Regular and cherished reader Steve (crazy name) responded to my request for blog ideas;
His own undefinable blog (here) is a joy, but I really should ask HIM what his ideal pub, his “Moon Under Water” is.
What I look for in a pub is somewhere I feel welcome, included and cosy. I don’t care about history, or heritage, or beer, though an attractive interior and a gorgeous pint of Bass in a straight glass help.
The Walnut in Stowmarket had the best beer of the year, but until I broke the ice with a random comment it felt MUCH too quiet.
I like the sense someone might talk to you at any moment, but I also like the sense you could be left alone to read the paper if you wanted.
My own “Moon Under Water” at the moment is the Hare & Hounds in Harlton, run by a wonderful young landlord who effortlessly made Covid-nervous ramblers, mums and toddlers and GBG tickers welcome.
In general, micropubs feel too crowded, offer uncomfortable seating and rarely appeal to younger folk, let alone families.
There’s a great pub in Brentwood called the Victoria Arms which encouraged me to analyse why it was so good. “Proper Pub Bingo”, in fact.
1. A mobility scooter at the entrance.
2. Operated by a small local pub chain who know how to run a boozer (Gray & Sons)
3. Selling beers you’ve heard of. And not too many of them.
4. An old bloke with scarf reading the paper under a Guinness sign.
5. Dark wood and bench seating
6. Energetic banter, much of it incomprehensible, even to Mrs RM
“The breakdown of democracy within a federalist state”
“And then where will we be ?”
7. A playlist that includes Bill Hailey and Pop Muzik by M (or Dire Straits)
8. A sign for the Gentlemen’s loo that says “”Gentlemen”. Rather than “Drakes”, weird arrows or pictures of animals you can’t identify.
The Victoria isn’t perfect; I can’t really imagine 19 year old lasses drinking WKD there on a Tuesday lunchtime.
BRAPA was only there last month, and wrote;
“The kind of pub you could settle in all day, and write a thesis about pub life, even in these times. Cracking place ! “
And BRAPA is never rarely wrong, is he ?