What features would make up your dream pub?
In 1946, George Orwell, the author of Animal Farm and 1984, penned a newspaper article about his ideal pub - the fictional Moon Under Water.
For Orwell, the dream pub would have 10 key attributes, including "a dining room upstairs, where you can get a good solid lunch" and "a garden, with a slide and swings for children".
At the end of his piece, Orwell wrote that he had only ever found a pub with eight of the 10 features.
New YouGov Omnibus research, however, shows that many aspects of Orwell’s ideal pub have stood the test of time.
The results show that at least half of Brits agree on five key characteristics their ideal public house would have - four of which featured in Orwell’s article.
George Orwell's Moon Under Water
1. On a side street, to keep out the drunks or “rowdies”.
2. Most of the customers are regulars and “go there for conversation as much as for the beer”.
3. Its look is uncompromisingly Victorian – “everything has the solid, comfortable ugliness of the 19th century” – and there is a log fire in winter.
4. A dining room upstairs, where you can get a good solid lunch. Only snacks are served in the evening.
5. Downstairs there is a public bar, a saloon bar and a ladies’ bar.
6. No radio, no piano. It is always quiet enough to talk.
7 The barmaids know the customers’ names and call them “dear”, but never “ducky”.
8. It sells tobacco, stamps and even aspirin.
9. The beer (including a “soft, creamy stout”) is always served in a glass with a handle. Ideally, a pewter or china pot.
10. There is a garden, with a slide and swings for children. It is “puritanical nonsense” to ban children.
He wrote, at the end of the piece, that he had only ever found a pub with eight of the 10 features.
What's most important to you?
The single most important feature of Britons' ideal pub is that it would serve meals (67%). Having a beer garden - "it is 'puritanical nonsense' to ban children, opined Orwell - is the second most common feature (63%).
The top five features of the ideal pub are rounded off by the presence of a fireplace (52%) and the only one of the top five not to be on Orwell’s list), bar staff knowing regular customers and taking an interest in everyone ("the barmaids know the customers’ names and call them 'dear', but never 'ducky', wrote Orwell), and selling snacks (50%).
Pub features deemed to be less essential include serving real ale (37%), hosting live music and having background music (both 35%) and hosting pub quizzes (34%).