London pub tour

Mar 11th, 2015, 09:29 PM
  #1  
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London pub tour

Here is a link to a new blog post from a pub tour in London--so much fun and highly recommended!

https://bonjourmilkshake.wordpress.com
bonjourmilkshake is offline  
Mar 11th, 2015, 10:50 PM
  #2  
 
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Blimey. £25 per person (if you don't have the 2for1s), AND you pay for your own beer? They are - as we say in the vernacular - 'avin' a larf.
PatrickLondon is offline  
Mar 11th, 2015, 11:45 PM
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really helpful information.
Fergusbrandon is offline  
Mar 11th, 2015, 11:48 PM
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Patrick, Living in London as you do, your horror at the cost is understandable.

To be fair, the OP had a great time and has given us a lot of info and for him, the money was well worth it.

Also, there are plenty of low quality pubs in London so it's a relief to have someone take you on a tour of a city you do not know, offer a bit of history and info and make sure the group is having a great time. Those are the moments people remember most from their trip.
kleeblatt is offline  
Mar 11th, 2015, 11:54 PM
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Why not just take a pub walk w/ London walks for a fraction the £££
janisj is online now  
Mar 12th, 2015, 12:09 AM
  #6  
 
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Janisj: I took a look at their website. http://www.walks.com/London_Walks_Ho...t/default.aspx

It is indeed much cheaper but the size of some of those groups make me cringe. I'd say it's a fantastic option if you want to be flexible and aren't fussy about the size of the group.
kleeblatt is offline  
Mar 12th, 2015, 02:11 AM
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I'd rather spend the 25 GBP on beer. Mmmmm....real ale.
sparkchaser is offline  
Mar 12th, 2015, 03:52 AM
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Fair point, kleeblatt. It was just that all but one of those pubs would have been on my list of suggestions if someone asked here. Of course, you wouldn't get the company or the incidental information of a guide, but even for that, I'd have thought something nearer the 2for1 price more realistically fair.
PatrickLondon is offline  
Mar 12th, 2015, 09:37 AM
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Here is some assistance for organizing your own pub crawl in the UK. The Campaign for Real Ale, or CAMRA, started at the end of the 1960s when fierce consolidation was wiping out small breweries and local pubs. Its membership now approaches 200,000, according to Wikipedia. They generate several tools to guide the visitor to authentic beer-drinking experiences and can rightly claim to be one of the inspirations for the craft-beer movement in North America. They publish The Good Beer Guide and run a couple of Internet search sites,
"Real Ale" does differ from craft beers in NA by insisting that the beer cannot be forced through the tap by artificial carbonation or gas, only by a hand or electric pump. Their guides stress the beers on draught rather than the atmosphere, but my experience is that any landlord who cares enough to serve real ale is worth visiting despite what the place may look like (or what the regulars look like, for that matter.) http://whatpub.com/
http://www.camra.org.uk/
Southam is offline  
Mar 12th, 2015, 10:33 AM
  #10  
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Thank you all for taking a look at the trip report--I appreciate the feedback.

PatrickLondon, I agree, £25 is a lot and we wouldn't have done it without the 2-for-1 deals. That being said, with the deal, I think it was worth it. We don't know anyone in London and having someone guide us from pub to pub, leading us to good ones and honestly, not having to worry about getting lost, seeing parts of London we didn't know, and getting historical facts that we would not have otherwise learned, I think it was definitely worth it. If they threw in some kind of voucher for a pint or a discount at one of the pubs, it would be a nice touch.

I think one of my favorite parts of the tour was getting to meet people. Yeah, you can meet people at bars but it can be creepy this is sort of planned creepiness so that was fun.

Janisj, that seems like a good option for a guided pub tour. I am not specifically advocating Mind the Gap (though we had a great experience), but the guided pub tour itself was a fun outing.

Dantin, kleeblatt and Southam, thanks for your comments!

Hey--now you guys all have my pub tour laid out for you, in the order I went in. So now you don't have to pay anything other than the cost of beer Cheers!
bonjourmilkshake is offline  
Mar 12th, 2015, 02:30 PM
  #11  
 
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We spend a lot of time in pubs as you know and IT basically costs nothing to get off at pretty much any tube stop and find a plethora of decent pubs. £25 is extortianate.

