September 16, 2014

Drink London The 100 Best Bars and Pubs

By In Drink Books

Bar Pepito, yep heard of it but never been… Vinoteca… been to all of them… Terroirs… which wine lover hasn’t been there?

I’m flicking through Drink London The 100 Best Bars and Pubs. Many of those listed are way outside my usual London stomping grounds but many are not and I wasn’t even aware they even existed.

I‘ve probably walked passed many without realising the gem within.

Take the Ape and Bird on Shaftsbury Avenue:

“.. it doesn’t look much like your average Dog and Duck. On the ground floor is a casual restaurant and a separate (almost) traditional drinking space, but the real appeal comes with the downstairs ‘dive bar’, a seductively lit and secretive spot with simple cocktails and high-backed booth for groups. Among the theatres, chains, rip-offs and endless crowds of the West End, this is a highly civilised hideaway.”

I’ll have to go.

From the maps the concentration of recommendations is in the West End and a clutch of options over in Shoreditch with a noticeable dessert across Moorgate and St. Pauls. Peckham? Highgate? Hackney? Not places I really have a need to visit but some establishments in these areas sound so tempting, so delightful, that it might be worth making a special trip for.

Drink London is small enough to have a permanent place in my camera bag. For those regular – for I am invariably early – periods when I am kicking my heals before appointments this guide is going to be a godsend.

The guide is split into Cocktails (Hawksmoor, Nightjar, Mark’s Bar, Coburg Bar at the Connaught and 14 others), Legendary Locals (14 places listed), Craft Beer , Ale and Cider (from the Royal Oak in Borough to up-starts Brewdog), Liquid History (“a glimpse into lost London a world away from the typical tourist zones of the West End”), Wine and Spirit Specialists (14 recommendations) and finally quirky places With A Twist (“But just because a bar has a silly name, or a password is required to get in to or it’s at the top of a tall building, doesn’t mean it’s actually worth leaving the house for.”)

There is a tick sheet at the back for those collecting, the maps showing general location and each listing has a recommended drink to try. What there isn’t is an indication of the cost level of each place. Is a cocktail going to be £8 or £15? The only fault I could find in a book stuffed with new discoveries and atmospheric photographs.

Drink London The 100 Best Bars and Pubs is to be published in October 2014. Amazon is listing a pre-order for £8.71.

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