I’m Gonna Hire a Wino to Decorate Our Garden


An English couple, irritated by the new smoking ban in pubs, has decided to set up their own bar at the foot of their garden, according to news reports.  They call it Beach Hut Number Three (the town of Cleethorpes already has a Beach Hut Number One and Two), and because they don’t charge for the liquor, they claim that their venture is entirely legal.  They just buy a keg, put out a donations jar, and start pouring.  According to their beer supplier:

"There are a lot more people buying off the internet now.
Our barrels are up to £50 cheaper than the breweries, so we are saving
people money. There is a trend towards people setting up their own
bars. We provide them with a range of 1,500 wines and can do parties
and provide staff.

This little venture has saved them over £5,000 in bar bills, the couple claims.  (Note to self:  Never add up annual bar bill, or annual garden bill, for that matter).

How I envy Brits and their pub culture. At the end of the day, I’m still at my damn computer, typing away, while they are out at the pub with their friends. This isn’t just a wistful American stereotype, either–I was in England last year, staying with actual British friends, and it was clear that our evening pub visits weren’t just in our honor–they really did spend their evenings hanging out and chatting with their friends.    To do all that and be in the garden?  All the better, even if the primary motivation is to be able to smoke.

Now local officials are snooping around to see if they can put a stop to this unruly behavior. We’ll keep you posted on further developments, but meanwhile, watch the video here.

And speaking of videos, this one is not much to watch, but damn, doesn’t this song get your toes a-tappin? Happy Friday, folks.


  1. Personal experience of Cleethorpes and its “pub culture” requires me to suggest that this will be nowhere near as awesome as the report paints it.

    I do agree that in principle the garden bar is awesome however.

  2. You come to New Orleans, we’ll sit under the palmettos in the courtyard drinking wine with the neighbors, head to sit under the bananas up the street, or the cypress. We’ll have shrimp creole, smell the jasmine and the russian olive, and watch the butterflies covering the passion flowers overhead. Just wait another week; currently, we’re moving the furniture into the house until this unwanted visitor Gustav passes by.

  3. I’m with Michelle on this one. Another thought: Sure, they have the right to protest the smoking ban, but do they have the right to impose their smoke and noise on their neighbors? Years ago, we lived down the street from a neighbor who threw big, noisy parties every Friday and Saturday night all summer long. It got very, very old, especially so for his immediate neighbors.

    mrtumnas – I’ll bet you are a Narnia fan. I’ve loved that series since I first read them when I was 11.

  4. I’d be more concered about drinking than smoking. If you want to party don’t drive. Local officials should stop drunk driving!

  5. I guess in American it would be about $10,000 a year. Wow, I like to drink, but that seems like a figure I’d be concerned about.

  6. Geeeez,who worries about smoking outside?When we have People over they can drink and smoke all they want.On the Patio.They happen to be responsible Adults.Some are neighbors who will walk up the steet (on the sidewalk)or they ride with someone who wont drink that evening.Relax People,informal Get-to-gethers are FUN.And no,we dont do that every Weekend.

  7. Hey everyone chill out on the smoking bans. If I want to smoke a cigar outside in the evening it is my right to do so. The amount of smoke drifting across to your yard is nil…………….

    I do not smoke, do not like ciggarettes but leave smokers alone outside already.

    If you are worried about friends having a drink and smoke in the backyard (backyard not back deck of ajoining townhomes apartments, condos etc.) then I suggest get the hell out of town and golive in the woods ALONE.

    I am with luise h. on this one.

  8. greg/luise – in the states you’d probably be right in a town in the UK the gardens/houses are generally so close that a load of smokers in the next garden could be a real irritation. I guess it depends on the situation in question but I can certainly see how it would be annoying in the british ‘burbs.

  9. You may have misconstrued my comments, greg and luise. I’m not talking about the occasional, informal gathering of friends here. Beach Hut Number Three’s owners Paul and Angie Snelson created a pub substitute in their neighborhood. They added heaters, full screen TV and other pub-type amenities, making it usable year-round and, by his admission, it is, “open all hours.” However, it’s hard to tell from the reports how large their crowds are, how often it’s used or how much it impacts their neighbors.

    As I wrote above, I’ve lived through several summers of one neighbor’s party after party after party and we all got tired of his actions limiting whether we could use or even enjoy our backyards. I would have liked very much to have had friends over for dinner and drinks, conversation and laughter. We could have done the former 2 but conversation was impossible. The party’s noise and loud music prevented anything but the occasional shouted word and lots of hand signals. But we had it better than his immediate neighbors who had to put up with smoke that drifted over the fence. Yes, greg, it does, especially when you live as I do, in an area where 5000 sq ft lots are the norm.

    Neighborly consideration is the issue and it’s two sided: toleration and respect, neither of which should be abused.

  10. I addressed the point of adjoining decks etc. I realize that many places yards are small and very close. I too would have a problem with a late night pub in my neighbors yard. It would take all the business waay from mine.

    Hopefully they have enough British class to limit the soirees to early evenings and certainly not every night of the week.

    Smoke over the fence of a small yard does cause problems I guess but in my opinion only if a lot of people are smoking. I have lived with small yard sizes as well and more often than not dog CR*P was more more a permeating odor problem than cigarette smoke.

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