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Monday, November 3, 2008

How to Behave in an English Pub

How to Behave in an English Pub

1. In a nation that loves queuing, the crowd at the bar can feel anarchic. The truth is that there is still a queue, but it's just in the barman's head - he will get to you when it is your turn.

2. Do not attempt to attract his attention by waving, shouting or banging your empty glass on the bar. Extending a cash-filled hand while adopting a slightly anxious expression should alert him to his duties.

3. Men who wish to assert their masculinity should avoid half pints, shandies ( half beer half lemonade ) and any drink with bits of fruit in them. But be in no doubt about the butchness of a man who is brave enough to order a piƱa colada in a Castlemilk hostelry.

4. Women should remember that ordering cider-and-black, an alcopop or anything that comes with more than two umbrellas in it is not the mark of true sophistication.

5. If a man walks into the pub and immediately glares at you - and you are not drinking anything with fruit in it - he is probably a regular, and you are probably in his seat. If he is bigger than you, it is probably worth getting up, just in case.

6. Smoking may only be banned in enclosed public spaces, but the fine for being caught removing tiles from the roof to un-enclose the space is rather greater than the one for being caught smoking.

7. Do not be the last to buy a round. You look cheap. And it's likely that more people will turn up the longer the evening goes on.

8. Do not think that your child will be happy to sit in the car with a packet of crisps. Times have moved on. They want chicken nuggets, a bouncy castle and Sky TV in the family bar - or you can forget your quiet pint.

9. If you are going to chat someone up in a pub, make sure she's not drinking cider-and-black, and that the man she arrived with is drinking something with fruit in it.

10. It is bad form to allow a group of puzzled tourists to sit for longer than 45 minutes at their table before revealing to them that in fact there is no waitress service in English pubs. Mind you, it is quite entertaining.

Sir Dayvd (the darker the beer, and the darker the'll find him) of Oxfordshire


  1. This 10 step lesson in public tavern behavior is an excellent guide line. You'll need to refer to the Beverage Bible (referred to in an earlier post) for a translation list for points 1 and 9: "queuing" is waiting and "chat someone up" is coming on to them; otherwise, very understandable to us daft Americans.

    Point 10 is why I always go straight away to the bar anywhere I go. Discovered this lesson in 1979 at the New Scottish Arms on Tottenham Court in London. I also discovered point 5 there later on, not because I had his seat, but because I needed to scoot over to make room for his dog so that he could drink beer out of the "dog bowl" size ash tray.

    I also discovered the English understated, yet acute and accurate sense of humor at this pub...where you were given a tabbed insert to put on your pint when you went the loo, which stated, "Please don't touch. Gone to wee wee."

    All in all, it was a very enjoyable cultural experience. Of course, Sir Dayvd was setting in my seat at McGrath's Pub the historic night I met him in Harrisburg, PA. Instead of glaring at him I decided to endeavor to engage in a conversation. One that lasted into the "wee wee" hours of the night...and of course you all now know "The Rest of the Story"

    Sir Hook (Always an English Pub Away in My Heart) of Warrick

  2. I'm sure that there just wasn't enough room on the post canvas, but...

    No. 11
    Host buys all rounds when Sir Bowie and Lady Suzanne some to visit.

    Thank you Sir Dayvd.

  3. LOL well Bowster seeing as i think you'll be licked after two pints of heavy this side of the pond i reckon that might be a cheap session..

    BTW..Suzanne, Ted Turner the husband of jane Fonda and the ceo of CNN etc showed up on our screens last night in a travelogue about Bison in Montana....and we thought he looked like Sir Bowie... SB isn't moonlighting a couple of States away is he??

    also point 11 should be...we don't tip at the bar so no leaving Paper money on there ..otherwise i'll have it...

    Sir Dayvd ( 24 Hour Emergency Philosopher....Same Day Service....
    ten percent discount when you mention Tarski's argument that the moral theoretic characterisation of logical consequence is more basic than its characterisation in terms of a deductive system ) of Oxfordshire