I'm not local to this area but planning ahead for a summer time family get together and the consensus is that lovely Bedfordshire could the mid point for gathering. I've checked out tripadvisor and it looks like there are some nice options but would love to hear from local mumsnetters for your suggestions please for a family friendly pub, ideally in a rural ish setting. DD would love a kids play area if possible or if not some garden space to run around. Nice ish food but doesn't have to be too posh- pub grub is fine.
The Chequers at Houghton Conquest has a huge, excellent garden if you have a few children who want to run about. The food is quite nice too and there are plenty of tables outside to suit a large group.