Thanks for the guest post by Rob L.
If you plan to visit any foreign countries you should really get to know the local people. The best way to do this is to immerse yourself in the culture and the food of the locals. The best place to do this is often the local pub. There are some really amazing dishes and that you can’t find in high lass restaurants because people turn their noses up at them. They don’t like to associate themselves with what they perceive as low class food. Anyone who has ever eaten poutine can tell you that “low class” food can take your breath away. There is something really beautiful about savoring rich food while drinking a beer and shooting billiards on pool tables. It may not be high society but you will make friends if you forget that high society exists.
In regards to libations, one of the best things you can do is befriend a bartender. This is easiest in a small pub or bar because the bartender is more likely to have a conversation with you. They aren’t as busy trying to fill orders and restock the shelves as each bottle runs out. The biggest concern that a small pub bartender has is making sure that nobody tries to dance on the pool tables. Some won’t even be concerned with that. Bartenders love to work their craft and each one has a favorite drink or favorite style. Most pubs aren’t the places to order a pumpkin pie “martini” but if you like real mixed drinks, like the Old Fashioned and gin martinis, you may just find the best mixer on the planet.
Pubs are really the heart of a town. With an open heart, an empty stomach and a little skill at the pool table you may just walk away with some new lifelong friends and a lifelong love of everything “pub”.