As my last blog post was a condemnation of the great majority of contemporary pubs, I’ve decided to repost an earlier piece in which I describe my perfect pub. Not all of you will share my dream, and that’s fine.
The perfect pub – what is it like?
On entering, you will notice its flagstone floor and gleaming wooden bar counter. The next thing that will strike you is that the landlord himself is behind the bar. He will greet you cheerily, even if he has never seen you before.
The pint he pulls for you will have an attractive but small foaming head, not one that serves as an excuse to sell you only 90% of what you are going to pay for. There may be only two or three proper draught beers available, which is fine as long one of them is a ‘session’ beer, that is, only about 3.8% ABV. Ideally, they will be beers from a local micro-brewery rather than from the big national brewers.
Though the furniture is an unmatching mixture, the premises will be spotless. There will be no background music and no fruit machines. There may be some old copies of Country Life on a table.
The simple menu will include such traditional delicacies as the cheese sandwich. The word ciabatta will be nowhere in evidence.
The pub will be enjoyed equally by people of all social classes, but dogs and children will be tolerated only if well behaved. The use of mobile phones in the bar, especially for long and loud calls, will be severely frowned on.
The landlord will be able to converse pleasantly on almost any topic you may choose to raise. He will also know intuitively when you wish to be left alone with your thoughts.
Somewhere in the bar, curled up in the most comfortable chair, will be a cat, who will treat you with practised indifference.
When I find this pub, I shall gradually wake up to the fact that I have died and, against all the odds, gone to heaven.