Good Food Blog
Smoking hotPosted at 4:30PM, 19 July 2010 by Lily Barclay - Writer, bbcgoodfood.com
The weather's scorching, and with it come all the usual British summer staples: sunburn, shorts and al fresco smoking. Sitting outside at pavement cafes is an important part of kidding ourselves that we too can be Continental, but when it comes to swallowing someone else's cigarette smoke with my cappuccino, I quickly lose my carefree cool.
I've got nothing against smokers, after all they are a valuable source of tax revenue
One of the perils of the smoking ban is that smokers everywhere are after those outside tables, but when you're sitting in a sunny restaurant courtyard, it can quickly turn into a smoky fug. Especially when the majority of cigarettes are pointed in the opposite direction from their owners. I've got nothing against smokers, after all they are a valuable source of tax revenue, I'd just rather their smoke wasn't directed towards my table. The last thing you want when you're eating a refreshing summer salad or a cooling lime posset is a mouthful of smoke as an aftertaste.
Perhaps the smoking ban should be seasonal; smokers should be restricted to outdoors in the winter and safely shut up inside in the summer. The trouble is this would leave the majority of my friends and even some of my family bolted up behind closed doors.
Having lunch with an old work friend last Christmas turned into a fairly drawn-out affair when she left the table every ten minutes to have a smoke, and that was after being persuaded that December is not the best time of year to eat outside.
It doesn't seem so long ago that I was sitting at a communal table in Chinatown while everyone happily puffed away, but times have changed and my tolerance seems to have dropped. I can cope with smoke at crowded bus stops, outside work and even in the park, but not as an aperitif to my main course.
How do you feel about smoking in outdoor restaurants?