At the pub


Tonight we’re going out for drinks and dinner with most of Alex’s coworkers. We’re apparently going to a local pub in South Kensington. Since we’ve been here  awhile, and we’ve visited a fair number of pubs, I thought I would post a few observations.

It can be confusing in the beginning, because the pubs don’t have any sort of hostess or seating arrangements. So the first night we stood at the door like doofs until a local felt pity for us and waved us to a seat.

The seating is really cool! It’s often super comfy couches pushed together in conversational groupings, or small tables, or a combination. It’s very conducive to conversation, and my favorite thing is that it doesn’t tend to be too loud. Since everyone wants to chat, they keep the music low.

You have to order at the bar. Even if you’re having food. Then they somehow remember who you are, and bring the food out to you when you’re done. We haven’t quite figured out who or where or how much tip should be involved in this process.

The food tends to all be the same. I guess the genre is called “pub food” for a reason! The burgers are usually pretty good, but we’ve stayed away from the sausages.  Fish and chips are always a stand by, of course, if you’re in the mood for mushy peas!

And the most important thing of all, is that I love shandies.  A shandy is a totally wussy drink, where they take half a pint of any lightish beer (like Foster’s) and add half a pint of Sprite or 7-Up. To my mind, it takes away the nasty bitterness of the beer. I think I could drink them all night long, and some people do!

Ok. I have to get hopping now to catch the train.  Enjoy your Friday afternoon in the States, and be safe in the big snow storm!!

—Astrid

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Posted on 05/02/2010, in Exploring the UK, Silly British Things and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Astrid, thank you for your dedication to the blog. It is so much fun to hear and see what you all are doing. Have a wonderful time! Love, Valerie

  2. Suzanne M-G

    We loved the pubs in the United Kingdom and Ireland! Just as you described. Makes me want to go back!!!!

  3. Time for a shandy! 🙂

  4. On tipping: “Some restaurants and most hotels add a service charge of 10%-15% to the bill. In this case you are not obliged to tip extra. If no service charge is indicated, add 10%-15% to your total bill. Taxi drivers should also get 10%-15%. You are not expected to tip theater or cinema users, elevator operators, or bartenders in pubs. Hairdressers and barbers should receive 10%-15%.”

    OK, so that’s from Fodor’s Affordable Great Britain. It’s my 1995 edition, but I would assume that stuff pretty much doesn’t change. Hope it helps some!

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