I have just returned from a work trip out to Germany. In many ways it was exactly like you would expect. To be clicéic about it everything was well organised, efficient and clean. This applied to everything we came in contact with when we were out there, including the pub.

Zur Gemütlichkeit isn’t really what you’d call a pub. More of a tavern, it’s very german in it’s style (I’m not sure why that surprised me since we drove for seven hours across the continent to get there, it was hardly going to be a facsimile of The Black Friar, was it?). I find it a bit depressing that not two weeks after posting about how crap some places in Britain can be, I find the answer to all the problems and I find it in Deutschland.

I’m just going to bullet point off what I think they got right that so many places in the UK could learn a thing or two from:

  • The place is clean and tidy. And I really mean it. Spotless. Not a  mote of dust anywhere.
  • The food was actually cooked, not just reheated on site. The meat was of quality and not like in the UK, full of gristle.
  • If in the UK you do get food which is as good as in Germany, then you have to pay through the nose for it. This was reasonably priced. For two starter salads, two 300g (11 oz) steak and chips and 10 beers: less that €65! And I remind you, these are the sort of quality steaks you’d easily spend £25 each on in the UK for such a good cut.
  • There is an area for sitting at a bar, an area for eating in a civilised dinner and conversation way and a third area for watching the football that’s away from everyone else, so we don’t have to put up with the commentary when you’re trying to talk.
  • Children weren’t banned, but they behaved. There was no roudy group of underaged teenagers getting catatonic by the bar.
  • Because of the above things, the ambience was right. On the Friday night it was busy and even the restaurant part was louder. There was a group of men sitting together with large steins of beer who would occasionally burst into song, but it was OK because it was in a loud place (by loud I mean the combined murmurings of everyone having a conversation). I can’t imagine they’d have done the same thing on a Wednesday when there were very few customers.
  • The staff go out of their way to help you. Genuinely friendly people.

So to sum up, clean, friendly, good value, well done food and drink. Why is it that to get these things at home it’s all so expensive?