Sofas in pubs: there is something alluring about the pub sofa. “Come sit in me” it suggests “I’m better than your poxy stool”. The poxy stool sits there making eyes at the standing punters. But I’m not sure that sofas in pubs are a good idea at all. Most pub sofas seem to be of a cheap and nasty wooden legged stock which actually aren’t that comfortable at all. More worryingly the encourage sitting back. Sitting back means your pint (on the coffee table that always accompanies the sofa) is out of reach. Sitting back encourages lethargy, rather than the edge of the seat cut and thrust that decent pub debate should be about. And soft furnishing just don’t take splashing well.

Is it just that the kind of pubs that have sofas are also the kind of pubs I don’t like (it’s a bit whitewashed walls and no badged beers version of All Bar one-ness). But furniture is important to the experience – a sofa also divides the group, since the usual scenario is two on a sofa and the rest on stools. The only exception to this are nice, bold leather sofas which – if used sparingly can be acceptible; the downstairs of the Glasshouse Stores manages this feat well. I suppose my main gripe with a sofa is that it brooks no rearrangement. A table with stools can be easily expanded to take eight to ten punters, a sofa will only ever take two. It wants to limit me to a couple, it makes suggestions about my lifestyle choices. Its anti the general pub ethos I strive for.