Bob bob
08 Nov

Bob Bob doesn’t love me anymore

After Baby was awarded her US citizenship, James and I decided it would be great to celebrate by going to our favourite restaurant. We were in London for the day, so why not? The occasion called for champagne.

And when I think of the fizz, the first restaurant that comes to mind is Bob Bob Ricard on Upper James Street in Soho. It’s decorated in a beautiful art deco style with low mood lighting and intimate booths for guests to dine in. The best feature of all is that each booth has a button that entices you with the words “Press for Champagne”. Definitely our kind of place.

So we started off from the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square and walked down Oxford Street (with a pit stop in John Lewis for nappy changing), then veered towards Carnaby Street – all the while dreaming of Bob Bob’s luscious menu. James wanted caviar; I thought some oysters would do me just fine. I was dehydrated by saliva loss by the time we finally rolled up outside.

I pushed open the door. The friendly hostess greeted me. I asked if we could bring the buggy in and she uttered the most terrifying of words: “No, we don’t allow children.”

Shock. Horror. Disappointment. More horror. My champagne and oyster dreams disintegrated in a puff of smoke.

Outside on the pavement, I told James, “We’re not allowed in.” His reaction mirrored mine. With hangdog expressions, we turned back towards Carnaby Street to find room at another inn.

It’s like we’ve been ousted from one club and accepted into another less glamorous club. Our future holds self-catering holidays, family-friendly restaurants, and matinees. I suppose we just have to get used to the “it’s not us, it’s you” attitude of some of our old haunts. We don’t blame them; we understand. Who wants to pay for expensive food when there’s a baby crying in the next booth? Our drool-covered dollars are no longer accepted. Perhaps a “press for milk” button would be more apt to our new life.

On the plus side, we found another restaurant in Kingly Court and I had my champagne and my oysters in the end. And there was plenty of room for Baby to fit around the table, which was nice because we both love hanging out with her. I suppose being a parent is about constantly adapting to new circumstances. Ultimately, we love our new life, so if it means I have to say goodbye to Bob Bob, then toodles. It was nice while it lasted.

(The moral of the story is: phone ahead to see if babies are allowed!)


  1. 08 Nov


    What was the name of the family friendly restaurant? Seems to me they are worth shouting about.

  2. 08 Nov


    bummer. on the plus side…um…trying to think of one…bear with me caller…how bad can the food in those big soft play places actually *be*? oh. really? oh well, the key to happiness is low expectations, so here’s to happiness!

  3. 08 Nov

    Mrs B @ crankymonkeys in london

    That sounds illegal. How can you ban children from a restaurant???

  4. 08 Nov

    Julia from ICAWatermelon

    Jude, it was Wright Brothers Soho:
    There are quite a few restaurants right in the middle of Kingly Court that are baby friendly. Jx

  5. 08 Nov

    Bush Mummy

    The same thing happened to me at the Wolsey.. I was devastated.. and quite cross..

    BM x

  6. 08 Nov


    I had the same the other day, looking for Sunday lunch & places saying no under 5′s, wasn’t something I’d thought of til we looked

  7. 08 Nov

    Julia from ICAWatermelon

    Good news. Bob Bob tweeted me and he does still love me. Must sort out a sitter soon…

  8. 09 Nov


    Same thing happened to me. I was sorely tempted to write them a letter. In actual fact I was alone with baby, and had taken off my coat and sat down, before they asked me to leave! I was mortified.

    Even more mortifying was that they suggested I try ‘the starbucks or little chef up the road’. WTF??!!

  9. 09 Nov


    How very dare they

  10. 10 Nov

    Jess P

    I don’t understand why a restaurant would rather have a 5 year old than an infant. An infant is (usually) quiet or asleep whereas a 5 year old could quite easily be running around and making all kinds of racket.

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