Tuesday, 8 February 2011

I couldn't eat a whole one...

Mellorview is a local blog that from time to time touches on subjects related to pubs and eating out. I strongly identified with his recent rant laying out suggested guidelines for parents thinking of taking their children in pubs and restaurants:
Not everyone feels the same way about your children as you do. They may even have had some of their own. Perhaps they are enjoying a well earned rest from their children or have spent good money on a baby sitter.

There are any number of eating places in the UK that positively welcome children , even pre schoolers. You can easily identify them as they often use bright colours, give away toys, have playgrounds in them and their names may contain Wacky, Mac or Pizza.

Choose eating out times with care, the sun can help you with this. If it has gone bobos in the summer then perhaps it’s too late. Best to take them before the little hand is on seven and the big hand on thirty.

When they are big boys/girls and can tie their own ties or shoelaces you can try somewhere else where they must be good for almost an hour.

When your treasures get to Big School, they can stay out a little longer as long as they can remember not to throw food on the floor. That way, the nasty middle aged man who has been scowling at you since the darlings were two years old will suppress the urge to take revenge by boring you to death with a twenty minute monologue on his last round of golf or the nuances of undertaking a 20,000 mile service on a Mark 3 Ford Cortina.
I have to say that the experience of walking into a pub and finding one room dominated by parents and wailing baby, kiddie paraphernalia strewn all about, and other customers conspicuous by their absence, is a profoundly dispiriting one. It’s hardly surprising that many adult pubgoers decide they’d be better off down the road in the Volestranglers’ Arms, or even back home with a nice bottle of ale from Tesco. I’m convinced that any pub that gives young children unrestricted access into areas not exclusively used for dining is losing a lot of business.

Incidentally, many years ago I was in the Malt Shovel at Oswaldkirk in Yorkshire and recall a sign saying “We are happy to serve children – roast, grilled or fried.”


  1. I like that sign. That's a warm welcome! I've no problem with it, I wouldn't touch such a place with your barge pole and if people want to spend there money there, more fool them.

    When the squeeze starts knocking out ankle biters, at least I won't be able to go in such a dump for 16 years.

  2. You'll still be able to take the sprogs to the Wacky Warehouse - I'm sure they sell a fine drop of lout there ;-)

  3. Any pubs with kids I will give a very wide berth.

  4. At least when that pub goes out of business you can blame the unwelcoming atmosphere rather than the lack of smoking inside.

  5. Just about sums up the British attitude to drink. Why are we the only country that hates children? I expect children in pubs to be well behaved. Most of the time they are and often better behaved than some of the so-called adults. BTW the blackboard in the illustration is from a pub in Chester that I would never set foot in for other reasons. The views held by the management are most offensive to me.

  6. Birkonian, you can expect children to be well behaved all you like, but I feel you will be dissappointed. Although I would grant you that part of the problem is the behaviour of the adults who are the so called responsible parents. I am also puzzled as to why you see this post as summing up teh British attitude to drink.

  7. Adults in pubs, even if a bit "worse for wear", tend to mind their own business. Children don't. I'm struggling to think when I was last annoyed by adult behaviour in a pub to the extent of thinking "I really don't want to put up with this."

    I don't see what's wrong with expecting pubs to set aside part of their drinking space for adults only.

    And the Albion has been pursuing that theme for many years, so it must be appealing to enough customers to keep it going.

  8. Much of the problem with kids is their parents are fuckwits who are unable to control their little darlings. It's not like pubs aren't full of tables with sharp corners about toddler head height or anything. but that's no reason to stop them charging about the place like hyped up little savages.

    My kids (youngest now 19) used to sit still and behave when we went out, but then again they were never out until midnight on a sunday whilst me and our lass quaffed copious quantities of fosters not giving a fuck what the kids were up to as long as they were out of our hair.

    Sadly the same can't be said for other parents and their unruly spawn from hell.

  9. Make up your mind, Mudge - is it "set aside part of their drinking space for adults only" or is it "Over 18s only - No children - Family hostile"? Slightly different messages, those.

    As for which I prefer, let's just say the Albion has just joined the (thankfully short) list of Pubs I Wouldn't P**s Out If They Were On Fire.

  10. "Make up your mind, Mudge - is it "set aside part of their drinking space for adults only" or is it "Over 18s only - No children - Family hostile"? "

    Depends on the pub - there's a place for both. IF pubs do admit children (which no pub has to) then they should provide an adults-only area.

  11. The Trackside in Bury (which doubles as the cafe for the East Lancs Railway) has a sign saying children are welcome until 7 p.m. which seems a reasonable compromise. As long as the rugrats are reasonably well-behaved and then clear off before bed-time so the grown-ups can enjoy a pint in peace, then there's not much harm done.

  12. Kids in pubs are certainly bad news. Kids are horrible. I speak as a parent.

  13. If children in a pub are imposing upon you, the parents are not keeping them under control, which is absolutely necessary in a place with so many safety hazards for children. A thorough risk assessment would probably result in most pubs being declared as unsuitable for children. In one pub where I was carrying three pints, a toddler ran out of nowhere straight into my legs, nearly tripping me up. As I'm 6' 2" and my hands were full of glass, I hate to think what might have happened to both me and the child if he'd tripped me up.

    Most children can behave in pubs for a while, but then get bored as there's nothing there for them. Parents should leave before that happens. Not doing so is selfish and unfair on the child and on other customers

  14. Visited the Albion today, so I did. Not a bad pint - Harviestoun's Bitter and Twisted - but I found the atmosphere a bit depressing, TBH. I left after the one.

    By far the best bit about the pub is the signs, I think. To be fair though, I didn't try the food.


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