When many think of “British culture” something that often comes to mind would be pubs. Pub culture is a major part of British life and it’s something that students up to elders partake in. Pubs are one of the best places to go to for relaxing, to unwind, have a drink, and socialize with friends and those in your community. Pubs have a very special spot in the heritage and the culture. You’ll find it is often referenced in old poems, movies, and British literature. Inns and taverns have always had a strong significance in British history and that still has a major impact in the modern-day. Even if you’re not keen on drinking alcohol, you can still go to pubs and immerse yourself in the culture.
History of the pub
In order to gain a solid understanding of British pub culture, it’s ideal to understand its history first. Pubs have been around for thousands and years and are far from being anything new. Pubs have had different names such as an inn, tavern, alehouse, and much more than they come in a variety of different appearances. Once the Romans have left, these alehouses have become very popular places for locals to eat, drink, and gossip to their friends and other locals. Since then, pubs have been very popular and have become deeply ingrained within the culture.
What do pubs serve?
British pubs will often serve a variety of drinks such as spirits, ale, lager, cocktails (sometimes), wine, and even soft drinks. While most pubs are for drinking a pint of lager or ale, there is usually a variety depending on the type of pub that you go to. It’s best to learn English well enough so you know what your options are for ordering.
What sort of food is served in pubs?
Pubs will almost always serve food. There are popular snacks such as crisps or nuts. Some pubs will serve restaurant-quality food, these are known as gastro-pubs. Pubs will vary in what they’re serving. If you’re interested in ordering food, you’ll need to go to the bar with money on hand to make your purchase. You’ll usually have a number you bring back to your table while you wait for your food to be delivered.
What is a “round”?
Rounds are an essential part of British culture. A round is when you’re paying for your group of friends' next drink. You can offer to pay for as many rounds as you like but usually, it’s one person at a time in the group who will cover the round. Drinks are usually fairly inexpensive so you don’t need to worry about breaking the bank, plus in pub culture, you’re expected to only choose a cheap drink. It’s considered rude during a round to pick anything expensive to drink.
Is it okay to talk to strangers at a pub?
One of the best things about British pub culture is the freedom to strike up a conversation with strangers. This allows for an excellent opportunity to make friends. While it may come off as odd to strike up conversations outside the pub, it’s completely welcome inside. There's plenty of things to talk about such as football scores, politics, day-to-day life, or anything else.
We hope you have enjoyed this blog. As always, you will progress more by reading, listening and practising your English so make sure you check out IQ Global for free resources and our YouTube channel. See you next time!