Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Idyllic Pubcentricity

The Pub Curmudgeon posted yesterday about the elements of a perfect pub, itself a commentary on an article in the Sunday Telegraph, and so I decided to think a bit more about what the perfect Velky Al boozer would look/be like.

Mismatched Furniture

Generally speaking I like the furniture in a pub to be wooden, preferably a bit battered, somewhat rickety, and occasionally wobbly. I don't want to feel like I am drinking in an IKEA showroom, unless said drinking hole has just undergone a renovation of course, if it still feels like IKEA a few months later something is wrong. I don't want every table to look the same, have the same chairs, and be entirely interchangeable. I want to pick a table, and even a chair, because I just happen to like that combination in it's location. I may be odd on this front, but that's ok.


This may be a tad controversial, but I like pubs that have newspapers available. They should be today's papers obviously, and there needs to be a selection from across the political spectrum and formats. If my ideal pub is back home in Scotland I want to see, at least, The Guardian, The Scotsman, The Daily Record, The Daily Telegraph, and whatever the local paper is. The only paper I would object to is The S*n, for obvious reasons. I don't want a pub to be a place where people of only one political persuasion go, I love pubs for the random conversations with different people that you have, if I wanted a focal point for homogeneous thought I'd sit at home and surf Facebook.

Outside Seating

Whether it's a beer garden, a patio, or a balcony I am a big fan of outdoor seating, mainly because when the weather is nice that's where the pub equivalent of day trippers go, leaving the rickety furniture and the bar safe for me. Sure there are times when I brave the bright lights of the outdoor seating area, usually when I am part of a group and the general consensus is to sit outside, but I am more often than not a creature of habit, and I like my seat at the bar.


Few things are as comforting in any room as a fireplace, the bigger the better. In the depths of winter, having trudged through cold and snow to get to a hostelry, the twin delights of a roaring fire and a pint of something dark and roasty just can't be beaten. If there are a couple of tables near the fire then the bar seat might even be sacrificed for the delights of scanning the papers whilst bathing in the warming glow of a well stoked fire.

5-7 Taps

I am not a fan of the rage for pubs to have banks of taps hanging out on the back wall, neither yet an endless bronzed barricade of handles on the front of the bar. I actually like brass fonts and tap gantries, just don't want then consuming the length of the bar. I don't go to the pub to be intimidated by endless tap handles for breweries I have barely even heard of, and whose brewing ability is entirely unknown to me. The first thing that goes through my mind when I enter a pub with dozens of taps is do they actually have the custom to keep the stock rotating at a reasonable rate?

Genuine Choice

It may seem a little strange to not want infinite taps and then ask for a good choice of beer, but what choice is there in 50 taps of IPA, a solitary mass produced lager, and Guinness? Give me a pub with 7 taps and 7 different styles on those taps each and every day of the week. At least 3 of those taps should be permanently filled with excellent examples of, preferably locally brewed, best bitter, dry Irish stout, and Bohemian Pilsner. This is my ideal pub after all.


I love pubs with a range of rooms to chose from, each with it's own character and regulars. A common feature of many a hotel in the Highlands is the public bar, a rougher environment than the lounge. Sometimes you want a quiet drink, sometimes you want to be somewhere a bit rowdier, if you can do both in the same pub then all the better. If a pub doesn't have multiple rooms then nooks and crannies can serve a similar purpose.

More than Beer

I am an unabashed beer drinker, it is rare than I choose wine, cider, mead, or any other alcoholic drink over beer, but not all my friends are enthusiastic takers of the malt and hops. Mrs V prefers wine these days, some of my friends don't drink at all, but I still enjoy hanging out with them, and so a pub needs to cater for a range of drinking options. Many pubs do a decent enough line in wine, cider, and spirits, but are lamentably piss poor when it comes to soft drinks, invariably the usual mass produced post mix swill of Coca-Cola or PepsiCo products. Stocking Fentiman's range of sodas would be infinitely preferable.

I'd like to think this such a pub would be fairly well liked by a wide swathe of folks, heck there may even be a business plan in there somewhere...

1 comment:

  1. Newspapers is one thing that appeared on my longlist. It's often interesting to read a paper that you wouldn't consider buying to get a different perspective.