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Child friendly restaurants in the UK?

(28 Posts)
happychange Wed 21-Feb-18 08:16:32

I'm on holiday in a south East Asian country and I'm astounded by how children friendly people are and also the amazing facilities they have for young children

Every restaurant I have been to, from the very upmarket to roadside stalls have children eating at lunch and dinner, there are high chairs and also cutlery for children. Children are generally well behaved, no running around tables etc

We were having dinner late around 9pm and there were still lots of kids around from all ages, young babies to teens.

I was quite amazed really .. just got me thinking that this isn't really my experience back home. I've been kicked out pubs at 7pm when I have my baby with me as they don't have a licence for kids. And I very rarely see children after 7pm

I guess it's just a different culture but I did think it was quite nice

SleepingStandingUp Wed 21-Feb-18 08:21:02

The difference in culture isn't just about disliking or not tolerating kids though. Many town centre pubs simply aren't appropriate for children after a certain time because of our attitude to alcohol and because many pubs become more about alcohol and music later in the evening.
Its also a reflection on things like routines. Plenty of threads horrified at other parents taking young kids out at 8 / 9 pm and not getting in til 10 / 11 because they should be in bed.

Plenty of restaurants in the UK and welcoming to children, have changing facilities, menus, chairs, even tv's in them.

Kids running around is down to parenting choices.

Sirzy Wed 21-Feb-18 08:23:40

I have never had a problem finding somewhere child friendly to eat in the U.K.

At the same time I also appreciate that some places are child free/ child free after a certain time as sometimes it is nice to not have children around.

Everything doesn’t need to be completely child centered

StealthPolarBear Wed 21-Feb-18 08:27:50

Yes I'm surprised by this there are loads of child friendly restaurants in he UK.
And please don't turn this into a thread about how other children are so much better behaved and civilised

Ifailed Wed 21-Feb-18 08:28:21

I get what you are saying, OP, it's not unusual for small children to be out with the parents, eating etc in the evening in many countries. However, look closer how they are behaving. You won't find a barricade of massive prams surround tables and blocking aisles, children will remain seated and reasonably well behaved, they will be eating the same food as the adults who won't be ignoring them, and yes , people won't be drinking much.

happychange Wed 21-Feb-18 08:36:26

Yes it's not about children behaving better in other countries, there were definitely lots of crying babies and screaming toddlers for sure. A lot of times you see parents just taking turns carrying babies around . Also many people brought extended family along, grandparents aunts uncles so they could help out with the kids.

I was just surprised by the sheer number of children out in restaurants after 7pm , you definitely do not see that back home

Yes, you're right , there's hardly any prams around. And the other difference is that a lot of the food here is eaten 'family style' so you order dishes for the table and everyone eats from the dishes. You don't have to order off a special kids menu so in terms of cost, having kids around doesn't add much to it

Also very few people were drinking, odd beer here or there

happychange Wed 21-Feb-18 08:37:30

I should have probably phrased my title better as child friendly pass 7pm in the uk

vandrew4 Wed 21-Feb-18 09:25:33

How long till this turns into how great other countries are and how in the UK we feed kids nuggets and chips whilst they run round screaming and oh how shit we are...
It's bollocks. I've seen lots of kids misbehave in other countries and a fair few in UK. Kids menus exist all over the world. whether you choose to feed them to your kids is up to you. there are always starters / asking for an extra plate if you don't want to.
Oh, and France has the worst kids' menus I've ever seen. Ham and chips. burger and chips or nugget and chips. In nearly every single restaurant

vandrew4 Wed 21-Feb-18 09:27:32

You won't find a barricade of massive prams surround tables and blocking aisles I've never seen this. What restaurants would even allow that?

CB1234 Wed 21-Feb-18 09:33:30

Yawn at the 'oh look how much better foreign kids are'. It's nonsense. Kids are kids wherever you go. I have never had an issue with taking my children out. I would avoid upmarket places and I expect my children to behave. I think the UK has more of a culture around earlier bedtimes than some countries which explains alot of it.

