A pub a week?

One of the many things I’ve really enjoyed since moving to London are the pubs.  Not only are they quaint and fun to visit but they are part of the culture in England.  According to an article in The New York Times, 12 percent of the denizens in London partake in a drink more than five days a week. Not sure how many people that is?  I wasn’t either so luckily the article gave a more tangible number, 12 percent of the London population is approximately 900,000.  Almost  a million.  That’s a lot of people.  Moreover, the article cites a 2009 report that claims that in the United Kingdom, approximately 17 million working days are lost due to drink.

Now my goal isn’t to become a heavy drinker. I enjoy savoring a pint and not going crazy.  And I can’t afford to go out more than 5 times a week.  The real objective is to explore London and the surrounding areas.  Both of us enjoy the history of the pubs and let’s face it, having a pint is an added bonus.  I have decided to feature a new pub each week on my blog.  My plan is to post each Friday about a new pub that we’ve visited.  Trust me I know this will be hard work.  But I was a good student in my younger days and I am willing to put in the extra hours to seek out decent pubs with great brews.  Homework is never fun, but I’ll do my best to stay positive about this new challenge.

For those who follow my blog on a regular basis know that I enjoy a good beer.  And some of you may remember my beer trunk that I made last year with all of the beer labels that I had collected over the years.  So it shouldn’t be too much of a shock that now I hope to visit as many pubs as possible while in London to learn more about the city.  Are you buying that one yet?

First up is The Blackfriar pub in London.  It is right across the street from the Blackfriars Tube station and it isn’t too far from Fleet Street.  This pub was constructed in 1905 and it sits on the site of a Dominican friary.  H. Fuller-Clark was the architect and the artist was Henry Poole.  When you go inside you will notice that they’ve kept to the friar theme.  The artwork is fun and there is so much to take in.  We stopped off for a quick drink here before meeting some friends.  It was well worth it and if you are in the area, I highly recommend this pub.  Please enjoy the photos below.  I’m off to research more pubs.  I love research.  And if you have any suggestions on pubs please let me know.  

About TBM

TB Markinson is an American who's recently returned to the US after a seven-year stint in the UK and Ireland. When she isn't writing, she's traveling the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs in New England, or reading. Not necessarily in that order. Her novels have hit Amazon bestseller lists for lesbian fiction and lesbian romance. She cohosts the Lesbians Who Write Podcast (lesbianswhowrite.com) with Clare Lydon. TB also runs I Heart Lesfic (iheartlesfic.com), a place for authors and fans of lesfic to come together to celebrate lesbian fiction.
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84 Responses to A pub a week?

  1. Sartenada says:

    I find You idea great – to post once a week a new pub. In my ears it sounds great. I am not beer drinker and if I drink beer then it must be brown ale. Generally we drink on Fridays one glass of white wine and on Saturday after Sauna bath I drink a little bit Ouzo, Tequila of Vodka. I prefer Ouzo if I have it. My wife enjoys brown beer which is normally Velkopopovický Kozel from Czechoslovakia. The best she says. 🙂

    I do love Your photos.

    • TBM says:

      Thanks for the encouragement. I’ve never tried Ouzo but I’ll keep a lookout for it. And when I’m in Czechoslovakia I’ll have to try out the beer. Thanks for the tip…I’m always on the hunt for a new experience. I’ll try to sample some brown ales for you as well 🙂

  2. Palm Trees & Bare Feet says:

    Great idea! Can you give more information on the pubs? Like, how the service was, if they served food, what your favorite part was, what your least favorite was, etc. Like a pub review! I am definitely going to continue to look at these, so if I ever go to England, I can have some good pubs lined up to visit!

    Great post and pics!


    • TBM says:

      Of course I can add more info. I started with this pub since our visit was short and I had a longer introduction about the project. But I’m hoping to supply more info in the future. Lately I’ve been bringing my journal with me when I’m out and about so I’ll jot down notes while at the pubs (I wonder if I’ll be able to read my notes after a pint or two). Hopefully when you visit I can help you find some good places to go. Another good reason to do some research!

  3. Yup, you started off my day with a laugh again!! What a horribly difficult task you have imposed on yourself. I hope you have the strength to get through it! LMAO :). It will be a huge challenge but I have confidence in you!!

    • TBM says:

      I am willing to suffer the consequences for this challenge. I may need several pints to fortify my strength. Somehow I’ll have to dig down deep. I appreciate your support, everything helps with this difficult task 🙂

  4. niasunset says:

    Sounds great idea… You made me excited now. Thank you dear TBM, with my love, nia

    • TBM says:

      I’m glad you like the idea Nia. I’m hoping it will be fun and help me get out there and meet some of the locals. The pubs are a wonderful experience. Thanks!

