THE COUNTRY PUBLICAN [To the Editor of the SPECTATOR.]
-MaY I endorse every word that Mr. P. Williams says about the country public-house ? I have just returned from a week's walking and motoring in North Wilts, and the memory of frustrated hopes of tea is still vivid.
I have tramped, cycled and motor-cycled for twenty-five years about the southern half of England, and with the exception of certain recognized tourist centres, have found this difficulty everywhere. As a young girl I lived for some years in Germany and did cycling and walking tours both in that country and Austria, and never had the slightest difficulty in getting coffee—the equivalent of tea with us—or food and a clean bed for a most moderate sum anywhere in the smallest village inn.
In the recognized tourist districts like Exmoor and Dartmoor there are generally plenty of places for tea, but always at a fixed charge of is. 6d. to 2s—a large tea with cream and jam, which one does not by any means always want.
I have never found it possible to get just tea and bread and butter, or to choose, in fact, the food I want. Surely the licensing justices could do something to compel the " public " house to be public, and at any rate to provide tea, bread, eggs and cheese if desired. In rather remote places perhaps it is too much to expect meat meals, for where custom is uncertain stocks provided and not used would be a dead loss. Will some enterprising concern arise and provide a chain of decent inns about the country, with reasonable and clean refresh- ments ?—I Sir, &c., K. DOUGLAS SMITH.
[Our wayside eating houses have not kept pace with the great development in motoring. There are great opportuni- ties awaiting the individual or company that will cater for the ever-growing numbers who frequent our highways and bYwaYs. The Trust Houses are doing much, but much still remains to be done. Great Britain as a whole is far behind foreign countries in this respect, as our correspondent points clut.:—ED.- Spectator.]