Cheers to Europe: tips for drinking in London

Posted on 20 April 2012

“Alright Guvnah?!” is something they definitely do not say in merry London. I only know this because I tried it out a few times and received no more than a few dirty looks and one punch to the stomach. Now with the formalities out of the way, it’s time to get down to some London drinking.

London is a vibrant and exciting city. There’s more to see and do than you plan for, historic or otherwise, and more than enough to suit everyone’s tastes. Be prepared to hear roughly 40 different languages in any given location, visit about 20 different areas that look similar but feel different, and to realize the day has flown by without you having taken a single sip of alcohol. For the permanently parched, such as myself, this may call for a stop at one of the several hundred local pubs nestled on every street corner. Give yourself a day of touristy sightseeing – the London Eye, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace – and a night of reflecting, over a hearty drink. The obvious choice is a pint of beer or ale from the local bar, coupled by some typical pub grub.

Some local favourite beers that you’re likely to find on the menu include Stella Artois, Foster, Carling and Peroni. If ale is more your thing,  London Pride, IPA Greene King or Doombar will keep your belly full. Ladies, there are a range of ciders available on tap, or you can just give in, like myself, and grab a Guinness.

If all of this seems a little ordinary to you, however, there is Crabbies. Yes, Crabbies. Apparently a few people are already aware of this magnificent beverage. Do not be fooled by the fact that the name sounds mildly like a STD. Do you ever drink a can of Stoney’s and think to yourself, “Wow, if only ginger beer was actually alcoholic”? As if by some genie magic, this thought has become a reality in the delicious boozy sip-fest that is Crabbies: the sweet taste of ginger beer, with the moral-loosening power of alcohol. For gents. For ladies. And definitely NOT for children.

Tip: If you happen to be a pale-as-they-come South African with obvious British heritage, do yourself a favour and research the possibility of a pub with your family name: it adds a hint of self importance to your drink, which makes it taste even better. I had the honour of slapping a few back at the Pembroke Castle, which if you haven’t been paying attention, is the name I wear proudly. Hey, if you play your cards right, you may even convince a manager to print your name on the menu for a day. The smaller the pub, the better!

Drinking in London is best done in a local pub with a good meal, loud friends and no need to get up early the morning after.

yoast-primary -
tcat - Beyond Africa
tcat_slug - beyond-africa
tcat2 -
tcat2_slug -
tcat_final - bookings