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-   -   British Pubs - why so important? (https://www.pprune.org/jet-blast/640179-british-pubs-why-so-important.html)

under_exposed 5th May 2021 12:55


Originally Posted by Blacksheep (Post 11039171)
There's nothing mysterious about the decline of the pub. It's due to drink driving laws, lager louts and supermarket licensing.

The price of a pint may also have something to do with it. I was charged £5 a pint at one nearby pub.

treadigraph 5th May 2021 13:27

Five quid? You were lucky! Two pints of cider at a pub on the Surrey/Kent border last summer set me back £13... bought a round of three pints in the Crown near Woking two weeks ago which was £12.30 I think - micro pubs are often cheaper still. Cheap? I remember when I paid £3 for a pint of cider in a Richmond pub maybe 15 or 20 years ago. I think they used smelling salts to bring me round... it was about £2.50 in Croydon at the time.

Blacksheep 5th May 2021 13:52

I’ve matured to an age where one prefers malt whisky to beer. I hesitate to think what a double measure of Aberlour might cost, assuming one could find a public house that stocks it.

Mr Mac 5th May 2021 17:26

Blacksheep
If in West Yorkshire try the Old Bridge in Ripponden as I know they sell it, and it is a fine hostelry as well, or was when I was last there some 16months ago.
Cheers
Mr Mac

TURIN 6th May 2021 00:05


Originally Posted by ATNotts (Post 11039149)
Traditional pub "fair" used to be cooked on the premises, but now get delivered in a van painted up "3663" or "Brake Bros" or some other mass catering business and trained "chef" has to chuck it in the microwave and fry a few chips to go on the side. The publicans have by and large no say in what goes on their menus, they are pre-printed and despatched to every outlet (I hesitate to call them pubs, or restaurants) and the wherewithal to put food delivered in by catering truck.

The exception to that is "carveries" where the kitchen team had the onerous task of roasting some large joints of meat, usually beef, port and turkey to a point where they are overdone, then place them under hot lights to finish of the cremation process in the restaurant. They also have to cook (?) vegetables, but invariably they turn out either virtually uncooked, of having gone down so far it's difficult to determine exactly what you're serving yourself with.

It is very sad that firstly, unless you go to a decent independent family owned establishment, you are likely to eat better food, properly cooked at home than going to a Toby, Harvester or Gawd forbid 'Spoons and watching the total lack of basic life skills of using a knife and fork you feel more like you're in a primary school dining room than a "restaurant" once you've got your pretty average plate of food. Worst, you've paid for it before you have even tasted it in many cases.

That about sums up the dire state of pub restaurants for the masses these days in UK. You can get decent food, it just costs a little more. We no longer eat out unless we can be confident we're going somewhere where the kitchen team can serve food better or more interesting than we can cook at home, and there are staff actually interested in looking after the customer who is, after all, paying their (albeit meagre) wages. South Asian and Thai restaurants provide some of the better affordable offerings in UK these days, and they generall aren't, by any stretch of the imagination "pubs".

Just avoid those Harvester types then.
Your summing up is wrong, myopic and does a huge disservice to those pubs that are making an effort. Maybe I'm just lucky, but I can walk to one such pub, cycle to another two and a reasonable taxi ride to another three or four.
Use em or lose em.

Little cloud 6th May 2021 03:44


Originally Posted by Fliegenmong (Post 11039174)
Just something that seemed intrinsically tied to a pub lunch in Southern England in Summer....maybe that is just my experience...

Wasn’t ‘Ploughman’s lunch’ invented in the mid 70’s? About the same time as chicken in a basket and Ciabatta bread.

Krystal n chips 6th May 2021 04:44


Originally Posted by Little cloud (Post 11039492)
Wasn’t ‘Ploughman’s lunch’ invented in the mid 70’s? About the same time as chicken in a basket and Ciabatta bread.

Chicken, and scampi, in a basket were around in the very late 60's early 70's because I contributed to both the "Shoulder of Mutton" and "Two Brewers" (RIP) profits every Saturday night from the Gov'ts less than generous pay for destitute apprentices.
Regarding Wetherspoons, much depends on the venue. The outlets in Stirling and Oban were very comfortable along with the quality of the food and service. In contrast to which, the one in Stone, formerly the Post Office I believe, is a dump. The only thing missing was the sawdust on the floor.

keyboard flier 6th May 2021 08:43

Agree with the spoons in Oban. Where else can you get a haggis pizza?

