The London Pub Challenge

It wasn’t my first time in London but my first time all by myself – and I was super excited to explore this vibrant city on my own. The biggest must-sees on the sightseeing list had been done, so I was keen to get to know London from another perspective, though I think that I was still doing the touristy stuff. But what’s one of the things you definately have to do when visiting Great Britain? Right. You just have to go to a pub to breathe in true British life. I thought, that it wouldn’t be such a big deal. And really, it isn’t. But I came unprepared. City guides can be a helpful thing but I don’t want to read about everything in advance. For me, one of the fun parts about travelling is to explore things on my own and find out how things work and what they are like. Yes, this might result in some slightly embarrassing situations but on the other hand those stories will be the best to tell and the most entertaining ones, too.

So after an american football game at Wembley (the NFL pays Europe a visit at the beginning of the season) I entered a pub on the way home. It was crowded, full of football fans but Londoners as well and so I was making my way through the guests to find myself a seat. I found one, placed my bag under table and sat there waiting for someone from the service staff to bring me a menue and ask for my. You see, I wasn#t familiar with the concept of pubs at all. At some point the two men who shared the table with me took pity and explained how it worked. That was when I was already starving and craving for a drink. I ordered a glass of wine and we began to talk, which was the reason for me to totally forgot to order a meal. We were busy discussing the results of the latest election in Germany and the reasons for the obvious change in the political situation in my country and switched to the question whether it was a good decision for a woman to travel solo these days, especially in London. After a little while the men bid their goodbyes and the waiter arrived again to tell me that I couldn’t sit at my table any longer as the quiz night was about to start. The pub was still buzzing and so I moved to the bar where my steak pie was served. It was good but two days later I learned that there are better ones out there. However, I enjpyed it and not only that but I got the chance to witness a typical evening in a pub in London. Of course I will come back and the next time, I know what to do because I learned from that evening. Here are my tips for a fun pub night:

  • Take someybody with you – of course, you could do it on your own but personally I like to have somebody watching my belongings while I’m at the bar to place the order. Besides, it’s always more fun when you can share your experiences there.
  • Indulge in the life that the locals lead – Order typical dishes and local drinks instead of opting for something you already know. To learn something about a country and ist culture it’s essential to eat like the locals.
  • Be open – Nothing is easier than to get in touch with people when being in a pub. People are curious and as pubs are often crowded, it’s likely for you to share your table. A perfect opportunity to make new friends, find out what’s the latest in the city your visiting and to get some tips for your stay.

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