Friday, October 23, 2009

Death Of The English Pub: Despite the recession, we are still, apparently, quite well off. After bumping into some old friends, promises were made, and it was decided we would meet up again soon, and have a nice quiet chat in a pub.
No more thought was given to this until those friends emailed a week or so later, asking which pub it would be? Trying to think of a local where food isn't sold was an impossibility. It didn't seem as if there was even just the odd one that hadn't been turned into a restaurant; most of which usually have a packed out car park, and a queue waiting to go in.
So, have all the kitchen cookers in the country, grand as they are these days, stopped working; or are we just too bone idle to use them? Or is it the abundance of TV cooks making exotic cuisine who have killed off the charm of sausage and mash and the Great British Breakfast?
For the life of me, I could not think of one pub where four people can just walk in, sit down with a drink, and talk to one another. No! To do this today, we must first book a table, and then spend around £20 a head for a steering-wheel sized plate full of gastronomic delights from a menu created by a calorie junkie chef, whom the British Heart Foundation would arrest, lock up, and throw away the key.
And what about the dart boards? Where are they? Admittedly, the clientele woud be a bit miffed if a double-top hit the wire and ricocheted off their t-bone steak, but come on! There will be a distinct lack of up-and-coming darts players in the future, and no one to take part in the televised matches.
And wouldn't it be great if they televised some of those old matches from the 70's, when darts were sponsored by Embassy cigarettes. It was so much more fun then, with Bristow and Jockey battling it out with a pint on the table and a fag burning in the ash tray. What do you get now? They drink water, and have an advert break so that they can go outside for a ciggie!
Our public houses of old are fast dying out, dear readers; and a good many are already dead. Instead of those wonderfully atmospheric fragrances of stale cigarette smoke and rancid beer, we now have a country filled with clinically clean pub restaurants for the obese.