Horses throw toads to win quirky British pub championship 

LONDON: With the final brass “toad” nestled at the bottom of the hole, team members from the Black Horse club jumped in the air to chest bump after becoming world champions at one of Britain’s more obscure pub games.Toad, which is said to have originated in France hundreds of years ago, involves throwing four large brass coins, or “toads”, at a small hole on a lead square nearly eight feet (2.44 meters) away.Two points are awarded for throwing a toad in the hole, with one point awarded for landing it on the lead table.”Is toad skilful? Absolutely. You’ll see players with varying techniques and skills that they’ve honed over a period of time,” competitor Bryan Vaananen told Reuters.

“You can’t just rock up and chuck it in the hole.”The Black Horse came out victorious at Wednesday’s championship at a hall in the team’s home town of Lewes in southern England. More than 50 teams vied for the title, an increase on last year’s entrants.The game is hugely popular in the East Sussex town, having waned elsewhere in English pubs amid competition from darts and pool.

Source: Horses throw toads to win quirky British pub championship – Channel NewsAsia


Why British pubs are closing, and how we can save them

Things have been declining for decades. There were 67,800 pubs in Britain in 1982, and 60,100 as recently as 2002. By 2015, there were just 50,800.

Campaigners are calling for action to stop the trickle of pub closures turning into a flood. An average of 18 pubs a week are shutting down, according to research by Camra (Campaign for Real Ale), which puts much of the blame on a “triple whammy” tax burden. Rising business rates, which have also struck retailers on the high street, have combined with VAT and “one of the highest rates of beer duty across Europe” to put pub landlords under a strain they are finding it difficult to withstand, Camra says. Campaigners called for ministers to use Brexit as a chance to ease the burden.

“As Britain prepares to leave the European Union, the Government has a unique opportunity to update the tax system to better support pubs, which are a bastion of British culture and at the heart of communities across the country,” said Colin Valentine, Camra’s national chairman. We’ve heard the tax line before, notably from Wetherspoons’ Tim Martin. But is there really a problem? And how do we fix it? [ . . . ]

Read Full Story at INEWS: Why British pubs are closing, and how we can save them

Pubs in danger: Six charts on how the British drink 

Across Great Britain, adults are drinking less often. So how are tastes changing and why are they cutting back?

But 18 pubs across the country closed every week in the second half of 2017, according to The Campaign for Real Ale (Camra).

So how are UK drinking habits changing? What are the UK’s favourite drinks and how often are adults drinking?

1. Pubs are closing their doors

In 2016, 500 pubs across the UK called last orders for the final time.

Since 2000, the number of pubs in the UK has fallen by 17%, or 10,500 pubs, according to the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA).

The decline has been blamed on a number of reasons – high taxes on pints, the smoking ban, the price of food and drink going up, and the 2008 recession meaning that consumers had less to spend in their local.

But the BBPA say that the rate of pub closures is slowing down.

About 1,100 pubs closed their doors in 2015, but fewer than half that number closed in 2016.

2. More beer bought in shops than pubs

The volume of beer sold in supermarkets and off-licences (off-trade) in the UK topped the volume sold in pubs, clubs and restaurants (on-trade) for the first time in 2014 [ . . . ]

Read more at BBC: Pubs in danger: Six charts on how the British drink – BBC News

The Manchester mural tucked away in the roof garden of a city centre pub – and THIS one’s not just the same old faces

The artwork has been installed at the Old Nags Head after a mural by new restaurant 20 Stories proved controversial

From musical icons Morrissey and Marr to celebrated wordsmiths John Cooper Clarke and Lemn Sissay, the mural is a celebration of some of the region’s most revered artists.

Maxine Peake, Emmeline Pankhurst, Noel Gallagher, The Stone Roses, Jean Alexander, Steve Coogan and Frank Sidebottom are among others to feature in the incredible piece of artwork.

The pub, off Deansgate in Manchester city centre, is already well-known for its huge collection of images of George Best and other Manchester United stars. [ . . . ]

Watch Video at the Source: MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS The Manchester mural tucked away in the roof garden of a city centre pub – and THIS one’s not just the same old faces – Manchester Evening News

The Blue Posts is a perfect pub in the middle of Soho

Zoe and Layo Paskin – the geniuses behind The Palomar and The Barbary – are doing their bit to spread the good vibes across town.Hot on the heels of launching coffee shop Jacob The Angel next door to The Barbary, they’ve taken over old boozer The Blue Posts two doors down from The Palomar. And clearly in the mood for giving, they’ve turned it into not one but three new venues.

The Blue Posts

First up, on the ground floor, is the pubby part. It retains the original name and much of the character, but has been given a spruce up, had its bar transformed into a dining counter, and craft beer installed on the taps.

The food offering is more or less limited to bar snacks – but there’s much more than mere peanuts (which incidentally come coated in harissa, and are very good indeed). Heavily buttered anchovy soldiers are simple but seductive, homemade sausage rolls are robustly meaty, and a plate of fried Jerusalem artichokes in a tahini-esque hazelnut sauce is a marker of how good vegetable dishes can be.

Flying the flag among a short selection of sandwiches is a New England fried fish sandwich. Encased in brioche and dripping with tartare sauce, it’s a filet-o-fish for the foodie set – and what’s not to love about that?

Somehow, despite its Soho location, it still manages to feel a little bit local. And even the pork crackling is particularly, well, cracking. Simply put, it’s a pretty perfect pub [ . . . ]

Read more at GOLONDON: The Blue Posts is a perfect pub in the middle of Soho