It was just a matter of days before Christmas and in the heart of London’s Soho the festive season would normally be going full throttle but when I opened the door to the compact Lyric pub on Great Windmill Street at 2pm, I was not met with the happy sounds of revelry but instead there…

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What shall I write about? It has been a familiar refrain of mine during most of this unsettling, frustrating and bilious year. It has been a question that has sometimes been answered with memories of what now seems like those strange times when hopping on a train or a plane was as easy as drinking…

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London has had a glorious run with continued growth in brewery numbers over the past decade but a combination of Covid-19 and serious overcapacity signals the end of the golden run with as many as 40% of businesses set to fail. According to a survey from the London Brewers’ Alliance (LBA) of its membership of…

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Here we are again, in the middle of another lockdown, closed pubs, closed lives, and livelihoods being hung out to dry as if on a celestial clothes line. I feel a bit more prepared this time, and unlike in March the unknown has become known. Coffee can be taken away, beer too, as long as…

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Many times over the past couple of weeks at the end of the day I’ve thought about popping out to the pub for a quick pint while I read the paper. But I’ve then changed my mind and instead cracked open a can of beer or poured a glass of wine at home. Once lock-down…

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Charles Wells’ pubs in France have been a quiet success story as the portfolio of outlets has grown on the back of young French drinkers’ appetite for the unique British bar vibe the UK operator has shipped across the Channel. One of the key components of this has been the hubbub around the bar. Unlike…

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So this is the pandemic. Be still, be very still. Try and hide, or shrink as small as possible. Keep silent, do not have an opinion. On anything. Remember and create and feed yourself memories of how life used to be and one day soon will once more be that way. I so ache to…

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Rental demands from landlords to leisure and hospitality businesses is causing grief for many including The Queen’s Head in King’s Cross that is in the eye of the storm as it is suffering from a severe loss of tourists and office workers. Many pubs and bars along with other hospitality businesses are frustrated by the…

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So when the lockdown began I ached and ached for the loss of the pub. Not literally, I only ache when I have cycled or fallen off a chair (as I did last night — ouch). However, I definitely felt a poignant longing for the ease with which I could go within the confines of…

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So here we are, hopefully on the verge of pubs being reopened, or at least those that have beer gardens where we can all drink our fill in an accepted socially distanced manner. So here we are, getting closer to something resembling normal life. Are we? I doubt what will pass for normal in our…

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