Warning: contains people enjoying a fag in a pub

After Lemmy’s, we really should have sorted out some food.  You never know when German takeaways are going to close.

But Tibia Tick was virtually next door, and looked too good to miss.

Lubeck 2.PNG


Outside, the tables were full of cheery smokers.  Inside was a lone tiny and atmospheric (dark) room, playing some Riot Grrl tune. I thought they were Sleater Kinney outtakes, but turned out to be a local Lubeck punk band.


While we surveyed a beer selection that seemed to run to Veltins, the jolly cardiganed owner came back from chatting to the smokers and converted my expert German words  into two* beers and a bag of Snyders pretzels, which are almost as good as Pipers.


As we took a seat, he asked if we wanted an ashtray. I know there’s state-by-state exceptions to the Smoking Ban, but it still comes as a shock to see folk smoking indoors.


A young couple joined us and lit up, and Mrs RM didn’t flinch.  She just asked for a bottle of Luck we’d spotted on the other table, which was rather more exciting than the Veltins.



Another cheap round, another wonderfully characterful pub, and even better to come as we finally settled on a kebab from Paschas Treff. How could you resist the lure of Kö 39 next door.


You couldn’t.  Unless you can’t cope with a little bit of smoke, of course.


This was a riot of colour and noise, a sort of German cousin to Tenbury’s Vaults.


No German craft here, just a classic Jever, and a soundtrack of “Maggie May“, “My Sweet Lord” and “Weather with You“.  That’s as good as a Friday night gets, particularly when you don’t get kicked out in the cold for a fag.

Put your phone away Mrs RM

Egged on by Mrs RM, I pointed at the bottle of Dragons Blood on the top shelf (don’t look too close at the advert below it), some sort of inexplicable spirit that cost about £1.30, but the purchase of which seemed to cause much rejoicing. I suspect it had been there a while.


Again, we didn’t notice the smoking. We did notice the exuberance of the smokers.

Paschas Treff did us a feast of what looked like souvlaki and aubergine with rice and freshly baked bread for a tenner.  Germany does kebabs better than we do, too.


*I have real problems saying “Zwei”


15 thoughts on “CIGARETTES & ALCOHOL

  1. So, a public house where smoking can be enjoyed, and where non-smokers are also welcome? It’ll never work!

    Synder’s Jalapeño pretzel pieces are a great but rarely encountered pub snack (not recommended if you actually want to taste your beer)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Back when they were kicking smoking bans around here (Bavaria, complete ban enacted by public referendum 61/39% in 2010, to correct the problems with the partial one enacted by the legislature in 2008) nearly a decade ago, I saw statistics showing Germans smoking at nearly twice the rate of you lot. Like 38% to 22% of adults or something. That is a significant difference right there, makes me think you’d expect to see more people smoking in public.

      Enactment of the complete ban was the best thing to happen “to” Mrs & me whilst living here. Til we found our doggie, anyway.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Nick, there is still a more relaxed approach towards smoking in Bavaria, than here in the UK. For example, smoking is totally forbidden anywhere on British railway stations; including platforms, most of which by nature are open air.

        My wife, who like to indulge in the odd cigarette or three, was most impressed to find designated smoking areas on DB platforms in both Nuremberg and Regensburg , along with special, smoking cubicles (with powerful air extraction), at major airports.

        She did feel rather self-conscious though about lighting up in a pub, on a visit to Prague several years ago. I’m not sure whether the Czechs have implemented a ban on smoking in public places yet, but I suspect not.

        Btw. heading out to Bamberg with a group of friends, next May. Can’t remember the dates off-hand, but would be good to meet up.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Paul, a point of pedantry if I may. My understanding is that through some loophole caused by it being owned by the ferry company, smoking is still permitted at Fishguard Harbour railway station. It was allowed for a long time in Scotland also but that has now been closed off.

        The answer to smoking in pubs is multi roomed pubs with proper extraction systems in the smoke room.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. [Unable to reply to certain specific replies above for some reason. Hope the following doesn’t go too far off track, Martin.]

      Paul & Scott, I’ve heard from a couple of people that formerly smoky Czech pubs they’ve been to since 1st May were indeed smoke-free. (N=2.)

      I personally, physically suffered from smoke after nights out. I would taste it the next day, and often have a cough from it. My wife has sensitive eyes (has to order special contact lens solution) and it was simply painful for her to be out in it. And my own sister is one of the theoretical athsmatics made up purely for anti-argumentation purposes, who I guess should just stay out of pubs then.

      An argument I hit upon during the lead-up to the ban(s) down here was: Why should one person have the right to inflict physical discomfort or even harm on another, just because they happen to occupy the same place of public accommodation? If it’s about smoker’s rights. (I’m not concerned about second-hand smoke causing cancer, as 90% of lung cancer patients are smokers.)

      If it’s about the landlord’s right to run their business the way they want, why then should the state regulate anything at all in the pub w.r.t. health and safety? Food safety? Asbestos?

      The gastro trade boomed a bit after the ban here. People ended up drinking and eating more, staying longer. There is certainly no complaint down here of taverns (hate to call them “pubs”, as they’re not on the British Isles) having closed up because of das Rauchverbot. I can’t think of any places in town here that have ceased operating since 2010.

      Multi-roomed pubs with proper ventilation. Well, that’s nice for multi-roomed pubs, but unfair to single-roomed ones. And that was exactly one of the arguments against such sorts of bans for Bavaria. Also the thing about whether food is served or not…why should that matter?

      That said, I’ve been to taverns in Holland and non-Bavarian Germany where seperate smoking chambers did indeed work well. Places where I spent a couple of hours drinking and never even noticed the stink.

      And the idea of outdoor smoking bans…this “anti” finds that ridiculous. It’s up to the landlord, of course, but even snowflake me has no problem with being surrounded by smokers in the beer garden. And vaping…I profess ignorance to how it works, but snowflake me also has no problem with vaping in pubs.

      On a technical note, I suspect we will learn more and more about how the iron in tobacco smoke is what leads to cancer. Eventually, they’ll figure out a way to make iron-free tobacco. You heard it here first — invest now!

      The apparent fact that second-hand smoke exposure in children does not lead to increased risk of cancer might even make sense in this light: the body needs and uses up iron during growth, i.e. childhood.


    1. Often seemingly ignored in this debate. I agree. I have a right not to smell like an ash tray because someone else chooses to smoke. I don’t care if people do smoke. I really don’t, but I also have a right to not stink at the end of the night. It’s also nice to not have to automatically wash clothes after a night of drinking.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. As kids our clothes perpetually smelled of cig smoke because we lived in a pub. My Mum has never smoked in her life, but at 80, even after retiring over 25 years ago she still has a slight ‘smokers cough’. I respect anyones right to smoke if they wish, but not near me or in any public place I frequent, please.


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