The Lamb on Holloway Road in north London is, outwardly, no different to many of the other 45,000 pubs up and down the country that welcomed customers into their premises for the first time in many months on 17 May. But it doesn’t take too much scratching below the surface to find that just like…

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And so once more we wend our weary way to the pub. Dates for the diary were April 12 and, by the time this is published, May 17 will have come and gone and we might start to forget those pub-less months between the end of the old year and the start of the spring.…

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Cowering under a slightly-too-small umbrella to protect myself from a blackened sky that was gushing out a torrent of rain, while receiving no benefit whatsoever from an outdoor heater that was bereft of gas, was not my idea of how to conduct a business meeting. When you add in the choice of only two bog-standard…

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Walking down my local high street mid-morning on Monday 12 April for the momentous day when outdoor drinking at pubs and visiting non-essential shops became possible again, it was noticeable the barbers shop had no queue outside whereas the JD Wetherspoon was a hive of activity on its modest concrete front garden. For these drinkers,…

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As the sun blazed down outside the Café Hegeraad in the Jordaan district of Amsterdam, my wife led me straight past the crowds drinking on the market square and around a spare pair of seats to instead sit at a rickety table in the completely empty dark-wood interior of the compact front bar. Although the…

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There is nothing to write about apart from the continuing stamp of the lockdown boot on the way we have to live our lives. So I tramp through the streets of Exeter, a walking meditation if you like, which are as damp and forbidding as a Sunday from Wales in the 1930s. I pass the…

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When The Eagle in Farringdon Road opened its doors exactly 30 years ago, it confused many people with its ramshackle fit-out of mismatched chairs and tables, exposed wooden flooring, random mix of tableware, and a less-than-fine paint job, combined with its value-for-money, one-plate-dining proposition. The trend at the time for theme pubs was going full…

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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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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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