Ah, pubs. Possibly my favorite part of London! White pins on the map stand for the pubs and restaurants I frequented during my trip. Because I obviously had to eat every day and went to countless restaurants, the places I specifically marked were pubs that the group went to more than once during our stay and the main location we ate around (we didn’t really stray more than a block or two from Brunswick to eat). There are five white pins on the board, all conglomerated in one central area, not very far from where I stayed. Why is this? Why didn’t I take the Tube to some swanky restaurant across the map? First, let’s take a step back and examine the places I actually visited.
Our group visited three main pubs: The London Pub, Lord John Russel’s, and The Rocket. Most nights we would try to hit up all three of the pubs, starting at the Rocket, stop over at Lord John Russel’s for a pint, then end at the London Pub. Each place had something unique to offer! The Rocket had nice drink specials (and I usually ordered nachos to have some food in my stomach, just in case the night was long. Also, I just really love nachos), Lord John Russel’s was the friendliest and felt like the most “local” pub, and the London Pub was the place where the single ladies of the group could get there flirt on with some Australians while on their Contiki Tour. Out of all of the places I visited while studying abroad, the pubs are where I felt the most at home and also the most enjoyable aspect of Englishness (more of that later).
The other white pins marked the Bloomsbury Hotel where I went for afternoon tea and Brunswick Centre. Most of the places I went to eat were located in or around the Brunswick center. The place seemed to have a bit of everything! There was a burger place, sushi, Indian, sandwich shops, an Italian restaurant, whatever you wanted to eat was right there. I got to try all sorts of food without have to travel all across London (or the world, for that matter. Not that I’m not planning on traveling to the actual places and trying actual Indian, French, or Italian food), which was convenient. My friends from home had told me how great exploring the international food was in London, for it’s an international city. It was true; I had so much fun!
Looking at all of the different pins on the board and how local I stayed for food and beer, two questions pop into my head; Why did I stay so local for food, was it because everything was so conveniently located? If food is such an important part of life (and my life specifically, for I’m an aspiring foodie!), why did I not travel outside of my central location to find and enjoy it? The pins on the outskirts of the map are for religious buildings, museums or some other form of tourist-y things. These places of power and knowledge are out of the way, yet seem to be more important than beer and food. I said earlier in this post that I enjoyed myself more when I was in the pubs than traveling far to see some museum, and it seems that I was sucked in by the reputation of power and importance that the other categories had than experiencing London like I could have.