When I was pregnant and unable to guzzle vats of wine or receive my daily drip feed of gin I came to the stunning conclusion, that pubs, when sober are really not all that fun. What indeed was the point of them if only to order an elderflower cordial and endure watching others sipping on a nice pint of cider or getting a bit twirly on a cheeky lunchtime wine? I get FOMO at the best of times and those 9-months really made me realise how much my life revolves around the good stuff.
Now a mama, I have come to realise that parenting is mostly about reaching the happy medium for both parents and child. Doing what works for you to keep both parties happy. For example, finding somewhere where you can get both gin for the mama and animals to entertain the little one. It also helps if the facilities available, atmosphere and people around you set you at ease through all the boob feeds, discarded food on the floor, tantrums and taking up half the room with buggies and changing bags.
If you’re anything like me – and most of my good friends and family are – you’ll appreciate this little list I’ve put together on the best child-friendly pubs in Bristol.
I can’t shout from the rooftops enough about this place, it’s no wonder it won an award for it’s family-friendly efforts. Inside is huge! Tons of seating where groups can snuggle themselves away and there are toys available in the toddler area to entertain the young’uns. Baby/toddler groups run in the skittle alley/family room on weekdays and there’s a vast garden outside with summer soft play area and ducks and quails too! Parking onsite is a bonus and the food’s tasty too.
What a treat to discover after a year of living round the corner, that our local serves delicious grub, a lovely range of meals for kids and has a great outdoor space with play area and pizza oven! There are toys and books should the tinies get a bit antsy whilst you’re eating and the staff are lovely, forgiving (should your toddler try and join them behind the bar) and helpful too.
To find a drinking establishment in Bristol with this much outside space is jolly indeed. A proper gastropub, inside is rustic industrial-chic whilst outside has standard tables and cubby-like booths to sit and enjoy a beverage or two. There’s a games corner for children, who are welcome until 7pm. The owners also own The Windmill in Bedminster, which is equally child-friendly. Crack-a-lacking.
Okay, it’s not technically a pub, but they do serve alcohol and some really rather delectable tapas. There’s no child play area per se, but if you keep a good eye in summertime, a few splashes from a passing swimmer is pretty entertaining for the mini ones or if you have a pass, children can join you in the pool during set times. If you have childcare on hand, you could nip off for a quick swim, sauna and jacuzzi…If not, just consuming the same air this wholesome, uber-chilled place gives off alongside your Alhambra beer should swell the soul.
If it’s a good ol’ country pub you’re after, about a 15-minute drive out of the city, you’ll find this characterful boozer. Once a 17th Century farmhouse, inside oozes old-world charm, whilst outside there’s a great big garden with picnic tables and lovely views. Borrow a blanket if there’s a nip in the air. Dog and child-friendly.
6 (I know I only said 5 but this place is SO good: The Gloucester Old Spot
REVIEW COMING SOON.