A woman and her partner were told to stop showing affection in a London restaurant, after being told ‘This is a family restaurant’.

Lydia Cawson, said that she was told by a staff member at the Canteen eatery at the Southbank’s Royal Festival Hall, to move away from her partner whom she was consoling at the time.

The couple had met at the restaurant during a break and Ms. Cawson was consoling her partner after a stressful week at work – with an arm around her shoulder and a ‘peck on the cheek’.


Allegedly the couple were approached by a member of staff and asked to move away from each other.

She told London Live ‘I didn’t notice any adverse reaction in the restaurant, myself. Then the lady came over to us and said “can you stop what you’re doing please, this is a family restaurant”.’

Her partner then asked the member of staff, ‘Is it a family restaurant or is it a homophobic restaurant?’


Ms. Cawson also added, The first thing is that we were really shocked by this challenge.

We didn’t feel like we were overly affectionate. Yes, it was an intimate moment, but consoling her and just a simple loving reaction.

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The second comment was that it was a family restaurant and it made me feel; ‘why does that matter? Is it because children are present – not that there were any children present at that time – anyway, why should it matter if it is a family restaurant?’

Taking to Twitter, Canteen owners tweeted, ‘Everyone is welcome at Canteen, gay / straight/old/ young regardless of sexuality. We are horrified at the thought of being labelled anti gay – half of our team are gay. At Canteen, we pride ourselves on being a modern, equal opportunities, open and accessible business. We want everyone to feel welcome in our restaurants.’

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