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Best smoking area? No thanks!

Our search for the pub with the best smoking area has suffered a setback.

Following an appeal to friends of Forest, supporters of the Save Our Pubs & Clubs campaign, and readers of this blog, we received an encouraging number of nominations and some warm comments.

The next step was to write to the landlords, inviting them to complete and return the official nomination form, which they had to sign.

So far so good. Unfortunately very few recipients returned the form by the closing date, so this week, with the deadline extended to May 27, I asked a colleague to chase them up.

Some licensees responded positively but several said they didn't want to receive an award for Best Smoking Area. One landlord – a belligerent Australian – went even further.

"Best Smoking Area?" he raged. "I'm bigger than that." Pause. "You get me?"

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Reader Comments (7)

Nice try but the idea was doomed from the start. No landlord is going to offer an open invitation for the Rauchpolizi to pay him a visit.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011 at 9:40 | Unregistered CommenterGeorge Speller

The best smoking areas do not fully comply with the letter of the law. My relatives pub had a very comfortable smoking area in a small courtyard sheltered on all 4 sides and even partially roofed, nice tables and chairs and even a tv, definately not within the law but he never recived any complaints or official visits warning that it did not comply. Everyone quietly accepted it as it was outside. My relative waited for an official warning to materialise, in which case he would have had to scrap the courtyard idea and force people onto the street to smoke. A lot of pub and club landlords have done the same and will understandably shy away from this idea. They are not going to want to draw attention that could spark a visit from the clipboard carrying suited and booted.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011 at 10:23 | Unregistered CommenterAntony H

"I'm bigger than that", ? "you get me"? is it me or WTF is that supposed to mean?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011 at 11:37 | Unregistered CommenterFrank

Nobody in their right mind who has a decent smoking area will admit to it because it will be illegal. That was the point - to make it miserable to sit in a smoking area. The whole idea of this competition is sickening. It suggests that smokers are happy to sit in the cold. I'm pleased you have had few replies.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011 at 11:50 | Unregistered CommenterJon

Not a lot to add - the best smoking areas are by definition illegal as no area that is 50% open to the elements could ever be considered comfortable in this country, I don't care how many heaters etc there are.

It was, as others have mentioned, also ideologically flawed. Like praising the quality of stitching on the yellow star you're forced to wear.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011 at 14:33 | Unregistered CommenterMr A

I know of a pub with a great smoking area, it is not officially designated as such but its very popular with all the pubs customers. Very comfortable it is nearly 90% enclosed so I can't nominate it. It does mean smokers are accommodated all year round not just in the summer month!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011 at 15:39 | Unregistered CommenterMark

I would say that if anyone nominated the sub-human Aussie landlord to receive such an award they should now boycott his pub and tell his other smoking customers that he despises them and they should spend their money where they are welcome.

Having just read that smoking is to be eradicated here in the UK by 2040 - I am living in fear. I hope I die before then. I may still be here but I will spend my last days in prison for refusing to quit.

Frankly, anyone who supports this hate crime against a selective lifestyle minority group is the criminal.

Thursday, May 26, 2011 at 17:44 | Unregistered CommenterPat Nurse

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