Cremeegg 6th May 2021 10:16

Treaders - what about the Royal Standard unalmost under, certainly in the shade of, Croydon Flyover. Some 30 years since I used to frequent it after playing snooker in the establishment under the multi-storey car park. As a Fullers establishment I'd expect a reasonable pub and a good pint of ESB.

treadigraph 6th May 2021 11:40

Cremeegg, Standard used to be a lovely little pub when run by Martin who had it for years. Since his retirement, there has been an Irish relief manager who was great, then several youngsters have been i/c - not really the same pub any more.

I've been to the 'Spoons in Oban as well - plus the other pubs we could find!

ShyTorque 6th May 2021 13:22


Originally Posted by keyboard flier (Post 11039611)
Agree with the spoons in Oban. Where else can you get a haggis pizza?

But then, where else would anyone want one? :}

(Actually, knowing me I'd probably try it).

Ancient Observer 6th May 2021 13:34

When I lived in, and later, near Chester I used to use a pub called The Albion Inn. It was right next to the Roman City Walls, and near a multi-storey car park, so it was very accessible.
Landlord back in mid 70s, (and still) was Mike Mercer.
He always kept great beer. Most days (after he extended the pub) his food was reasonably priced, and good to eat.
Mike is a one-off, and loved decorating his pub with whatever took his fancy. Of late, be has focussed on World War stuff.

Have a look at the reviews on Tripadviser. The photos show just how quirky Mike is.

And the beer is still well kept.


treadigraph 6th May 2021 13:46

I must have been to the Albion - been boozing in Chester at least twice!

Ancient Observer 6th May 2021 13:49

There were a lot of pubs in Chester. Beer crawls were fun, but challenging.

treadigraph 6th May 2021 15:46

I remember a nice one in the middle of a car park - been demolished now...

Haraka 6th May 2021 16:31

In my day, food, single women and children were not features of the village pubs I knew. They were refuges for the male community to get together and commune at the end of the day, even involving the local copper to advise on any niggles.
Drink driving ? Forget it! ( for crawling a few hundred yards home down a deserted street after "chucking out time")

But I emigrated several decades ago.......
Oh, and beer in the Mess was admittedly cheaper at 30p a pint. (Up from 10 p a few years earlier in the beginning of the 70's)

Krystal n chips 6th May 2021 17:15


Originally Posted by Haraka (Post 11039902)
In my day, food, single women and children were not features of the village pubs I knew. They were refuges for the male community to get together and commune at the end of the day, even involving the local copper to advise on any niggles.
Drink driving ? Forget it! ( for crawling a few hundred yards home down a deserted street after "chucking out time")

But I emigrated several decades ago.......
Oh, and beer in the Mess was admittedly cheaper at 30p a pint. (Up from 10 p a few years earlier in the beginning of the 70's)

Was the formaldehyde on draught, or bottled ?

Haraka 6th May 2021 17:22


Originally Posted by Krystal n chips (Post 11039920)
Was the formaldehyde on draught, or bottled ?

Either way, it bonded a working community!

spekesoftly 6th May 2021 17:35


Originally Posted by treadigraph (Post 11039873)
I remember a nice one in the middle of a car park - been demolished now...

Probably the 'Ship Victory' next to Gorse Stacks car park. Both demolished some years ago and replaced with a Bus Station.






stevef 6th May 2021 17:36

1972 RAF NAAFI beer price: 15p a pint. Weekly pay: about 28 quid. There was a choice of Watneys Special, Starlight and Youngers Tartan bitters from my diminishing memory. Watneys bitters and mild ale, Worthington E and Black Label lager (?) on tap at the village pub. Not many options in those days and pub food was Scotch eggs, pork or S&K pies and it was out the door at 10:45pm Sunday - Thursday or 11:15pm, Friday and Saturday. Yeah, those were the days... :}

Haraka 6th May 2021 17:45

Also you could get down the pub with the guys and sort some matters out "away from the system"

NRU74 6th May 2021 21:19

[QUOTE=stevef;11039932 There was a choice of Watneys Special, Starlight.. :}[/QUOTE]

Was Watney’s Starlight strong enough to be classified as a beer ?

