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The Ultimate Fairytale : A short history of Greece, Rome, Israel, England, France, and Germany.

Uncle Jim's is a coffee shop which thinks it is a pub.

It used to be the kind of place which owns the sum total of one deep frier and one refrigerator to store a sufficiency of starch and protein in case someone becomes sick with drink: 'One life-saver hot dog and chips, immediately!'

This is why South-African pubs call themselves family restaurants; the watering-holes called themselves pubs.

The distinction between a coffee-shop and a pub is not always clear: firstly we need to point out that tea-gardens are places which are run for and by the abstemious.

The new Uncle Jim's has a proper pub menu; however this does not make it a pub: for a coffee-shop menu is a pub menu.

Not drinking there every night I am not considered a regular. Change of ownership can estrange those of us who frequent places infrequently.

This is merely mentioned by the way: I do not believe only regulars should have the right to question the price of something on the menu.

And receive an affable response!

Directly from someone who has the authority to override prices!

There being not many options around, I might find myself returning there for a coffee and a chat with a stranger (or a regular).

But quite honestly, I'd rather go to a tea garden; if such a thing still existed.

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