Back in 1995, Hubby and I went on a business trip to Ireland, where we spent a wonderful week in Dublin traveling back and forth from the area of the city known as Rathgar to the City Centre to attend the conference. At the time, smoking was allowed just about everywhere--which was no fun for me, as I'm allergic to cigarette smoke. But every evening (while I tried to learn Irish on TV), Hubby went down to the local pub for a Guinness or two. (Which, as their motto proclaims, is good for you.)
Hubby took lots of notes, and once we returned from the Emerald Isle, he decided he wanted a pub of his own. (Okay, actually before we returned home, as he started accumulating stuff to decorate said pub during the trip.)
It was with meticulous care that he drew up plans for a bar, and enlisted my dad and brother to help him fabricate it. The bartop is 1.5" of solid oak, and is faced with barn wood, the same as the finished basement. This barnwood came from Ogdensburg NY, from the previous owner's grandfather's barn, which was built in the 1860s.
I got into the swing of things when Hubby let me take over the decoration of the bar. One of the first things we bought was a denim couch, which we found at an Eddie Bauer store. It is the most comfortable couch in the world. I picked out the rest of the furniture, mostly from antique shops and yard sales, so we have an eclectic mix of styles. From hanging ristras to pictures of Queen Elizabeth (one of which Hubby took on a trip to Toronto), it's a wonderful, comfortable room. We keep adding things to the decorative mix. My aunt recently posted a picture of my grandmother on her Facebook page--one I'd never seen. There's Nan (who's been gone 18 years now) sipping a gin and tonic. It's getting framed and will hang in the pub right next to the queen, and we'll give a toast to her now and then.
The only problem with our Pub . . . it's seasonal. That is, it's a "winter" retreat. In the summer, you want to see the sunshine, feel the warm breeze. In the winter, you want to hibernate, and The Pub is the place to go. Winter came a tad early this year--in fact, last night. Oh how wonderful to get back into the Pub Season groove. The Pub houses some of my favorite books and magazines, and reading them again is like visiting a good friend. Even the cats love Pub Season, and went back to their usual "kitty snack spots" without any provocation. Bonnie went back to "the nest" (one of the couch pillows she's pummeled into a comfy spot to nap), Betsy sat on the arm of the chair next to me and purred for two hours straight, while the boys (Chester and Fred) prowled around the room, wondering if they would get in trouble for pouncing on the girls.
We don't spend every evening in The Pub. That would take away from its specialness (is that a word?), so we only use it on weekends. When the wind is blowing snow into drifts during January and February evenings, we'll be tucked away in our pub, listening to music, reading, and -- okay, maybe sampling the water of life -- or a Guinness or two. (After all, it's good for you!)
Where do you like to spend your winter evenings?