In view of the overall sentiments expressed in responses to my post -- am tending to feel that it's perhaps me who am the peevish, difficult character wanting everything to be his way; and that drinking prolongedly, positioned at the bar, is maybe not even a partcularly British thing ! -- and the general "take" seems to be, that I'm being too hard on the poor old pair in question.
While taking on board, the views mentioned above; I'd mildly say in my defence, that a good many fellow-Britons of my acquaintance feel, as I do, that the drinking-at-the-bar and thus making access a bit difficult for those buying drinks at said bar, is annoying (though well below white-hot-rage level) for those who wish just to buy drinks and sit elsewhere in the hostelry. A letter to the editor in the latest issue of the house magazine of one of Britain's pub chains, reads as follows: "The only complaint I have [about your pubs] is the number of customers who, once they have been served, stand at the bar, drinking and talking, while other customers are trying to get served, even when there are tables and chairs begging to be occupied. It is unnecessary and extremely annoying. I have seen customers walking out because of these ignorant people. Please let it be stopped."
The editor's response was, basically, blandly saying not much; but the just-quoted, would seem to indicate that there are Brits who find the business of consumers of the wares, hogging the bar to consume them there; a good deal more irritating than even my friends and I, do.