Grace Dent finishes her review of the Alma in Crystal Palace, London (Feast, 14 May), by stating: “If this is how pubs are coming out of the pandemic, then there’s definitely light at the end of the tunnel.” It’s just a shame that those of us who have become new parents during the last year or so won’t get to enjoy this pub in leafy south London.
The Alma has a “no children under 10” policy, including babes in arms, at all times. This from a venue that during lockdown enthusiastically advertised its takeout range available for Mother’s Day.
My baby is six months old. I therefore have around nine and a half years to go before I can sample the delights of this “surprising, ambitious and beautifully executed” menu. For new parents to effectively be banned from this community local and face these kinds of barriers in the 21st century is bizarre. This kind of attitude disappeared along with the sticky carpets and brown ceilings of pubs in the pre-1990s. And after a year of navigating maternity and postnatal services during a pandemic, new parents really, really need a pint.
Anyway, if the Guardian’s food editor would like a follow-up review of the Alma from me in a decade’s time, you know where I am: still in the long, dark tunnel with all the others inexplicably excluded from getting back to normal.