If you ask me, the British country pubs can offer some of the best romantic experience of your life. Not the London pubs where you may have to jostle with a crowd for your pint of beer and then get in to a brawl with the barman over its head. Not even the Vic, where high drama of "EastEnders" plays out incessantly, not far from the Olympics venue.
If you are visiting the Olympics 2012 with the love of your heart, make sure to take some time out for a day or two to prom the British hinder land and stop by some of the numerous romantic pubs dotting its countryside. Who knows, you might even discover what love can truly feel like.
Imagine a sultry, wet and lingering afternoon in July in England when everywhere else the sun is shining. Hardly a time for romance. Yet if you walk in to a quiet country pub, you may be surprised how the ambience can be full of life and romance.
There is nothing unusual if you see a couple in their late forties or fifties enjoying the most loving of romantic moments, something you might have never seen in the best movies you can remember. The gentleman has turned his chair sideways and is sitting close to the lady, beholding her with the most ardent feelings of love he has ever felt. He is indeed oblivious of everything around him, even the glass of beer in his hand. The lady is quietly fondling his collar, ear or neck while still speaking some sweet nothing to him.
You may notice how the lady partner of a couple sitting across the table next to you, deep in some wild intimate conversation, ardently reach out to touch and affectionately fondle the forearm of her partner. You may feel yourself falling in to a romantic spell watching a younger couple on a corner sofa quietly stealing a smooch now and then in between gulps of their drinks. You may even be surprised how people in their eighties and nineties can still wear a lovelorn look.
Scenes, you might think, hardly ever to be seen outside the privacy of a living room. Scenes you won't certainly find in any American diner with their bus like seating style, often the background for famous movie episodes. Scenes far from the embarrassing and intimate sharing of 'huitre' and champagne in the crowded bistros of Paris, where you can find tourists who almost shout 'we don't care, we are on top of the world' while a female companion sucks out of an oyster shell held out by her lover.
It is difficult to say what makes the British country pubs so uniquely romantic. Perhaps it is the tradition of the pubs being managed by "land Lords" who also tend to play some pivotal role in the British social fabric. Often, the friendly and hospitable nature of the land lords and serving staff makes you feel at home, something which you definitely miss in the McDonald's or the restaurants of chain hotels attended by bearers in stiff uniforms.
The pub buildings themselves, most of which are preserved in original exteriors, in scenic settings, definitely help to build the ambience. But it is probably the interiors with their nooks and corners, and old style furnishing which break the monotonous ambience of large halls and offer some privacy, which must be appealing to most people. Though they weren't originally meant as meeting place for families, they are now the favourite places for a meal out with family and friends, especially with the gardens and play pens for children.
Quite a few of the country pubs also have acquired gastronomic and culinary status. In fact manye of the Michelin star restaurants in the UK are famous pubs.
In a land where Pubs are as much used as landmarks while giving directions as churches, they are part of the daily life without which life will seem almost impossible. But for visitors to Olympics 2012 games a visit to a old countryside pub can offer an experience they may not forget in life.