The Format of the Book
The reviews in the book are separated into geographic parts of London – Central, East, North, Southeast, Southwest and West. Within those sections are the distinct ‘neighbourhoods’ such as the City, Covent Garden, Notting Hill and Soho.
As well as the pub reviews, the book packs in so much more. At the beginning of the book is a history of brewing in the city, a guide to chain pubs such as JD Wetherspoon and a guide to drinking in London’s pubs which is geared more to tourists.
At the back of the book is a fairly comprehensive guide to brewing, ingredients and beer styles along with profiles of worldwide breweries and the many that are located in London.
Some books such as London’s Best a pub’s (2nd Ed.) totally omit any of rm of index which makes navigating the book rather difficult. This book not only includes an index of the pubs but it also locate pubs near transport terminals, near landmarks and points of interest and by chains.
Each page of the book features 2 to 3 reviews some with a small photo, others without. An introduction crams in address, contact details, opening hours, features of the up such as Sky TV and lists beers you are likely to find there or have been featured there in the past. Whilst this can never be accurate I always appreciate it as many pubs do tend to feature the same breweries.
Des then manages to summarise the history of the pub, a description of the interior and the food and beer on offer in a short space but it’s just enough to help you decide if you want to visit.
Handily, at the end of each review is the nearest tube, cycle route, bus numbers and if it’s is along an historic trail or walkway.
I have the book on every trip to London since it was released last October. London’s Best a pub’s (2nd Ed.) is a cracking book and goes into great detail about the pubs featured but it’s not as portable as this book and Des features pubs that other books don’t. And surprisingly, even though this is a CAMRA book you will find reviews of pubs and bars that don’t serve any real ale.
The book is both suitable for people living in London and those who may only visit the city on occasion and after you have purchased the book you can keep it up to date by downloading the additions and corrections from Des’ website.
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