Monday, 8 February 2016

East London’s pubs and bars

East London’s pubs and bars
DTGFP_Pint01.JPG Budget

The Pub, a drinking establishment fundamental to the cultures of many countries across the globe and whose history can be traced back to the Roman taverns. In many places, especially in smaller villages and towns, pubs can be the focal point of the community. In South Africa, a nation of beer lovers, there is a wide variety of different types of pubs. Coupled with the fact that the nation is also, officially, sports mad, the majority of the pubs feature big screens for fans to watch their favourite teams whilst sinking a couple of cold ones.

East London is no exception in this regard and features a large number of drinking establishments that cater to everybody’s tastes. Whatever type of pub outing you’re looking for, whether it’s for a quiet drink after work or a night out at the weekend, you’ll find what you’re looking for in the city.
Buccaneers Sports Pub and Grill in Marina Glen is somewhat of an institution in East London with breathtaking views of the beachfront and a party atmosphere. It is a regular stop for well-known SA bands and DJ’s and for the sports fans, there are massive screens ensuring you don’t miss a thing during your team’s game. Buccaneers is also known for its delicious food, offering everything from toasted sandwiches to Dutch fillets. Telephone 043 743 5171.
Beacon Bay’s most well known pub is Raggie’s Live Bar, a unique, live music entertainment venue which has played host to a wide variety of bands playing a range of music genres, from heavy metal to local garage sounds. It is a pub where you can go and feel completely comfortable whether you’re there after work for a quick one or for a major event – everybody and anybody is welcome at Raggie’s. If you have unique music tastes, it’s the place for you. They have also recently started offering a great pub menu with delicious meals at very reasonable prices. Telephone 043 748 6032.
Situated inside The Blue Lagoon Hotel in Beacon Bay is The Highlander, a lively bar whichhighlanderoverlooks the picturesque Nahoon River – the ideal place for a drink while watching a spectacular sunset. A popular hangout for the who’s who of East London, The Highlander plays hosts to regular DJ events and in addition to having a reputation for their excellent wines, they also offer a wide variety of meals for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Telephone 043 748 4821.
Located in Vincent, Dr Jekyll’s is a pub and restaurant with a great vibe, the perfect place to relax and catch up with friends, enjoy some good food or watch the latest match on the big screen. A popular pub, Dr Jekyll’s also offers a licenced games room. Telephone 043 726 6164.
Where there’s a Dr Jekyll, there has to be a Mr Hyde and you can find this particular counterpart in Beacon Bay. Also a very vibey pub, Mr Hyde’s Restaurant and Pub is all about comfort and relaxation, a place where you instantly feel at home. Enjoy a meal, catch your favourite team on the big screen or head there on one of the evenings when they host live bands. Telephone 043 748 2249.
Another popular pub in Beacon Bay is Monty’s, the ‘pub in the hub’. Featuring live entertainment seven days a week in the shape of local artists and karaoke, Monty’s boasts a large pool room, dance floor and braai area where you are more than welcome to take along your own meat and enjoy one of the nation’s most favourite pastimes. Tasty pub meals are also available with great specials on offer throughout the week. Telephone 082 753 5665.
Wiseguys Bar & Grill in Vincent offers a large selection of craft beer and regularly hold DJ and live music events. Delicious pub meals are available including gourmet burgers and boeries if you’re feeling peckish and you can enjoy your food and drink either inside or make use of the outdoor seating if the weather is being kind… Telephone 043 726 3792.
The legend lives on in the form of Jacqueline’s, a Nahoon-based pub that has been a favourite of many for a long time now. Having recently moved into a new era of late night club life, you can also visit and enjoy entertainment from resident DJ’s and live bands. With affordable and crispy cold draught beer, Jacqueline’s boasts a large dance floor and five pool tables. Telephone 043 735 4069.
catz pubCatz Pub in Berea is a popular, warm and friendly local pub with a real home away from home feel. They have a fireplace for the colder nights and a great outdoor section for sunny days. Every night at Catz has a different feel with live music, karaoke and various themed evenings. It’s also a fantastic place to head to watch your favourite team in the latest match. Telephone 084 959 9262.
At The Gonubie Hotel on the beachfront you will find both The Deck and the Captain’s Cabin. The Deck is a pub and restaurant which overlooks the main beach and offers very popular dishes from fresh fish to mouth-watering steaks. The Captain’s Cabin is renowned for its great vibe and hearty pub menu. Both are pubs that are definitely worth a visit with regular live music from local artists and resident DJ’s. Telephone 043 740 4010.
