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Is it okay for a woman to sit at the bar?

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Denver, Colorado
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Is it okay for a woman to sit at the bar?

I was informed recently that it is not polite for a woman to sit at the bar of a pub. I can understand if you are by yourself, but does this rule still hold true if there are several of us? What is the ettiquette for pubs and women? I've never been to a pub, but would like to go out with my sister and female cousin. I don't go to bars (pubs) here in the states so I am curious? Is there some hidden meaning if women sit at the bar of a pub?

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1. Re: Is it okay for a woman to sit at the bar?

It is fine for a woman to sit at the bar - as long as she is a brazen hussy.

Londinium born and...
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2. Re: Is it okay for a woman to sit at the bar?

Sit wherever you like. Whoever told you that must have been watching old films set 'oop North'. Down here in the South women sit where they want. Just walk in find a gap (or "excuse me" to the bar), wave a a 10 pound note at the staff and try to attract their attention. If the pub is quiet and you can nab yourself some barstools then do it and sit with confidence in the knowledge that you're in London and can do what you damn well want! Chances are though that the bar will be crowded by blokes frantically trying to get another pint in before they have to go home and face the missus, so you may have to settle for a mere table. Pubs don't have table service here, so you have to go to the bar to order, pay and collect your drink.

There are no hidden meanings to women who sit at the bar in pubs...unless, that is, they're wearing a rubber mini dress, boots, stockings and insist on being called Mistress Pain. Don't sit near them!

; )

A handy hint. Be careful when leaning on the bar. Not all pub staff are quick to mop up spills and you'll end up with drippy sleeves.

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3. Re: Is it okay for a woman to sit at the bar?

I don't know who informed you, but they were way wrong!!

Alot of pubs don't have seats at the bar, this enables people to get served more easily. However, if they do have bar stools feel free to sit up there with you and your girlfriends. It is absolutely fine. Otherwise grab a table and enjoy yourselves.

The Pub ettiquette for women is that they come on their own or in twos or crowds, drink pints, sit or stand wherever they like, gossip, play pool and have fun.

Oh, and go to the toilet in pairs.

Sydney, Australia
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for Sydney, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Airlie Beach, Whitsunday Islands
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4. Re: Is it okay for a woman to sit at the bar?

A piece of sage advice from my grandmother... a woman will sit at the bar a lady wont...

Of course this was 70 years ago...

how times and ettiquette change...

but I still cant "breast the bar" as my mother calls it...

Vancouver, Canada
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5. Re: Is it okay for a woman to sit at the bar?

Pubs are fairly relaxed (usually) as opposed to a North American type bar, where frantic drinking and flirting are strictly the order of the day - although boozers like that exist in London.

Have a look at some of the five pint pubs at www.fancyapint.com, or even the four pint pubs - the Nag's Head or Scarsdale Arms would be great places to pass the time, not to mention the Lamb, a TALF favourite.

If you don't fancy a pint, you can always order a half.

London, United...
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6. Re: Is it okay for a woman to sit at the bar?

thetangal- there is no problem in sitting up a bar at all- I have done it on several occasions with women friends of mine. But I would never go into a pub on my own and certainly not sit at the bar on my own- not because its impolite but it looks as if you are trying to pick someone up and you would get a lot of unwanted attention!

Nice, France
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7. Re: Is it okay for a woman to sit at the bar?

Like EnglishRose, I would never go into a pub alone, but a small group of you is absolutely fine. Better to find a table once you get your drinks, though, than hang out at the bar. And TravellerPlus, I have to laugh - a friend of mine was in So. Yorkshire recently, and couldn't get served a pint. She finally managed to get 2 half pints as an alternative. The pub would only serve women half pints, as they deemed it unseemly for them to have a pint!

Derby, UK
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for Lindos
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8. Re: Is it okay for a woman to sit at the bar?

Trillian it is perfectly ok for a woman to sit by the bar, even 'Oop North' - pubs and bars up here are surprisingly very much like those further south.

As for the advice of waving a £10 note to get served it is the worst advice ever! I've worked in the trade and there's no better way to get ignored at a bar than waving a note in the air. Thetangal a nice smile will get you served much quicker, believe me.

Brighton, United...
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9. Re: Is it okay for a woman to sit at the bar?

Funny story about the 1/2pints for ladies only theartgirl!

English pubs are not like American bars. And, in general, I would say sitting at the bar of a pub is not so comfortable and indeed you could end up with soggy sleeves if you lean on it. Once you have your drink sitting at a table is far more comfortable and conclusive to watching what else is going on and chatting with your friends.

We also have cocktail and trendy bars in London where it might be nicer sitting at the bar - but I prefer to see what is going on around me rather than sitting with my back to all the action.

Plus, as you are planning on visiting with friends ie more than 2 of you, sitting in a row surely makes it harder for everyone to be a part of the conversation.

I guess the UK is no different to the USA in that certain areas and cities might have differing attitudes to ladies in pubs - but here in London we're a pretty cosmopolitan kind of crowd - although Mojitos are possibly a bit more popular right now ;o) And with that bad pun you're unlikely to get cocktails in a pub. It's more beer, wine, lager, cider and soft drinks depending on wheher you are in a traditional pub or someting more trendy or a gastro-pub.

You should ask Adam Hornets advice on pubs - I think he's a bit of an authority around here ;o) Also there are regular TALF meetings in London pubs so you could always join in with one of those if there is one while you are here.

Londinium born and...
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10. Re: Is it okay for a woman to sit at the bar?

Marcuschap72, if you read my post you'll see that I said 'in old films' I didn't say it was like that now, although it would appear from another poster that some Northern 'blokes' still have a problem with women/bar/pints.

; )

Also, as a customer (and one-time employee) that has been drinking in London pubs for over 30 years, I should know the protocol by now. Believe me, a small woman in a huge throng of huge men all trying to get a round in, doesn't stand much chance of even getting her face near the front, let alone get the chance to sling the barstaff a 'nice smile'. A tenner in the hand indicates that you're not standing there for your health and it helps if you can make eye contact with one barman/woman and get the "when you're ready, mate" in so they know that you know who's next in the queue.

: )

Of course the really easy way to get served quick in pubs is to send a real stunner up to the bar, in which case the crowds of men will Biblically part to allow her through and every straight barman in the place will rush to take her order,hehe.

Me? I have push and shove and wave a tenner.