Not happy families at the Bolingbroke on Northcote

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ppe
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Not happy families at the Bolingbroke on Northcote

Postby ppe » Sat Aug 11, 2018 11:12 am

I made a reservation last night for 6 people (5 x 50ish adults and one 14-year old girl) for dinner. When we arrived we were told we could not come in as 'they couldn't serve anyone under 18'. That was their policy and that it was 'somewhere on their website'. 'We are not a restaurant, we're a gastropup' and 'we can't serve under 18s after 8'.

I get it. But their website has 2 pictures of families on their home page! And the description on google is that it is a "Family-friendly neighbourhood gastropub with a separate dining room for Modern British comfort food". Not so family-friendly to me - and we didn't even have an apology from them when they turned us away.

I finally found the blurb about their 'after 8' policy this morning - on the booking form - obvioulsy something I'd missed when I booked the table. But they shouldn't position themselves as a 'family gastropub' if you can't be there after 8pm, and they should make it MUCH more obvious on their website (not just on the booking form) what their policies on this are - and take the pictures of the happy smiling families off their homepage.

We quickly rang Numero Uno who said of course 'we can fit you in no problem', we were warmly welcomed and we had a lovely evening there with fantastic food.
So don't expect to be welcomed in the Bolingbroke after 8pm and with family - but I can highly recommend Numero Uno as a family-friendly venue instead.
pie81
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Re: Not happy families at the Bolingbroke on Northcote

Postby pie81 » Sat Aug 11, 2018 2:54 pm

It may be a licensing requirement and they would lose their licence if found with teens in there after 8?

Agree they should make it clearer though: "by day a family friendly gastropub, by night an adult retreat" or something...

If it's not a licensing requirement then it's very silly to object to one 14 yr old! Not as if you turned up with three under 5s.

Glad you had a nice evening anyway.
Offspring
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Re: Not happy families at the Bolingbroke on Northcote

Postby Offspring » Sun Aug 12, 2018 7:09 am

I’m sure it is not a licensing requirement. It must be a company policy.
addled
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Re: Not happy families at the Bolingbroke on Northcote

Postby addled » Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:54 am

Nothing to do with licencing at all, its a management decision not to have screaming kids running around the place annoying their paying customers who've come in to get away from their own screaming kids for an evening.
They should have made an exception for a teenager with a party of adults planning to have a sitdown meal.
According to the lcencing laws she's of legal age to drink alcohol with that meal, provided it's been ordered and served by one of the adults.

I use their sister pub, the Stonhouse, and they've been more lenient and used their initiative on occasion.
reggieb
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Re: Not happy families at the Bolingbroke on Northcote

Postby reggieb » Mon Aug 13, 2018 9:17 am

One does wonder why people constantly expect exceptions to be made for them. Fair enough if the OP missed the notice on the booking page, but policies are policies for a reason! If one exception is made for you, how do you know another family hasn't made alternate arrangements because they read and respected the policy? You'd be livid if you paid for a sitter and then someone else just waltzed in with their children. And okay, so you make an exception for a 14 year old, what about a well-behaved 12 year old? Then a mature 10 year old? It's not worth the earache for the restaurant to deal with complaints about why one kid is allowed in but another is not. Policies are policies, just respect them, or go to one of our hundred other restaurants around!
ppe
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Re: Not happy families at the Bolingbroke on Northcote

Postby ppe » Mon Aug 13, 2018 11:57 am

OK - just for clarification reggieb- I didn't expect any exception to be made for my booking. UK law/legalities aside, I totally understand the desire for some restaurants (and their customers) to not have children running around in the evenings (or other times). My gripe is that I wouldn't have booked it if the Bolingbroke hadn't represented themselves as a 'family friendly' venue on their website/blub - which is not the case - and that they should make their policy not to admit under 18's after 8pm much clearer (on their website). OK I missed the text on the booking, but to be honest I wasn't really looking for their child policies in depth because two of the 8 pictures on their homepage image carousel have family pictures on them which implied (to me) they are a family-friendly establishment. Why would I book somewhere (for six people at 8pm on a Friday night) where we could potentially be turned away? My point is that they should make this much clearer in their presentation online and/or take off the family pictures.




 
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ppe
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Re: Not happy families at the Bolingbroke on Northcote

Postby ppe » Mon Aug 13, 2018 12:49 pm

And nothing here on their webpage about their 8pm/under 18's policy either....in fact quite the opposite - presents itself and very child-friendly!
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frenchiefan
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Re: Not happy families at the Bolingbroke on Northcote

Postby frenchiefan » Mon Aug 13, 2018 1:05 pm

Hello ppe,

We will be emailing you directly. We can only apologise for any upset and inconvenience caused. We hope you and your family come back to The Bolingbroke soon.

