Thursday, November 27, 2008


...are so much a part of life that it seems impossible to imagine a Britain without them. But start imagining now. A report in today's Daily Telegraph notes that some three dozen pubs in our country are closing every week. This is ghastly. The Telegraph quotes - and rightly - Hilaire Belloc: "When you have lost your inns, you may drown your empty selves, for you will have lost the heart of England."

It's partly extra taxes on beer, partly the smoking ban, partly the cheap alcohol available at supermarkets. More information here.


Anonymous said...

This is terrible1 I never have more than one glass of win with a meal when visiting English pubs (I live abroad - Australia - but come home regularly)but they are UNIQUE and WONDERFUL places to meet, chat, have a relaxed, affordable meal and many are so old - living heritage. It is as sad as coming home and seeing that the Christmas lights in Regent Street are no longer Christmassy. What are we doing to ourselves - destroying things that are special to our culture?

Rich Leonardi said...

Yes. When I regularly traveled to London a few years ago, the pubs were regular stops for a bit of vittles and a pint. My wife and I had a wonderful lunch at the Lamb and Flag and a supper at the Olde Cheshire Cheese.

What may end up happening is that big chains that can take advantage of economies of scale will build and market "authentic" cookie-cutter pubs. That's been the trend in the States over the past dozen years.