Book Review: A Spirited Guide to London Libation

A Spirited Guide to London Libation from the Londonist is a comprehensive guide to exciting and interesting drinking spots in London. Written accessibly, and conversational in tone, it is a great book of discovery for anyone who is interested in exploring the city and enjoying a drink. 

The book is split up into short sections, with beautiful illustrations from an array of illustrators who are highlighted in an About the Artists section at the back of the book. Starting off with the fact that the centre of London looks like a bottle on its side on the underground tube map (something I’d never noticed before, but which is certainly true), it takes the reader on a journey through London’s railway arches, to toilets you can drink in and the River Thames with bars that float.

It’s a great read for people who are new to the city and want to explore and experience new things, but also for people who have lived in London their whole lives. I’m a Londoner and I haven’t been to even half of the places talked about in the book. 

One of the things I like about A Spirited Guide is that it caters to all types of people: literary fans with chapters including Pubs named after fictional characters; The cocktail with its own poem; and Drink your way round London like Charles Dickens; amateur historians, with chapters on drinking like a spy in the roaring 20s and London’s oldest pub; and those who don’t drink alcohol at all with chapters on Where to drink when you’re not drinking; Tea in London: A potted history; and How London became utterly addicted to coffee

I think this book would make a good gift, especially with the beautiful blue foiled lettering and accents on the cover and the chapter on The Legendary Londonist 12 Days of Christmas pub crawl

 Londonist Drinks: A Spirited Guide to London Libation published by AA Publishing (October 2019), £16.99


Rochelle Roberts is a writer and poet from London. See more of her work and art on Twitter and instagram.

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