Saturday, 20 March 2010

My Initial Impressions of the Drinking Habits of The English


My Initial Impressions of "The Pubs"
When I first came to London I was appalled by the rampant drinking or what I perceived was gross alcoholism. I was in fact, "grossed out" weekend after weekend. I would find elegant coiffured and chicly dressed women puking in the tube stations or on the street from too much alcohol consumption. Not glamorous AT ALL! You see, where I come from the people that binge drink are the kids that just got their right to drink or College kids. In the USA, you just don't see a lot of binge drinking on the streets from grown up professionals like you do in London. So, it came as a big shock for me. One night, I found a woman wandering around the tube station so drunk, I thought I better help her or at least get her on the right tube. I ended up befriending her just so she would be safe. She looked like she could have tipped over and fallen on the tracks. I took her under the wing for the rest of the night. She was so drunk, she went to the ATM, withdrew 50 pounds and told me to hold on to it. We went to the local club I frequent in my neighborhood and danced salsa. At least she could dance off the liquor and I could get my groove on, especially when she WAS NOT BUMPING INTO ME on the dance floor. Later, we took a taxi from Bayswater to her house in North London just to make sure she got home alright and not at 6 in the morning. She insisted I spend the night. After taking a taxi to North London at 3 in the morning that was not a bad idea. I gave her 50 pounds back, crashed on her couch and in the morning we finally got a chance to get to know each other since she was sober. Well, I guess you could say we ended up becoming fast friends and you can find her own Facebook. She sells real estate in Spain and will probably help me buy my house there.


My next Impression
After about year and a half of living in London, I realize that social drinking and pubs are just part of the culture. In the end, there's a positive side to social drinking. It builds community and it's relaxing just to shoot the breeze and have a pint or two after a hard day’s work. Often at many pubs they have Game Night, Quiz Night or Karaoke night. Some pubs have large screen TV's so, of course, during football season,the pubs are filled with fans. It's practically a national obsession. In addition, there are the gastropubs, which offer traditional English fare and have become quite fashionable.


Gastropub, The Hillgate in Notting Hill


Pubs are quite popular on Sunday. Sunday is a big day in English culture. It's a great place to visit with family and friends. Often, you see a lot of children and Mothers with babies and their whole brood. Sunday Dinner is usually English Roast of Chicken or Beef served with potatoes and pudding. Many pubs serve this food regularly and especially on holidays like Christmas.



The Duke of Wellington near Portobello Road, Notting Hill



Two Cute Asian blokes at Sun in Splendor pub. There were supposed to help me with my myspace page. If you guys see this, you've been very naughty and need to contact me straight away.


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Pubs aren't my thing

There are more pubs in London per square inch than there are McDonalds in the USA.
According to wikepedia, there are 7,000 pubs in London alone. This is not taking into consideration The City of London or Greater London. In my old neighborhood in London, there was about 5 pubs within about 4 blocks from each other. There was virtually one on every corner. There was a pub just 1 block from where I lived. In the whole year and half that I was there I only went there once to meet a photographer for a business meeting. It is said that many English down pints and pints of Guinness in one sitting on an empty stomach. Their purpose is to "get pissed" not pissed off, but bloody drunk. Pubs aren't my thing. I could never get behind the pub mentality. I know I'll never be English, because all that power drinking and shooting the shit for no reason in mind,seems so boring and mindless. Do I sound like a snob? Well, that's just too bad. Oh, but give me a purpose and a purpose for drinking and now that's another story all together. Now, that's where the cock comes in. The Cock is a pub on Great Portland Street.




The Cock

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I grew to love "the pubs": Spanish night at The Cock
My last month in London I ended up going to a pub called The Cock (it's short for cockerel)on Tuesday nights for a Spanish Exchange. Every Tuesday night from about 8 pm onwards Londoners longing to be fluent in Spanish or improve their English stroll in. This gives everyone a chance to speak Spanish, or if you are from Spain, you can practice your English. Everyone gets to speak Spanish (Spanish from Spain is different from Latin American Spanish) or English. The beer is pretty cheap too, just £2.50 for a pint, not bad. It's a fun night, you get to meet new friends with a common interests and improve yourself too. We all go home feeling a bit more fluent in Spanish and beer. A bunch of wellversed tipsy English,European and me the American holding hands down Oxford Street and trying to find our way home.I am really going to miss this pub.



The Cock is located on Great Portland Street


In the end, I suppose pubs and a bit of social drinking are not so bad after all, and in every respect could be positively good for your health and well being!!




Me, Sabrina The Blogger at The Sun in Splendor pub near Portobello Road-Fancy a pint?


More on Pubs in the History of the Pubs in upcoming Sabrina's London Diaries


More Tales and Adventures in Sabrina's London Diaries



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