I really think The Anchor has a nice atmosphere. There's also a Young's further along the riverside towards Waterloo which might be more family friendly. You could also go to the riverside playhouses near Waterloo and avail yourself of their facilities which can offer quite pleasant views.
I wrote a whole blog entry on 'Bermondsey!!' - this was prior to the changing of the first part of the Jubilee Line announcements to the more pleasant "The next station is Bermondsey".
Bit of shameless self-promotion: http://mocha.shake.org/. You can search for 'Bermondsey' in the box on the front page.
Just to add to an earlier comment, All Bar One is NOT child friendly. I remember being turned away by a gruff bouncer-type-person on a hot summer's day last year at the Shad Thames branch with my child in tow. He pointed to the large signs that say "STRICTLY over 21s only"!
It wasn't even possible for me to go into the pub myself, buy the drinks and sit outside with my child drinking.
I hate to state the bleedin obvious, the problem isn't what do tourists with kids do in the evening in SE1, or even in London, but what do parents do with kids in the evenings per se. Its the same whether you are in New York, Paris, where-ever. If they are too young to stay up late, you put them to bed at 7.30pm, but then you can't leave the house (or hotel if you are on holdiay). If on the other hand, they are a bit older, there is a smalll window of opportunity until they hit the teenage years, and then the last thing they want to do, is go on holiday with their parents anyway, because all they want to do is stay in and play on their gameboys. Anyway, that's by the by. Its simply not true that there is nowhere in London to take kids in the evenings. The original premise for this thread is completely wrong: "What other world tourist centre would start shutting everything down at 7.30". There are numerous musicals on in the West End that are child-suitable, there are numerous films on, and whenever places like the National or Tate Modern have popular exhibitions, they tend to stay open until late at night. There are a plethora of McDonalds, PizzaHuts, etc. (queue the anti-chain posters to start cursing- but the simple fact is that kids like these places so stop being so snobby you niaive eco-hippy anti-capitalist nutters. If anyone wants a separate debate on the merits of world capitalism I'm on for a row on this one too, but you better first come up with a link to SE1). The whole point about All Bar One is that it is catering for a niche market of young middle-class reasonably affluent people who tend to be child-free, so it seems a bit pointless to complain that its not child-friendly. The real question you should be asking is- Would their target market take kindly to having kids on the site, or would they go elsewhere? If the answer is the latter, then it simply doesn't make sound financial sense. Frankly, I don't have a problem with bars catering for niche markets like this, because its not as if there is a dearth of places to take kids in the evenings. I simply do not accept the initial premise of this thread as an accurate representation of London. If the point is that there is a dearth of places in SE1 for families with kids, or tourists with kids, well, duh, are you saying that you aren't prepared to travel to the West End for this? Most kids don't want to be wasting time in pubs, they've got their whole life for that. They want their Pizzahuts, their Lion Kings, their Harry Potter Movies. Some of the middle class ones even want to trail round boring old art galleries in the evening. And I say give em it. But don't complain about All Bar One , because lets face it, its the parents who are wishing they were still young free and single, not the kids, that want to go there. Sure, you can find pubs (like Weatherspoons) who cater for the family market and go for a much more cozy family-friendly decor. I actually think Weatherspoons do this pretty well, and so do their shareholders. No loud music, large no-smoking areas, good value meals and food that kids want to eat. Frankly, the anti-chain crew should p*ss off back to Tony' Blair's Islington where they can munch their way through some authentic buccaccia nonsense with sun-dried tomatoes. Don't get me wrong, I like European cuisine as much as the next man. But don't moan about pubs that provide fish fingers and chips for kids. Kids like it and what's wrong with that? Equally, it is crazy to say that just because one chain does, all chains should. Its simply a case of supply and demand, and I am singularly not convinced that there is a dearth of supply for the levels of demand. More importantly, neither are the breweries who probably have very good financial evidence for their trading decisions, I suspect.
'anti-chain... naive eco-hippy anti-capitalist nutters... niche market... target market... sound financial sense... duh... let's face it... boring old art galleries... p*ss off back to Tony Blair's Islington... don't get me wrong, I like European cuisine as much as the next man'
Thank you MM. Denis Thatcher lives. A particularly nice touch is the asterisk. Sad some times seems such an inadequate word.
No, I prefer Kevin's version. Reading Eminem's tirade (I thought he was going to shout "Yo, you ponsy Ho!" at one point), I thought "Oho, something's rattled this guy's cage".
MM: As a parent, I don't want to be sidelined into accepting plastic places like Pizza Hut and Mcdonalds. You state that that is what children want. Well, I don't know your children, but my child enjoys quite a wide variety of places, and (dare I say it) a wide variety of food other than the children's portions of junk food to be found in a lot of "the child-friendly" places you mentioned.
The point I was making about All Bar One was that it is a large, open, airy, venue by the river. It seems silly for a bar to ban children just because it is trying to appeal to a 'certain' crowd.
If you don't believe that children can enjoy good food in good locations, take a trip to the Waitrose-run Kenwood cafe in Hampstead (unless, of course, you consider Hampstead far too middle-class for your children).