Friday, 29 February 2008

I've been in London

If you've been wondering why I haven't posted since Tuesday, I've been in London for a few days. With the family.

The with the family bit is important. That's why I managed to hit so few pubs. Britain and its crazy attitude to kids in pubs is quite a shock to someone who lives on the Continent. OK, there's been a slight improvement since the days when kids weren't allowed in pubs at all, but the situation is still far from perfect.

The biggest problem is working out which pubs do allow kids. There's virtually never anything on the outside to tell you what the score is. Apart from the occasional surly "over 21's only" sign. These are the options:

  1. Walk in pushing the kids in front of you and waiting to see if you're told to bugger off.
  2. Peer through the window to see if you can spot any sprogs inside.
  3. Get Dolores to ask the barstaff if children are allowed.
  4. Leave the kids on the pavement with a bag of crisps and a bottle of pop.
  5. Sit outside with the smokers.
None of this encourages pub-crawling, which I suppose could be a good thing. In theory.

The problem should solve itself in a couple of years. My sons are both tall. By the time Alexei hits twelve, he should be able to pass for fourteen. So just three more years to put up with this crap.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I don't have kids, but I still find the grumpiness about this in British pubs embarrassing. We should be ashamed of ourselves.

The otherwise excellent Pembury Tavern states its policy on kids on its website, and it can more-or-less be paraphrased as: "Most of our customers live alone and aren't used to loud noises, such as the sounds of joyful laughter, and so will find the presence of children upsetting. If you must bring them into our pub, please make sure they are absolutely silent."

If I ever run a pub, I'd like the place to be overrun with kids. It'll keep the miserable bastards away, at any rate.