Are children really ruining pubs?

Reviewers complain more about noisy and naughty kids than anything else

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In recent years, pubs have incorporated child-friendly menus, offered highchairs and even built play parks in their beer gardens in a bid to lure us through their doors. But now it seems the regulars are rather fed up of fruit shoots and fish fingers being served next to pints of bitter.

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Reviewers for The Good Pub Guide have made more complaints about noisy and naughty children than anything else – and some pubs have even taken the drastic step of banning children from coming inside, according to the editor of the guide, Fiona Stapley.

“The era of children being seen but not heard has been consigned to history – and quite right, too. But now that almost all pubs warmly welcome children at all times, the few problem families, whose children run riot, stick out like the proverbial sore thumb. We get more complaints from readers about unruly children than anything else,” she told the Daily Mail. “One publican suggested that if you treat children maturely and not as ‘special cases’ by encouraging them to have small helpings of adult food rather than having a children’s menu thrust at them, and providing free wi-fi so they can sit quietly and chat on social media or play games – then they will respond in kind.”

One reviewer in The Good Pub Guide 2016 complained: “My peaceful lunch by the fire with a pint was totally ruined by a child running around whooping and tripping up staff – and when asked to quieten down by the landlord, the poor man faced abuse from over-protective parents, ridiculous!”

Another asked: “Why are there undisciplined children allowed to run around unchecked, or screaming babies who aren’t taken outside to calm down?”

Do you take your children to pubs? Are they made to feel welcome? Let us know in the comments below.

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