What I will miss most about Britain
As I approach my visa expiry date I realise I’m truly going to miss British pubs and British beer.
AS I APPROACH my visa expiry date I realise I’m truly going to miss British pubs and British beer.
Yes – the warm, brown, flat p*** the old blokes drink is nothing short of brilliant.
It’s so nice to have a choice and try something new when you walk into a pub, rather than the choice between apples and apples that is the great New vs. VB debate.
Give me a pint of Hobgoblin (5.2% ruby-coloured with a rich, nutty taste) over XXXX (3.5% cold urine) any day.
But there’s much more that makes British watering holes exceptional when compared to their Australian counterparts.
The soundtrack to British pub life is too varied to succinctly summarise. Oasis and The Stone Roses mixed with the sound of real ale being pumped into a pint glass is a good, if stereotypical, place to start.
The soundtrack to Australian pub life is the sound of some old bloke commenting on dogs chasing a stuffed rabbit, or a cacophony coming from another room which can only mean another small ‘victory’ on the pokies.
Sure these things have their place, but that’s just it – they have THEIR place, not EVERY BLOODY place.
In London particularly it seems if you look hard enough there’s a pub for every need.
There are pubs that show sport and pubs that proudly boast they have no televisions. There are live music pubs and no-music pubs; wine bars and ale houses. There are pubs with modern, stainless-steel bars and blue lights (like all the almost-uniform pubs in Sydney) and there are hundreds with marble-topped wooden bars and centuries-old fittings. And there is everything in between.
Best of all, pubs here survive because they prove themselves attractive to clientele, not because they rely on problem gamblers to prop up their income. Fruit Machine reforms would have little impact in England.
So while I’m no wannabe Pom I’ll raise a warm beer in a handled pint glass to their glorious public houses and hope we can learn something about knocking a few back from Mother England.