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Pubs in London

As a visitor to London, you will quickly realize that drinking alcohol is a time-honored tradition in London. There are hundreds of pubs and bars in London. Pubs are now open for 24 hours, so you can pop in for a drink anytime.

The pub is as much a British heritage as are its historic monuments and castles. In the days of yore, the pub was a favorite congregation place for the neighborhood. Every strict had at least one pub, if not more. The pub used to be a place of happy relaxation, gossip and sometimes also served the purpose of a makeshift church.

The pub culture is a distinctly Roman phenomenon. When most of Britain was under Roman occupation, they built roads all across the British Isles and the first pubs appeared at strategic points of the road network which served as the resting place for the weary traveler. With the passage of time, Pubs began to mushroom not only in London but also in the British country sides.

Pubs are of two types - Tied Pubs and Free house Pubs. The Tied Pubs are owned by the brewery but administered by a landlord/lady. Tied pubs mostly sell Draught Beer. Free house pubs on the other hand are owned as well as operated by the landlord/landlady. At a quintessential London Pub, apart from draught beer, you can expect the finest selection of bottled beers like Fosters, Budweiser, Becks etc. Pubs which are located strategically near city squares will undoubtedly be packed to the full, particularly on Friday evenings and weekends. It is advisable to check in early during weekends.

Some notable British pubs like The Prospect, The Olde Cheshire Cheese, Dirty Dicks, the Dolphin, the King's Arm, The Nutshell, Royal Oak, The Blue Bell, the Trip to Jerusalem and The Original Oak etc. have been age old favorites with the pub going crowd of London.

The unique pub culture in London is a thousand year old British heritage. The concept of Pub is distinctly Roman. Thousand year back, Britain was under Roman occupation and to facilitate transport and communication, they built network of roads in the whole of Britain. The first pubs began appearing along the Roman roads, which served as resting places for the weary travelers.

For centuries pubs in UK and London have served as the favorite places of congregation and the cozy ambience of the pubs were ideal for animated discussions, debates and of course gossip. There are thousands of pubs in London alone. In the days of yore, pubs were the focal point of the neighborhood.

A recent innovation in the London Pubs scene is the mushrooming of pubs with a theme. For instance Irish pubs, sports pubs, biker pubs, rock pubs etc. Increasingly, theme pubs based on hobbies are also growing in popularity.

Every pub usually has a its own clientele who are regulars. Normally the pub, which is nearest to ones home, is preferred. But with changing times and hectic lifestyle, proximity to ones residence isn't always the deciding factor as far as choosing ones pub is concerned. These days people tend to choose pubs which are close to ones workplace, the availability of authentic ale, exclusive no-smoking zones etc. as some of the criterions for choosing pubs.

Originally English ale was prepared from fermented malt. The method of using hops to make beer is basically a technique, which was borrowed from Netherlands in the 15th century. In those days exclusive alehouses produced their own signature ale. But, towards the end of 17th century, saw the coming of the breweries. Today, most of the beer is brewed by state of the art breweries.

There are certain traditional games, which were played in the pubs of yore. Games like darts, billiards, cribbage, dominoes, Nine Men's Morris and Skittles were very popular in the pubs of yore. But, in today's modern era, the game of pool is very popular in British pubs. Most pubs provide video games and also host Karaoke nights apart from showing exciting football matches on wide screen television.

Pubs were primarily drinking establishments and very little importance was given to food. In the days of yore pubs at best offered snacks, crisps and peanuts. But today, pubs in London or for that matter pubs anywhere in UK serve quality lunch and dinner which can give real challenge to some of the top-notch restaurants in town. Pubs that offer wide range of culinary delights are popularly referred to as "Gastropubs".

An intriguing feature of London pubs is the signage, which hang outside the pubs. Every pub must have a sign as per the legislation of King Richard II way back in the year 1393. In the past most pub signs consisted of pictures rather than words, given the fact that the majority of patrons were illiterate. But with changing times, pub signs too have evolved and these days pub signs consist of both pictures and words.

As far as pub names are concerned, they have all along been traditional representing a variety of themes. For instance, The Mason's Arms denotes local trade, The Cricketers denotes a local sporting activity, The Lord Nelson denotes an honored individual, The Trafalgar denotes a historic event and so on.

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