wowzz 6th May 2021 22:41

I think many on here have rose tinted glasses with regards to pubs of yesteryear.
I started my drinking days in the late 1960s, and in all honesty, most pubs in those days were pretty charmless places. Awful gassy beer, wine like vinegar, and food that nowadays you would throw in the bin.
Over the years, you can now get a decent, well kept beer in most pubs, a reasonable selection of wines (the white will even be chilled) and the food, whilst not fine dining, will be a darn sight better, and cheaper, than you would find in 1969. Yes, the chains have taken over to a large extent, but there are still excellent independent pubs around, although their numbers have diminished drastically, due to CV19, my local favourite pub included.
Given the choice of arriving in a strange town and trying to find a pub for a pint and an evening meal, would you choose 1969 or 2021?

stevef 7th May 2021 06:38


Originally Posted by NRU74 (Post 11040024)
Was Watney’s Starlight strong enough to be classified as a beer ?

From Brew Wales Hall of Shame:
Watneys Starlight - this beer was so weak in strength that a 1971 Sunday Mirror investigation discovered that it could have been legally sold in the United States during Prohibition.

Watney's Starlight - this beer was so weak in strength that a 1971 Sunday Mirror investigation discovered that it could have been legally sold in the United States during Prohibition.

Krystal n chips 7th May 2021 06:55


Originally Posted by stevef (Post 11040168)
From Brew Wales Hall of Shame:
Watneys Starlight - this beer was so weak in strength that a 1971 Sunday Mirror investigation discovered that it could have been legally sold in the United States during Prohibition.

Watney's Starlight - this beer was so weak in strength that a 1971 Sunday Mirror investigation discovered that it could have been legally sold in the United States during Prohibition.

It wasn't alone and had a very close contender in this respect, albeit more akin to sludge dredged from the R.Irwell. For those who have never had the misfortune I refer to both Hydes Mild and Bitter.

ZFT 7th May 2021 07:40


Originally Posted by wowzz (Post 11040043)
I think many on here have rose tinted glasses with regards to pubs of yesteryear.
I started my drinking days in the late 1960s, and in all honesty, most pubs in those days were pretty charmless places. Awful gassy beer, wine like vinegar, and food that nowadays you would throw in the bin.
Over the years, you can now get a decent, well kept beer in most pubs, a reasonable selection of wines (the white will even be chilled) and the food, whilst not fine dining, will be a darn sight better, and cheaper, than you would find in 1969. Yes, the chains have taken over to a large extent, but there are still excellent independent pubs around, although their numbers have diminished drastically, due to CV19, my local favourite pub included.
Given the choice of arriving in a strange town and trying to find a pub for a pint and an evening meal, would you choose 1969 or 2021?

My recollections of the 60s certainly differ from yours.

My late father was an accomplished dart player and from an early age I went with him to all his matches usually as the teams chalker.

Most of the venues were around the Heathrow area and there was an abundance of excellent watering holes that once I had a vehicle I too frequented.

(I wonder how many recall that dash across the river to the Surrey side for that extra 30 minutes drinking?)

Some still survive to this day (or did last time I was able to travel).

Unlike many of the posters on this thread, I’ve never had any difficulty in finding a decent pub anywhere at affordable prices.

BTW - I would choose 1969

spekesoftly 7th May 2021 08:54


Originally Posted by Ancient Observer (Post 11039807)
There were a lot of pubs in Chester. Beer crawls were fun, but challenging.

Back in the mid 1960s there was a total of eleven pubs in Watergate Street alone. Sixth formers from King's School used to partake of a competition known as the 'Watergate Run', to see who could drink a pint in each pub in the shortest possible time! To speed things up, entrants were allowed a 'runner' to go ahead and order their pint, or two halves if preferred. The thought of drinking eleven pints in short order fills me with horror today! Ah the joys of youth.




