We’ve often said that the pubs of London are one of the must-see attractions of Britain’s capital. But do you plan your London time around visiting pubs? And if so, how do you select which pub (or pubs) to visit?
The answer to the first question is easy: yes. Most definitely, yes. Going to London without going to a pub is like going to Paris and not seeing the Eiffel Tower or going to New York and not seeing the Statue of Liberty. London’s pubs are a treasure of British culture. If you still have the misconception that a pub is the equivalent of an American bar, you’re way off. A British pub is a combination restaurant, bar, and meeting place; “pub”, in fact, comes from “public house”. Pubs are a place to meet, to catch up with friends and colleagues, to grab a quick and convenient bite to eat, to get informal with a client and clinch the deal (especially in London), or to plot the overthrow of the monarchy. Ok, well this last one might not be a common pub topic nowadays, but (as has been the case for centuries) beer-fueled discussions to solve the world’s problems are still a pub mainstay.
The answer to the second question is also pretty easy. The best pub to pick is the closest one. This isn’t entirely tongue-in-cheek: we can’t remember having a bad London pub experience, and they’re everywhere you look. We’ve sometimes had to wait for a table, the food hasn’t always been gourmet, and the carpets can sometimes be in desperate need of replacing. But they’re always an experience. From the first time a local pub regular told me, “cheers, mate”, I’ve been hooked.
But if you need a little more guidance, here’s a link for you: http://londonist.com/2013/12/londons-most-unusual-pubs This list of the 10 most “unusual” pubs has proven to be a perfect guideline for our London pub exploring. We’ve been to 6 of the pubs on this list and will eventually get to the other 4. And for each of these 6, we’ve visited at least 2 or 3 other London pubs that aren’t on this list. By the way, “unusual” in the title of this Londonist.com article feels a bit, well, unusual to us. There are a couple of truly unusual pubs on this list, no doubt, but we think a better title would be, “London’s 10 Most Characterful Pubs”. Here’s our blog from our visit to the Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town, and here are a few pictures from our visit to London this time around:
The Blackfriars (also featured as the title photo for this blog)
3 Above: The Windsor Castle
2 Above: The Cittie of Yorke
Ok, this has nothing to do with London’s pubs. While we were in London in April, the attempted hijacking of an EgyptAir flight from Alexandria to Cairo by a man with a fake bomb made news around the globe. It turns out the man was not a terrorist, just some sorely misguided bloke trying to get his estranged wife’s attention. But we just love the honesty of the British press…