that it will be nearly as difficult as some claim to find some nice friendly pubs to visit.

xxx Jan 15th, 2003 03:56 PM

Why anyone wants to eat in a pub astounds me! You are all buying into fairy tale!<BR>Pubs are for drinking except maybe in smaller towns. <BR><BR>And fish and chips are indigestible

D. Phinney Jan 15th, 2003 04:04 PM

xxx<BR><BR>Sorry, but in my experience you are simply wrong. Many pubs serve mediocre food just as many pubs serve mediocre beer. If you do a bit of research and/or are a little bit lucky you can find pubs with excellent beer, food, and atmosphere.<BR><BR>One example in London that has all three (and welcomes kids) is The Spaniard, near Hampstead Heath.<BR><BR>As for your second point, everyone is entitled to their opinion. I think that good fish and chips are very tasty. The problem is that good fish is harder to find these days. Lots of food-oriented pubs have progressed far beyond fish-and-chips, however, if your tastes run in a different direction.

Siobhan Jan 16th, 2003 04:20 AM

Children are allowed in Pubs in Ireland during the daytime and you would usually eat a carvery (meat and spuds canteen styles) for dinner. From my experience of London it would definately not be a place to have dinner in the evening...maybe lunch but the food is really a poor standard in many places. Pubs are for drinking moreso than food. There are so many reasonably priced places to eat in London I cannot see why you would be in a pub. Also if you want Fish and Chip go to a chipper not a pub.<BR><BR>Pizza Express is a great sit down pizza chain and very inexpensive. As well there are several places in Covent Garden and around Leicester Square with a wide variety of choices. Wagamama is excelent asian and dun for sit on benches beside other people and it has a fun atmosphere and is excellent food at a great price. Garfunkels would be good for kids as well. You will eat well for the same price as a pub in all of the reccommended places and it will be nicer. Many of these places server beer/wine as well.<BR><BR>

Rich Jan 16th, 2003 04:29 AM

<BR><BR>'ol xxx has clearly not been in many Pubs in London . .

bbb Jan 16th, 2003 04:54 AM

I'm betting he/she has not even been to London. Just lurking and spoiling here!<BR><BR>Bubba

Ben Haines Jan 16th, 2003 05:28 AM

Three pubs with lunches I like, near Sloane Square, are<BR><BR>The Anglesea Arms, 15 Sellwood Terrace, Chelsea, SW7. Phone 7373 7960. South Kensington tube. Thai lunches Tuesday and Wednesday, English lunches other five days and English suppers daily. Children welcome throughout. Good for visits to South Kensington Museums -- though in fact there are plenty of fairly cheap ethnic restaurants beside and opposite South Kensington station.<BR><BR>The Coopers Arms, 87 Flood Street, Chelsea, SW3. Phone 7376 3120. Full lunches daily and evening bar snacks daily. From October there will be full suppers too. Children welcome to full meals, but not sat at bar snacks. Tube to Sloane Square and bus along the Kings Road. Good for visits to the National Amy Museum. <BR><BR>The Nags Head, 53 Kinnerton Street, and the Wilton Arms, 71 Kinnerton Street. Both of these Belgravia pubs have evening meals. Knightsbridge tube station. Children are welcome in summer only outdoors at a street table.<BR><BR>Welcome to London<BR><BR>Ben Haines<BR><BR><BR><BR>

Ann Jan 16th, 2003 02:24 PM

My family enjoys pub meals-- not every day but often while on vacation. While you have to do a bit of research to find truly good pub food, it is rarely terrible and usually a bargain. Simple to prepare, basic stuff, although the trend seems to be for some pubs to serve more sophisticated food. Kids tend to love pub food and for parents it is decent food at a decent price and most importantly can be washed down by good beer.<BR><BR>For me smoking is the only problem I have with pubs. Fortunately there are more smokeless pubs, and more pubs are accommodating non-smokers with pollution-free rooms. Or if the weather is good you can often sit outside. Otherwise you all end up smelling like chimneys. Icky, especially if you pack light and are trying to do laundry on the road.<BR><BR>At night some pubs might look at you crosseyed, but I bet that most pubs will welcome you and your kids. All you need to do is ask, or as an earlier posted said you can look at and find kid-friendly pubs before you go.<BR><BR>Ignore the negative types here if you can-- some people just get their kicks out of naysaying other peoples' plans. Have fun!

bbb Jan 16th, 2003 03:24 PM

&quot;Ignore the negative types here if you can-- some people just get their kicks out of naysaying other peoples' plans.&quot;<BR><BR>Cockroaches I call them. Nothing to contribute, just spoil everything they touch.<BR><BR>Bubba<BR>

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