Worst thing about British pubs is not the prices – though I have to say, they are pretty shocking! It’s the rubbish standard of service, the queuing forever at the bar, dirty glasses, surly staff who make out they are doing you a tremendous favour serving you in the first place. And unless you choose one of the few independent pubs, the beer is pretty poor too. And does anywhere in the South of England know how to keep Guinness properly?
CF. continental Europe, where you sit down with your friends and a few minutes later, someone (often an unbelievably pretty waitress) takes your order. You can choose from a list of beers – and there are generally quite a few good ones, in amongst the dross. Most of the time, if you are a stranger in town, you can enquire which is the best brew to try first. This is an altogether much more pleasant and relaxed way to enjoy your beer.
If you are with someone who doesn’t drink alcohol, e.g. Mrs Goose, then the establishment will offer you coffee, hot chocolate or at least something that she likes. Whilst prices tend to be very close to UK ones these days, due to the plummeting value of Sterling against the Euro, the quality of service makes the price worth while.
No wonder UK pubs are closing at such a rapid rate. They seem stuck in a post-WW2 time-warp or something and seem to think that having an ear-splittingly loud jukebox and a few plastic oak beams will provide the “atmosphere” needed to get the punters through the door, and compensate for the grunting bar-staff. And don’t get me started on the horror they call “quiz-nites“. UK pubs simply have not caught up with what customers really want, i.e. a bit of service, please! Frankly “yer average boozer” here in Sunny Southampton is simply dreadful and they would have to pay me to set-foot through the door.
Now where’s that crate of McEwan’s Champion? Honk! Honk!