Cornish Jack 7th May 2021 14:03

This thread has expanded much more than I expected !
I no longer use pubs, but in my 'heyday', (50s/60s) the best areas were in the North, especially around Ripon (is the 'Bull' still in Market Square?). Yates's wine lodge in Harrogate (wooden floors, gas taper taps on the bar and every conceivable bottled drink on the back wall wtth 'proper' barrel draught in the cellar. Many little country inns with landlords who understood how to 'keep' beer. Boroughbridge's straddling the Riding boundaries, meant a dash across the road at 1030 to get the extra 30 minutes. Further North, on a mass para drop exercise, we night-stopped near Alnwick and I was introduced to 'Newkie Brown'. How can anything, so inoffensive-looking, do so much damage !!!
In contrast, Watney's introduced their Red Barrel :yuk: As part of their promotion, they refurbished the Mess bar and had a Grand Opening Night featuring a darts exhibition professional.. Well into 'my cups', I volunteered as 'target for his expertise with 6" nails ! :eek: He removed a lit cigarette from my lips and a Red Barrel key ring from my ear - at this point, common-sense prevailed and I retired - unhurt !.

Jackjones1 7th May 2021 15:05

Who needed to go to a pub in the 60’s when you could always take home a party 7!!

wowzz 7th May 2021 15:45


Originally Posted by Jackjones1 (Post 11040417)
Who needed to go to a pub in the 60’s when you could always take home a party 7!!

And then spend half an hour with a screwdriver and hammer trying to open it ! Happy days.

ExSp33db1rd 8th May 2021 01:13


Watneys Starlight - this beer was so weak in strength that a 1971 Sunday Mirror investigation discovered that it could have been legally sold in the United States during Prohibition.
Why do you drink beer, for the - usually unfortunate - affect that alcohol has on you, or for the taste ? Unfortunately I've yet to find a decent tasting non-alcoholic beer, so unfortunately I'm stuck with the consequences of the regular stuff, e.g limited quantity and can't drive home in case the "You Know Who" are just around the corner.

Why hasn't the World come up with a non-alcoholic beer that still tastes like a decent beer, surely it's not that hard ?

Krystal n chips 8th May 2021 05:10


Originally Posted by ExSp33db1rd (Post 11040679)
Why do you drink beer, for the - usually unfortunate - affect that alcohol has on you, or for the taste ? Unfortunately I've yet to find a decent tasting non-alcoholic beer, so unfortunately I'm stuck with the consequences of the regular stuff, e.g limited quantity and can't drive home in case the "You Know Who" are just around the corner.

Why hasn't the World come up with a non-alcoholic beer that still tastes like a decent beer, surely it's not that hard ?

Breaking news ! New Zealand to announce arrival of first Taxi service !

Mr Mac 8th May 2021 05:47

ExSp33db1rd
Some of the German and Swedish ones are a good try, but ultimately no "buzz"" if you know what I mean.

Cheer
Mr Mac

Slow Biker 8th May 2021 21:12

We had a job near Greenock and on the first evening we found ourselves in the first bar encountered in a less salubrious part of town, The room was narrow with a bench seat along one wall and tastefully decorated with brown tobacco stain. About a dozen men stood at the bar staring silently at the wall with a pint and a whiskey. Well, we are here, so lets have a drink, pint of heavy? ok; pint of heavy? ok and so on until we came to the new team member - a glass of dry white wine please. The barman stood silent for several seconds before announcing 'we don't sell that stuff here son'. Oh dear, this lad needs training, meanwhile lets drink up and get out.

As for British chain pub meals, put them up against the Menu de Jour in any village in rural France. It would be a French walkover.

Uplinker 8th May 2021 21:34


Originally Posted by ExSp33db1rd (Post 11040679)
............Unfortunately I've yet to find a decent tasting non-alcoholic beer, so unfortunately I'm stuck....................Why hasn't the World come up with a non-alcoholic beer that still tastes like a decent beer, surely it's not that hard ?

They have now. Try the low-alcoholic Old Speckled Hen; in glass bottles, (the ones with a blue label). I have bought it from the supermarket and it is very very good indeed. No weird taste, just a deep, rich malty flavour. Yummy.

.

Ancient Observer 9th May 2021 13:48

Er, Mr Speedbird.
Why drink beer in NZ???
With all that luvverley wine available, I would ignore the beer.

radar101 9th May 2021 13:54


Why hasn't the World come up with a non-alcoholic beer that still tastes like a decent beer, surely it's not that hard ?
There are some good ones out there now - not necessarily available in every pub:

Brewdog AF
Brewdog Nanny State ( not AF just very low)
Kama
Sutra
for a lager Beck's Blue is not bad.

TheBugle 9th May 2021 16:03

And when you did open it, realise that it smelled like dog’s breath and tasted absolutely rank.


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