You can't stay in England for three months and not say anything about pubs. They're such a big part of the culture. There's one on every block in every district and village. British pubs (at least in the daytime) are friendly places where people could (and presumably do) hang out all day long. The ones we've stopped in have had comfortable sofas in odd corners, a patio or courtyard outside, and an atmosphere that (except for the booze) seems more like a coffee-house than a tavern.
The two pictured are more or less at the end of Sydenham's six-block High Street, with five others at various spots between. We've only tried a couple here in town, though.
There has been a pub on the site pictured above, The Greyhound, since 1713 and part of the present building dates from the 18th Century.
Pub names are just wonderful. Here are a few favorites in nearby districts. Alas, they are favorites in name only -- so many pubs, so little time: Copperfield's, Little Dorrit, Goose on the Green, Fox and Firkin, Hare and Billet, Jolly Farmer, The George, London and Rye, The Two Halfs, The Golden Lion; and The Barrow and Banker.
Most of them have a pub sign with the appropriate picture in a terra-cotta like material. Historically, the picture signs told people who couldn't read what the building was. Many started as inns or gathering places for certain activities (besides drinking). Thus, the Greyhound was the meeting place for local hunting groups.
So, if you had enough time and the right constitution (neither of which we do) you could do a pub crawl all around London and call it a historical study. The pubs have a wide range of beers--it's hard to pick a favorite, because the next pub will have entirely different beers (exept for Guinness-they all have that, but we've yet to see anyone drinking it).
Yes, this is a picture of a menu. In English pubs, you order and pick up your own drinks at the bar.
So Bill does that and I grab the table -- and (in this case only) take a picture whilst waiting. The Three Tuns was a nice place where we ate after touring Windsor. The pub keeper was very interested in America and later she came over to our table and we had a great conversation.
I snapped the picture because of the neat name -- it's a crossword clue that I've never seen used anywhere else until now -- and because of what it told about the history of the area.