Since my early years in London I have largely managed to navigate my way around the city by pub because when I first arrived in the capital I made it a mission to undertake numerous pub crawls that took me to all corners of London.
It was therefore with great interest that I received a copy of the recently published book Historical Pub Crawls Through London by Thomas J. Vosper. This paperback includes a dozen pub crawls around London that would give anybody a true flavour of the city if they were up to the challenge of completing all the crawls.
This would involve visiting over 150 pubs because each one takes in a dozen boozers. This is rather a lot for me – at my stage in life – but clearly there is no compunction to actually consume a pint in each venue when undertaking a crawl. For each of the crawl’s the book provides a map of the route as well as highlighting various points of interest on the journey with a paragraph or so on each point.
I would have preferred more details on each of the pubs. Many of them do not have any information at all provided on their histories, reason for visiting, or any other facet. Maybe this points to the fact the pubs are partly selected for their suitability to making a workable crawl without too much walking than a crawl around noteworthy pubs. I’d have preferred to have had a rationale of sorts for selecting the pubs that makes them worthy of a visit. This is a personal opinion and no doubt many of the buyers of this book will not have that as a requirement for a pub crawl. More beer, less walking might be the mantra.
Vosper has an enthusiastic and easy-reading style that makes the book very digestible. For an idea of his enthusiasm for the subject of pub crawls then take a look at his Rogues Gallery section at the back of the book. The book is ideally suited to dipping into to discover more about a specific part of London while enjoying a few pints.
At less than a tenner on Amazon it is cheaper than two pints of beer in London so is more than a worthwhile stocking filler.
Glynn Davis, editor, Beer Insider