My rule on children is simple "we are happy to accept children as long as they do not behave in a way that other guests will complain to me about them"
As a nation the English tend not to travel with their children, unless than cannot avoid it. I suspect that it is the cost that precludes children being taken in tow
The one exception to this rule appears to be seaside hotels in July and August when they do travel with the children. However cost still remains the rule - therefore "family rooms" are what the parent seeks for the seaside vacation. Now we do not have family rooms, not anyway to the extent that we can or will pack a family of 6 into one room. Further questioning of the parents usually reveals the the "children" are ages 12, 14, 16 and 18. The fact that we are not prepared to put them all in one room usually arouses an incredulous response - I therefore assume that most hotels will!
One family this summer, on seeing that we served "good food" sent me a list of items that their children would be prepared to eat, which consisted mainly of pizza, chicken nuggets and vanilla ice cream. Our efforts to make the bought (it had been specified - not home made) tomato and cheese pizza look more appetising by sprinkling parsley on it - the children immediately countered by carefully and meticulously scraping each and every bit of parsley off. Their parents watched with pride, remarking that their children never ate anything green!
I never used to have a rule about behaviour with children, but the child that made me change my mind was a particularly precocious 6 year old, who appeared on the one hand to study the Theory of Relativity in her spare time, but on the other hand amused herself by sticking fingers into electrical sockets when she got bored with Einstein. Again the parents appeared oblivious or incapable as their daughter diced with death. I was concerned that other guests would be put off dinner if the child fried in front of their eyes.
Another question we get asked over the phone is "do you do half price for children". Years of dealing with the great British public has readied me for this one. I learnt my lesson years ago on Mothers Day (Mothers Day lunch is the physiological low point of the restaurant owners life). A lady had phone to book lunch for herself, husband and two children. She had ascertained that we gave half price to children. When they arrived the "children" were lads of 17 and 18, each a touch over 6 feet tall, weight about 15 stone, and who would not have looked out of place playing rugby for England. The lady went into orbit when we served half portions to her two "children". " That's not enough for growing lads" she screeched on seeing half portions. The fact that she had demanded half price did not enter into it.
Since then I have made two steps forward, one we do not do Mothers Day lunch (too much wear and tear on the nervous system) and secondly when people ask if we do half price for children, we give them the reply "yes, provided you are happy for them to have half portions."
And if you want to stay in a nice hotel by the sea in Cornwall, Corisande Manor Hotel, Cornwall
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