Saturday, April 28, 2007

Pub asks to become Peruvian

A pub in Cornwall is asking its namesake Embassy to help it obtain "consulate status" in an attempt to avoid the smoking ban. The Peruvian Arms in Penzance was built by an 18th Century Cornish engineer who made money from silver mines in Peru.

Its landlords have now written to the Peruvian Ambassador to the United Kingdom asking for the status, hoping it would allow them to escape the ban.

The Peruvian Embassy in London declined to comment on the request.

As well as displaying the Peruvian flag, the pub plays out the country's national anthem at closing time. The pub's owners say 99% of customers like to smoke.

They wrote to Ambassador Ricardo Luna Mendozathe but have not heard back.

Michael Hoskein, from the pub, said: "We would benefit from the perks involved if we were given diplomatic Ambassadorial status, ie free parking, diplomatic immunity, and still be allowed to smoke in the premises without having to go outside in smoking areas."

Landlord Debbie Trevithick added: "We would learn a bit of Spanish and I wouldn't mind dressing up in Peruvian costumes. And we might have to get a pet llama."

The smoking ban comes into force in England on 1 July.

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