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The Rocket at Putney

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Offering a globe-spanning bar stock and a menu of British and international dishes, The Rocket is a member of the celebrated fleet of pubs from JD Wetherspoon. Menus span from hearty full English breakfasts and traditional pub classics, to fun kids’ options and delicious desserts. Championing some of the nation’s favourite dishes, popular weekly events at Wetherspoon’s range from steak and curry nights, to the family-friendly Sunday club, where traditional roasts are served with all the trimmings. Real ales are a speciality, with a superb range of guest brews and permanent draught beers cherry-picked by Wetherspoon’s resident experts.

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Risto-Pub Zona Franca

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Situato nel centro storico di Piacenza la Zona Franca è un risto-pub dove ci si sente a “casa”, dall’ambiente confortevole e con un camino centrale. Si può bere ottima birra con bruschette o panini ma il menu comprende anche primi, carni, insalate mentre sulla lavagnetta sono presenti i piatti del giorno; ottimi i dolci. Da provare assolutamente gli spaghetti cacio, pepe e pomodorini e lo stinco arrosto con le patate. Nella bella stagione è possibile mangiare all’aperto in uno spazio reso accogliente da tavoloni in legno e candele. Nel weekend è sempre pienissimo e, cosa positiva, frequentato da gente molto eterogenea anche per età: si trovano dalle famiglie agli adolescenti. Il personale è preparato, simpatico e alla mano. L’ambiente ideale per passare una tranquilla serata senza spendere eccessivamente.

The Bricklayer’s Arms

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Acting and running a pub aren’t that dissimilar, really. It all comes down to performance and, if you don’t cut the Colman’s, the audience votes with its feet. Maybe that’s why landlady Becky Newman has gone down a storm at the Bricklayer’s. A former actress with stints in Casualty and The House of Eliott on her CV, she now treads the reclaimed Victorian floorboards of this Putney gem and the crowds are bringing the house down. When she took on the pub in 2005, she said it resembled “a Wandsworth nick reunion party”. The lags have moved on and among the real-ale buffs the regulars now include High Court judges, MPs, Fulham FC fans and a crowd from Sky Sports, just around the corner. Awards have been lobbed at it like bouquets from the gods. Situated down a side street a few minutes’ walk from Putney Bridge, the small, early Victorian Bricklayer’s is overshadowed by housing estates. Inside there’s a single bar and a long gallery at the back. There’s seating to suit all tastes, from wooden tables and stools, to comfy chairs and a pair of settles from a Welsh chapel. The flag-stoned beer garden is packed on sunny days. Beer makes the running at the Bricklayer’s, which usually offers the full range of Taylor’s Yorkshire ales, including its creamy Best Bitter and the magisterial Landlord (reputedly Madonna’s favourite pint). On the day we visited, a Cumbrian beer festival was in full swing and the perky Loweswater Pale Ale was a rousing refresher. Draught cider and perry come from Herefordshire and lager from the Czech Republic, and wine-drinkers can choose from a slim but sizzling list of crowd-pleasers

The Red Lion

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As far as location is concerned the Red Lion is hard to beat, midway between the House of Commons and Downing Street. It is the closest to No.10, although it’s unlikely you’ll see the PM here. Perhaps the odd MP though as it has Parliamentary TV broadcasts from the House (thankfully mute) and there’s a division bell for those important votes, so MP’s needn’t miss a thing. This is a classic late 19th century pub. The long narrow bar was once divided into Public and Saloon, with the counter running along the back wall serving both. The solid hardwood fittings are broken up by carving or insets of decorative glass. The etched and cut mirrors are beautiful examples of the craft. The remaining wall space is covered with interesting and amusing prints with a political theme. The Red Lion serves as watering hole and dining room for civil servants and journalists, although the conversation is more likely to be about sport than politics. Curious tourists find there way here too, so it can get very busy especially when Parliament is sitting and finding a spot to eat can be difficult, although there is a dining room upstairs. The cellar bar hosts the Electric Mouse Comedy evening on Mondays, doors open at 7pm.

The Crown Pub

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The Crown Pub next to the station. This is probably the first pub people see on arrival in Liverpool. The architect is unknown. 1859 is the earliest reference to a pub here. In 1888 William Clarkson, the owner of the Midland, took over here. But like others in 1905, it was taken over by Peter Walker, Brewers of Warrington and Burton on Trent. As we entered, we’d have noticed that exterior, the richest art nouveau of any pub. This exterior is really impressive with its moulded plaster friezes, the shallow box windows on the first and second floor, the cut glass windows, the copper panels and the beautiful golden letters outside. Looking from the window of the Crown, we can see Wellington on his monument and he had a great influence on the pubs of Liverpool. Before the 19th century, most beer was brewed in private houses, known as pot houses. But most of the social problems then were not caused by beer drinking, but by spirit drinking. Wellington had the idea that if he could encourage people to drink beer rather than spirits, it would solve a great many social problems. A familiar sight against the bustle of Lime Street Station, you could say we’re a city pub with a local heart. And a famous one at that – our distinct art nouveau exterior and grand original features reveal a fascinating history. Today, there’s always something good on to draw a crowd around our big, sociable bar. But equally you’ll find lots of quiet, cosy nooks perfect for escaping the world over a pint. I went twice in Liverpool and I had twice sunday lunch here!

The Lion Tavern

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This unassuming corner pub contains hidden treasure. It may not have the grandeur or scale of some other Liverpool pubs, but the Lion has the warmth and intimacy of a welcoming local. The main bar is pleasant with some attractive art nouveau tiles. Explore further, by way of the gents, and you’ll find an L shaped corridor and screen of carved timber and etched and cut glass, with art nouveau tiling below. This screen acts as a servery the rooms behind, the walls to which were removed in the 1960’s. A mid 19th century pub, it was remodelled in the early 1900’s. This type of lobby layout is peculiar to Liverpool pubs, according to Mark Girouard, the Victorian pub historian. The Lion Tavern has a wide selection of good cask ales on eight handpumps and over 80 malt whiskies. The pub speciality is pork pies kept in a fridge on the bar. There’s always plenty to do with a quiz night every Tuesday, a board game club, meetings of the Bob Dylan Society and an acoustic night to name but a few.