I agree with this but I also think this has to do with how people socialise. On this site I often read Americans saying they had X event in the church hall or a local park. Whereas here (at least in Ireland and I suspect in the UK too) after X event people go to a pub as either their house isn't large enough and we don't tend to use church halls for those kind of individual events (For example, for my confirmation tea and sandwiches were served at the church hall for everyone and after we went back to my house where the extended family had been invited for a party). Most pubs have an upstairs large room for events so tea and sandwiches* are often served in the local pub for after christening, communions, confirmations, funerals, milestone birthdays etc. I've even seen small weddings held in the lounge area of the pub.
The 'line' regarding children being around alcohol is that they can't be in a pub after 7pm, so it's not unusual to see children in a bar during the day. However I'm seen some people on this board with the 'line' being pubs are only for adults and a child being in one is culturally alien.
Nibsey, you've got a very good point there. In my experience, in the UK most function rooms that can cater for events of any size will be in a venue with an alcohol licence, usually either a pub or a hotel. Usually the function room will also have a bar, separate from the main pub bar. There are some church halls or village halls where you could do the catering yourself, but many pubs/hotels would be able to prepare and serve the food for roughly the same price as it would cost you to buy it yourself (plus you'd have to prepare, store, serve and tidy it up yourself).
As for children, if I remember rightly, pubs in the UK historically had 2 bars: one for the serious drinkers (i.e. the men
) and the other for women and children. If they didn't have 2 separate bars, children weren't allowed in and women were 'discouraged' from going in. Now however, more pubs are aiming to be 'Gastropubs'
, places where you can get a good quality meal in a relaxed atmosphere and families are encouraged to visit.