A while back Glenn Reynolds had a series of posts on European birth rates and the social costs of having children (I would link the articles but my timer on this computer in the library is running out and I don't have time to search).
Our first few days here in the [English] countryside have really reinforced different cultural attitudes about children. The first night here, we walked into a restaurant with our kids, and the whole place went silent, staring at us. We were told children were not allowed. In retrospect, it felt like that scene in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang when the townspeople are all staring at the family because in that town kids are illegal. The next restaurant did not let kids in after 7. The next saw us and said that they had a large group arrive and couldn't serve us (despite the fact the parking lot and restaurant were empty).
We thought at first this might have something to do with liquor laws, since many local restaurants are also the pub. But that first night when we finally found a restaurant that would serve our children, they said we could not sit in the restaurant but they could seat us in the bar!
Not sure I have a conclusion here, except to observe how different attitudes about children and families are here. Kids here are also much quieter in public than American kids, perhaps because they have learned to keep a low profile in a society that doesn't always want them around. It will be interesting to see if London is any different.
Bonus trivia question, answer below the fold: The writer, producer and several of the actors in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang also were responsible for what other quite famous series of movies?
Update: I left off that it was in the English countryside (near the border of England and Wales). Sorry. I am finally on a decent Internet connection and just caught onto the confusion.