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Kids eating in SE1

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Wednesday 9 September 2009 10.31am
Complain to who? I'm sure you were always a delightful child with impeccable manners so perhaps we can't all live up to such high standards.

As far as "noisy children with parents who cannot educate them" goes - maybe you should cut us some slack. Children are developing - they don't always know how loud they are being and they can't fully control their impulses. Parents can help guide their children through this but sometimes (like mini Terminators) they can't be reasoned with or argued with.

On thing they are also (hopefully) developing an understanding of is empathy - a quality sadly missing in many adults.
Wednesday 9 September 2009 11.30am
I would ask to change tables or speak to the parents if they seem approachable.
No, I probably did not have perfect manners but my parents were not imposing my poor behaviour or my twin brother's behaviour on other diners!
Wednesday 9 September 2009 11.33am
erniebug wrote:
I have noted that kids are not welcomed at the Woolpack, the Garrison or Village East after 6pm or even lunchtimes as they don't have kids menus. Its such a shame that we can't take our children for a civilised meal especially in the early evenings as in all european countries. My daughter would be out of the restaurant by 7pm and in bed by 8pm so that shouldn't affect most single diners.

I must admit that I've been watching this thread with interest but up to now have resisted sticking my nose in. I don't have any children but a good friend of mine, does so I can sympathise/ empathise with both sides.

If you have kids, you occasionally want to go somewhere more interesting than Giraffe etc but if you don't have kids it can be really grating when you're at a nice restaurant and get sat next to a table with kids who are crying and generally making a racket (generalisation!).

Personally, I think that restaurants allowing families with kids in until 6 or 7pm is more than fair. Then the people who want 'adult' company could eat in peace after 7! I don't really understand what Mrs Erniebug thinks is unfair about this?

As for not having 'childrens menus', surely this is the reason you'd want to take your kids somewhere other than Giraffe etc - you want them to try nice and interesting food. Why not ask for starter portions? Or order a large meal for you to share? Most restaurants will happily do this. If the usual menu isn't satisfactory for your kids exercise your rights with your feet and take them somewhere else, like Giraffe.

(No ties to Giraffe. lol)
Wednesday 9 September 2009 11.54am
Serge - I wonder if you would speak to a table full of approachable drunks to ask them to tone it down. Or ask an arguing couple is they could sob a little quieter.

No one wants to impose poor behaviour on others. Young children are unlikely to keep the same mood throughout the whole meal.

So, short of keeping our kids in an underground bunker or secret garden complex until they learn to 'behave'- we'll continue to try to socialise our children by taking them to restaurants.

If you ever have the misfortune to be seated next to us - then I apologise in advance.
Wednesday 9 September 2009 12.41pm
I am now at the stage where my son who is just 9 is fine to eat out with. However I would not take him normally to a resturant after 8 as it would be past his bed time when we finished(and he would whine if he was tired) unless a special occasion when one would hope other diners would be more tolerant of children.

That said i don't have a problem with people with young children in resturants-(which maybe as i am a parent myself) unless as happened to me recently where two women where dining at the next table to us with a baby in a pram screaming and just being ignored so they could chat.
Wednesday 9 September 2009 12.57pm
Trevor wrote:
Serge - I wonder if you would speak to a table full of approachable drunks to ask them to tone it down. Or ask an arguing couple if they could sob a little quieter.
Not sure about Serge, but I know that I would.

Are you suggesting that it's acceptable to pay no consideration to your fellow diners? I know that this may seem to be the default mode of behaviour these days, but I still don't agree with it.

And to be fair to the folk who've dared to express any feeling of dissatisfaction on this thread, I don't see any comments as anti-child. I see them as being anti the kind of parents who let their children run wild without any attempt to curb it, or any sensitivity to the other diners. I completely take the point that even a well behaved child will have their off days, but an apology from the parents will go a long way in those circumstances.

I think it's common knowledge that children are more emotionally unpredictable than adults. I think it's unrealistic to expect them to have the same level of ability to moderate their behaviour as adults (should) have. But I also think that (very much in the same way as your example of a bunch of drunks), being a child doesn't give you an excuse to behave as you wish at all times. And if parents don't manage to get this across to children, then that's a failing in the parents.

...if you press it, they will come.
Wednesday 9 September 2009 1.28pm
Ivanhoe - good on you for making sure restaurants guests behave properly - a sort of restaurant SuperNanny. If you're in a restaurant with parents of misbehaving children then pull up a chair - i'm sure they'd love to hear your advice on child rearing.

I don't think any of my comments suggest that it's acceptable to pay no consideration to fellow diners.

I just don't accept that the choice of restaurant to take children to should be limited to Giraffe and the like.
Wednesday 9 September 2009 2.03pm
We could maybe look at this in a different way...

People who don't have children would never go to a 'child-friendly' restaurant and expect to have a quiet meal, not surrounded by children noisy or other-wise. And they would never be so brazen as to ask parents to keep their children quiet etc in such a place.

When I lived in Islington, I used to often go to Giraffe for breakfast on Saturday/ Sunday mornings. It was always full of screaming children and I never expected anything less and I certainly never felt that I was permitted to complain about the noise, hangover or not! ;o)

Surely parents can understand that it works both ways?
Wednesday 9 September 2009 2.14pm
Gwynaethva - if children were only ever taken to Saturday/Sunday morning screaming sessions at Giraffe - then what's the message here to the kids?

That it's ok to scream in restaurants.

What's the definition of child-friendly? Del Aziz have highchairs so that's child friendly enough for me.
Wednesday 9 September 2009 2.24pm
I dont have Kids but I do have Pubs, and in 4-5 weeks we will have one in your area.

wilst we dont have a specific childs menu, we are happy to downsize portions or mix and match to help out.

keep an eye out for our opening weekend which includes a family sunday lunch.

cant say which pub we are buying for another few days.
but will let you all know as soon as possible
cheers all

Phil
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