Showing posts with label Pubs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pubs. Show all posts

Sunday, 4 April 2010

History of the Pubs in London

The History of the Pubs

The arrival of the Romans and the establishment of a sound road network in the U.K. contributed to an increase in travel, and a demand for the establishment of simple ale houses where a traveler could stop and find shelter whilst quenching their thirst.The pub as we know it has its origins in the abbey breweries and monasteries, which emerged shortly after the Norman conquest of Britain in 1066. The Normans, upon conquering Britain set about building a huge network of places of worship throughout the land. Not long afterwards, many monasteries and abbeys began to brew their own beer, for sale to pilgrims. This led to the later development of ale houses, where travellers and locals could sit in for a drink or two. Temporary living accommodation was often sought by the travellers close to the ale houses, which led to the development of inns. Inns have, in turn, by and large developed again into simple drinking houses (though rarely attached to an abbey or monastery) called 'public houses' or 'Pubs' for short, often themed for novelty value, and central to entertainment and community life.

Some Interesting Pubs:

The George Inn

The George Inn, just off Borough High Street, survived the Great Fire of London, 1666 (as it was just south of the River Thames), only to be burnt to the ground in a large scale, lesser-known fire, just one year later. It was rebuilt, and continued to serve pilgrims and tradesmen on this bus route from Northern to Southern England. The architecture is still pure 17th Century, and in the courtyard you can almost touch the atmosphere, where travellers used to drink olde-English ale, their horses and carts tied up alongside them.

The Interior of the George Inn


For more gruesome drinks,The Ten Bellsin Spitalfields, is known to have been frequented by at least one of Jack the Rippers victims, whilst up the road in 'The Blind Beggar' the Krays carried out their most famous murder.

The Ten Bells in Spitafields. In the 1800's, the time of Jack The Ripper.

The Interior of Ten Bells

If you have a passion for the arts try 'The French House' in Soho, London where gangsters, sex workers and artists such as Francis Bacon rubbed shoulders in the 1950's and '60's.


Theory has it that pubs attract ghosts of the dead, for much the same reason that they attract many of the living; they go there to find a shoulder to cry on! So next time you are in a pub and feel a ghostly chill, don't fear, just lend an ear!

The Mermaid Inn in Rye, East Sussex is said to be the most haunted pub in England, with a history of duelling ghouls in the main bar, and several other sceptres that haunt the inn bedrooms. The inn serves excellent food, and has a genuine fire in the bar.

Pub hauntings are synonymous with old pubs. Perhaps try a ghost-pub crawl
with the London Walks people around your local area for a change: chase off your beer tasting evening with a different kind of spirit! Ha ha! London Walks has a different pub walk practically every night, I strongly recommend them.

Some Interesting Pub Sites

More Tales and Adventures in Sabrina's London Diaries

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.

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

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

Monday, 18 January 2010

Pubs in Brighton

These photos were taken in my trip to Brighton. The Pubs are much nicer down in Brighton than in London. Many have a roaring fir place and big huge sofas to sit around. The prices are less expensive out of London too. But, what's special about them is this nice old Victorian quality and the coziness. Everyone is very friendly in the pubs, I guess you wold be too if you drank a pint or two of Guinness.

The Victory Inn. I saw this pub and I just had to go in.

I just loved this fireplace and the entire decor of the pub was so charming,
with a undertated elegant old world feel. I decided to stay a bit. Most pubs in London are crowded and filled with drunk or pissed (not pissed off) Londoners, all talking very loudly (which I deplore) and which makes me avoid them like the plague.But, this pub had a friendly atmosphere,yet it was very quiet and relaxed,so when you chat with someone you can actually hear what the hell they are saying.

I met these two really cute and very friendly English girls and had a pint with them and talked about the Queen and the Victorian corset shop down the lane. Apparently, Brighton has the best bespoke Victorian corsets on the planet.
They fit you and they look like you come out of a period movie, but all this period glamour comes with a price. They run about 100 quid.

The Sussex

These lovers can't keep their hands off each other.Whoever said they English were cold.It's not true they're just very reserved until you get to know them. I have to defend them because they have this reptutation of being passionless and cool, but it's not always true. We have to try to defy these stereotypical myths that we create. Although, that whole thing about keeping a stiff upper lip is true, you'll seldom see an English person loosing their temper or showing a lot of emotions in public. I went to the Brompton Oratory for Christmas Carol service, I was so moved by the service and angelic music from on high that I started balling. When I looked around I noticed I was the only one crying. I noticed that people were subtly staring at me. Slightly embarassed I hid my face behind the program. But, once they feel comfortable with you they can be the nicest, most open and warm people I ever met.

I love the kitschey feel of this pub, and all the charming tea cups.

This is Rudolph!

This is what a typical English Victorian pub looks like. I especially
liked The Sussex.

I loved the decor in this pub, it was a bit cluttery, but it worked. It had
a lot of character and charm.

I met a nice English bloke, but we didn't snog or anything like that.

Two English blokes just hanging out.Pubs are great for hanging out,
and catching up with old friends.

Here's another pub, close to the Ocean shore and right next to some hostel,
which I can't remember the name of.I just liked the decor, it was fun.

Wherever, you go in England, the Pubs are almost always downstairs. And, another good thing, if you really have to use one,the staff is really friendly
about letting you use it, even if you aren't a patron.

The word "pub", is short for "public house".The pubs are there for the community.



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