Travel Postcard: 48 hours Pubbing and Clubbing in London

Fri Nov 7, 2008 11:29am EST
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LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Got 48 hours to explore the wealth of London's traditional and not-so-traditional drinking dens? Reuters correspondents with local knowledge help visitors find a few good watering holes to visit on a short trip.


6:00 p.m. Start your trip with some traditional German beer and food at the Bavarian Beerhouse (+44 (0)844 330 2005) on City Road in north London. Traditional in a Hooters-meets-The-Sound-of-Music kind of way, the Beerhouse provides one of the most authentic German beer experiences London has to offer. Laid out in beer hall style, you'll marvel at the ability of the waitresses (garbed in traditional dirndl dresses) to carry six huge steins of German beer almost as much as you'll be amazed at your ability to finish a whole one.

8:00 p.m. A quick bus ride up to achingly trendy Upper Street in the north London enclave of Islington is your next stop. Islington Green is surrounded on all sides by drinking holes and cocktail bars. Ladybird (+44 (0)20 7359 1710) on Upper Street is a fantastic place to grab an early cocktail before seeking out one of Islington's many music pubs.

9:00 p.m. Heading further along Upper Street, The Bull (+44 (0)20 7354 9174) is a must. A large pub with a good selection of world beers and a full menu of tapas and bar food, the snug at the back is the perfect place to work off your dinner with a quick game of Trivial Pursuit.

10:30 p.m. If you're wearing your glad rags, then see the night out in any of the punky late night pubs that Upper Street or the adjacent Essex Road have to offer. The King's Head Theater and Pub (+44 (0)20 7226 8561) at 115 Upper Street, in particular, offers rock and roll with a Victorian twist. With live bands and DJs, it is as libertine a place to rock the night away as any that Islington can provide. The attached playhouse aspires to showcase innovative theater, in the past hosting The Vagina Monologues and Cambridge Footlights.


9:00 a.m. There's no better way to kick-start a Saturday morning than to take a wander around Borough Market in Southwark. Many of the pubs surrounding the market open early in the morning. Pop in for a quick one at The Market Porter (+44 (0)20 7407 2495) (Opens 6-8.30 for the morning shift) before braving the teeming masses in one of the world's largest food markets. But if you're too delicate for a drink this early then try Monmouth Coffee (+44 (0)20 7940 9960) directly opposite for a fantastic cup of java. It's terrific for people watching.

On weekdays, it is well worth getting down to Smithfield meat market in the City to take advantage of the early hours pubs which cater for the traders there who've been hard at work since dawn. Pubs in and around Smithfield start pulling pints as early as six in the morning and some weekday party people can be found seeing in the dawn after a night on the razzle.   Continued...

<p>A barmaid pulls a pint at a pub in central London, November 23, 2005. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez</p>