If there is a place that you should not miss on a trip to England, it is the nearest local pub. Many people associate the British culture with regular visits to the pub – and rightly so. As Jed says in his blog The London Traveler, “you will never have a hope of understanding Britain unless you’ve spent at least a little time in the pub.” Well let me clue you in on what the English pub is all about.
Historically, the pub has always been the center of community life. Whether it was a city, a town, or a village, it was the same all over England – the pub was the place where people hung out. It was more than just drinking. It was a venue for friends and family to meet and interact with each other. It was a venue for business colleagues to meet and do business.
The term pub actually originates from the phrase “public house” and was coined during the Victorian era. Historians believe that it was the Romans who introduced the concept of the pub to England. The Roman tavernae, where local food and wine was served, is believed to be the ancestor of the modern day pub.
Today, pubs are not that much different in concept from the pubs of the olden days – people still gather at pubs. College friends visit their local pub to relax and chat. Yuppies go to their local pub to wind down after work. Business deals are still made in pubs.
In the next post, let’s look at some particularities of English pubs.