14 October 2008

Children 'ruining' visits to pubs

So, the Good Pub Guide has finally acknowledged what I have long known to be the truth: a lot of people don't want kids in pubs. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, kids should not be in pubs unless they are sat quietly with their parents, and do not leave their seats unaccompanied. I avoid like the plague those pubs which market themselves towards families, because I know that it will be a noisy hell inside.

When I was a kid, most pubs didn't let kids in, but they did have a beer garden where the kids could play. Nowadays, the little buggers get everywhere and if you dare to complain that someone else's brat is under your table, the parents seem to think that it's your fault and that you are the nasty one.

I was extremely gratified to read that one of my favourite pubs, Ye Olde Man and Scythe in Bolton no longer allows children in the pub (including those in pushchairs - yes, they're still kids, you know!). In the case of this wonderful establishment, I suspect it has an awful lot to do with the limited space in the bar area, one pushchair could cause utter chaos. However, the lack of kids is not the only reason for paying a visit, they also serve an excellent range of ales, ciders and whiskies, and you are guaranteed a friendly welcome. Once a year, the landlord also volunteers to get his head chopped off, but I'll let you look at the website to find out why!

I digress. Landlords, remember, some pubs get trade because they let kids in, other pubs get trade because they don't. Personally, I'll go to the ones who dont.


Anonymous said...


You go and waft a great looking pub and shop like that in my face with no offer of a personal tour!

I consider myself owed +1 pub date from womble kthnxbye! :P

Womble said...

You're on! See you tonight ;o)

Spikey said...

Damn right ! Keep the squeakers out of the damn pub !!

Lily the Pink said...

My own opinion on this is a wee bit different. yeah, when you're on your own, with spouse, parner or good mates, it's really annoying to have to put up with other people's badly behaved brats.

When you've got kids, and you're out with friends who all want to go to the pub after an amble round the city, but you can't find a single place that will allow kids in, that's really fucking annoying too. Seán and I have had to say our farewells and bugger off home well before we were really ready to on many occasions because there are so few city centre pubs that do have a back room/beer garden where you can take kids.

It's dead annoying then the next time you all meet up and you've missed the jokes, the news, the devastatingly funny put-down when some scally decided to try and take the piss.

No doubt some of our mates are secretly relieved that kids are barred, and us oldies have to sod off out of the way of the young radicals and let them have their fun. But they still compose their faces into expresions of commiseration and go "Yeah, shame. Oh well, can't be helped. See you next month. we'll try and find somewhere family friendly next time" Probably.

By the way - I hate Wacky Warehouse type places too, and have never willingly taken my kids to one. It's always under duress because it's best friend's birthday party or something. Behaviour-wise, mine are pretty good, but seeing as how we're not welcome at Ye Olde Man & Scythe, you won't be able to be pleasantly surprised at how well behaved they are.

Womble said...

Ah well, there's the thing, Lily. I know your kids, and they are probably some of the best behaved kids I know. I couldn't ever imagine your two crawling round on the floor under tables and generally being a nuisance.

It is only the badly behaved brats that I have a problem with, as I alluded to in my first paragraph. A lot of the time it is entirely down to the parents, but not all of the time.

I have recently spent some time in the company of a couple of kids I would happily have strangled and buried in the back garden, yet their parents are two of the nicest people possible, and they do try to keep a tight rein on the kids. However, as soon as their backs are turned, the kids go feral again.

I still think that a pub is not a suitable environment for a child. There's even some pubs that I don't think are a suitable environment for me! Spike and I went in a pub last week where there were some very drunk people staggering around outside and generally being obnoxious - not something I would want any kids exposed to.