Book Review: Drink London by Euan Ferguson

Hello there. Did you know this week is London cocktail week? No, neither did I... But suffice to say, when I found out such a week existed I immediately started dreaming up elaborate drinks I could whip up in celebration. As it turns out, I'd recently also been sent a fabulous book, Drink London, so it felt only right to read it while sipping a refreshing cocktail. My tipple of choice? A cool combination of gin, apple juice, elderflower cordial, mint and lemon, inspired by a drink I enjoyed a while back at the All Star Lanes on Brick Lane. I love trying to recreate drinks at home, and I've pretty much got this one nailed. While I know London cocktail week is all about getting out to visit some of the incredible drinking establishments that can be found in the capital, I'm a bit of a home bird and prefer a drink at mine. That said, having had a good read of Drink London, I might be tempted to change my mind...

The book is divided into sections by type of drinking establishments depending on what you're after, from cocktails bars to legendary locals and wine and spirits specialists. There's also a handy map, so regardless of where you are in London {though many are fairly central}, you'll be sure to find somewhere to enjoy a beverage.

The book is written by Euan Ferguson, who is no doubt jolly well acquainted with many of London's brilliant bars, through his role as bars and pubs writer for Time Out London. With such a well informed author, I'm inclined to take his word for it that these are indeed 100 of the finest pubs and bars the capital has to offer, although it would be fun to visit them all, just to double check. With a ridiculous amount of choice of places to drink in London, Ferguson made sure those that made the cut were worthy of such an accolade. They had to be 'unique, memorable or simply unrivalled at what they do.'

The tone throughout is spot on. Never pretentious, always accessible and succinctly getting to the important details for each venue: just what's needed in a guide book. Of course, in this modern age, I know I can click around online to find helpful reviews for many of London's bars and pubs, but often the choice is overwhelming, and then inevitably I get tired and end up staying in. So having someone else do the legwork, compiling the findings in one handy book certainly gets my vote.

Along with the lively introductions to each chapter, which suitably set the scene, the bulk of the book is taken up with the listings. These listings are clear and snappy, with all the information you need on hand - from a brief description of the venue, to the must-try drink and all the contact information, too. As hoped, each write-up also notes the tube station, which is super handy.

So there you have it. Drink London is interesting, handy and perfect for those 'where shall we meet for a drink?' moments.

Drink London: The 100 Best Bars & Pubs by Euan Ferguson is out now, published by Frances Lincoln

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