Samuel Pepys once said pubs are the heart of England.
One of the absolutely quintessential experiences in the UK is to walk to your local pub and order a pint, maybe with a plate of fish and chips or bangers and mash; to meet your friends after work for a few; or to join your family at the pub for a Sunday roast with all the fixings.
Public House: also called a pub or local; open to the public; serves beer/wine/spirits as well as food in most cases; tied to a specific brewery and therefore only serves that brand of beverages
Free House: a type of pub that can serve any brand of beer they wish, and are not tied to a specific brewery
The amount of pubs and free houses in the towns and villages around where I am based in the UK are plentiful. It didn’t take too many miles to photograph the local establishments. Yet I’ve only been to two of the twelve photographed in this post. Sadly, that is likely the case for more than just me.
This is because, unfortunately, frequenting pubs for many Brits is on the decline these days. During times of recession and overall financial strain, most people forego a few pints at the pub and spend more time eating and drinking at home. This, in turn, causes strain on the pubs, and sometimes forces them to close down. Some are bought and turned into regular restaurants. Some, because they remain zoned or assigned as public houses, lack buyers and sit in disrepair for years.
Some of the oldest buildings in the UK are pubs. And most that I have come across are truly gorgeous, with such history. Although pubs today do not serve the purpose they once did, much like those photogenic red telephone booths, I hope they will stand the test of time. After all, you can’t go on living without your heart.
Each of the pubs photographed in this post are in Hertfordshire or Essex.
Where is your favorite English pub located?