Pubs – Home from home
Public houses (pubs) have been playing a part in British culture since the Bronze Age. Considering how long we have been frequenting (going to) these establishments (public building) their importance should come as no surprise. I mean, where else can you be celebrating the birth of a child one day and raising a glass to the departed (dead) the next! It doesn’t end there either as there are a whole host of reasons for ending up in the pub and a million and one excuses for a quick pint, ranging from the ridiculous (it’s raining) to the even more ridiculous (Ed Sheeran is leaving social media). The community just wouldn’t be the same without our locals (pubs), never too far away, always within walking distance, and for many a home from home.
Although pubs have been on the decline there are still over 45,000 spread across the UK and they come in all shapes and sizes. The oldest, ‘Ye Olde Fighting Cocks’ in Hertfordshire, is reported to date back to 973 AD and the strangest being ‘The Crooked House’ in Dudley, which is as lop sided as the Leaning Tower of Pisa. And it’s not just the buildings; pub names can also be a little strange, ‘The Quiet Woman’ in Buxton or ‘The Jolly Taxpayer’ in Portsmouth! I’ll leave you to make your own jokes about them. Furthermore it’s these names that enable us to navigate our way around the UK, pubs are quite often the most well-known landmarks and as such they are used extensively to give directions. So next time you’re in the UK don’t be surprised when you’re told the bank is next to the ‘The Cock Inn’.
Take our Pub quiz to see how much you know about this great British Institution.
- What’s the most popular pub name in the UK?
a) The Fighting Cocks
b) The Red Lion
c) The Queens Head
- What’s the difference between gastro pub food and pub grub?
a) Pub grub is homely food served in a pub whereas the latter is served in a place which looks like a pub but is actually more like a restaurant inside.
b) Pub grub is served in a place which looks like a pub but is actually more like a restaurant inside the latter is homely food served in a pub.
- If you want to speak to the owner you should ask for?
a) The landlord/landlady
b) The manager/manageress
c) Mr/Mrs (insert name)
- What time do pubs have to stop serving beer Monday – Saturday?
- What do the bar staff do when the bar is about to close? (more than one answer)
a) Shout, ‘Last orders please’
b) Ring a bell
c) Shout, ’time please’
d) Turn the lights off
- If you want a beer and you want to sound like a local, which of these would you use?
a) Beer, please.
b) One glass of beer, please barman.
c) Could I have a glass of beer please barman.
- Will your local be open on Christmas day?
a) Yes, all day.
b) Yes, but reduced opening times.
c) Maybe, depends on the landlords
d) No, it’s Christmas
- Which of these measurements is bigger?
a) Half a litre
b) A pint
- Which of these snacks would you be unlikely to get in a pub?
a) Pork scratchings
c) Scampi fries
- How do stories about pubs generally start?
a) I was sat in the pub the other day…
b) I was sitting in the pub the other day…
Check your answers
- B. The Red Lion – approx. 600 (the others are also popular).
- A. Many pubs will call themselves Gastro pubs but the quality of the food is key.
- B. Although you still have about thirty minutes to finish your drink. Sundays it’s earlier 10.30pm.
- A.B.C. are all correct it just depends on the pub. They sometimes flash the lights but don’t turn them off completely.
- A. I know it sounds rude but it’s just the way it is, C is the most formal
- C. Many pubs if they do open, open for limited hours but not all day.
- B. A pint is 568ml.
- D. All the others are pub staples.
- A. Although it’s a passive structure and it is unlikely someone would have sat you down, it is in fact a structure that has become accepted in this context.