the deck
Situated on the East Coast Resorts Road at Crossways, The Fish & Farrier is a lovely country pub with a lively bar and great food. A relaxed and warm atmosphere, The Fish & Farrier regularly hosts live music events and karaoke nights. Telephone 043 737 4455.
The Abbotsford Arms and the Nahoon Arms (located in Abbotsford and Nahoon, respectively!) are great venues with a real Old English pub and grub vibe. With regular live music, these pubs are perfect for both after work pints and relaxing mixers over the weekend! Telephone 043 721 0363 (Abbotsford Arms), 087 350 4144 (Nahoon Arms).
Located inside the Blue Waters Hotel is The Slipway Pub and Grill, one of Gonubie’s most popular family pubs and restaurants. It is close to the beach yet still maintains its privacy and offers a safe, friendly environment with delicious food and great customer service – don’t miss out on the weekly specials! Also a great place to watch the latest match. Telephone 043 740 2019.
the slipway
Located right on the waterfront inside the Premier Hotel Regent on the Esplanade is the Y-Knot Pub and Restaurant. Offering breathtaking views of the ocean while you sip a cold one, Y-Knot provides the perfect setting to relax, have a light lunch and watch the dolphins at play. Telephone 043 709 5000.
Offering you an unbeatable dining experience with a relaxing atmosphere with breathtaking ocean views is Café Neo, located in Quigney. Enjoy cocktails made from the finest ingredients available while you watch one of East London’s spectacular sunsets. Delicious breakfasts, lunches and dinners are also available. Telephone 043 722 4531.
cafe neo 2
A lively pub for East London’s young in-crowd, the Swiss Loft in Nahoon is a great pub-style venue which has a great DJ and live music scene. Add to the mix some pool tables and dartboards and you’ve got yourself a winner. Telephone 043 735 3685.
swiss loft
the subwayThe Subway in the Cambridge Sports Club is a lively pub with a delicious pub menu and specials are always available. The Subway regularly holds different evenings combined with live music which make it a favourite for locals and visitors alike. Telephone 078 603 0591.
Dezzy’s Pub in Gonubie has a friendly and cosy atmosphere with an awesome dance floor, regularly filled with party goers on one of their Karaoke or live music nights. Sports fans can also enjoy the latest matches on the big screen there. Telephone 072 212 8311.
Located inside the Highgate Hotel in Cambridge is Arthur’s, a place reminiscent of an old Englisharthurspub with all the warmth and character of a beloved local. Charming management and staff make this a firm favourite in East London and old-style pub lunches keep the customers coming back for more. A sports-mad venue, Arthur’s is an ideal place to go when there’s a rugby match or Formula One race on. Telephone 043 726 7085.
The Barefoot Café in Chintsa East is a lovely, laid-back pub and restaurant where all are welcome. Opened in 2010 by two local surfers, The Barefoot Café encourages a wide range of age groups, social classes, ethnicities and religions to go and enjoy a drink and fantastic food in a relaxed environment.  Telephone 043 738 5297.
The  Bar at Xtreme Valley in Beacon Bay is an upmarket venue with very reasonably priced drinks on offer. Catering primarily for the young professional, it has a lively vibe and is perfect for both after work cold ones or pre-club drinks at the weekend. It is also an ideal venue for families during the day over the weekend when parents can sit and have a drink and a light meal and watch their kids playing lazer tag at the same time. With plans to have live entertainment once a month in the bar, it also has an upstairs venue where DJ events will be held on a regular basis. For the sports fans, there is also a big screen where all the latest soccer and rugby matches are shown. Telephone 082 062 1790.
xtreme valley
The Bora Bora Lounge Bar is an upmarket Cocktail Bar located in the Atlantis Beachfront Centre, boasting a very trendy, urban vibe. Serving a wide range of fabulous cocktails, Bora Bora has couches for those that want to relax and enjoy their after work sundowners, and a balcony view which is second to none. The bar is also equipped with two plasma screens for the sports fans. Telephone 043 742 6967.
The Felix Bar is an upmarket gentleman’s venue located inside Hemingways and is a very popular spot with those attending the many events held at The Venue. Telephone 043 707 7777.
Boykies Biltong Bar is proudly South African and they’ve even got the goods to prove it with a wide variety of biltong for sale, the nation’s favourite! A relaxed vibe, Boykies is located in Berea and not only has a great bar but delicious food and televisions for the essential Rugby matches. It even has the bonus of a walk-in Cigar Humidor plus Rugby regalia to purchase. Telephone 043 721 0145.

