Pubs and children

Old Oct 16th, 2010, 08:31 PM
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Pubs and children

Hello all. There are frequent recommendations on these boards for pubs as places for reasonably priced food in London. Those recommendations have often said that children are welcome. Is this true? How can one tell the difference between a pub that is child-friendly and one that is not other than asking? Does anyone have any recommendations for pubs that they have gone to with children and felt welcome and had a decent dinner? Thanks for any pointers.
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Old Oct 16th, 2010, 09:34 PM
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"Those recommendations have often said that children are welcome. Is this true? How can one tell the difference between a pub that is child-friendly and one that is not other than asking?"

Yep - you most likely need to ask. There is no hard and fast rule. Once you've been to a few pubs you'll sense right away if they welcome children -- but until you get this sort of 6th sense, you may need to ask. No big deal.

Some allow kids during certain hours, some only in outdoor seating areas, some in a separate dining area, some not at all.
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Old Oct 16th, 2010, 10:31 PM
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As far as you're concerned, children are legally allowed into pubs only to eat and only if the licensee allows them. Most pubs in central London don't really serve food anyway, and in practice pubs in the centre that allow children typically have a dedicated eating area, separate from the bar.

So pubs that do serve children will clearly be making some kind of "thing" about food outside the pub. It's a reasonable (though not infallible) assumption that most of those with a lot of visible stuff about food will be happy to have children. At least at lunchtime, because policies change during the day: personally I struggle to think of many places in the centre that are happy to have children in the evening (having bouncers on the door tends to be a pretty good indicator of child-unfriendliness, for example, and lots of central pubs do have night-time bouncers), but that might just be because I've never tried looking.

Not sure what you mean by "child-friendly" In the suburbs and the countryside, many pubs go out of their way to attract families. But city centre pubs are mostly focused on fastish drinking, and a child-centred pub simply wouldn't be given a licence. There are very few with any kind of serious outdoor seating areas, and you might struggle to find high chairs, children's menus (though the menus are rarely challenging and they'll often serve smaller portions) or much concern with children's (or adults' either) food fads.
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Old Oct 17th, 2010, 07:37 AM
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You occasionally find pubs that are very clear with swings in the garden, "family meal" adverts on the street or even games rooms (one of ours has a sapce the size of a house on the outside with a balls pool, a castle etc all inside),high chairs are another clue. It will vary but if in doubt ask. If you cannot push to the bar in a reasonable time to ask then it probably is not.
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Old Oct 17th, 2010, 08:25 AM
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It all revolves round food. If you get the feeling that the pub is food led, children will not be a problem. The time is also important and the location. At either extreme :

go to a country pub on Sunday afternoon and you will have welcome arms.

go to a city centre pub on Friday night at 9pm, following in a gang of girls with belts for skirts and lads who can only just stand up, then yes you will be out of place.

In short common sense prevails and if in doubt ask.

After 42 years of living in this country it took annhig on this site to inform me that kids of 14 could booze in a pub as long as they there eating with their parents.
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Old Oct 17th, 2010, 08:26 AM
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In short, Britain would not now have a pub industry without children and definitely not without food. It props up the poor margins they make on booze.
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Old Oct 18th, 2010, 11:28 AM
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Here is another thread about this:

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...iendly-pub.cfm
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Old Oct 18th, 2010, 11:34 AM
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Thank you janis for linking the threads properly.
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Old Oct 18th, 2010, 06:07 PM
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DancingBearMD posted this information in another thread. Thank you for the information:

I asked the same question last year:

http://www.childfriendly.co.uk/family-pubs/london/
http://www.viewlondon.co.uk/pubsandb...ondon-125.html
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Old Nov 30th, 2010, 04:30 PM
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We ended up trying three pubs. Earl's Court Tavern welcomed children as long as we were eating, although it was hard to get a table. A second pub in Earl's Court said that children could eat upstairs in the dining room, but the menu was not the pub menu, it was a significantly more expensive dining room menu. The pub next to our hotel in Scunthorpe in Lincolnshire was more like a Chili's here in the U.S. with a bar and drinks, but lots of tables for families to eat.
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