GREAT PUBS OF LONDON
By George Dailey With Photographs by Charlie Dailey and a foreword by Sir Ian McKellan
(£24.99, Prestel) Review by Belinda Morris
Dailey’s coffee table book is the essential companion on a tour around the great pubs of London – but not just any great pub, these are the great historical pubs, the type where you might expect to see Jack Sparrow standing at the bar while Samuel Pepys sits quietly in a corner, filling in his diary.
Beautifully photographed and painstakingly researched, you are given ample to ponder while you enjoy a point of foaming ale; there is a fair bit about the pedigree of the pub that would pass you by, without the words woven into the book’s pages.
A map to allow both tourists and residents to discover whether a featured pub was in their vicinity, might have been an advantage but at the same time reading and discovering gems is what this book offers – and in truth there is something to be said for that!
A note to members of CAMRA and other beer aficionados – ‘Great Pubs’ is all about ambience, aesthetics and history. The Lamb & Flag in Covent Garden may well serve the best selection of real ales… but that’s not the point here. Nurse a sweet sherry if that’s what does it for you; just soak up the atmosphere as you do so.