Pub culture in England
In the long wanderings around London you will visit a crazy thought in the spirit of the heroes of Woodhouse, looking like this: “And it would be nice to mix with the crowd and become one of these eccentric Englishmen.” Do not resist this desire. Just go to the whorehouse. However, there is still more correct to send you into a “public house”. After all, the word “pub”, which the whole world calls the famous British drinking establishments, is nothing more than an abbreviation of public house – so in the strict Victorian era was called popular among the people beer, or elhausy.
Under the ivy branch
Among the 70,000 pubs in the vastness of Britain contenders for the honorary title of the oldest do not count. But the most preferred chance of winning this historic competition is at the “Journey to Jerusalem”, carved into the rock under the walls of Nottingham castle. This pub was eight centuries old, and according to legend, it was within its walls that noble knights stopped, who went on their Crusades in distant Palestine.
But, strictly speaking, the first mention of such drinking establishments refers to 745. Then the Archbishop of York strictly forbade the priests to eat, and most importantly, to drink in pubs. After all they drank there’s nothing like a drunken El – beverage, brewed from barley, water and yeast. Where to go? In those glorious years, it was ale that was the most popular quencher of sorrows and thirst of all the inhabitants of the big island. Then Elle was sweet and it was distinguished by incredible strength, but quickly sour. For the production of good ale required remarkable knowledge and skills. Therefore, families who discovered the secret of cooking “cheerful bread”, certainly invited to a mug or two of a strong drink of all friends and relatives. Guests felled shaft, and, in the end, it was decided to take from each small bribe.
So spontaneously appeared alausi, and their number across the country began to grow by leaps and bounds. And grew until the Kent king Ethelbert was forced to issue a decree that limited the number of points trading in ale. To identify these “places of public joy” was taken not by the Board with the words “El” (because few farmers have risen to the heights of literacy), and the sixth, crowned with a pine branch or a snake ivy. Only at the end of the XIV century this tradition was violated by king Richard II, who ordered to replace the green spaces with signs. Thus, he made a bright contribution to the decoration of British cities and towns. The rulers of the British Isles generally sought to leave their name in the annals of pub culture – as if suspected that over the centuries the pub will become one of the main attractions of England. There were, however, times when the rulers of the country began to bother the irrepressible passion of the Britons to foam drink. For example, during the civil war of 1642, which broke out between the Parliament and the king, the puritans declared pubs the source of all ills in the Kingdom and – no, did not close them, but only oblo lived a huge tax. With ale fed and Cavaliers (supporters of the king), and roundheads (supporters of Parliament). Well, the long-suffering pubs only changed their names: if the Cavaliers won, the pub was called “the king’s Head”, and if round-headed, the sign was immediately changed to “Horse’s Head”. To this day, many pubs are quite strange names that are an echo of those ancient events.
A mug of ale or a bucket of blood
A visit to a pub in London is as indispensable a ritual for a self-respecting tourist as seeing the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace. So first, at 11.30 am, admire the stately guards. By their number, by the way, you can find out whether the Queen is in the Palace. If Elizabeth II at home, the guard consists of three officers and forty guards. If the main house of Britain is empty – the guards will be only thirty-one. Counting the guards, go in search of “this British pub” or just liked the signs.
The path of a lover of Bohemian entertainment lies in the SOHO area, which has long been inhabited by artists, writers and musicians. The most popular among them is the pub “Carriage and horses” at the intersection of Old Compton and Romilly street. And if you want to feel the cozy atmosphere of an old pub, in the “Old Cheshire cheese”, leading its history since 1667, you will certainly tell and show at what table Charles Dickens was sitting here and in what office the overseas guest mark TWAIN liked to retire. In “Spaniards Inn” (“the Inn of the Spaniards”) are still alive memories of dashing times. Putting in a stall tavern horse named Black Bess, here, for a Cup of ale, rested from the abusive Affairs of dick Turpin – the famous robber, regularly terrifying Londoners in the XVIII century. In the bar, named after the knight of the high road, hang two guns. They decorate the bar since 17D0, when the brave owner of the pub watered and disarmed the rebels who came to Hampstead with the firm intention to burn the estate of the Lord Chancellor. The battle history of the pub attracted not only robbers, but also poets: among his regulars were Shelley, Keats and even Lord Byron. But another Minister of the muses, the poet John Dryden, near the old pub “Lamb and the flag” in 1679 was attacked – in retaliation for daring poems, which ridiculed the dignity of the Duchess of Portsmouth, one of the mistresses of Charles II. Perhaps that is why at one time the pub was quite ominous name – “Bucket of blood”- But enough with you bloody stories, pub – this is not the place where you should indulge in gloom.
How to find the perfect pub and what to do in it?
For a resident of Albion, the pub is not just a pub, but rather a club of interests, where he brings his joys and sorrows, where he meets with friends and conducts business negotiations. The second Polo is the fault of the XX century pubs even turned in the corners of the family vacation.
But no matter how life changes, the interior of this pub and its atmosphere remain unchanged. A modern pub is a small cozy room with several tables and an indispensable wooden stand, studded with colored levers of beer pumps or chrome taps. Mandatory attributes of the pub – chalked blackboard menu and a target for playing Darts (in pubs throw Darts from the XVI century, they say that even the pilgrim fathers took the soul for this game). In many pubs there is a “public stand”, behind which most visitors drink, and a bar-salon where you can see carpets, mirrors and other signs of luxury. If you stay in the cabin, the price of drinks will be slightly higher. But do not be afraid to get trapped: the law requires that in all pubs price lists were put in the most prominent place.
Sitting at a free table, do not wait for the waiter – in pubs accepted self-service. A curious record of patience was set in the pub by a group of Italian tourists who waited for the waiter for E 9 minutes. Don’t try to order just “beer” in the pub, even if the pride of your vocabulary is the phrase: Two beer or not two beer. The waiter may not understand you or pretend not to understand. If you are a beginner and immediately did not have time to choose a brand of beer, you should know that in pubs drink “lager” (light varieties), “stout” (dark varieties) and, of course, good old ale. This drink should be ordered in England, unless, of course, you will not tremble at the sight and taste of this “live”, unpasteurized, cloudy drink. A meticulous bartender may also ask what kind of hops and what kind of packaging you prefer. If you do not specify the latter, you will pour a pint (0.568 liters), but you can order half a pint.
In the pub you should not count on a hearty meal, as the tradition of the food here is quite simple. These are the famous “fish and chips”- fish fillet in batter with French fries, “Breakfast Plowman” – a dish of cheese and local pickles with a huge slice of bread, “shepherd’s pie” – potato pudding with minced lamb and baked with butter and seasonings “potatoes in uniform.” Exactly at 22.00 in the peaceful hum of the pub is heard a loud voice of the owner: “Time, gentlemen.” This means that you have 20 minutes left to wrap up with food and drinks. Well, the next day you can safely go to another pub. Or go back to the one where you have already managed to feel like an Englishman.