When I kick started my drinking career in the early 1970's, multi-room pubs were still the norm. As was the price differential between them. Being a cheapskate, I always drank in the Public. So I'd be paying 14p rather than 15p for my pint of Hole's Mild. There were still plenty of others joining me in a Mild there, but plenty were getting stuck into Bitter. The Mild Public, Bitter Lounge distinction had disappeared. Though you were still more likely to see posh drinks - like whisky or gin and tonic - being knocked back in the Lounge. But it was nothing like as extreme a split as in the following text:
"Orders from the lounge of the town's best hotel, whose customers are non-Worktowner in habit, many being the better paid class of commercial traveller and business man, plus a number of mostly plump, made-up women of between 30 and 40, show a distinctly different selection from that of other pubs. The following is a list of the orders (in the succession given) for the lounge during half an hour, compared with those of the vault of a large pub nearby:
Lounge, Best Hotel
2 champagne cocktails
Two best (milds)
2 Brown Ale and 1 Guinness
1 Guinness and 2 best
1 ginger ale and 7 I.P.A.s
2 best, 1 whiskey and lemon
2 Guinness and 1 lager
2 "Tenpenny cocktails"
2 oatmeal stouts and 2 sherries
2 gin and lime
Vault orders in ordinary pub
1 mild and 1 best
The lounge drinks average out at 6d. a head, those of the vault at a shade over 2.5d.
The grapefruits are drunk by the ladies while they are sitting about waiting for the gentlemen. Minerals are not in general thought highly of, e.g. Lounge of large town centre pub, woman drinking tonic water, man asks her "What's that you re drafting? " to which she replies "It's the same as water, it's tonic.""
"The Pub and the People" by Mass Observation, 1943 (reprinted 1987), pages 50 - 51.
Only two of the drinks ordered in the public bar weren't Mild: a sherry and Crown, Magee's bottled Pale Ale. Ibn contrast onl;y 7 Milds were ordered in the posh Lounge. And all were Best Mild.
I'm not saying that similar discrepancies in drinking habits don't exist today. But they would be between different pubs rathger than different bars of the same pub. And the split would probably be as much on grounds of age as class.
Changing drinking habits when on holiday is nothing new. Though, nowadays it would more likely be swapping exotoic foreign drinks like Sangria and San Miguel for Cider and Stella. Here's what Worktowners used to change to when in Blackpool:
"On holidays (principally spent in Blackpool) there is a change for some people in their qualitative drinking habits, as well as their quantitative ones — everyone drinks more then — lots more — but there are also changes in pub behaviour and types of drink consumed.Advocaat isn't something I would have guessed as being popular in 1930's Balckpool. Though, despite what people claimed tghey drank when they were away, you'll note that most of the men were sstill drinking Mild. Now there's one of the biggest changes in British drinking habits: the rise of cider. Apparently it was totally absent from pre-war Bolton.
A barman writes:
As a general rule people on holiday drink more expensive drinks.
G.S. Drinks gin and it at Blackpool — in Worktown mild beer.
W.M. Guinness only at Blackpool, and mild beer in Worktown.
F.A.S. No difference. Objects to wife's preference of Guinness.
Here is a Blackpool pub patronized by Worktowners:
8.30 p.m. Majority of men are drinking mild; female Guinness consumption going strong. 2 women are drinking advocaat, 2 have small bottles of Moussec, and 1 contemplates a Bass.
Advocaat, mostly ordered under the name of egg flip, is a thick yellow sticky liquid supposed to be made from eggs and brandy, and reputed to have an aphrodisiac effect. Later that evening 15 orders for it were recorded in ten minutes. In another Blackpool pub: Plenty of bottled beers are being drunk, female Guinness and small ports, also some cyder (never seen in Worktown). Many male whiskies.
In Blackpool the unprecedented spectacle of two unattended women ordering whiskey at the bar (absolutely tabu to women in Worktown) has been observed. However, this increased wine and spirit drinking on holidays is, as a change from the normal, not anything like as noticeable as many other important changes in drinking habits that happen then. (This is discussed later.)
"The Pub and the People" by Mass Observation, 1943 (reprinted 1987), pages 51 - 52.
I'm still only just past page 50. There's so much more in "The Pub and the People". I'll be annoying you with excerpts for most of the year. Unless my mind wanders elsewhere.