The Road To Pimm’s Expertise!
The weather in Britain being what it is, it’s never entirely clear when spring ends, and summer begins. According to the Met Office, it starts on the first of June. By the astronomical calendar, it begins on the 21st of June, the longest day of the year.
For most of us, I suspect, it’s rather indistinct, and depends on a combination of things like the weather, the amount of daylight, the appearance of the plants and birds around us, and so on. And among the signs that we rely on, consciously or otherwise, is the appearance of Pimm’s in bars, restaurants and pubs.
What makes a great pub? Most people will agree that excellent food and a good selection of drinks are a necessity. But there is also something else that can be harder to pin down: a pub’s atmosphere. And yet a good atmosphere is critical to a pub’s success. Not only can it determine whether a customer enjoys visiting your pub but, more critically, it can predict how likely they are to want to return.
Coffee and the British
The UK enjoys an unsullied reputation as tea connoisseurs extraordinaire. However, a quiet national secret is the unthinkable rising popularity of coffee in UK workplaces, homes, restaurants and yes, the most sacred ground of all – the English Pub!
However, a look back at the UK’s coffee tradition suggests that we should not be surprised by the popularity of coffee houses. Historian Brian Cowan says English coffeehouses were, “Places where people gathered to drink coffee, learn the news of the day, and perhaps to meet with other local residents and discuss matters of mutual concern.” The conversation was always lively and informative. The absence of alcohol kept conversations on message. Like today, coffeehouses became place where financial news was discussed and financial transactions and investments were completed.
The first English coffeehouses appeared on the scene in the 17th century when travellers brought the treasured bean to England’s shores. The coffeehouse industry continued to expand into the 18th century. Political positions, fashion statements, current events and gossip dominated the conversation. Everything that typified the Age of Enlightenment interested coffee house customers.
History Of The British Public House
The description “public house” was first coined in the 17th century. Ever since, the British public house has survived periods of extreme popularity and periods of regrettable decline. For Brits and for international tourists, the British public house is part of the endearing culture that helps the economy and welcomes guests hospitably.
Britain has a long history of taverns, alehouses and hospitable inns. Taverns served wine. Alehouses served beer and ale and inns provided much needed accommodations for travellers. The British pub borrows a little bit of all these institutions.
The British public house changed the landscape and usually had a strong local community presence. People came to the first pubs to conduct business or share results from a sporting or wagering event. Pubs had great flexibility and loads of local colour.
UK champagne makers had another down year in 2012 and there are signs that the export slump is not about to turn around anytime soon. We can blame the export dilemma on the French but it is UK champagne producers who are feeling the pain.
The French are undergoing their highly publicized austerity issues. Politicians and the general citizenry have resisted it to great extremes but the troubled economy and massive unemployment is definitely reflected in changing lifestyle choice. Continue reading