'Tis the season for slicing and dicing London's attractions into handy pictorial guides it seems. A bevy of new books are available to help Londoners and visitors get the most out of the city. We recommend you buy from one of London's many excellent independent bookshops, or direct from the publisher.
Drink London by Euan Ferguson is a pocket-sized guide to London's best bars and pubs. This fellow has served as Time Out's resident barfly for the past half decade, so should know his arse from his Erdinger. The value here is his editorial selection — the 100 best drinking spots in the capital according to this most hard-working of pint swiggers. It's a selection that we can't fault, with a good geographical spread covering everything from historic pubs to you-can't-afford-it hotel bars. The written content is a bit lightweight — typically three to four sentences per venue — but this is supplemented with alluring photography. Ferguson includes a check-list at the end, giving completer-finishers a thirsty new mission. Applying biro to paper, we find that we've visited 68 of the author's top 100, with ne'er a quibble at any of the choices. We won't stop till we've completed the boozy century.
Drink London, The 100 Best Bars and Pubs is out 2 October from Frances Lincoln. Buy direct from publisher.
Siobhan Wall has a bee in her bonnet about background noise. Suspecting that she was not alone, she published the original Quiet London book in 2011. Enough people bought into the idea of seeking out tranquil spaces that the title has now spawned three sequels. Quiet London: Food and Drink tracks down the bars, cafes, restaurants and markets who cater without a caterwaul, places where you can enjoy your grub without competing against loudspeakers. The selection is decidedly upmarket, especially in the restaurant section, but there are a handful of cheaper options too. It's well written and largely well researched, with the odd hiccup in the pubs section.
The other two volumes continue the theme and style. Quiet London: Culture tackles museums, stately homes, galleries, bookshops and more venues where peace is paramount. Quiet London: Quiet Corners, meanwhile, suggests gardens, cemeteries, places of worship and (how lovely) places by water. All three books are beautifully illustrated with photography by the author. Taken together the set of books offers little pieces of peace, many of which we'd not previously encountered. Just don't shout about them too loudly.
Quiet London series is out now from Frances Lincoln. Buy direct from the publisher.
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