Fri Nov 17, 2017 London
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TIPPLE & FARE

Food, drink and fine diningThe comings and goings of the culinary classes

The Death of The Boozer

Matthew Steeples visits the Belgravia pub The Plumbers Arms and decries the death of the traditional British boozer

 

Last Wednesday, I happened to have to meet someone in Lower Belgrave Street, SW1 and since I was early, I thought it appropriate – given the death the previous night of the Dowager Countess of Lucan – to pay my first ever visit to The Plumbers Arms – the very pub where said aristocrat fled after her husband allegedly killed the couple’s nanny on a fateful night in 1974.

 

Though I expected and anticipated entering a dirty old spit and sawdust joint – you likely know the kind: dirty, dark woodwork, sticky carpets and loos that stink of piss or bleach (or both) – all I actually found was another example of the ‘Tim Martin-ification’ of what was previously considered a great British institution.

 

Blandly decorated to target tourists with fanny-packs on visits to Buckingham Palace and Primark clad office workers from the soulless office towers of nearby Victoria Street, a space that was no doubt once a lively bar propped up by workmen and a couple of pontificating pub bores instead featured Peroni on tap and a menu that wouldn’t look out of place in KFC. I was disappointed in the extreme, but given that there are only a few proper public houses left in Britain, I probably shouldn’t have been.

 

With greedy landlords seeking permission to turn such buildings into houses, or, worse still, ‘gastropubs’, boozers are now a thing of the past. Cheap plonk at Tesco and Deliveroo have a lot to answer for also and one is simply left thinking: Where will the nation go to encounter the likes of Alf Garnett and Jack Duckworth?

 

Follow Matthew Steeples on Twitter at @M_Steeples.

 

 

Comments

5 comments on “The Death of The Boozer”

  1. Tim Martin is a tosser. He wants to ban European products in his pubs/bars — so there’ll be no champagne, no Belgian beers, etc, etc. He looks like an Australian so he should go and live Down Under with Rod!

    1. Erm, surely you wouldn’t want to buy a Wetherspoon’s champagne ?
      And yes he’s an opinionated git who has some say in some pubs and believes that this somehow qualifies him to speak on the matters that he does.

  2. I am surprised at you Mr Steeples. You should be celebrating the 57th birthday of the great Goncalo Amaral who wanted to FIND MADELEINES KILLERS NOW!! As he said “What I know tells me that Madeleine Mcann died in the apartment 5a.” Dear Kate and Gerry welcome the “Truth of the Lie” finally emerging, and so ARREST THE KILLERS NOW!!!!

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