Thursday, 14 March 2013

A Proper Pub

"A Proper Pub" is a strange term but how else can I concisely describe what we strive for in recreating the atmosphere of the best of the pubs I remember from my youth? In these days of theme pubs, disco bars, gastro pubs and pub chains good "proper" pubs are few and far between.

In my childhood days women on their own were not made welcome, or would drink their bottle of stout or Barley wine lurking in the snug, or on a high stool in the off-licence ( which in my formative years was a feature of every modern pub). The Greenhouse in Llantarnam had a bar marked clearly "Men Only", the other bar (as opposed to the lounge) was generally not welcoming for ladies, and only accompanied ladies would venture even into the lounge.

I suppose I was brought up on,  if not in pubs. Even in the fifties my father had a car, probably the only one in the street to have one in those days. We were not well off but  Dad had  "firms" car, travelling over South Wales many miles each year on Business.

So each Sunday we would all pile into the car for a drive in the country. Funnily enough we would often end up just inside England were the pubs were open, and we would be treated to a glass of lemonade and a bag of crisps while we played in a pub garden, if it was fine, or we sat in the car if not. Mum and Dad would drink inside of course.

Other evenings we would often go on a much shorter drive, maybe along the lanes to the Dorrallt, a real country Pub at that time. My parents were friendly with Mr and Mrs Hussey, and we were allowed into their private lounge or sometimes even into the bar. I remember playing darts there at a very young age, probably less than 10 years old. 

Anyway I hope we have succeeded and it is gratifying when someone walks into The Bush for the first time, and declares, without prompting "This is a proper pub!"