Make a choice, but whatever your preference for a jolly saunter, London is truly blessed. Be it hops or juniper that pimps your palate, our beloved capital is brimming with bars offering some seriously titillating tipples (alliteration fatigue – I need a lie down).
When William Hogarth sketched his Beer Street and Gin Lane in 1751, the famous painter, critic and cartoonist came down firmly on the side of beer, denouncing the ‘evil foreign spirit’ and championing the joys of home brew. Today however, in the interests of British fair play and following the hallowed sporting traditions of Wimbledon Lawn Tennis and WWE Live Wrestling – we offer two shouts for each.
So, starting in the beer corner…
The Draft House
With four London locations stretching East to West, you’re never far from a Draft House. And that’s a good thing, because this fierce little pride of pubs is deadly serious when it comes to making beer and distinctly jolly when serving it. So come savour its ‘extraordinary range of strange and wonderful brews’. And if you ever find yourself in Milton Keynes, there’s even one there! Well, you never know…
‘Free yourself from big brand slavery!’ is the clarion call of those clever chaps at Beer 52. It’s not a pub, it’s a club…but not one you frequent. Join this award-winning online start-up and they’ll deliver a stupendous selection of 8 craft beers to your door each month, plus a copy of their highly readable ‘Ferment’ magazine. What’s not to like?
Crossing to the gin palaces…
Sitting pretty on Old Street, Loves Company wants yours. And they won’t disappoint, offering a toasty to accompany your choice of funky cocktail. How very 80s. This handsomely cool retro bar has a drinks menu that might be inspired by 1970s illegal Amsterdam imports; titles include, Blue Balls, Sultry Saddle and Tantric twist. Steady on.
You’ll discover The Bootlegger down a few steps off Leadenhall Market. A generous subterraneanea awaits, showing black and white gangster monochromes on designer damp walls and exposed brickwork. There’s even a working gramophone crackling out the jazz to complete the 1920s ‘speakeasy’ feel. Sit back with a moreish vintage cocktail and pretend you’re Al Capone (without going at anyone with a baseball bat).
Feel free to chose Beer Street or Gin Alley as your headquarters, the ENTERTAINER favours both!