Monday, July 25, 2011

Indian Summer

I’m a non-smoker, in case you hadn’t noticed. It doesn’t, in an immediate way, bother me that there is no smoking in pubs any more. However, I may well observe that there are fewer customers than there were before, or a more limited range. Or that the “crack” in the pub is much diminished. I have also observed that plenty of pubs have closed, although so far only a handful that I have cherished. I am also well aware of the ever-growing tide of anti-alcohol opinion that is sweeping over the pub trade.

I’ve had some great experiences in pubs over the past few years. One of the best was the Black Horse in Clapton-in-Gordano last year. That really was everything a good pub should be.

But, given the current climate, I often feel that a good visit to the pub is like an Indian Summer, a glorious day of autumn sunshine, but one of the last before the dead pall of winter comes in. Sometimes when I visit a pub, I wonder whether it will be the last time I ever have the chance go in there. (And not because I might pop my clogs in the near future!)

And I do seriously worry whether those welcome-to-allcomers pubs that strike a good balance between wet trade and food will still be around in ten years’ time. Even now, they’re a diminishing species. Let’s see...