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London Restaurants & Pubs with 9 year old

I will be going to London in January w/a friend and my 9 yr old daughter. I have not been able to find anything about whether children are allowed in the Pubs (even if it is just to eat). It's not that we will be spending every night in one, but I would like to visit 1 or 2 (to get out of the cold!) as well as to experience some of the unique bars, such as the ice bar.

As far as eating, my daughter has a pretty sophisticated palate and does not normally eat off the kids menu anyway, so food is not a problem. Any info, suggestions appreciated.

Joann

Posted by
808 posts

To get the full effect of experiencing a British Pub, wouldn't it perhaps be experienced best sans the kid? Especially if you will be sampling some of the local pint-sized specialties!
I'm guessing you'd probably want to dine with your daughter earlier on in the day? That should be okay one would think. But then again I've not seen or taken any children into a Pub! (Hopefully Al or Kate or someone else from the UK will be able to answer that for certain, for you.)

Maybe you might consider hiring a Nanny? You don't mention where you will be staying? Perhaps you could leave her with someone you already know? If you are staying at a hotel sometimes the staff will double as Nannies. You may or may not be comfortable with this. But it is one option you might want to consider. She could be entertained at the pool while you are entertained at the pub!

Posted by
808 posts

Just another thought. You might also want to browse through the "Travel With Kids" section if you haven't already. There's some neat ideas posted!

Posted by
9 posts

In Rick Steves DVDs there are kids in pubs. We are going in Oct. and will be taking our 18 month old for dinner, albeit early so we can get him to bed at a reasonable time.

Posted by
2664 posts

Yes, children are allowed in pubs to eat. You might find one or two that won't allow children, but most of them do. We never had any trouble with our daughters going in pubs.

Posted by
296 posts

Thank you Robin. That's basically what I had in mind. Going for dinner & a little chit chat around 6:30/7:00 and being gone by the time the real crowds come. I also thought the Ice Bar was just something really "cool", that even my daughter could appreciate.

As far as leaving her w/a Nanny or hotel person, I've never been comfortable leaving my kids w/someone I don't know, but thanks for the input.

Posted by
389 posts

Seconding Robin we had our 8, 13 & 17 year olds with us and ate almost exclusively in pubs. We ran into 2 places that gave us trouble. . . one that wouldn't let them in at all which was marked on the door, but we missed it since we hadn't had that experience, and the second asked that we leave by 8, but didn't ask again when we weren't done eating until about 8:15. We apologized and they said no problem, they just wouldn't start anyone with kids after 8. Mind you those were exceptions but once we experienced that we were a bit nervous. Generally it is good.

Posted by
9363 posts

We took kids into pubs, too. One place said no kids after 8:00, but we weren't there that late anyway. Everywhere else, they stayed and listened to music with us.

Posted by
296 posts

Thank you all. I feel much better and will make sure I look for any postings that want us out by 8:00pm!

Thanks again.

Posted by
11450 posts

Pubs are great places for families to eat( although your daughters "sophisticated palate" will NOT get a working out in one, LOL!!
True, my son was 14 when I took to England, but we dined in many pubs and had no problem, I tend to dine early , so we were always out by about 8 anyways, but I don't ever recall being asked to leave.

Pubs are not like nightclubs, or even bars,( which can be filled with a basic variety of 20 -30 yr olds getting drunk and trying to hit on opposite sex etc) they are often filled with all generations, granny and grandsons, I loved it, young and old.

Posted by
658 posts

Each pub has it's own unique atmosphere. Some are definitely not appropriate for children at any hour of the day, but most are. Don't forget that not all London pubs serve food. There are still a few that are for serious drinking and children, naturally, are not permitted.

One that is happy to serve children during reasonable hours ( before 9:00pm ) is The Prince of Wales on Drury Lane, I know I've mentioned this place before but it's one of my regular watering holes and one day Eddie the landlord will realise how many 'Yanks' I've introduced to his establishment and he'll stand my a large GlenLivet on the house. It's a great pub, the food's good, the beer's great and there's always a nice crowd.

Posted by
296 posts

I will definately give the Prince of Wales a try. And if it's good, if Eddie doesn't give you a GlenLivet, I will!

Posted by
505 posts

In general, pubs that do not serve food do not permit under 18s. Pubs that serve food usually permit under 18s until 8pm unless otherwise marked. Bars tend to be over 18 only. This is due to licensing - pubs that permit children must have a specific children's license.

FYI, in Scotland because of licensing, many pubs do not allow under 18s at any time. Those that do usually only are permit them until 8pm or only in certain areas.

If you are not sure, you best bet is to ask before sitting down or ordering.