If you think producing a pub guide is easy, think again. For a start, sorting the wheat from the chaff is not a straightforward choice; one person’s dive is another’s favourite local.
Traditional pubs are our thing. If that was narrowed to ‘unchanged’ there would be virtually no pubs on this site at all. What we look for is authenticity in the fabric of the building, coupled with good service, food and beer. Individuality scores highly too, quirky is good in our book. Local is good too; serving local beers, sourcing food locally and serving the local community are important.
Then there’s the bar staff. A great looking boozer can be spoilt by staff that are offhand or just poorly trained; conversely, an otherwise mediocre pub rockets up the scoreboard with knowledgeable, friendly staff. As with any business, it’s only as good as the people it employs.
Another challenge is consistency. The shift from tenants to managers leads to a much higher turnover of publicans. Consequently, a good manager who runs a pub well will often move on to a new challenge. There are exceptions of course, Gerry O’Brien who runs on of England’s best pubs, the Churchill Arms in Kensington, has been its manager longer than he likes to recall.
The pubs.com slogan is ‘passionate about pubs’, obsessive some might say, but pubs are in our blood. They are part of our heritage, as important as monarchy, but much more fun. Like good wine, and beer for that matter, the more one knows, the deeper one’s appreciation. If we don’t use and care for our great pub tradition, it will disappear.
We like to think of ourselves as modern, but so did the Victorians, their pubs were ‘cutting edge’ and they demolished many fine old buildings to make way for them. Ironically, their new pubs have become today’s historic ones. The Victorians were carrying on a centuries old tradition and so are we. The first Elizabethans went to the pub, chatted about the news of the day and enjoyed a beer. We hope that our website will help keep that tradition alive.
We’ve traipsed the streets and visited as many pubs as possible; in the pages of this site we’ve passed on what we’ve learnt. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it!