Last night I went for a very pleasant beer or three in The Rake, in Borough Market. If you like real ale and a real pub, this is a must visit. I often pop in and enjoy the establishments offering. Be warned though, it is a proper pub. It is not a place for a romantic dinner, as the food offering is limited to crisps and nuts. You go there to drink beer and chat. That is what the pub should be all about.
Sadly, the pubco's don't see it that way. They see huge profits in food. As a result we've seen the horrendous advent of the gastro pub. These are not really pubs at all. You don't go there to get sloshed and talk rubbish to strangers, you go for a meal and heaven forbid that any noisy drunk disturbs you.
A real British pub has darts, a telly showing racing and football, and is full of people doing there best to get inebriated. Sadly, this concept has been lost in the suburbs. In Mill Hill only The Bridge clings to this ethos of being a beer only pub. Why is a pub like The Rake packed, but the concept not even attempted in Mill Hill? Why don't we have proper community pubs selling great ales?
The answer is down to the fact the previous Tory government forced breweries out of the pub business. Breweries used pubs to sell their products, but the government saw this as a monopoly. They destroyed it. Now we have pubco's that are seemingly more interested in selling pubs to property developers.
Is the pub as we know it doomed? Maybe not if we can persuade the current Conservative government to repair the damage. They should start with a fact finding mission to The Rake!