So, there I am – a couple of years back – one of those lazy, hazy summer days before the madness and mayhem of my current life, sat in this pub with a mate just chewing the fat. You would think that all’s well with the world. Except it isn’t, because the ‘pub’ in which we find ourselves ensconced, isn’t really a pub at all. For a start, there’s not a real hand pull in site – I’ve seen more decent pumps at the local Q8 than in this dubious boozer. And talking of boozers, it doesn’t really fit that description either. That would imply an assortment of colourful characters philosophising, jovially haranguing, and speculating on how to find love in a dark place. This gaff is wall-to-wall Girls Aloud – okay, could be worse. Except this proliferation of totty is a major distraction from the serious business of getting a little toasted. And then there’s the problem of what to drink. There’s nothing on the gleaming chrome taps to give the slightest hint of what carbonated nonsense is going to pour forth. One thing’s for sure – whatever does come out will be cold. In fact, judging by the ice-clad, dispensing sculptures, it’ll be bloody freezing.
With a heavy heart, there’s nothing for it but to hit the top shelf and reminisce on the good old days. And then the magic starts to happen. Gradually, through hazy, starry eyes, those ‘Angel of The North’ size bar taps take on the good old phallic shape of pumps gone by; the chinking glasses of Chardonnay against Pinot Grigio becomes the resonant clash of the titans as eye-wateringly hoppy IPA meets viscous, dark stout. The Thai prawn and guava Cajun tortilla wrap combo morphs into a golden globe of free-range Scotch egg, while the bottle-tossing barman seems to be suddenly delivering an aerated pint of the finest, pillowy-headed bitter. Happy days, and me and my mate are in full flow – waxing lyrical about beer and food; imagining flavours long since gone, and atmospheres of a bygone age. Maybe we’re just a couple of old farts getting pissed in a place we simply don’t belong. But then again – maybe not, because do you know the best bit of all? Girls Aloud are still alive and kicking, crystal clear and gazing in our direction. By George, I think we’ve just conceived our perfect pub. Cheers!