Experienced British pub-goers at neighborhood pub chains, such as the famous Wetherspoon pubs, obey the unspoken rules of pub culture without being conscious of it.
But when regulars encounter tourists who commit a breach of etiquette, they will likely mutter and grumble about it among themselves yet keep their opinions from the offending tourists. Perhaps, they will be unable to articulate exactly what the breach of etiquette was in the first place.
Fortunately, as a tourist in the land of Queen Elizabeth II, you can avoid being a rude git by getting your pub manners straight.
The following tips also apply to fist-time native pub-goers who have little to no clue about proper pub etiquette.
Keep in mind that English pubs do not have table service. You have to order your food and drink as well as pay for your orders at the bar.
You can signal your readiness for the barman’s attention by holding money in your hand; the barman will take your order upon your turn.
If you have a table, one or two of your table mates will make the trip to the bar in behalf of all the others. You can, however, wait for your food and drinks at your table since the barman or barmaid will bring your orders to your table.
Food and Drink Orders
You have to remember that you can actually order non-alcoholic drinks in a Wetherspoon pubs since these are considered as the neighborhood’s common living room.
Cocktails, among other mixed drinks, like daiquiris and margaritas are virtually unknown in British pubs but the wide range of alcoholic drinks more than makes up for it.
Choices in alcoholic drinks include distilled spirits like gin, vodka, and whiskey, which can be ordered with either a mixer or water, and beer in various forms including ale, lager, stout, and bitter.
Emphasis must also be made that pubs can set their own prices on their alcoholic drinks but they have to follow strictly standardized laws on quantity.
For example, a shot of whiskey will be the same quantity in all English pubs; pouring more or less than the standard amount can be considered illegal.
While most English pubs do not offer full menu from breakfast to evening, Wetherspoons-branded pubs do. You can even take advantage of their daily specials, such as Mexican Monday, Tuesday Steak Club, Wing it Wednesday, Thursday Curry Club, Fish Friday, and Sunday Club.
And most important, you do not tip in an English pub! You may, however, ask the barman, “May I get you a drink?” and you will be charged for an extra drink as your tip.