Great Britain: More Time, Gentlemen

If the U.S. has eased everyday existence by instantizing pleasure and automating toil, Britain clings to the notion that the best things in life should not be easy. Drinking, for instance, has remained as serious and satisfying a pursuit as deer stalking, and for the same reason: it takes work.

Pubs, rationed to brief, twice-daily sessions totaling nine hours, hardly open their doors before the cry goes up: "Time, GEN-tlemen, please." A visitor returning with friends to his hotel for a nightcap can legally wet only his own registered whistle. Liquor stores are...

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