With the pub industry dying I have been moved by the romantic notions of pubs and given some thought as to how you can create the pub experience in your own home, without the hassle and cost of actually having to go in one. With only 53,466 pubs in existence, there’ll all be gone in under 20 years.
Firstly I recommend watching the following TV show for inspiration. It is an accurate representation of the average dumpy pub and watching this in the comfort of your own home has to beat walking into one of these god forsaken places.
So what do we do with our pleasant, well furnished and modern living room? Well firstly the decor is easy to replicate but the general tattiness more difficult. Throw everything out. The big flat screen telly, the comfy sofa’s, the books, the DVD’s, the lot. Replace with a series of uncomfortable benches around the room and a wobbly table or two and mismatching chairs. Open a can of beer and splash liberally everywhere to get the requite degree of stickiness. Splash on table, chairs and most importantly the carpet. Burn bits of the carpet too to create holes and carve the odd profanity into the tables. If there is cushioning on the benches and chairs, rip with a kitchen knife and gaffer tape it up. On the wall put an old telly showing pop videos. Decorate the walls with tat. Beer mats make an exciting alternative to wallpaper. Chip the walls to reveal the underlying plaster and write the odd profanity here too. For effect you could also mimic an odd brown stain on the ceiling, with the use of gravy browning. Never clean the place, or if you do, do so in a half hearted manner that retains the stickiness and general feeling that it is dirty.
Now for the smell. Toilet is the smell to go for and in order to do this in the home there is the choice of having the effect all round the house or just in your pub themed living room. Cease cleaning the toilet and flushing it leaving a turd floating constantly in it. Over time the smell will dominate the house, giving the place the authentic aroma of traditional British pub. Alternatively just keep a bucket in the corner of the living room with a turd in it, but for the full effect you have to have a toilet that you would never want to enter.
Do not invite round friends or people you like. Invite round 3 or four miserable old men, picked at random off the street, to sit in your living room, nursing a can of bitter in silence and sighing occasionally. Encourage racist comments about the Asian proprietor of the mini mart and rants in regard to immigration. The atmosphere you are looking for is one of “oh death, welcome me into your embrace” Always have an unappealing rough looking chap stood outside nursing a fag.
Now sit in your uncomfortable living room, nursing your can of cooking lager safe in the knowledge that a great British tradition lives on. You’ll never tear the heart out of Britain, Mr Darling!