Friday, 21 August 2009

Fantasy Pub Week! 5: Entertainment/Extras

Here’s the final installment of Fantasy Pub Week! And this is the place for anything else you fancy in your pub? What entertainment would you like? A TV tuned to soaps/sports/reality TV/music channels? A CD player repeating your favourite albums? How about a house band (any band you like!). Food is important to some – do you want bar snacks or heaving piles of bangers and mash? And who cooks it? Perhaps you want a pool table or bowling alley or dart board? Maybe you want to specify a curry night or a weekly hog roast? Pub quizzes? Pub football team? Anything you like.

Here’s one last reminder about the other categories: Where and What, The People, The Draught Beer and The Beer Fridge.

My Extras... I think pubs are about the people and the beer. And sometimes entertainment can be too much. I don’t want much going on in my place other than people to be there drinking, talking and laughing. However, a few extras would be fine. I’d like a pool table that sinks into the ground when I don’t want it out and in the way. I like quiet background music so a range of CDs will be on occasionally. No house band because I generally don’t like live music in small pubs, but I would occasionally let Dashboard Confessional play an acoustic set. I would play old movies on flatscreen TVs, which would be like moving pieces of art. The food will be snacks – pork scratchings, pies, sandwiches – cooked by someone who really cares about local, seasonal food, Hugh perhaps. There would be both chocolate and cheese boards. We’d have a pub cricket team, Shakespeare and Dickens would open the batting, Don Quixote would cause havoc at three and I’d bat four. I wouldn’t field but would come on first change to bowl ripping leg-spin. Our home ground is Lords, of course. There’d be ‘Ladies Night’ once a month (third Tuesday) where all the ladies get half price drinks (that should keep them happy). There would be a huge and unending book shelf stocked full of good reads. And there is a free taxi service home, should I/we require it.

That’s me done and Fantasy Pub Week done. Cheers all for playing along, normal service will resume next week when I’ll try to do some actual writing about beer. Have a bloody good weekend all.


  1. I'd also have a pool table, along with a dartboard and one of those little skittles lanes you find in germany, all that could be hidden away of course.

    I too would have books, a great selection of outdoors magazines and some board games (pub we used to frequent in bradford had those)

    I would show the cricket rugby and football but in a seperate "cinema" type room apart from little tv screens with no sound in the bar so people can keep up to date with the scores etc.

    I would also have a comdey night one night a month with local acts or dvds of "proper" comedians on.

    Although i wouldn't imagine these would attract people, they would be more for the locals, (my pub being in the middle of no where and all)

    I'd certainly serve food, good local seasonal produce, home cooked, with proper chips, along with a good range of cheese and bar snacks like pies and jerky....nothing too poncy, it is a walkers pub after all.

    Id have a bbq and a pizza oven outside along with a seating area

    I'd also have a campsite, some showers and a changing room for any of the pubs visitors as it would come in really handy in the winter.

    A veg patch and massive poly tunnel along with a few chickens would be pretty cool too

  2. I'll have a pool table some board games. Nice big bowling green out back path and seating round the sides with a big wall on three sides, we would have a big open competition every year with qualifying every week.
    Screens in side would show sports news and good films.
    We would have monthly slots for bands to play but most of the time we have the Radio on sometimes I might let staff or regulars put there favourite cd's on but only back ground volume.
    I would also have some good beery books and daily papers to read.
    Big Jim would do Quiz night on Sundays.

  3. I forgot the food simple seasonal local.
    Pork pie with pickle selection (and brown sauce for the wife)
    Steak & Stout pie on all the time with home made mushy peas and chips
    Pizza's properly done
    And Chilli Nachos
    All home made
    + What ever the chef feels like doing

  4. Given the location of my fantasy pub, on the Road to the Isles in the Highlands, it would be utterly pointless to make a big deal out of having things like live football on a tv, so the bar would perhaps have a regular sized tv showing the Beeb, but no projection screens and things like that. Obviously a fair whack of the passing trade would be hill walkers out bagging Munros, so carpets are out as well - solid wooden floors being so much easier to clean, furniture in general being in the solid traditional wooden mode - not much of one for poncey "bars" - and I would have a large hearth with a peat fire roaring every day. Did I mention yet the pub dog, an Irish Wolfound called Phuca.

    Food is important for me, as is using locally sourced produce as much as possible, so the menu would feature plenty of seafood and game, as well as locally reared lamb/mutton/beef. Fancy a burger and chips? How about venison instead of beef? Although I would use "exotic" ingredients in the minds of some, I would be doing classic dishes, soups, stews, pies - I know very few walkers who stumble into a pub with a mind to haute cuisine instead of something filling, warming and hearty.

    One thing that hasn't really been addressed has been wine and spirits, which I think are just as important as good beer. What is the point selling top notch beer and having second rate wine and whisky? So sorry people, the selection will be limited, but it will be excellent. Single malts will dominate the whisky selection, as well as some Irish whiskeys, but no Johnnie Walker of any colour. I will source as much as possible directly from vineyards, especially French wines (gives my olds an excuse to tour the countryside around their house doing "procurement").

    I would host annual special events to celebrate Burns Night and St Andrew's Day, with special set menus and guest ales. Hogmanay would be the night of the year, with shots of the finest whisky for all at midnight, you can keep your champagne.