Karen and Richard welcome you to The Old Lock and Weir Inn, situated at Hanham Mills, Bristol and set in the middle of Hanham Abbot's Conservation area.
The 300year old Riverside cottage pub is on two levels. The upper level is the bar area, with flagstone floor and tall bar stools. Downstairs are three linked drinking/dining rooms. Weather permitting the BBQ and Boat House Bar outside serving the patio on the river's edge overlooking the Weir.
The pub is Renowned for its 'Themed' nights and special events, a party atmosphere in a usually tranquil setting.
Beginners Pub Guide
Getting a Drink
Walk up to the bar, lean on it and wait for someone behind the bar to serve you. Don't shout at the staff for service, just try to catch their eye. Eye contact is the key to getting served, and 'smiling eyes' may even speed the process up a little (Unless of course the pub is particularly busy and noisy, then a shout to one of the staff like; "A pint of bitter when you can please." is certainly permitted, but could ostracize you also, use your common sense when attempting this particular method.) Unusually for England, you should not queue - if you can see a space at the bar, go and lean on it. Bar staff are generally quite good at serving people in order - the person who has been waiting longest should be served next. Clutching a monetary note in your hand and occasionally wafting it under the nose of the bar staff may also increase your chances of getting served, but don't be too obnoxious. Subtlety is the key. Just standing at the bar and chatting nonchalantly whilst clutching the note may be enough for some staff to acknowledge the fact you'd like a drink, but don't count on it as bar staff are for the most part busy and may only serve you at a time when it best suits their routine or workload. Another factor to perhaps add to the equation of obtaining a drink is the social ideals of beauty. An apparently attractive person may well get preferential treatment from bar staff. This shouldn't happen, but it does. If all else fails try an off-license, but under no circumstances return to the Lock and Weir with bought drinks from another supplier or pub.
Once you have the bar staff's attention, take a look at what is available. Real British beer is served by pulling a tall lever called a hand pump. Each hand pump has a little label telling you the brand and usually its strength. There are many to choose from such as beer, lager, ale, cider and even mulled wine. There is more often than not a house beer as well. When you have decided upon your chosen beverage inform the person serving you how much you want ('a half' or 'a pint') and the brand name (e.g., Otter or Fosters). You need to give a brand name as pubs usually have more than one type of bitter or lager. The beer available is different in many pubs. The beer in one pub may be completely different to that in the pub next door. There are often regional variations, and it can be quite an adventure to try the different brews in each part of the country, from all four compass points. Feel free to experiment. Bear in mind you may have need for certain assistance the following day.
You are entitled to a full pint. A good server will offer to top up a pint if it is very frothy. You can ask for red or white wine or soft drinks, or any of the bottles in the fridges or on shelves behind the bar. If you can see it you can order it! Spirits are sold in standard fixed measures. If you ask for a large or double drink (e.g., scotch or vodka) you will get two measures in the glass and therefore pay more. You will be expected to pay immediately, in cash. the Old Lock and Weir will now accept most forms of EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer), but cash is still the preferred method of business transaction. If you want to tip the bar staff it is not frowned upon, but neither is it customary. The best way to suggest you are pleased with your service is to tell your friendly drinks provider to 'pour one for yourself'. You then pay for the extra drink and it is up to the individual staff member to either pour one for themself as suggested, or pocket the cash you provided for that drink.
If you buy a lot of drinks you can ask for a tray, and sometimes the bar staff may even ask you where you are sitting and bring the drinks over to you and your friends. If ordering food with your drinks the pub may also offer a tab system in which you simply put a tally on all your food and drink and pay at the end of your pub experience. However, it is best that you develop a good rapport with the bar staff before asking for credit, as some pubs offer tabs that can all too often be abused - they may run into huge monetary figures and perhaps even lead to individuals being barred from the premises by the landlord.
You CAN leave drinks at the bar if it is quiet. It is an unwritten rule that another person's drink is to be left untouched while at the bar. If it is forgotten about - someone will not drink it, the bar staff will merely tip it down a sink. Be aware, though, that there is a certain danger at leaving drinks at the bar. Some people find it amusing to 'spike' drinks. Spiking is illegal and has also been linked to further crime such as theft, assault and even rape.
This is sometimes a confusing occasion for visitors from outside England. A group of drinkers usually drink in rounds. For example, if there are four of you, one person buys a round of drinks for everyone in the group (four drinks). The next person buys the next round and so on. This way only one person from each group of drinkers goes to the bar, which makes it less crowded. A drinker in a big group would probably not want to buy a round for everyone as it could be pretty expensive. In these situations the group often organizes itself into smaller, cheaper rounds - although some will set up a 'kitty' or 'whip' fund where one person in the group will be designated holder of the 'kitty' and will always order and pay for the groups drinks. Be careful, the 'kitty' holder MUST be trustworthy! You should look to offer to buy a round of drinks at the appropriate time. When you are drinking in a round with other people, try not to drink faster than them. The person who is getting the next round in will wait until most people have nearly finished their drinks before they go to buy it. You don't have to have a drink in every round but you should still buy if it is your turn. The round system is open to abuse but if you drink much more than you buy for other people - it will get noticed!
No matter how hard you try there may be occasions where you commit a faux pas of some sort. These are some of the more common: Spilling a drink - If you spill your drink it's a bit clumsy. However, you can purchase another providing you have sufficient monetary funds at your disposal. If you spill another patron's drink you are expected to apologise profusely and offer to buy them another. Not necessarily what they were drinking, mind you. It is their choice. You erred, you must suffer the consequences. If you spill your drink ON another patron you have two options:
* 1. Run.
* 2. Grovel and offer apologies/ money/ favours, attempt to dry them with the nearest available towel/napkin/coat and offer to buy them a drink.
Looking at the wrong person - While in a bar it may seem to be your prerogative to look about and stare at other people. Don't do it. It's rude. The meerkat approach is acceptable if you are looking for friends, but refrain from looking at somebody else's girl/boyfriend. You may get into trouble. Taking somebody else's seat/drink - There is only one thing you can do. Apologise and get them another or replace taken item. Quickly. Most can be avoided and rectified quite happily, however there may be some pubs where you would be wise to leave before harm befalls your person. If you follow the above guidelines you should have an excellent Old Lock and Weir experience.
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