The Monopoly Pub Crawl

Monopoly Logo

The Monopoly Pub Crawl

After our third successful attempt at the Monopoly pub crawl, we thought we should put up a page about it. Here you can find the route, as well as some pictures of the event itself.

The Route

We've made a route guide for the Monopoly Pub Crawl complete with nice pictures of each pub and directions in between. At some point we'll put up a printable version. There are now two different routes for you to choose from:
The original route The route is based on an old version which we used on our first few attempts. We've updated it as the pubs have changed and to deal with the bus routes being renumbered over the years.
The in-order route This visits most of the same pubs as the original route, but does so in the order that they appear on the Monopoly board. Consequently there are more time constraints when doing this route. The station stops are optional, since leaving them out makes the route easier, and avoids some very wasteful travelling from one side of London to the other and then back again. The route was contributed by Gus Paul.
We were recently asked to remove the pub we had for Oxford Street from the list. So if you do the crawl, please report back on where you went (we've put some alternatives in from

The Strategy

26 pubs might seem like a tall order, and it is if you have a pint in each one. Since we prefer to finish the whole route rather than pass out halfway through we usually go for a half pint in each. There's usually at least half an hour to spare at the last pub for more drinking. It's a fun day out whether you're drinking or not. If you are drinking, you can make it a lot easier on yourself by eating at every possible opportunity and by drinking water as the day goes on.
Please drink within your limits. Remember that landlords, bouncers and patrons are not going to be too happy with a huge crowd of loud drunkards turning up for quick half. In particular we have had to remove two pubs from the list recently because landlords were unhappy. So it's best to try to keep to a reasonable level of sobriety and volume if you want to finish the crawl and not ruin it for everyone else! If there are is a large group of you, try to split up into smaller groups near the end and go into different pubs if there's more than one available.
Most importantly, remember to stay safe while doing the crawl. It's easy to think you're invincible when you've had a bit to drink, so be careful of the London roads and follow the Green Cross Code!

The Hall of Fame

Click on the Hall of Fame to see a list of people who have completed the route!


Photos are available on the Monopoly Pub Crawl flickr group. Feel free to join and upload your own!
There is a photo gallery of the 2002 trip. The photos were taken by Dan Lister, be sure to check out his page.

10 London Bars You Can Drink In After Midnight

         10 London Bars You Can Drink In After MidnightThere's an abundance of great bars in the UK, but during the week (and sometimes even on weekends) it can be a challenge to find a half-decent establishment that's open past 12. From a Victorian inspired cocktail bar in Shoreditch (where else) to a tiki dive bar in Manchester, we've rounded up 10 of the best bars to grab a drink after midnight

10 London Bars You Can Drink In After Midnight
1 | Hoxton Grill
With its grand fireplace, exposed brickwork and velvet chairs, elements of the Soho House Group (i.e. contemporary but with an undeniable English feel) are clearly evident in this American Grill hangout. They serve food until midnight (win), drinks until 2am and you can take your Porn Star Martini and sit out in the courtyard. What’s not to like?
Hoxton Hotel, 81 Great Eastern St, London EC2A 3HU,

