There's something about a British, Irish or Aussie pub, in whatever country you're in. I like cafes and restaurants but I love a good pub. If the craic is right, then with a bunch of friends, the missus or on your own with a newspaper, pint and a packet of crisps, you can't beat it. For me, the craic would include:
- some history
- a friendly landlord and some local 'characters'
- lots of wood, but sawdust on the floor, brass fittings and ships' wheels optional
- some decent music is OK but not too loud
- beer garden
- some decent food, but not to the extent that it's a restaurant
- maybe, once in a while, a pool table
- Walkers crisps, not the fancy, overpriced ones
- TV only on big match days
- no live band
Whilst you don't get all of this overseas, Bangkok had a fair few half-decent pubs, Tokyo had the pokey Hubs, and I remember a life-saving Irish pub amongst the gloom of Moscow airport 20 years ago. Beijing meanwhile has Dirty Nellie's, Paddy O'Shea's and the inevitable Mollie Molone's amongst a few others... But this evening I went for the oddly named Nearby the Tree with a couple of friends. If not a 'lads night out', then at least some bloke talk. Not-too-loud Bob Marley music, some good German and Belgian beers and a surprisingly excellent pizza... until the guy with the guitar and Simon & Garfunkel songbook arrived.
PS. I forgot to mention whether the type of beer was an important part of the equation. It isn't actually.