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Family-friendly post-lockdown pubs

Pubs are reopening this month. Hurrah! From riverside views to countryside backdrops, we're raising a glass to some of the best family-friendly ones.

We can’t think of a better way to celebrate the end of lockdown #3 than with an alfresco drink, or three! We’ve handpicked some of the best family-friendly pubs complete with a beer garden and/or play area where you can enjoy a socially distanced chilled glass of Pinot Grigio

Fox and Hounds, Exton Rutland

Tucked away in the incredibly beautiful village of Exton and overlooking the village green, the pub’s beer garden is a top drawer – it’s filled with mature orchards and while there’s no play area, kids will love climbing the apple trees. Once it reopens, expect to tuck into mussels, pizza, homemade cottage pie and enjoy some local ale.

The Coach and Horses, Markfield

I love this modern but rustic pub in Markfield – the owners have little kids themselves so have tried to make it as family-friendly as possible. While the indoor Playstation room won’t be open, the kids can take full advantage of the play area in the large garden. They’re only reopening a few days in May (3, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15 and 16 May). Food will be served from their outdoor BBQ grill and will also include pizza.

The Bradgate, Newton Linford

We love the spacious garden at family-friendly pub, Bradgate. It’s the perfect place to head if you want to catch up with family you’ve not seen in months plus, the food is great too. They’ve got a huge outdoor area complete with a children’s pirate ship and play area and a brilliant location – just down the road from Bradgate Park. It’s at the top of my list to book and they are also reopening on the 12th!

The Sycamores Inn, Burbage, Hinckley

While you won’t be able to enjoy the whimsical decor inside, there’e plenty of space outdoors to explore in this gem of a pub/restaurant. The kids will love the secret garden which overlooks looks the play area meanwhile, the patio area is perfect if you prefer a quieter drink. They’ve not confirmed their opening date yet, but have been running a pretty extensive takeaway menu during lockdown so we’re hoping food will be much the same – think seafood ristotto, butternut squash tagine, pulled beef brisket burger, loaded flatbreads plus they have a few foodie options for the kids too.

The Blue Ball at Braunstone, Rutland

This family-friendly pub is one of Rutland’s oldest and still has many of its original features. Roaring log fires when it’s chilly, plenty of outdoor seating when it’s sunny with enough nooks and corners for couples and kids who love to explore plus, they have activity sheets, crayons, baskets, bibs, beakers, smaller cutlery and more if you have little ones in tow. Food has always been a cut above pub grub but is classic done really well  – fresh and bursting with flavour. While there’s no beer garden they have a gorgeous south-facing terrace at the back and some seating in the front too.

The Admiral Hornblower, Oakham Rutland

This 17th-century former farmhouse has been wonderfully restored to offer excellent food. The outdoor terrace will be reopen from the 12 April and Rutlanders will be thrilled as it’s such a popular joint especially with its brilliant garden/terrace that in the past, has seen everything from BBQ afternoons to outdoor cinema events being held here.

Find more ideas here

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