Pub, the short for Public Houses, is one of the oldest famous British institutions. There are over 6,000 pubs in the U.K. “Public houses” developed from inns, which offered travelers food, drink and shelter. In the “Canterbury Tales” by Geoffrey Chaucer (1340-1400), pilgrims on their way to Canterbury in the south-east England rested at pubs, and told each other tales.
Many of the plays by William Shakespeare were performed in the yards of London pubs.
Most pubs have distinctive names, many of which reflect their historical origin. Several Pubs are open all day from 11.00 a.m. to 11.00 p.m. including the weekends. The legal age to enter a pub is 16 and to buy alcohol is 18. Children can enter the pubs that sell food but only with adults. Different types of beer are served in pubs. In Britain, the pub is a traditional feature of almost all towns and villages because for many people it is a kind of club, where one can relax, talk with friends, listen to music, play games and enjoy a drink or a meal. Today some of the largest pubs still provide overnight accommodation, and thus they are like small hotels. In other words, the pub is a central feature of British life.
Fish and chips
Today, millions of serving of fish and chips are eaten every week. There is a national competition to find the Fish and Chip shop of the year and an award for the Young Frier of the year. British people regularly travel miles to get to their favorite ‘chippy’, where they are happy to wait in a long queues for half an hour before they get served.
The British started eating fish and chips in the second half of the nineteen century: they were sold in the back streets of London and the other industrial cities of Britain-originally, they were a cheap food eaten most by the working classes. This typical take-away meal is made up of white fish, such as cod and haddock, and covered in a better made from flour and water. This fish is then deep-fried in vegetable oil, and vinegar, others add tomato ketchup or mayonnaise. Some chippies make their batter with beer instead of water; they say the CO2 in the beer makes the batter lighter and crispier. Recipes for the perfect batter are often top secret and are handed down from generation to generation.
Harry Ramsden’s in the Britain’s most successful chain of fish and chips shops. He started serving fish and chips in a small town in Yorkshire, in the north of England, in 1928. Three years later, he had opened his first fish and chip restaurant. There are now 35 ‘Harry Ramsden’ restaurants in the UK. The secret of Harry’s success was his almost obsessive attention to detail. Everything had to be spotlessly clean and only the best, freshest ingredients were used. Although Harry died in 1963, he is still known as the King of fish and chips, and his batter recipe is still top secret.