2 | Worship Street Whisting Shop
The brainchild of the team behind Purl (one of London’s first speakeasy bars), this underground den – inspired by 19th century gin palaces – is fully furnished with an in-house lab, meaning everything from syrups to bitters, and even soft-drinks are homemade. Gin lovers are in for a treat as their Dram Shop has a generous selection of some of their favourite gin based cocktails, all wax sealed and stored for a month. All you have to do is pick one (and pay of course) and enjoy.
63 Worship Street, London, EC2A 2DU,

3 | Cafe Boheme
Situated below the infamous private member’s club Soho House on Old Compton Street (yes, another establishment from the painfully successful Soho House Group), this Parisian inspired brasserie/bar is the ultimate destination for late night drinks and frites. If there’s space, head over to the zinc-topped bar and order one of their absinthe cocktails. Alternatively if you’d prefer to watch the flamboyant Soho crowds pass by, we recommend you grab a table outside. Open until 3am.
13 Old Compton St, London W1D 5JQ,

4 | Nightjar
“Tucked away” may not be two words you would use for a bar placed on one of East London’s busiest main roads – but Nightjar appears to be just that. Serving vintage spirits (the oldest being Hannisville Bourbon, believed to have been distilled in the 1860s) in addition to food and signature cocktails, Nightjar captures the feel of being in a 1920s speakeasy. Oh and just a heads up, it's closed on Wednesday's. 
129 City Rd, London EC1V 1JB,

5 | Slim Jims
Located in the lively Islington neighbourhood, Slim Jims is UK’s first American style dive bar. With a dangerous selection of rums, bourbons and tequilas as well as rock classics (The Rolling Stones, Guns ‘n’ Roses and AC/DC) blasting out from their jukebox, this is definitely not for the faint-hearted. Their saloon doors are open seven days a week and on weekends they don't close until 3am.
112 Upper St, Islington, N1 1QN,

6 | Vingt Quatre
A popular hangout for Chelsea night owls, this local establishment has the best opening hours the capital has to offer (you may have guessed by the name, it’s open 24/7). So whether you want to pop in to sober up before the tubes re-open or fancy a cheeseburger and tequila shot at 6am, this west London institution is a much more sophisticated version of a late night chippie.
325 Fulham Rd, London SW10 9QL,

7 | Bunga Bunga 
You may not have guessed from the Venetian backdrop splashed across the wall, or the Vespas hung from the ceiling, but Bunga Bunga is a wholly Italian influenced bar and pizzeria. With bellinis, Amaretto and their very own house apéritif on the menu, Bunga Bunga is an ideal late night haunt for those not looking to venture into central London. 
37 Battersea Bridge Rd, Battersea, London SW11 3BA,
8 | The Social 
Probably the only place you’ll ever get away with rapping to Snoop Dogg, Jay-Z or Eminem, this modest establishment is renowned for their Hip Hop karaoke night (every Thursday – we know you’re interested). Nestled behind the backstreets of Oxford Circus, the stripped-down bar upstairs, with its brown leather booths and low lighting is ideal for a cocktail or two, whilst the basement club – complete with a disco ball – is an obvious choice for those who’ve had one too many and want to keep the night going.
5 Little Portland St, London W1W 7JD,
9 | The Horse And Groom
A self-proclaimed ‘Disco pub’, this cosy joint in the heart of Shoreditch is a great combination of traditional boozer and East End debauchery. Open until 4am every Friday and Saturday (or if you can deal with Monday hangovers, they’re open until 2am on Sundays), the venue is contained within two floors, each with its own bar, DJ booth and seating area.
28 Curtain Rd, London EC2A 3NZ,
10 | The Experimental Cocktail Club
Originating in Paris in 2007, The Experimental Cocktail Club (rolling off the tongue much easier in its abbreviated form – ECC) migrated over to our nation's capital in 2010. Located within a two-story townhouse, the cocktail menu changes every month or so – with favourites such as St Germain des Pres, Handsome Jack and La Medicacion enjoying a permenant residency. Reservations are welcome, although not mandatory – as half of the venue is kept clear for its walk in guests. Good news for those looking for a new after work hangout.