In the last post, I wrote about my impressions of Bournemouth and how I fell in love with him at first sight. Now, let’s talk about the perfect British pub. Why? Because without pubs I can’t imagine England.
I quite described the English pubs there, without which, in my opinion, England would not be England and the English would lose their famous smile if they had nowhere to enjoy their pint of beer after work.
So I decided to stay on this topic for a while.
In his essay “The Moon under the water”, George Orwell described the perfect pub with ten points that you can find here. I don´t know if I can tell that I know the perfect pub because I think everybody would describe the perfect pub differently, but I am sure that a few things have all pubs in common. So let´s go have a look at it.
Personally, I am fascinated by English pubs. They are everywhere and they remind me works of art because they are often located in historic buildings such as old banks or churches, and thus attract attention from a distance. Many of them have been in the same place for several years, thus gaining their regular customers, who have been going there for generations.
If I have to compare it from Slovakia, then I can’t, because in my opinion the idea of pubs and thus places where people meet after work to get one or two beers, meet acquaintances and talk about their days, about life…
When I was little, my father often took me to his favorite pub near the football stadium. You might say now that the pub is not a good place for a child, but I loved it. After work, he was able to meet his friends, who, like him, brought their children and gave their wives time to have for themselves. I remember how we used to chase around the stadium. At that time, our reward was a cup of the typical Slovak version of the cola, kofola.
Today, people don’t meet so often anymore, and if so, mostly more sophisticated, for example for coffee or a drink somewhere in the super noble place. Slovak pubs are disappearing or are being replaced by something more fancy. On the contrary, in England, they are still full in idea of pubs.
And today I want to write about exactly those typical British pubs that I like to visit.
How does it look like in a typical British pub?
As I have already written a real English pub, you can recognize very quickly, thanks to the way it looks from the outside and therefore especially the building and also the large sign above the front door, and there is almost always a pictorial representation. For example, we have our sign Arcade who I like to call Leo at home because my boyfriend thought it would be great to have a pub caption as the first step to our own pub.
You don’t have self-service in the pub, so don’t wait for the staff. You have to order at the bar, which is quite practical, especially if you are a larger group of people because everyone can buy their drink and there is no problem with paying at the end.
There is no music in many pubs so that people can talk to each other without having to shout at each other.
As I mentioned in an article about Bournemouth, the network of my favorite pubs is called Wetherspoon and is found in almost every English town, sometimes several times. Interesting thing is that every Wetherspoon pub has a unique carpet, drawing on the location, building, and name. A few years ago they also started with their own hotel network.
At first, I was sceptical as such the Wetherspoon Hotel would look like, but when we were on a trip to Salisbury we spent one night there. I can say for myself that I was satisfied. The room was nice and clean, along with the bathroom.
The only problem I saw was a bed that wasn’t double or king but two single beds joined together so we woke up in the morning separate from each other because our beds were traveling. But maybe it’s my fault because I didn’t really look at it and I might booked badly. And my boyfriend had a problem with a lack of legroom in the toilet but that’s his male problem. So for me, the Wetherspoon hotel in Salisbury was a good choice. In the morning we went downstairs to get their typical Wetherspoon British breakfast with refillable coffee. Perfect beginning of the day.
One of Wetherspoon’s biggest competitors is Greene King.
The brewery was founded by Benjamin Greene in Bury St. Edmunds in 1799. Personally, I don’t see much difference in them, they both have the same pub impressions on me. Maybe when I think about it very well, Greene King seems a bit more sophisticated to me with a better and bigger selection of beers. And most of them organize various interesting events such as pub quiz.
In Westbourne, we have the Greene King pub Westbourne pub and Thursday evenings are always our favorites because there is a speed pub quiz. Every time we have a Thursday night off, the Westbourne pub is where you can find us.
If I stay in Westbourne a very popular home pub is the traditional British pub Porterhouse. The Porterhouse is a Family run pub, a place that you will always find a warm welcome. People know each other and bartender, probably member of the family, knows you by name. My boyfriend loves the place. For him, this is how a proper pub should look.
One thing I noticed about these little family pubs was that each of them has a shelf somewhere in the corner with board games that you can have fun with while drinking your favorite pint. At first, it seemed strange to me, but now I’m used to it, and sometimes when we have a taste for real draft beer, we go there after work and relax with a board game.