English public houses or “pubs” are an important part of British social life. Pubs are places where people meet, talk and play games like dominoes, cards and darts. They often serve food, particularly at lunchtime, which is usually cheap and tasty. You can buy just about anything to drink in a pub. Both alcholic and soft drinks are served: beer, wine, spirits, liqueurs, fruit juice and soft drink are all available. Beer is the most popular drink.
In Britain you must be over 18 to buy alcohol or drink it on licensed premises. The people under 18 may buy soft drinks only.
Many people often meet in pubs for a drink at lunchtime or in the evening when they walk down to their favourite local.
Most pubs are divided into two bars: the public bar and the saloon bar. The first one is often the most popular with games and music; the second one is quieter and more comfortable and the prices are higher.
Pubs usually stay open between 11 a.m. and 11 p.m. except on Sundays.
It’s a national law, not just for London, that was introduced during World War 1 to make sure the workers in the factories were on time in the morning. Pubs stop serving even earlier on Sundays – 10.30pm. You are, by law, allowed 20 mins drinking up time after they’ve stopped serving.
However, there are many many pubs and bars (more bars than pubs) that have special late licences.
I hope to visit an English pub soon!