Blame put on parents

PUBLISHED: 13:58 11 December 2008 | UPDATED: 10:09 10 June 2010

A BUDLEIGH Salterton tea room owner has pointed the finger at over-indulgent parents for their policy banning children aged under 10-years-old from sitting inside. The Cosy Teapot, in Fore Street, has been forced to adopt a 'children should be seen and no

A BUDLEIGH Salterton tea room owner has pointed the finger at over-indulgent parents for their policy banning children aged under 10-years-old from sitting inside.The Cosy Teapot, in Fore Street, has been forced to adopt a 'children should be seen and not heard' regime because of the number of unruly youngsters who have created havoc in the small tearoom.Owners, husband and wife team 49-year-old Paula Roberts and Chris, 57, say they blame the parents of visiting children's bad behaviour.The couple, parents of seven children, have owned the traditional tearoom for the last six years and say the ban on all young children was implemented after a number of their customers complained about an increase in disruptive youngsters.Paula Roberts said youngsters had been seen licking sugar cubes and replacing them in the bowl, poking sugar tongs in their mouths and up noses - while their parents stand by watching, without disciplining their offsprings' bad behaviour.Mrs Roberts said such behaviour was unacceptable in an establishment where visitors are served tea in the finest bone china, costing £35 for a cup and saucer."We have had customers say they have seen children put the lumps of sugar back in the bowl after touching or licking them. You can see them thinking, 'has mine been touched or licked?' she said. "I make my own cakes. They are quite expensive and a lot of time and ingredients goes into them. "I had put some little pieces on to cocktail sticks for people to try and one child began sticking a cocktail stick all over the cake I was trying to sell. I asked her mother not let her child do that, and she flew off the handle at me!"Since the changes, we have had a few upset parents. We have some regular customers with children who are brilliant - but we can't allow some and not others."The plusses of doing this far outweigh the negatives."The tearoom has nothing suitable for children under 10. If we were a different establishment, we would be happy to have them. We don't have a play area, or a bouncy castle."Having been here six years, we know what's upsetting to our customers, and upsetting to us."People don't want to listen to screaming children all the time."The way people have been talking, makes us seem unique - but we aren't. Other places don't allow children."l Have your say on this story at www.exmouthjournal.co.uk


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