Posted by on Aug 3, 2015 in Pubs | 4 Comments


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…

Opening Time
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).

Lunch Time
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.

Finishing Time
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.

Night Time
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.)


  1. Neil
    August 3, 2015

    2.15 pm …. A recent (ish) change by myself to work what I call gentlemens hours means a 2pm finish and a 1 hour gap in my day ….. During term time (I know early finish and term time working not exactly pushing myself these days) I like that hour … Most finished lunch and pushed off … Place quiet … Phone out wifi’d up and 2 or 3 drinks …. And quiet….. Over the years as I’ve got older I much prefer an early pint not too keen on late at all these days…….

  2. krispn
    August 3, 2015

    I find that post night shift, not at 8am but having stayed awake all morning (maybe a cheeky nap) then out for about 2pm is my fav time to go out recently. Bars are quiet, staff are up for a chat and it’s a good way to bond with your local bar crew. I find the downstairs bar at Spit/Fire suitably dark and welcoming ….well you don’t want it to be too bright do you?

  3. Stephen Chubb
    August 3, 2015

    3.30pm is about the perfect time to visit a “local” – usually quiet, and plenty of time to contemplate the great beer!

  4. Dave
    August 3, 2015

    I like the pub at any time of day, but my favourite is “when you least expect it.” Like when you’re out doing something mundane like shopping or getting the messages and it starts pouring. You take refuge in a nearby pub “just ’til the rain goes off,” but bump into a friend or two who’ve had a similar idea. The next thing you know it’s 4 hours later and you’ve had a great time catching up, talking pish, putting the world to rights. Oh, and the sun’s back out, so you head to the nearest beer garden.

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