One thing we really lack locally is truly child-friendly pubs. We have pubs that tolerate children but none that really go beyond offering a children’s menu and many don’t even do that.
It’s not that we want to take our daughter to the pub and get ‘fall down’ drunk but on a sunny day it would be great to go and enjoy a pub garden with other families and have a couple of drinks whilst the children play. A swing, slide or climbing frame wouldn’t go amiss.
Years ago, prior to kids I was in Slovenia and vividly remember going to a restaurant early evening and sitting on the patio. I noticed many families having dinner together, drinking responsibly but they had a fantastic play area for the children. Everyone was happy! Is this a cultural difference? Why don’t we do this more in the UK?
A couple of months ago on a trip to Shropshire, we stopped at a pub that was advertised on my Good Pub Guide App that was supposedly child-friendly. When we arrived, we quickly worked out that children were not allowed in the main part of the pub, which looked fantastic, open fires, beamed ceilings, etc. Unfortunately we were relegated to the scabby conservatory and felt like second rate citizens. What I also found interesting is that dogs were allowed in the pub but children were not. Not all pubs need to be child friendly, as not all people like kids, but please don’t advertise them as child-friendly if they’re not.
The closest pub to us that is truly child-friendly is Moor Mill in Park Street which is about 5 miles away. We went last week when it was really hot. There’s a pond where you can feed the ducks, a smallish playground, which could use a bit of an upgrade, the children’s menu is quite extensive but I did like that they had a special menu for even younger children and it being an Old Watermill the building in itself was interesting.
Do bear in mind it is a Beefeater, so if you’re a foodie it may not be for you but we found the menu extensive, the prices were reasonable, and the service was outstanding, but this may be due to the fact they knew that we were reviewing the restaurant. Overall, we thought it was okay but most importantly our daughter was happy, which meant we were happy. However, when writing this review I did come across a few negative reviews so please do make sure you do your homework.
Disclosure: Our meals were compliments of Beef Eater Grill