Today has been busy! After a quick, early morning session in the local gym it was up to the centre of London for a lengthy two hour meeting with a very full agenda followed by an afternoon of job interviews. Lunch consisted of a couple of sandwiches and at the same time putting final touches to how we should conduct the interviews.
Interviews over it was good that we were able to head to a local Spanish bar (Iberica) for some refreshment. Good that here we could have a coffee, tea or choose a glass of sherry from a list of eight or ten. Just an indication of how the London drinking scene has changed over the last ten or so years.
Previously I have posted on the death of many traditional pubs but there are some vibrant newcomers – quite often replacing dead wood that had not moved with the times.
Euan Ferguson’s Drink London is a recently published guide to the best of the new as well as celebrating the best of the old. His selection of London’s 100 best watering holes is divided into six sections: cocktails; legendary locals; craft beer, ale and cider; liquid history; wine & spirits specialists; and with a twist.
Under cocktails you will find among others: The London Cocktail Club in Goodge Street, Oskar’s Bar in Whitfield Street, and the Coburg Bar at The Connaught in Carlos Place.
Under legendary locals we move away in part from the centre of London to include some examples from the inner suburbs to pubs like The Island Queen in Islington, The Wenlock Arms in Hoxton, or The Ivy House in Nunhead in deep South London, which is making history and perhaps setting a precedent. In 2012 The Ivy House was threatened with closure. Instead of being redeveloped into flats or swanky apartments, the locals bought the pub and it’s the first London co-operative pub.
Under craft beer, ale and cider Ferguson covers London’s beer renaissance citing The Jerusalem Tavern in Clerkenwell, Craft Beer Co also in Clerkenwell and Brewdog in Shoreditch.
Under liquid history you’ll find such famous boozers as The French House in Soho – the watering hole for The French Resistance during the Second World War – or Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese (rebuilt in 1667) on Fleet Street, once the heart of Britain’s newspaper industry.
Wine & spirits specialists includes Terroirs near the Strand – the first of a family of bars/eating places featuring ‘natural’ wines – or there is the Whisky Bar at The Athenaeum on Piccadilly – or Bar Pepito a sherry specialist in Varnishers Yard, Kings Cross.
Although with a twist doesn’t feature Chubby Checker, ‘all have something that set them apart from the masses’. These include The Palm Tree in Mile End, the Well & Bucket – a revived Victorian pub or The Mayflower beside the Thames at Rotherhithe.