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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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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