      • niasunset says:

        Exactly dear TBM, and also in UK pubs are great and also famous too. And also you can find so nice stories in there too, I mean literarly because some of famous people or writers, etc. This is so exciting project and I would like to see them. Good Luck, have a nice day, love, nia

      • TBM says:

        I do love learning the history behind the pubs and what famous people have been there and such. And writers love pubs 🙂 Thanks for you encouragement Nia. You are always so supportive and kind. It is much appreciated.

  5. Luke Heikkila says:

    great idea…you’re one of the more-interesting reads on wordpress…keep it up!

  6. Colline says:

    This is such an interesting building! I do not drink beer but I would go there just to sok up the atmosphere.

    • TBM says:

      Cider is another favorite of mine at the pubs. Not sure if you like cider but I find it pretty refreshing. Even if you don’t drink the atmosphere is well worth a visit. I liked the odd shape of the building as well. I see that a lot here in London. They make do with the space they have and the results are fun to look at.

      • Colline says:

        I enjoy cider. 🙂
        I have heard London pubs sell good meals for lunches – given any a try?

      • TBM says:

        I’ve had many good meals. I really like the Sunday carvery. It is a traditional type meal that includes a roast of some type, veggies, and Yorkshire pudding. That is my favorite time to go to a pub.

      • Colline says:

        Something to do then the next time I am in London 🙂

  7. Anita S says:

    “Homework is never fun, but I’ll do my best to stay positive…”
    I love the architecture of London. Wish I could go back there, but at least I can do so vicariously through your blog. Looking forward to more!

  8. Have you been to the oldest pub in London, The Lamb and Flag? Well, they might still argue which one the oldest is actually, I heard. My friends and I came there one day (I don’t drink but my friends do), but had to come out again, since it was absolutely full. Try avoid weekend, well you know London 🙂

    • TBM says:

      I haven’t been there yet, but I am writing it down in my journal to follow-up on. And thanks for the tip about the business of this pub. Some of them get so packed. I’m finding that Thursday nights are also bad if you want a table and you don’t want to stand outside. Now that it is warming up I don’t mind standing outside. But during the winter it got a little cold. Good thing they served mulled wine 🙂

  9. Thank you for your sacrifice for the common weal. In exchange, allow me to suggest a lovely place for brilliant cocktails when you come to NYC. It is called PDT http://pdtnyc.com/ (stands for Please Don’t Tell – so I am violating the rules!) and is great fun but it does require a reservation. I suggest calling at least a week ahead of time – although you can get lucky and just walk in sometimes.

    • TBM says:

      I just wrote it down on my notes for the NY trip. That’s two bars that you’ve given me. Keep up the good work. And I won’t tell that you told. I’m really excited for the NY trip. It will kinda be like I’m home, even though I never lived there. But Boston is pretty darn close. I think Yankee fans might totally disagree with this statement.

  10. I must have been a bad person. My comment is awaiting moderation…

    • TBM says:

      No worries Robert…all comments are going into moderation. My spam isn’t doing its job. And besides, you give me tips on bars…that’s not bad behavior. That is behavior that should be rewarded.

  11. patricia says:

    Oh this will be fun. What a beauty your first pick is.

  12. Elisa says:

    Wish I was in London so I could meet you for a pint!

  13. (D)OCULAR says:

    Seems like an awesome idea to me, you get to know the city, get to know new people and last but not least, a drink :D…
    Seems like the most fun homework ever, reminds me of my time as a student 😀

  14. meanwhilein3 says:

    Cool idea! I suggest a pub across the street from Big Ben a very busy but comfy place to eat and have a drink.

  15. You had me at pint! I can’t wait to make it over to London. Have family over there that I have never met but would love to. Very jealous!

    • TBM says:

      LOL…I hope you visit soon. Wouldn’t you love to see Flatpac eating the flowers in some of the gardens. Of course they may not be as tasty as socks.

  16. Lynne Ayers says:

    Now that’s a worthy goal! The pubs are such a place of community, each with a different atmosphere – it’ll be a great search and find!

    • TBM says:

      I love how each of them has their own feel and sense of community. And the people are always so nice to us, which is much appreciated. Thanks Lynne!

  17. Caroline says:

    I like the idea a lot. English pubs are great. I’m not much of a beer drinker but i enjoy the atmosphere in te pubs.

    • TBM says:

      When I’m not in the beer mood I like to have either a cider or cup of tea. I’m with you, the atmosphere is the most important part of the pub…well almost 🙂

  18. That’s very cool!
    This seems like a very cool blog to follow! And thanks for stopping by and commenting on my blog! Any support is welcome and Good luck on your 50 year blogging project!

