I took my aged aunt out for lunch the other week. We do go fairly often, now that she is well over 90, her pool of pals is diminishing weekly. I however am not and we tootle off to pubs in nearby villages. The thing that struck us both on our last such jaunt, was the similarity between all the pubs by way of decor and furnishing. They are owned and run by different groups, some breweries, others holding companies and one or two privateers. There must be a company out there specifically aiming at all the pubs in the country, they’re very much smarter than days of yore – to reflect the more affluent circle of customers that now queue patiently for a table. They all seem to dispense with carpet – a good thing – replacing with sturdy oak effect wooden floors. The furniture, tables from the smart oak fining to tough farmhouse, with wooden chairs. The recent phase of putting as many mismatched chairs together in one room as possible is now passing and one pub did have all very smart matching sets of 4 or 6 round each table. The woodwork or gloss paintwork around the pubs all tends to be that smart pale beige/grey to allow curtains and furnishings from the same colour palette reflecting a country air – images of hares, deer, foxes etc. A case of bringing the much loved village pub in nearer the punters with the money!