We live close to the Thames. As yesterday was a nice day, we decided to go for a walk along a part of the Thames Path and have lunch in a pub. The Thames is the famous river that flows through London under Tower Bridge and the Thames Path is a walk from the source of the river in Gloucestershire over 194 miles, or almost 300 kilometers, into the city of London. We only walked a small part of it though!
Yesterday was Sunday so there were many boats on the river, people out walking and students out rowing - Oxford is famous for its rowing! From where we live, it's about an hour walk to the village of Sandford. At Sandford there is a lock. A lock is a place on the river with gates where the level of water can be changed to allow boats to move between parts of the river which are at different heights. There's usually a pub at a lock because these are places where boats often held up waiting for other boats to pass through going in the other direction. At Sandford Lock, there is a big country pub with lots of tables outside under an enormous horse chestnut tree. You can sit beside the river and watch the boats and the ducks and the geese as you have a drink.
As yesterday was Sunday, there were lots of families out with their children for lunch. We arrived at nearly four o'clock but people were still having a meal. Now that pubs can stay open all day, habits have changed. Pubs have become more family friendly and serve a wider variety of drinks and food. In the past, Sunday lunch was a very traditional affair with roast beef and Yorkshire pudding or lamb and mint sauce. And pub food was often limited to chicken or steak pies. Today what people eat has changed considerably and on the menu in the pub you can find a wide variety of food from different places. The pub here still serves the traditional but also serves things like pizza, lasagne or burgers. And of course everything comes with chips!