Further news reaches us of badness ahead for Sam Smiths houses. Having watched a fair bit of football during euro 2004 at the Blue Posts, Newman Street, and seen the big screen showing all sorts over the course of our visits, we thought it the perfect place to watch the replay tonight, never too busy, but always a bit of atmos, low likelihood of extreme partisan crowd (unless royal mail fc were playing I suppose). However, as the match is rather important to me at least, I broke one of the fundamental pub laws and PHONED AHEAD.

Viewers, I’m glad I did, as not only are they not showing it, but the big screen has been removed! “It’s our new policy” said the rather sad voice on the end of the phone “no telly and no music.” This has been seen in a couple of other Sam Smiths houses recently as well…

I can only assume that SS are trying to wetherspoonify themselves, which seems like the biggest mistake ever. The wetherspoon backlash is so strong already that they themselves have realised that people LIKE telly and music, which now appear in several of their pubs (not to mention the whole lloyds phenomenon). The joy of sam smiths pubs was, although they were all similar, they still managed some individuality and homeliness and were warm and welcoming places as a result,* a quirky oasis of funny beers and scintilla cola. They are never going to compete with wetherspoons on price to get people through the door, even though they are very cheap. I for one would pay ‘2.00 for a pint of bitter and ‘2.20 for a flatman** (still hardly “london” prices) if it meant the pubs retained what makes them special.

(for any of you interested we are going to The Golden Lion on Dean Street instead, from about 6ish, upstairs probably, UP THE BLEDDY CITY!!)

*three goats heads in oxford possible exception to this, it’s always freezing in there
**TM AlanT