A WOMAN who recently had bariatric surgery was told she “couldn’t have a child’s meal because she is not a child”. 

Marshalla Cullum went to the Forester Arms in Abbots Well Road, Fordingbridge in late May with her family to enjoy a meal to celebrate her recent wedding. 

Prior to that, the 48-year-old had bariatric surgery two and a half years ago, meaning her stomach size has been reduced and big meals are a struggle. 

The care coordinator from Portsmouth told the Echo: “We sat down and I asked the waitress if I could have a children’s meal because I’ve had bariatric surgery and I physically can’t eat a lot. 

Forester Arms in Hyde, near Fordingbridge in the New ForestForester Arms in Hyde, near Fordingbridge in the New Forest (Image: Daily Echo)

“She went away and spoke to the manager and said she was sorry, but I can’t. Everybody else ordered and I thought maybe the waitress misunderstood. 

“So then I went and spoke with the manager and she said no, if I wanted to eat I’d have to buy an adult’s meal. 

“I went to sit down with the rest of the group and their group had arrived. I felt a little annoyed by then, so I went outside to vape as I didn’t want to ruin their meal and sat in the car. 

“I got really quite upset.” 

Eventually, the family finished their meal and Marshalla went back to the bar asking to fill in an official complaint. 

Portsmouth resident Marshalla Callum, 48Portsmouth resident Marshalla Callum, 48 (Image: Marshalla Callum)

“I emailed but didn’t get a reply in two weeks and that was only after I posted on the Facebook page to reply, and the woman was not very nice in her reply to me, absolutely awful.” 

Emails seen by the Echo that appear to be from the pub said: “We as is our prerogative were not prepared to sell you a child's meal as despite the size of your stomach you are not a child END OF.” 

It added: “Our manager was of course not happy that you had chosen not to eat anything but as you were not prepared to pay for an adult meal and did not want a pizza, salad or pay for an adult roast she was unable to accommodate you. 

“I am unsure as to why you feel we should sympathise with you as to your predicament was entirely your own making.”

(Image: Daily Echo)

The whole experience left Marshalla feeling several things: “At the time it happened, I was angry. Afterwards, it made me cry. I’m not a crying person.  

“I had bariatric surgery because I had problem with food and I needed to have smaller portions. And when somebody is forcing it upon on you, it brings everything back again. 

“She said to me ‘you are not a child, you are an adult so you have to pay for an adult meal’. It makes you feel really said. 

“I had my surgery two-and-a-half years ago now and when you go places and you explain your situation, people are normally really lovely and really accommodating. 

“This is a problem that needs to be addressed.” 

The Forester Arms declined to comment.