The Yorkshire Post is crying into its lager over the demise of the old-fashioned British pub, a victim of a two-headed trend monster that seems to be consuming all that is squarely old-fashioned and virtuous on the UK bar scene. The first head: the gastropub. The second: nightclubs for idiots. “People think it’s a joke, but the great British boozer has become an endangered species,” says Paul Moody, co-author of the The Rough Pub Guide. “Now everyone thinks they are Gordon Ramsay and they need to be selling guinea fowl sausages and parmesan crisps. Add to that the number of pubs which have been turned into refuges for binge-drinkers where the music is too loud and where ambulances take as many people home as taxis and the situation is dire.”
With up to 56 pubs closing each month (1,209 closed in 2007 alone), the situation is clearly more serious than old codgers wheezing about how things used to be different back when Churchill was prime minister.
Still, quality pubs are likely to hang on; there’s much affection for a way of socializing that’s as British as high tea or excellent diction. If the slow-motion demise of traditional pubs has got you down, a leisurely surf through a list of some of the UK’s best may pick your spirits back up.