by Chloe Hay
The whole of Britain is bursting with pubs and taverns and London is certainly no exception. Every Londoner – like every Brit – has a local where they wind down after a hard day’s work, socialise with friends, watch the footy and generally have a good time. Every time somebody has something to celebrate they’re off down the pub to do it, as any excuse is good for a pint! So, if you want to celebrate the Olympics this summer in a true British fashion, there really is only one thing for it: to head straight to a pub!
There is a huge variety of pubs in London. Some have beautiful gardens that are great for cooling down with a pint of ice cold cider on hot summer days or socialising over a pint of British ale in the cooler evening. And for wet, rainy days there are many an old-fashioned tavern complete with a roaring fire, a selection of locally brewed bitters and bags of atmosphere. In fact, the capital boasts so many unique pubs that you could easily visit a different one each night for an entire
summer. But, if you only have the time to experience one of London’s finest drinking houses then it has to be Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese on Fleet Street (just a couple of minutes walk from St Pauls’ Cathedral – another must-see whilst in the capital). The lack of signage means it’s very easy to walk past this pub without noticing it, so keep your eyes peeled for the lantern bearing its name as it truly would be a crime to walk on by without stopping in for at least a mooch around and a quick drink. Crossing the threshold is like entering a time warp; all of a sudden you are in 1667, the year Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese was built. Low beams, wooden floors, dim lighting, antique speakeasy-style labelling and unusually outdated beer names give this pub an atmosphere like no other. The only let down is the restrooms, which are disappointingly modern without even a vintage poster in them. But, if you can refrain from visiting them, then there is absolutely nothing to spoil the feeling of having been transported back three hundred or so years.
As well as great beers and ciders, Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese also does great food that you can enjoy in its restaurant or in the bar area itself. A meal of pie, mash and gravy followed by sticky toffee pudding and custard and a pint of ale may seem like slightly too hearty a dinner for some but that’s proper British pub grub – and so, you have to give it a go. When in Rome…or even London in this case!
Photo Credit for ‘the classic pint’: flickr user andas adermark