Sunday, 2 September 2012

How Charlotte's Place Ruined Our Anniversary Meal

Today is our fourth wedding anniversary and to celebrate we were really looking forward to going to a local restaurant in Ealing called Charlotte's Place. As we have a toddler we were a little concerned about how child friendly it is so my husband called in advance to check if it was kid-friendly and that we could bring our toddler. He was told it was suitable and although they didn't have highchairs we could bring our own.

On the way to the restaurant Ben fell asleep in his buggy which we were pleased about as we figured he would have a nice little nap and we would get to enjoy our special anniversary meal in peace. This was not to be the case though.

As soon as we arrived our bubble was quickly burst by the snooty hostess who informed us that we were not allowed to bring the buggy into the restaurant. I could not believe what I was hearing and explained it was our anniversary, pointed to the ample space available alongside the free tables but to no avail. Apparently this restaurant has a "health and safety" policy which does not allow a buggy inside their door. Ridiculous. The farcical thing is we could have brought a highchair which would have taken up far more space than our little lightweight buggy - where is the logic in that?

So parents beware if you are considering going for a meal in Charlotte's Place, don't it is not family friendly. My advice is to avoid at all costs unless you want to feel like a second class citizen by their snobbish staff. Thanks Charlotte's Place for ruining our wedding anniversary.
Charlotte's Place, Ealing, London W5
Charlotte's Place Ealing - the restaurant with the ridiculous "buggy ban"


Natalie Pace said...

Shame you didn't just ask if you could bring your buggy when you made your reservation. I always do when taking my son out. Many restaurants don't accommodate buggies in the dining room so I plan accordingly. We are big foodies so go out often with our boy.

Pru @ Perfecting Pru said...

I could understand folding the buggy up if your son was awake but the fact he was asleep? I'd rather have a quiet sleeping baby napping in it's buggy than screaming and running around!

Shall heed your advice and not bother going there.

ButtonF1Fan said...

I've never ever heard of a friend being refused entry to a restraunt because of a buggy, and I'm a mum of two... also never been refused myself. Insane, so now I'm wondering about wheel chairs?

otilia stocks said...

It's just unbelievable! Good for for writing this! I'm sorry it ruined your anniversary though and I hope that in the end you managed to celebrate in some other way or somewhere else. X

Claire Toplis said...

Shocking . I certainly shall London friends not to go there!

Babyhuddle said...

I would understand if there wasn't room, but what's the problem if there is? We were treated like this on a business class flight from Florida last summer- we were on it free of charge because the airline sold our seats on our booked flight! The air stewards were really rude to the kids and made us feel guilty for being there, despite them being really well behaved!

Angie said...

Oh Dear :(, Not good especially when you have rang ahead.

I should hunt it down and take my little man see How they react to x

@louisestarling said...

I have 2 kids, 6 and 3, and although I haven't taken either of mine out in a buggy for about a year because they both walk when I did, one of things I always checked in restaurants is how much room they have. I don't think as parents we can expect there always to be room for buggys or pushchairs beside tables. Did you ask if there was space for the buggy by the table? Personally I wouldn't want to inconvenience other diners without children or buggy if there wasn't room. A highchair takes up the same space as an adult sitting at a table. Restaurants have to have one rule for everybody and have to adhere to health and safety law too. Taking children out to eat is difficult as parents but something I do frequently mainly to teach my children how to eat good food in restaurants and how to behave in them. It's hard when your kids are young but it is for a short time and it is our responsibility to plan ahead, we cannot expect the restaurant to revolve around us because things are hard for us with young children.I am sure the restaurant did not set out to ruin your anniversary so it is unfair to lay that at their door. I know that Charlotte's place is a small restaurant which you were obviously unfamiliar with because otherwise you might have considered that the buggy option would have been difficult practically.

Victoria Court said...

I am sorry, but I really wouldn't want children around me in such an intimate restaurant in the evening.

Mags said...

Well I'm afraid you better avoid Charlotte's Place so as it claims to welcome children of all ages as long as they are awake which will most likely mean they would be chattering and full of excitement at dining out. Believe me a child asleep in his or her buggy would cause a lot less disturbance than one who is awake. Might also be worth remembering we were all kids once too.

Mummy's Space said...

We did ring the day before and ask what their policy on young children
was so shame they didn't mention their buggy ban then. We have taken Ben
in his buggy to lots of fantastic restaurants in the past and have
never encountered a buggy ban before.

Mummy's Space said...

Exactly. We would have been more than happy to fold up the buggy had he
been awake. There was no way I was going to do as the hostess suggested
and wake him to take him out - that would have resulted in fun dining
for all.

Mummy's Space said...

I am not expecting a restaurant to revolve around us because we have a
child which is why we rang ahead to ask their policy on young kids and
toddlers. In my opinion they should have had the common sense to mention
their buggy ban then and I do not feel that I should have had to
explicitly ask about it. Personally I believe a high chair could potentially take up far more room than an adult on a
dining chair so I have to disagree with you on that one. I think Charlotte's Place handled this situation very badly indeed and need to get their staff up to speed on the fact that if someone rings asking about their policy on babies, toddler or young kids they need to mention their ridiculous buggy ban.

Mummy's Space said...

It is bad isn't it? I think people certainly need to know about their buggy ban

Mummy's Space said...

Exactly they should have mentioned it when we rang but are claiming we should have asked explicitly about
buggies. I beg to differ as I feel if you ask a restaurant about their
policy on young toddlers they should have the common sense to mention it
if they have a buggy ban.

Mummy's Space said...

We thought so too especially as we rang ahead and asked about bringing a
young toddler. We managed to find somewhere else to have a meal that
was happy to accommodate a sleeping child in a buggy so all was ok in
the end. Just very disappointed in Charlotte's Place.x

Mummy's Space said...

That's the thing, there was definitely room to fit our little
lightweight buggy by the table which I pointed out but to no avail. It
is horrible how some places treat you when you have kids with you.

Mummy's Space said...

I had never heard of such a ban before either. Good point about their
policy on wheelchairs - I did ask on twitter but got no response.

Mummy's Space said...

Well I'm afraid you better avoid Charlotte's Place so as it claims to
welcome children of all ages as long as they are awake which will most
likely mean they would be chattering and full of excitement at dining
out. Believe me a child asleep in his or her buggy would cause a lot
less disturbance than one who is awake. Might also be worth remembering
we were all kids once too.

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