What’s the best time of day to go the the pub? The time that you fancy a beer, obviously. But the thing about these living-rooms-at-length are that they cater for all kinds of situations. And that’s as true for the cliched ‘life events’ that we celebrate there (wedding receptions, final exams, the conclusion of a life) as it is for the actual point of the clock when we cross the threshold.
Drinking is a pastime suited to the evening, yes – it lets off steam after the day of work; it requires you to simply crawl home and into bed afterwards – but from the moment the heavy bolt is drawn back and the pump clips turned outward-facing for the day (not that they still do that, I don’t think), the pub is fair game. The optimum time for refreshment varies with each individual drinker – but here are some of the very best times to get the beers in…
I’ve covered this before, on the BeerCast – but the idea of waiting for a pub to open still feels a little naughty, if you’ll pardon the schoolboy phraseology. It’s as if you shouldn’t be there – you’ve got a million things that would better occupy your time, and yet here you are, loitering outside the Mango & Mongoose at five to midday. Why? Well – for the very best time to be inside. When there’s nobody else in, and you feel like a Lord of the Manor (until the other regulars turn up).
Pub Lunch – still the best three hours you’ll spend on any given weekend (or weekday). Roll up with nowhere better to be, papers tucked under the arm, dog or children in tow, and park yourself. At lunchtime, the mood shifts from the committed daytime drinkers to the more socially-acceptable food-involved pubgoer. So take full advantage, order the roast or the chef’s special, and start working your way along the handpulls.
This, for me, is still the absolute best time to head to the pub – the first beer after a day’s work…well, a day’s clacking at the keys – is a moment to keep you going from early morning onwards. I think the reason why is that it’s the most adult of rewards (apart from…well…) and it gives you the opportunity to feel you’ve earned it. One of the best days of the week to go out is Monday, as you never need something to look forward to more.
But then, there is the simple action of being drawn to your local light an IPA-obsessed moth, and meandering towards its welcoming glow. Take the photo at the top of this post. The Guildford Arms in Edinburgh, looking like an absolute beacon in the dark. Who could walk past that, if they turned the corner and saw it standing there? And more importantly, why would you want to walk past?
A great pub means so many different things, depending on the time of day. What’s the best time to head down, do you think? (‘All Day’ is a perfectly acceptable answer. Sometimes.)