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Public houses

Crooked Billet
Creative Commons License photo credit: Steve_C

Public houses, better known as pubs, are an important part of British life. People go to the pub to have a drink, enjoy a traditional pub meal, sit down and relax, meet their friends, play games,  listen to live music… It is a place where you can meet and talk to the locals.

Fox and Hounds, Crawley, Hampshire
Creative Commons License photo credit: Mike Cattell

There are more than 53,000 pubs in the United Kingdom. A pub in which you can stay and sleep for one or more nights can be called an inn.

The Unicorn Inn
Creative Commons License photo credit: quimby

Most pubs are open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. but some can have a license which allows them to be open for a longer time.

The Crown, Everleigh, Wiltshire
Creative Commons License photo credit: Mike Cattell

Pub names have different origins. Some have been inspired by royalty, religion or heroes. Some come from old slogans or expressions. Typical pub names are ‘The Rose and Crown’, ‘Black Horse’ or the ‘Marquis of Granby’, named after a Commander-in-chief  in the British army who gave money to this soldiers so that they could open pubs after they retire from the army.

Schoenberg, Marquis of Granby
Creative Commons License photo credit: petemaskreplica

Many pubs are centuries old so pub signs had to be easily recognizable  at  times when many customers couldn’t read.

Cat and Canary
Creative Commons License photo credit: R4vi

Pubs often have two bars, one being usually quieter than the other. Many have a garden where people can sit in the summer. Children can enter a pub with their parents until 9 p.m.

The Black Boy
Creative Commons License photo credit: Wolfiewolf

In pubs, you can drink alcohol, especially beer in pints (= about 568 ml) or half-pints but they also sell soft ( = non-alcoholic) drinks. A person who orders alcohol must be at least 18 years old. There is no table service. You must go to the bar to order drinks and food and you pay for them immediately. Your food is brought to your table.

IMG_5495
Creative Commons License photo credit: space.cadet

You can play traditional games in pub, a very popular one being darts:

Darts
Creative Commons License photo credit: Paul Denton Cocker

In some pubs, you can play a game of skittles:

Strike...?
Creative Commons License photo credit: itmpa

In nearly all pubs, you can order food for a reasonable price, such as the traditional Sunday Roast with Yorkshire pudding:

sunday roast
Creative Commons License photo credit: Sacred Destinations

or the typical Ploughman’s lunch which is a cold lunch:

Lunch!
Creative Commons License photo credit: derivadow


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