If people are willing to pay that to go to well known pubd I will start doing tours
jamikins is offline  
Mar 13th, 2015, 03:25 AM
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Hi BONJOURMILKSHAKE,

I really enjoyed reading about your epic pub tour in London. Wow, you really covered a great deal of territory! I agree that it was worth your money, though others might think otherwise.

I did take the Londonwalks "Hidden Pubs of Old London Town" (£10 I think) which really was an interesting journey through "legal" London - the Inns of Court and such. It was a lovely evening and our guide was excellent. We met at Temple Tube and proceeded along Fleet Street, ending at Blackfriars.

We stopped at the Edgar Wallace Pub and Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese. The Punch Tavern was suggested as a last stop but I declined since it was approaching ten.

The only thing I would find challenging about your tour was its length and the hour - don't like to imbibe in the afternoon. You might enjoy reading this short book about the GEORGE INN which you folks visited.

SHAKESPEARE’S PUB A Barstool History of London as See Through the Windows of Its Oldest pub – The George Inn by Pete Brown.

Thanks for your account...
latedaytraveler is offline  
Mar 13th, 2015, 08:52 AM
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I'm thinking Jamikins has found her calling.

With the strong dollar, that's $37.50 for the tour, with a weak dollar, it's pushing $45. Even at the twofer price, that's $18.75 each - a pretty high cover charge.

Can't be too difficult to knock around the interwebs to get pub recommendations (Timeout.com, londontown.com, FODORS, etc.).
BigRuss is offline  
Mar 13th, 2015, 10:23 AM
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Milkshake, thanks for sharing. I've been to two of those (The George and the Cheshire Cheese). I did go on a couple London Walks pub walks and enjoyed them, though a bigger crowd, which also can make it harder to actually get a beer at each location. Sadly, since my first trip in 97-ish, a number of the pubs we went to on our visit are no longer in business.

By the way, I think there is a decent "pub" thread on this forum. I think I've topped it once or twice.
Bitter is online now  
Mar 14th, 2015, 01:27 PM
  #15  
 
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Hi Milkshake,

My wife and I did the same tour in April and we loved reading your trip report. Although I think our tour guide was John, and we ended up going to about half your pubs and about six different ones, we still had the same wonderful experience. Even though it's called a pub tour that's a big undersell, it's way more than that. Besides the entertainment and wealth of knowledge about the pubs and London the guide provided, we really enjoyed the cultural immersion that happened within our group. We had a group of fourteen: two american couples, two german couples, and the rest were either locals or just outside of london. Our tour lasted about eight hours and we just loved being able to socialize like that and interact with locals. We spent two weeks in the UK and this was our favorite experience. It was pricey, but considering everything it was well worth it. I'm sure we could have read the pub thread on this forum and I bet an app does exist, but it wouldn't have been nearly as enjoyable.
HudsonValley is offline  
Mar 14th, 2015, 07:49 PM
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Hi HUDSONVALLEY,

Welcome to Fodors.

"It was pricey, but considering everything it was well worth it. I'm sure we could have read the pub thread on this forum and I bet an app does exist, but it wouldn't have been nearly as enjoyable."

I am glad that you folks had a memorable experience on the tour. Sounds great. I have noticed (with all due respect) that many Fodorites object in principle to ANY organized tour, be it for day or hours, and often suggest that travelers could have done it more economically on their own.

" ... we just loved being able to socialize like that and interact with locals." You can't put a price on that.

Let's face it, traveling to Europe is expensive. We all choose to allot our funds as we see fit. Personally, I always enjoy these organized tours such as you describe. We may never see these fellow travelers again, but it's fun to engage with them for a short time while the experience expands our horizons, right?

I often recall with pleasure folks I have met on these junkets along the way...
latedaytraveler is offline  
Mar 16th, 2015, 08:38 PM
  #17  
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Latedaytraveler and Hudsonvalley,
Thank you for your responses!
I'm a little behind because of work,but new blog posts are forthcoming! Stay tuned
bonjourmilkshake is offline  
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