One of the best features of British culture is ‘going to the pub’.
‘Pub’ is an abbreviation of Public House; it is said that there are over 47,000 pubs in the UK today. They play an important part in British life as a “social gathering place” for having fun conversation with family and friends while drinking alcohol.
But don’t worry if you don’t drink! There are many pubs that focus on serving delicious meals and non-alcoholic beverages, so even younger family members and those who just don’t drink alcohol can still go there and enjoy the good food!
The Churchill Arms
The Churchill Arms is very popular with Instagrammers because of its super-unique and quirky appearance.
It gets its name from the fact that Winston Churchill’s grandparents were regular customers there after it was founded in 1750. (Winston Churchill himself – inveterate boozer though he later became – did not drink to there; he hadn’t been born yet!)
Another selling point of this pub is its delicious Thai food; I’ve had lunch there several times with my friends. Its restaurant is very popular indeed, so don’t forget to make a reservation in advance.
|Address (Google Map)||119 Kensington Church St, Kensington, London W8 7LN|
The Red Lion, Parliament Street
Located close to Westminster tube station, it’s otherwise known as the British Pub.
It is well known for the fact that that successive British Prime Ministers, including Winston Churchill, came to drink there up until the 1970s.
Situated as it is between Downing Street and the Houses of Parliament, it is much frequented by the so called ‘Whitehall mandarins’, the elite bureaucrats of the British establishment.
History buffs will love this pub! Moreover it also boasts a fine dining area on the first floor so you can relax and enjoy your meal.
|Address (Google Map)||48 Parliament St, Westminster, London SW1A 2NH|
The Dove, Hammersmith
This pub is situated beside the River Thames, not far from central London.
If during your stroll along the river on a lovely warm day you should find that you’ve suddenly “worked up a bit of a thirst”, what better idea than to “have a cold one” the sunny terrace seats … terrific!
This pub too is famous for its delicious food, and the table seats inside are crowded with families and couples enjoying their meals.
|Address (Google Map)||19 Upper Mall, Hammersmith, London W6 9TA|
This is a ‘theme pub’. It features, of course, the famous “Sherlock Holmes” stories by the British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
It is littered with novel-related items – so if you’re an aficionado of the Great Detective, you’ll be in seventh heaven!
|Address (Google Map)||10 Northumberland St, Charing Cross, London WC2N 5DB|
Mr Fogg’s Tavern
This pub features Phileas Fogg, the main character in Jules Verne’s novel “Around the World in Eighty Days” written in 1872.
Its unique interior makes it very popular with local Londoners. Reservations are required due to the limited number of tables.
If you are wondering what to drink, you could do worse than have a pint of the eponymous Mr Fogg’s Pale Ale. Brewed by Shepherd Neame, it is refreshing and surprisingly easy to drink, even though it’s classified as a ‘bitter’.
And the wash-basin in the rest room was exquisite!
|Address (Google Map)||58 St Martin’s Ln, Covent Garden, London WC2N 4EA|
I have introduced you some of the pubs that I myself have drunk in. They have a unique atmosphere not found in other countries, and you can easily become addicted to them!
In the past, ‘going to the pub’ was much more of a male orientated activity; the pub was a social gathering place for men, where they could talk ‘men’s talk’ over a few pints. Now times have changed and the demographic range of customers has changed with it; women are made much more welcome, it’s family orientated, and even teetotalers are included!
Space precludes me from introducing more pubs here, but there are quite a few more that I’d really like to recommend; so ‘stay tuned’ for Part 2!