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Username: pub_war

Age: 41

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The Cricketers, Richmond

The Cricketers occupies a similar space in the imagination to concerned Richmondites as Iran might do to President Obama. It's a genuine threat to security and degrading to humanity but YOU JUST CAN'T GET RID OF IT.

The problem is that it almost certainly makes an enormous amount of money, having what must be one of the best locations anywhere within Greater London, facing Richmond Green.

The Cricketers' biggest crime is not the laughable food that gets microwaved round the back and served for 5 a pop to people intent on securing themselves a stomach ulcer.

Nor is it the two fingered salute to beer drinking that constitutes its selection of ales. No, the biggest crime of the Cricketers is disappointment.

It disappoints on every imaginable level.

It looks beautiful from the outside but is stunningly, life denyingly generic inside: stale wooden panelling, mismatched colours, a quiz machine. For one, desperate, period it even had a Costa Coffee corner. Thankfully the staff appeared to have difficulty working the machine, so that got binned.

The staff themselves know they are doing something wrong. They know they work in an establishment with the moral framework of Harold Shipman on a Saga holiday. That's why they're so rude. Their conscience is depriving them of the energy needed to be polite. They've seen too much, suffered too long.

And then there is the TV. The cricketers can't even get TV right. TV only has a limited function in a decent pub. On the margins, Sky Sports pay per view can, just about, be justified.

But, of course, the Cricketers doesn't need Sky Sports because people will walk in even if Beelzebub himself were pulling pints of children's blood. So instead of sports, one has the odd experience of watching rolling news channels, silently.

Now this is all very well in the anteroom of an investment bank but in a pub? On Richmond Green? Really? The intention is to use television as a replacement for wallpaper. They couldn't think of a design scheme so they got Rupert Murdoch to choose the colours. That red white and blue works a treat!

So really, what you're looking at when you look at the Cricketers is exploitation. It doesn't NEED to be any good. The managers could electrocute customers ever quarter of an hour and still meet their volume targets.

The Cricketers is a sap sucking weed in the fragile, decaying ecology of the Richmond pub scene. All the pretty flowers are blooming elsewhere, the Cricketers is turning Richmond into an ugly desert.

21 Feb 2012 12:28

The Earth and Stars, Brighton

The Earth and Stars is an impressive outfit.

We went after the Brighton Half Marathon and were impressed by how cosy the interior was, very welcome after the exertions of the morning.

The food was, by pub standards, top notch, and for once I didn't resent paying for a roast. Also impressed by the staff who were affable but on the ball. The waitress said she had spent the previous night worrying about how busy the day would be, I think that's a good sign.

There also seemed to be a reasonable selection of beers although i didn;t get stuck in due to being completely knackered...but all in all a real example of how great a good pub can be.

21 Feb 2012 11:44

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pub_war has been registered on this site since 21st February 2012