    • TBM says:

      I am really curious about your project. I wish you luck and thanks for stopping by!

      • I’ll be delving into what CouchSurfing is in the next few postings as well as my international travels.

        But essentially, my plan is to use a free organization called CouchSurfing (couchsuring.org) and then use the organization for a year straight and only couch surf.

        I would keep a little journal, blog, and photo journal of my travels and couches. From there I would recollect all of my travels and write a book through an indie publisher and hopefully get it published to share with the world.

        Right now I am looking for sponsors, friends and support to help me with the project. I started my blog to get it all going. I also have it linked in with a Twitter account and my Facebook account to try and get as much support as I can.

        All help is appreciated.

  19. Sounds like a fun assignment–I love English pubs. The food can be decent too!
    So, have you learned to like Guinness yet?

  20. pagesofjulia says:

    TBM, this made my day! I take my beer very seriously, and pubs are always at the top of the list. Several years ago, oh has it really been 7 years? I did a whirlwind tour of London with my Pops, crawling something like 17 pubs in 4 days, and the Black Friar stands out in my (very hazy) memory, and these pictures show just exactly what I recall – what fun! Thank you!!

    • TBM says:

      You and the better half take beer very seriously. And I benefit from it since I love going to new places. 17 pubs in 4 days…I may have to try that challenge 🙂

  21. Fergiemoto says:

    I enjoy the results of your research! It sounds like fun to seek out new pubs. This building is quite interesting and quaint. Before my first trip to England, a coworker who had recently traveled there told me that pub food wasn’t good. However, I found the opposite. I rather enjoyed the pubs and the food was really good where I was at.

    • TBM says:

      I like pub food…some are obviously better than others, just like restaurants. A lot of people told me I wouldn’t like English food and fortunately for me they are wrong.

  22. kimeegee says:

    Sounds like a very exciting challenge! I think you’ve just inspired me to document my Pub travels in Japan. 🙂 Good luck and I can’t wait to read about it!

  23. Looking forward to your pub posts!

  24. This is a great idea, and this pub looks great! We just don’t have pubs that nice here in Australia it seems. Well, not many anyway. 🙂

  25. Gilly Gee says:

    A year long pub crawl then?can’t be bad!

  26. Oh my – yes homework – one that requires a lot of time and effort… 😉 Good luck!!! Looking forward to seeing what you show us!!! 🙂 **

  27. Myra GB says:

    What an ingenious challenge! Enjoy visiting the pubs in London! 🙂

  28. Rob says:

    Love your thinking – what an excuse as drinking can be put down purely to blog research 🙂
    If you are in East London at any point I suggest that maybe you try The Widow’s Son for another pub that happens to have an unusual tale behind the name….I wrote about it in a post earlier in the year http://wp.me/p2aA06-n0.
    If you do have a pint for me !

    • TBM says:

      I’ll do my best to make it out there and of course I’ll have a pint for you…maybe two 🙂 Thanks for the link. It sounds like a fascinating place with some history.

      • Rob says:

        Your very welcome – thanks for the follow…have as many pints as you wish just don’t accept the bar snacks as they’re a bit tough 🙂

      • TBM says:

        Will do and I’ll avoid the tough bar snacks…I would like to keep all of my teeth 🙂

  29. zelmare says:

    It’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it, right? 🙂 Love the idea, can’t wait for the cyber ‘pub crawl’! 🙂

  30. orples says:

    If the beverages served are as delicious, as they building they are served in is interesting, then I can see why so much time would be lost due to drinking. I absolutely love that pub.

  31. Robin says:

    I’m going to enjoy this feature. I really appreciate the sacrifice you’ll have to make and all the hard work that will go into it. 😉

  32. Madhu says:

    Researching pubs should be very enjoyable. Look forward to the series.

  33. carol says:

    What a cool place. I’m not a beer drinker myself, but a London pub tour still sounds awesome.

  34. ceebee27 says:

    So many great pubs for you to choose from! It seems I’m not quite in that 12% who drink more than five times a week, but I can certainly say I know 1 or 2 who do…Keep exploring for yourself, it’s the best way to discover the gems…

  35. lightningpen says:

    Hi, London really sounds fun! Those pic’s are stunning. This is a great blog and I wish you luck! Thank you for the follow as well.

  36. how cool … never been to London, but after seeing your cool pics, I’d like to make it a pub a day!

  37. When I was in college in Santa Monica, California I used to visit an English pub and play darts with English people every Friday night. And when I finally visited London, the first thing I did was visit a pub. Love them.

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