Last night I went to the pub for dinner with my good friend Bonnie. We went to the Boathouse, which is a pretty low-key pub near the river, and conveniently opposite Evans Cycles, should that sort of thing be up your street. I got there first and ordered a lime and soda, the non-drinkers drink of choice.
Not drinking alcohol doesn’t stop you from going to the pub, but what it does do is stop you having a great choice when you get there. Drinkers have beer (of various types), wine, spirits, mixers and even cocktails to choose from (yes, the Boathouse has cocktails on its menu; no, I can’t imagine anyone at the Boathouse ever ordering one). Non-drinkers have sugary soft drinks, occasional non-alcoholic beer and hot beverages. I’m not a huge fan of lime but at least a lime and soda is not a complete sugar overload.
“That’ll be two pounds, please”, the barman said.
Two pounds? Two actual British pounds? For a dash of cordial in some fizzy water?
I grumbled my way back to the table and when Bonnie arrived, I told her about the almighty rip off. She went off to the bar and came back with a glass of soda water. I asked her how much it was: free. And she got a slice of lime!
On the plus side, we got two main courses for a tenner, which means Mac & Cheese with garlic bread is only three quid more expensive than a bit of cordial.