I am a journalist, a mother-of-three and a long-time lover of pubs. Perhaps it stems from those childhood days when my brother and I were forced to while away many hours sitting in cars outside pubs with a Pepsi and crisps? We were too young to be allowed in but that wasn’t going to deter our parents from stopping off for a swift drink. I wasn’t able to catch so much as a glimpse at the bar, yet I knew there must be something wonderful inside.
Since then I have visited hundreds of pubs and am constantly amazed at how many London hostelries have managed to retain the atmosphere of a local. Many a pub in Britain’s smaller towns and villages have turned into restaurants and gastropubs in order to stay afloat. But the traditional, old-fashioned boozer with its Victorian tiles, oak beams and dimly-lit corners is alive and well and flourishing in our capital city.
As a lover of history I am fascinated by the many stories attached to these establishments, many of them relating to well-known figures from our past. So come with me to the pub. It will be an education for all of us.