Vagndidit Wed 21-Feb-18 09:42:30

Yes, kids are kids all over the world and there are plenty of countries where you'll find children racing around screaming with seemingly little discipline. However, it's the attitude towards children that tends to set the UK apart from other nations. Here they're sometimes seen as a nuisance and are best in bed by half-six so mum and dad can have a piss up grown ups can relax.

vandrew4 Wed 21-Feb-18 09:46:33

vagniditit let's do a straw poll on that shall we.
Who thinks kids are a nuisance and should be in bed by 6:30 so they can go on the piss?
I'll answer first, i don't, and I'm guessing 90% of people will say the same. Really rags me off this. people really don't think this and kids really are no better behaved in other countries.

StealthPolarBear Wed 21-Feb-18 09:47:39

That really isn't my experience. What are you basing that on?.

Whatever the thread France is better. It has no obesity. No problem drinking. The children all sit politely at the table until midnight discussing philosophy..
BOLLOCKS to it all

Ifailed Wed 21-Feb-18 09:49:45

OP was talking about SE Asia, not France!

StealthPolarBear Wed 21-Feb-18 09:51:38

Yes sorry. France is the usual comparator on other threads. But tbh it seems like any country is better than this one.

FeedtheTree Wed 21-Feb-18 09:51:48

There are loads of child-friendly restaurants in UK. From chains like Pizza Express, Giraffe and Smollenskys which market themselves as pro-children to fast food joints and local cafes.

StealthPolarBear Wed 21-Feb-18 09:52:24

And the thread is always smugly what are we doing wrong in the UK.

vandrew4 Wed 21-Feb-18 09:53:21

And why are you pointing out that they have highchairs in SE restaurants? How many in UK DON'T have highchairs? And child cutlery? What the frig's that. Plastic instead of proper cutlery? No thanks.

minipie Wed 21-Feb-18 09:54:22

Extended family coming along is a big difference. Two children between 10 adults is easy and the kids will behave better because they have loads of attention and people to tend to them. Two children to two adults is very different.

Regarding bedtime and being out in the evenings, hot countries generally have a culture of napping at lunch when it's hot and staying up later. That's fine as is the UK norm of dropping naps young and going to bed early. What doesn't works is no naps and then keeping the child up late.

vandrew4 Wed 21-Feb-18 09:56:22

feedthe tree and don't forget the thousands of independent Greek, italian, Indian, modern british restaurants etc. etc. I've said this before but the only time I've had a problem with my children not being welcome in a restaurant was in a country other than UK and we have eaten in every variety / price range of place you can imagine.

BubblesBuddy Wed 21-Feb-18 10:03:18

We took our children to Le Manoir au Quatre Saisons when they were quite young. M Blanc welcomes children and he did, personally.

However I supervise my children. I have seen drunk parents who completely ignore their children who are annoying everyone else. Choose the right restaurant with parents who expect high behaviour standards and it’s fine. If you cannot manage that, don’t spoil the enjoyment of others.

Personally I don’t want children out late. I prefer Sunday lunch as a time to go out with family and friends. Children can get very fractious if it’s a late night for them and it’s not fair on them either. Mine wouldn’t want to eat at 8 pm.

StealthPolarBear Wed 21-Feb-18 10:07:00

And mine would be fine

vandrew4 Wed 21-Feb-18 10:11:21

and children can get fractious at lunchtime. ( all over the world)

GetsPostByOwl Wed 21-Feb-18 10:29:11

I wouldn't look for a child-friendly restaurant to be honest. I try and make my children "restaurant-friendly" instead.
We go to whatever restaurant of fast food joint we fancy from Macdonalds to a lovely fine dining establishment. Personally I prefer to avoid places that have a separate "families" area because I hate kids running wild round tables, bumping into your chair, hopping off halfway through dinner to bolt round the soft play area to the side of you. I get no amusement from the toddler flinging bits of food onto us while her parents laugh at how funny she is being cracking up with laughter when she flings her beans. I may have lost my Britishness and gave them a bollocking after the hard glares only made them roll their eyes and carry on I get indigestion from the squealing and shrieking, and the blaring of iPads and games consoles. (Well known Carvery chain I'm looking at you...)

My 11, 8 and 5yo's must be very bloody boring because we go in, eat our dinners and have a lovely natter. No Peppa Pig or YouTube required.

noenergy Wed 21-Feb-18 12:31:08

I agree OP the dining style is also different in that what you choose is normally served in family sized portions so kids and everyone serve themselves.

How many kids do we see here In restaurants in the evenings? Not many, I find Asian countries to be more child friendly and a lot of restaurants have play areas.

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