Pubs, inns, bars

The English pubs, inns and bars are an institution in themselves, and the local people are very proud of them. Their history, their quirky names, the drinks they serve, as well as the err… food has loyal followers. During my year-long stay in London, I visited quite a few of them and, in the process, developed a love-hate relationship with them.

I love their exteriors (bright electric blue, red, yellow, black), their quirky names (how about The Slug and the Lettuce), and the history that many of them have, but don’t really care much for what they serve. That’s because I hate the smell of beer, ale, etc. and don’t eat non-vegetarian good. And the less said about the vegetarian food served in such places, the better. The worst meal that I can ever remember having was at an inn in Kent—a pumpkin risotto (kaddu ka khichdi for you and me) garnished with blue cheese and pine nuts. Aargh !!!! However, the soups served in such places are hearty and to die for. Not surprisingly, one of my best meals has also been at an inn (The Waffles Inn at St. Albans) where I had mixed vegetable soup with bread and lots of butter. Mmmm…

So presenting the side of pubs, inns and bars that I like. While I remember where most of them are located, my apologies for those that I don’t.

The foundations of 'Ye Olde Fighting Cocks' at St. Albans date back to the year 793. This inn claims to be the oldest public house in England and to have sheltered Oliver Cromwell for one night during the Civil War.

Ye Olde Watling in Central London. Christopher Wren, who was responsible for building 52 churches after the great fire of London in 1666, also built 4 pubs. Only the pub in the picture survives
The White Hart, near Globe Theatre in London, was the first pub that I photographed. The beige and sage green colour combination is so beautiful
At first glance, The Anchor, near Southwark Cathedral in London, appears quite forbidding. Then one notices the gleaming brass anchor, the flowers on the window sills, the laughter and the music, and suddenly the place seems so much different
The Shipwright's Arms is located near the London Bridge Station
The Albany, Great Portland Street, London
This is my favourite photograph. I just love the bright blue exteriors of this bar and cafe, which is located somewhere in London
The George or George Inn was established somewhere in the medieval period in Southwark, London
The 5 'o' clock pint at the Crown & Anchor, London, before heading home
The Haunch of Venison in Salisbury has a bar on the ground floor and a restaurant on the first floor. It is considered to be the oldest in this cathedral town with first records appearing in 1320
The Six Bells at St. Albans
The Chaser Inn, somewhere in Kent. Yes, this is the same place that I had kaddu ki khichdi 😛
The Cricketers at Richmond. It was only 11.00 in the morning and this trio of friends were seriously discussing, you guessed right, cricket with a glass of their favourite tipple!

The photographs of English pubs, inns, bars and cafes here are only a sample from my collection on the same theme. I had a tough time choosing a selection for this post, as most of these places are charming, full of character and attitude and a great place for people watching, and of course your favourite drink 😀

Which one did you like?

35 thoughts on “Pubs, inns, bars

  1. Fantastic photos! The pubs were my favorites when I visited England (and I’m not talking about the drinks!). I also like to see the pub names in various television shows – Masterpiece Mystery! on PBS shows some unique names in its Misomer Murder series, and then there’s always The Pale Horse of Agatha Christie fame!
    I just spent the weekend in Hollister, Missouri USA, and visited The Black Horse Pub (latest post) http://ourlifeonthelane.wordpress.com

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    1. Welcome to my blog, and thank you for stopping by and commenting 🙂 Do you know that I actually looked for The Pale Horse, but only ended up finding The Slug and the Lettuce 😦
      Now heading over to read your blog.

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    1. The blue one is my favourite too. Photographing pubs was never a project; I dicovered only much later—when I was cataloguing the digital images—that I realised how many I had. Most of the photographs were taken just because I liked the setting or the history or the name. 🙂

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    1. Welcome to my blog and thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. Its sad to hear that such places are decreasing; as I feel an entire narrative will end with these pubs, inns and bars.

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  2. Just the perfect way to start the day…
    The pictures are lovely, the names are quaint,
    they revive some memories, albeit faint..
    I am no connoisseur of alcoholic drinks
    and except veggies all food makes me wince..
    Yet the charm of an afternoon or
    late in the evening, sometime,
    i can imagine sitting inside
    surrounded by the aromas of
    laughter and food..
    with clinking glasses to set the mood
    for a precious time with friends
    who share little snippets of their
    worries and cares
    which then slowly waft away
    and perfect shall be the end to the day

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  3. I loved the blue one. It has a very bright and cheerful exterior. Also, blue is my favourite colour.
    Each and every pub is charming in its own way. A few of them are pretty old and their historical significance is pretty interesting too. Nice post 🙂

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    1. It’s unbelievable the amount of character and attitude each one of these pubs and inns and bars have. They may belong to a common category, but each one of them are like individuals.

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    1. Oh that they are 🙂 Besides the architecture and colours, I loved their names, even though I couldn’t really understand why anyone would name their place “The Slug and the Lettuce” :-p

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    1. Thanks Umashankar. The English pubs, bars and inns are a class apart and till I wrote this post I didn’t realise what fun I had documenting them ! So when you visit England, apart from the mandatory touristy stuff, this is something you must look out for as well 😀

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  4. All the pubs, bars and inns are so lovely. Excellent photos! The profusion of flowers with their riot of colours just adds to the grandeur and quaintness of the structures. To me they look so cheerful and welcoming. I definitely want to go for a tipple to any one of these places for the sheer joy of experience. Blue is my favourite colour. I also somehow liked The Six Bells. All I need is a horse and buggy and what a White Christmas will that be!!!!

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  5. thanks Sudha for the eye capturing pictures…..I enjoyed all the pictures, but the Blue Hart (you know why) and the Shipwrights Arms are the ones I liked the best…the combination of colors and the setting make it look so attractive! The names are a real treat to read at the end of the day, rather week! They make you smile or even chuckle! I loved your blog.
    By the way, the kaddu ki kichidi sounds fun, I quite like blue cheese and pine nuts….must try them if I get a chance 😉

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    1. Hey Jayess, seeing you here after ages. Hope you’ll visit more often 🙂 And yes, I’m sure you would have enjoyed the kaddu ka khichdi. You and my brother both. He for the kaddu and you for the blue cheese and pine nuts 😛

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