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Meeting friends in London - bar recommendation with kids.

Melbourne
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Meeting friends in London - bar recommendation with kids.

Hi all,

We are visiting London during the London summer and we will have our 11 year old son and 9 month old baby with us.

As I used to live in London we have arranged an evening to catch up with friends and said we will confirm a venue in Central London (ideally somewhere around Oxford Circus, Bond Street, Regent Street, Picadilly Circus, Soho or West End so it is easy for everyone to get to).

The get together is for drinks not dinner so we don't want a restaurant but rather a bar/pub that has a nice atmosphere and is easy to talk in and hopefully also has some bar snacks/tapas that people can order if they get peckish.

As we will have our children with us we need it to be somewhere that is ok with children being there. Most of our friends don't have children though so we don't want somewhere that is just a very kids oriented venue - e.g. Planet Hollywood or Rainforest Cafe, rather we would like somewhere that is more trendy.

What suggestions do people have?

Thanks in advance!

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Bucks, UK
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1. Re: Meeting friends in London - bar recommendation with kids.

Children aren't allowed in bars unless they are there to have a meal. Parking them in a corner with a packet of crisps while you have a beer doesn't count as a "meal". I would find a pub a bit further out of central London that has a "beer garden" where the kids can sit outside (with you) whilst you have a drink. Or arrange a lunch instead or a babysitter.

Melbourne
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2. Re: Meeting friends in London - bar recommendation with kids.

Thanks PoolLounger for clarifying what is allowed in bars. A lunch would have been ideal however we are not in London over a weekend and most of our friends are working during the day. Do you know of any pubs in Central London with beer gardens? We really want to take the kids with us as I want my friends from London to meet them as they haven't done so yet.

UK
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3. Re: Meeting friends in London - bar recommendation with kids.

<<rather we would like somewhere that is more trendy..>

I would say that clashes with the requirement to have kids and baby there !?

You might find a pub but I'd have thought no bars would accept kids any time. and even then for pubs, all the ones I know that take kids, have a 7 or 8pm cut off time which doesn't seem to work with your idea of a whole evening out.

EDIT: Why not a restaurant? You can always just order starters and deserts?

Edited: 26 May 2011, 12:26
Melbourne
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4. Re: Meeting friends in London - bar recommendation with kids.

Thanks Joeintheuk, perhaps a restaurant isn't a bad idea. We were just unsure of exactly how many people will come and were wanting to avoid having to make and change booking numbers and I also thought if everyone wasn't sitting down it might be easier to move around and chat with everyone. I didn't realise pubs had a cut off time re kids. Hmmm need to rethink this a bit more....

Bucks, UK
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5. Re: Meeting friends in London - bar recommendation with kids.

You could maybe hire a private room and lay on some drinks and nibbles, try somewhere like Smiths of Smithfield

www.smithsofsmithfield.co.uk/sos/index.html

or Ye Old Mitre in Farringdon has a small function room

timeout.com/london/…ye-olde-mitre-tavern

The Anchor in Southwark has an outside area, but that won't be much fun if it's raining

beerintheevening.com/pubs/…Southwark

Whatever you do, I wouldn't let the event run on beyond 8pm, because it's going to be crashingly boring for the 11 year old.

UK
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6. Re: Meeting friends in London - bar recommendation with kids.

<<I wouldn't let the event run on beyond 8pm, because it's going to be crashingly boring for the 11 year old.>>

A big "so what" from me :-)

Why shouldn't a kid get bored once in a while, or go somewhere they don't especially like, "parents have needs too"

County Dublin...
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7. Re: Meeting friends in London - bar recommendation with kids.

The Masons Arms in Kensal Green would be suitable for your requirements. The tube station is across the road and the 18 bus runs 24/7 up the Harrow rd.

Bucks, UK
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8. Re: Meeting friends in London - bar recommendation with kids.

"Why shouldn't a kid get bored once in a while, or go somewhere they don't especially like, "parents have needs too"

Because the kid then plays up, or looks glum, and the parents get annoyed, the other adults notice and start to drift off anyway. That's why babysitters were invented.

Kids needs come first until they're capable of looking after themselves. If you ever have any kids yourself, you'll work that out.

Alta, Norway
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9. Re: Meeting friends in London - bar recommendation with kids.

Beer gardens in London:

timeout.com/london/…londons-best-beer-gardens

london
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10. Re: Meeting friends in London - bar recommendation with kids.

Not quite what you were looking for but you could try the central bar at the Royal Festival Hall. The terrace has great views over the river and room for the kids to wander. Lots going on in the area and a range of places to grab something to eat .

Its only 5 min walk from waterloo and embankment.