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WRITER, CONSULTANT AND BROADCASTER SPECIALISING IN BEER, PUBS AND CIDER. BEER WRITER OF THE YEAR 2009 AND 2012

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Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Official: pubs are better than Ant and Dec

It's true. Pubs are nearly as good as the Queen. But not as good as fish and chips. But then... what about fish and chips IN A PUB? Being eaten BY the Queen? How good would THAT be?

What am I talking about?

A Cornish Pasty, yesterday. Better than real ale. Not as good as pubs.


A new survey of 7,000 people conducted by Holiday Inn asked people in the UK what they loved most about Britain. And despite relentless bad publicity, misinformation, the smoking ban, soaring beer duty and cheaper-than-water beer in supermarkets, "old-fashioned British pubs" came in at NUMBER THREE, behind Her Maj in second place, and fish and chips in pole position. This means that the great British pub is officially cooler than:
  • The Beatles
  • Manchester United (yeah, I know - we hardly needed telling that)
  • James Bond
  • Steven Fry
  • Er... the NHS

So why is the pub struggling so much? Well, there's a clue in the way this story was reported in The Express, which refers to the pub as a "nostalgic symbol of a bygone Britain". Pubs are fine when seen in the same light as red telephone boxes and cream teas, it's just the modern pub we don't like.

Except we do.

Fashions in the on-trade are cyclical, and the very best pubs today are redicovering the joys of the traditional English pub - its decor, its menu, its range of cask ales - and presenting them in a way that's appealing and contemporary rather than retro. This survey is proof that people respond to that.

Incidentally, real ale made the list at number 40. Not as cool as Routemaster buses, Glastonbury or Cornish pasties. But way more loved than Pimms, David Bowie, the E-type Jag, Prince Harry, and - oh, sweet joy - the bride of Satan herself, Margaret Thatcher.

Erm, Morris Dancers just sneak in at number 50.

3 comments:

The Dotterel said...

That's probably about right. It's no coincidence, you know, that Gordon Brown - as a son of the manse - was raised in a teetotal household!

helen said...

Many pubs have closed down where i live and the ones that are still around dont have many good guest ales. Even the supermarket selection is limited so my husband and I tend to buy online from places like thedrinkshop.
I miss the old fashioned and homely pubs that has closed down..its a real shame.

Alex Cooke said...

Honestly, we would have taken your word for it without a link to Der Stuermer itself and so risking innocents accidently glancing into the open sewer that apparently passes for a newspaper in Surrey.