Forget Big Ben, red double-decker buses, even the royal family at Buckingham Palace. If you really want a quintessential English experience head to an English pub and order a pint of beer.
Pubs like the Mawson Arms, located in London are much more than just a place to grab a drink; many of them are practically social institutions. Some even consider their local pub, or public house, as their home away from home.
Used by people of all ages, classes, and occupations, pubs are among the few places in Britain where it’s acceptable to strike up a conversation with a stranger.
The main attraction, however, is the beer.
Every pub has a long line of beer levers with names, which most Americans would have a hard time recognizing. If you are expecting to be served a nice cold and refreshing pint of beer, you might be a little disappointed. Brits prefer their beer warm since it brings out more of the beer’s flavor.
And while most pubs are bringing food into the mix, there is no waiter service in English pubs. So don’t sit at an open table and wait to place your order or the only thing you’ll end up getting is funny looks.
Brits typically buy their drinks in “rounds”. For example, if you go to a pub with four friends, you might buy the first round of drinks –one for you and each of your friends. When everyone finishes their drink, it becomes someone else’s turn to by the next around. And on it goes until everyone’s bought a round.
So if you’re looking to experience a pillar of British culture, a pint of beer, and some good company, you need only look as far as the nearest pub.
ABC News' Brian Fudge and Lee Alexander contributed to this episode