Best wishes,

The Bolingbroke Pub & Dining Room
K1999
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Re: Not happy families at the Bolingbroke on Northcote

Postby K1999 » Mon Aug 13, 2018 1:43 pm

I have to be honest, the fact that you missed it on the booking form is hardly their fault. I understand it’s annoying to turn up and find you can’t come in, but if it’s stated at booking, why blast off about them when it’s clearly your fault. I have always phoned to book and they do tell you on the phone.
ppe
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Re: Not happy families at the Bolingbroke on Northcote

Postby ppe » Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:01 pm

Hi K1999
I agree - my fault for not seeing it - my bad.

My point is why not be just a tad more upfront about it on their website. That was the problem. What's the harm in being more transparent and clear if that's their policy? I don't care if they don't want under 18s after 8pm - just make it clear and more obvious so that it's easily spotted in amongst all the happy family pictures. People don't mind as long as they know in advance - and I didn't spot it when I was booking so it needs to sit more prominently on their website - maybe (especially) on their 'kids' page.
Why do I have to call them when I was making a booking online? And so you know, to not have received an apology from their staff when we were turned away just added insult to injury. I also had an email 15 minutes after we were turned away saying
We at The Bolingbroke are sorry we will not be able to welcome you on the 10.08.2018, at 20:15. Of course, you can always make a reservation for another time, and we look forward to welcoming you then.
Robotic, impersonal. Blah.
As a follow up to you all I just recently had a nice email with an apology and an voucher with an addmittance that they had been a bit strict on their policy this time. But I really have no objection to their policy.
Just. Make. It. More. Obvious.

I need to get on with my life now so...
 
 
NVHusband
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Re: Not happy families at the Bolingbroke on Northcote

Postby NVHusband » Mon Aug 13, 2018 8:34 pm

Ppe- are you angry at Bollingbroke for not making their policy terms more clearer, or for not making an exception for your supposed well behaved 14 year old?

Surely, it would have been easier to raise this issue with the pub the next day, once you had calmed down?

But instead, you opted to publicly shame a pub instead?
Their pub is always full of families with kids during the day, so yes, family friendly. Just not after 8pm.

Your actions says a lot about you when angry. Vindictive comes to mind.
daisydaisy
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Re: Not happy families at the Bolingbroke on Northcote

Postby daisydaisy » Mon Aug 13, 2018 9:19 pm

I am a huge fan of the Bolingbroke because they are so welcoming to all, including families. Food is excellent, service is excellent.
The no kids past 8 is clearly stated on their booking page. It is a pub with great food rather than a restaurant but still a pub with licensing regulations. I remember the day when pubs were for grown ups only!
I suggest you give the Bolingbroke another chance- before 8 😁
Flowermummy
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Re: Not happy families at the Bolingbroke on Northcote

Postby Flowermummy » Thu Aug 16, 2018 12:34 pm

I don't really get it why people think this is "naming and shaming".
I found it useful, as I had no idea... our kids are small but we did take our nephew (15) along to a fancy restaurant in central London and it never occurred to me that some places could have an 18+ policy!

As an aside, it happened to me too that the online booking form is missing info that you would get when you call the restaurant.... which is very annoying .. if restaurants want the benefit of online bookings/orders, they should also make an effort to put all the necessary info on the online booking system...
 
ppe
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Re: Not happy families at the Bolingbroke on Northcote

Postby ppe » Fri Aug 17, 2018 10:12 am

Thanks Flowermummy - I'm glad you found the post useful - and I'm also glad to hear that many others have had good experiences of the Bolingbroke.
In this one instance, I didn't, and wanted to share my experience of that on this forum - (as well as emailing them separately, FYI NVHusband) just like many others have done with their experiences - good and bad - of local restaurants/services too.
I think I made it extremely clear what my problem was. Several times.

As I mentioned before they have actually emailed me in response to my original email, apologised and provided a voucher so I hope to try it out in the future.

I can also see they have also now (since) added some new text to their 'kids' page on their website:

"Please note, we welcome well behaved children (and parents) until 8pm. Children under 14 must be accompanied and supervised by a responsible adult at all times."

So well done Bolingbroke for a great response!!! 😃 👍

Also for info daisydaisy - their policy is not to do with licensing laws - it's to do with their simply not wanting to have loads of kids in after a certain time in the evening. This was confirmed by them to me in the email too. I fully respect this policy and am very happy now they have made it much clearer on their website.


 
daisydaisy
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Re: Not happy families at the Bolingbroke on Northcote

Postby daisydaisy » Fri Aug 17, 2018 1:49 pm

I stand corrected 🙄