There is some truth in the 'segregation' thing, although nothing to do with race.
Many pubs used to have a 'Public Bar' and a 'snug' or saloon which was slightly 'posher' but these are long gone, I don;t know how old the visitor that reported this sytem in operation is, but I suspect that the locals were taking the piss.
By the 20th century, the saloon, or lounge bar, had become a middle-class room—carpets on the floor, cushions on the seats, and a penny or two on the prices, while the public bar, or tap room, remained working class with bare boards, sometimes with sawdust to absorb the spitting and spillages (known as "spit and sawdust"), hard bench seats, and cheap beer. This bar was known as the four-ale bar from the days when the cheapest beer served there cost 4 pence (4d) a quart.
Later, the public bars gradually improved until sometimes almost the only difference was in the prices, so that customers could choose between economy and exclusivity (or youth and age, or a jukebox or dartboard). With the blurring of class divisions in the 1960s and 1970s, the distinction between the saloon and the public bar was often seen as archaic, and was frequently abolished, usually by the removal of the dividing wall or partition. While the names of saloon and public bar may still be seen on the doors of pubs, the prices (and often the standard of furnishings and decoration) are the same throughout the premises, and many pubs now comprise one large room. However the modern importance of dining in pubs encourages some establishments to maintain distinct rooms or areas.
The "snug", sometimes called the smoke room, was typically a small, very private room with access to the bar that had a frosted glass external window, set above head height. A higher price was paid for beer in the snug and nobody could look in and see the drinkers. It was not only the wealthy visitors who would use these rooms. The snug was for patrons who preferred not to be seen in the public bar. Ladies would often enjoy a private drink in the snug in a time when it was frowned upon for women to be in a pub. The local police officer might nip in for a quiet pint, the parish priest for his evening whisky, or lovers for a rendezvous.
CAMRA have surveyed the 50,000 pubs in Britain and they believe that there are very few pubs that still have classic snugs. These are on a historic interiors list in order that they can be preserved.
I've been talking about writing a book - 25 years of TEFL - for a few years now. I've got it in me.
Paid anghofio fod dy galon yn y chwyldro