My little family has had a lovely day overall today. We had some good friends over for Sunday dinner, we saw their gorgeous little boy and met their adorable baby girl for the first time, and had a walk in the park. When they left we went to town to get some more baby milk and decided, as it was such a pleasant day, to stop in a pub on the way home – one which we had been to before on our own and wanted to revisit with our little girl because it had a lovely beer garden. We were about half way through our drinks when we got chucked out because our calm, happy and cheerful little girl had the cheek to be a baby rather than a grown up.
Now, I’m not against pubs, restaurants etc. that have a no-baby policy. There are some well-known bars which I have been to in the past specifically because they have had an over 25s policy and I didn’t want to get surrounded by a bunch of teenagers getting blotto over alcopops when all I’ve wanted was a quiet drink. Likewise, I used to be – and in fact still am – the kind of person who HATES going into a pub, restaurant, whatever and having to listen to a child kick off. At the end of the day pubs and restaurants are, by and large, for adults – unless they are marketed as being for families – and so it’s irritating when all you can hear is MUUUUUMMMMMYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!! or a cry that just never ends. That’s not what we pay £4 a pint for and that is why when, we have managed to get out with our baby (which is often a massive effort anyway) we leave when she starts to kick off. Other people may disagree but we think that is the right thing to do.
So you can imagine how upset we were when, after a wonderful day, we stopped for a drink in this pub, found a quiet spot away from others, and parked our happy little daughter’s pram in the corner. She was no trouble at all and yet we were still asked to leave despite the place being virtually empty. The only other people around were a bunch of 50+ people who had clearly been drinking in the sunshine all afternoon and were a bit lairy as a result. Who was more likely to cause a problem???
When I left I told them that they need to erect a sign saying that families aren’t welcome. The sad part for them is that we will never be back and that the pub down the road welcomed us with open arms so will probably see us back there at some point. The sad part for us is that our lovely afternoon was spoilt and that we were made to feel scummy and embarrassed for wanting a quiet drink with our daughter.
The pub in question is the Park Tavern in Eltham and is the only place I’ve been to with my daughter where we’ve not been made to feel welcome.