It’s a UK custom to have some sort of blind loyalty to the pub closest in proximity to your house, your local, which makes sense because there are enough watering holes in every town to make even the residents of tiniest of villages have to measure the distance between competing establishments. Though this is more for convenience than anything else, and no doubt somewhat for your own safety when staggering back to your abode late at night, this clearly doesn’t mean that the tatty old furniture and splintering wood here is as good as its going to get. Those of you who aren’t content with becoming the next old geezer permanently bowed over the bar every night may want to explore your other options, further afield and far more exciting. If you are looking for a place with an idea that stretches further than ‘somewhere you can drink with optional seating’, these places may just spark your interest. Otherwise enjoy the same conversation with the same ripe smelling folk you’ve been lumped with for the past decade.
The Jekyll And Hyde – Birmingham
This different yet effective idea takes guests back into the age of Victorian Britain while also keeping up the idea of duality thanks to the very English monster tale of Jekyll and Hyde. This works by separating the place into two floors, upstairs Dr Jekyll has civilized cocktail assortment while down below things are more daring with Mr Hyde’s gin parlor. Keeping with the feel of ye olde times, expect to see old British sweets and archaic chemistry equipment about the place in this midlands time machine.
The Hobbit Pub – Southampton
Mortals, magicians and monsters alike can gather here in this pub inspired by the famous writings of JRR Tolkien. Here walls are sprayed with Baggins art and cocktails come in all manner of varieties that will be overly familiar to fans of the franchise. Gatherings here attract like minded crowds as they host folk music gigs or costume nights, be sure to drink the list of beverages on their ‘quests’ in order to receive prizes.
The Smugglers Cove – Liverpool
Set in the harbour city of Liverpool this thoroughly themed location brings a little local history to the table along with its pirate feel. The low lighting and decadent looking woods that adorn almost every surface here give a sense of class that many other themed locations can lack. Enjoy their selection of sea worthy drinks that include some intense liquors. Pre book and get access to their exclusive rum room which offers guests entry to private quarters previously made for the most celebrated of sea farers.
The Bletchley – London
For those fascinated with England’s past and indeed their war efforts, this is the place for you. Focused on the WW2 era, this bar will have you breaking codes just like Turing’s enigma machine, but you won’t be decoding German transmissions, you will be ordering drinks. This immersive experience is great for something out of the ordinary, get lost in their wall to wall chalkboards, sepia photos and old school documents.