On a windy, rainy, March day, there might be nothing better than a visit to an English pub. It can warm you up and cheer the day.
Most likely there is a fire in a corner of the room somewhere…at the very least, a heated discussion at the bar about the latest football match (our soccer).
A pub is one of my favorite places to eat. They usually have a huge menu with lots of choices, both healthy and otherwise, and if nothing else, I can get a warm jacket potato (baked potato) with baked beans and cole slaw. These pubs are cozy and usually “Cheap and Cheerful”, as the British say…a social gathering place as well as a place to eat or grab a drink.
And there is almost always someone you know if it’s your “local”. Rather like Cheers, UK style.
I remember growing up in New York and there was an American version of the English pub in every town, or town center.
The front room would have the bar and most likely a dart board. The back — the family dining room, often with great inexpensive Italian food.
It’s much the same in England, although the front room bar serves the pint of beer warm, the dining/family area most likely serves fish and chips and gammon (ham) and chips (fries), and there almost alway is a karaoke night.
If weather permits, there is also usually a beer garden with tables and space for the children to run around.
We are always amazed to see people outside on a chilly grey day sitting in the garden.
One pub I remember even had a room upstairs with a bouncy castle. This definitely is a family affair in England.
The interesting thing is that the social dynamics are very similar to what I remember from New York.
One night sitting in a pub waiting for dinner to come with My Beloved Brit and cousins in Cornwall on the Southwest coast, we watched as the ladies came in and stood at one end of the room, and the men came in and stood at the other.
By the time we finished dinner, and a few pints later, the two sides had begun to talk to each other, and it might just prove to be an eventful night.
Of course we elders were gone way too early to really see all the excitement. When the music started, it was time to make our exit.