Pint-sized pun­ters may get them­selves barred

Harefield Gazette - - OPINION -

UN­RULY chil­dren shout­ing, scream­ing and run­ning around ta­bles are spoil­ing vis­its to our lo­cal wa­ter­ing holes, ac­cord­ing to the Good Pub Guide. In fact, try­ing to sup a pint or a glass of wine around badly be­haved young­sters, was the main com­plaint this year from reg­u­lar read­ers of the guide. They won­dered why undis­ci­plined chil­dren were al­lowed to crash around unchecked, and why scream­ing ba­bies were not taken out­side to calm down.

The Guide’s editor said she had no­ticed the dif­fer­ence in how some chil­dren, and more im­por­tantly their par­ents, be­haved in pubs.

Some were be­ing taught how to be­have prop­erly in a so­cial (mostly grown-up) en­vi­ron­ment, while oth­ers were al­lowed to do ex­actly as they pleased.

Thank good­ness the days are gone when chil­dren and their par­ents were ban­ished to a smelly, bleak, rub­bish-strewn ‘fam­ily’ room – if you were lucky.

Mr F and I par­tic­u­larly re­mem­ber a rainy hol­i­day in Cornwall where we trav­elled in vain from pub to pub, look­ing for one that would welcome us – and a cou­ple of kids – for a plough­man’s lunch and some shel­ter. Noth­ing, not even a sta­ble.

Now some pubs seat fam­i­lies to­gether in one room, while oth­ers of­fer play ar­eas or free wi-fi. All that’s needed for ev­ery­one to be happy is good man­ners.

Only last Sun­day we met friends in an Uxbridge pub for an early evening meal. They live 100 miles away, so it was great to join them as they passed through on their way to Heathrow Ai­port, on the first leg of their hol­i­day.

As we walked to our ta­ble a small child shot out in front of me and nearly knocked me over. Maybe I could have laughed it off if some­one had apol­o­gised, or the child had been firmly marched back to his seat with a quick word about how to be­have prop­erly in restau­rants.

But he was obliv­i­ous, and as I looked around no one even claimed re­spon­si­bil­ity for him. If he’d barged into a waiter car­ry­ing hot food, been scalded and had to be carted off to hos­pi­tal, I sup­pose it would have been ev­ery­one else’s fault.

One pub­li­can told the guide: “There is noth­ing more pleas­ant than a large fam­ily group out for Sun­day lunch, with all gen­er­a­tions present, in­clud­ing well-be­haved chil­dren.”

With the em­pha­sis I’m sure, par­tic­u­larly af­ter my ex­pe­ri­ence, on the’well-be­haved’.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.