With the difficulties that face the pub industry it might be nice if we all, as a nation, supported the concept of the pub. A collective celebration of all that is good with the British pub might just be the tonic we need. Picking out the fact that we have many varied types and not only that, perhaps congratulating the people who run and work in them for the excellent job they do.
From the back street spit and sawdust boozer to the plush upmarket bar, through the rustic country pub doing it's traditional fare for the weary passer by to the foodie destination pub that might be daring close to the restaurant trade. Even that cavernous chain that has found a place in nearly every town centre selling reasonable real ale at fiercely competitive prices has it's place in the menagerie of the pub animals. Surely we love them all?
It would seem not. Most of the press and Internet is littered with comments about pubs being either dumps or too swanky (miss off the 's' if you like) or the pub that trots out unimaginative traditional zip and ping or the up it's own posterior gastro pub that has no right to be so busy I can't get a table for a drink. It seems we don't like pubs after all.
I found an article called "why gastro pubs are gastro flops" on the Guardian web site. It's very one sided and unimaginative. The same old slag of the gastro cliche. It's an easy bit of journalism to write. So what if some pubs are virtually restaurants? If they could survive as pubs they wouldn't need to go all gastro. Why can't we just love our pubs in all their various forms?
We can't be that fickle can we? What makes the perfect pub? One that isn't too slummy, but not too posh, food is traditional, but has to have a bit of flair and imagination. A large selection of ales seems essential but woe be tied the pub if the through put is low and any are below scratch. A confusing set of criteria for any publican to get right.
I can't help feeling that the negative reporting of individual pubs is having a negative effect on pubs overall. The general condemnation of moving with the times is pulling us back in time. Everybody seems to be at it. It's no wonder more and more people are going to restaurants these days and turning their backs on the pub if all they ever read about regarding pubs is bad.
So come on, lets tell the world just how good British pubs are. Lets find the positives in every single one. They all have their good points. Lets talk the British pub back into life instead of talking it out of existence.