Cheap bevvies beat sticky-car­pet boozer for shiv­er­ing Brits

The West Australian - - OPINION - NATALIE RICHARDS

Once upon a time, a steady stream of British rel­a­tives ar­rived at Chez Richards. They had an A to Z of wildlife to see, de­manded bar­bies for ev­ery meal and wanted beers with a nice view of the “sea­side”.

That was where things started to get hairy. Once they’d got over the hor­ror of find­ing out the Aussies re­ally don’t drink Fos­ters, my Pommy vis­i­tors re­alised those British pounds didn’t stretch quite as far in Scar­bor­ough, WA as they did in Scar­bor­ough, Eng­land.

A pint that might have cost a cou­ple of quid back home would set them back the equiv­a­lent of eight pounds ster­ling in the WA sun­shine — and it’d be a bloody schooner.

Granted there’s a slight dif­fer­ence be­tween a sticky-car­pet boozer in the north of Eng­land and a spot with a view of the In­dian Ocean with Edi­son light fea­tures, but as is in­evitable with Poms, the whinge­ing soon be­gan.

Reg­u­lar read­ers of th­ese pages may re­mem­ber me fum­ing about Perth’s pub­lic hol­i­day sur­charges, $30 break­fasts and ex­tor­tion­ate charges for a “proper” cof­fee be­ing a turn-off for tourists.

For my British mates, they were. A few years ago, vis­i­tor num­bers be­gan to drop off. The re­quests for a lease on my spare room were re­placed with in­vi­ta­tions to “meet half­way in Thai­land. It’s dead cheap to eat out there, you know”.

Af­ter all, we’re talk­ing about a na­tion­al­ity which judges the en­joy­ment of a hol­i­day on the weather and the price of a pint.

It comes as no sur­prise to hear Sand­grop­ers have been miss­ing out on for­eign tourists, who favour in­stead our Eastern States coun­ter­parts. The Poms aren’t daft, they know they can go out in the Eastern States without re­turn­ing to Pom­my­land with an over­draft.

But, a mes­sage to Poms con­sid­er­ing a trip Down Un­der — it’s time to pack your case and book your ticket on the Lon­don-to-Perth flight.

Some­one over here has fi­nally got the memo.

For­get fancy over­priced schooners, even The Break­wa­ter — one of the city’s big­gest Pommy hotspots — prom­ises we’ll no longer have to “pay through the nose” to en­joy a bevvy with a view.

In fact, thanks to this new thing called a beer price war, you might even get change for a fiver at some pubs th­ese days.

While the fancy among us might turn their noses up at $10 parma nights and cheap booze, for ev­ery snob, there’s an army of vis­i­tors happy to re­turn.

Cheap pints are great for lo­cals, and could be just what we need to bring for­eign­ers back to our shores.

Mean­while, I’d bet­ter clear out the spare room.

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