|by Sean O'Neill||Food + Drink, United Kingdom, London||1|
Roger Protz has a great job. He's the editor of The Good Beer Guide, an annual guide to Britain's best beer (which also comes as software that can be installed on major GPS devices).
Protz belongs to the Campaign for Real Ale, a 90,000-member British group that "promotes good-quality real ale and pubs." The organization has its work cut out for it. Every week, 36 pubs close in Britain. The smoking ban and higher taxes on beer have caused fewer and fewer people to visit pubs—and more and more pubs to close.
On a happier note: Protz makes a living sampling the country's pubs. (Nice work if you can get it!) He has visited thousands of pubs across Britain. His latest picks are out in London's Independent, and here's what he liked in London.
London: the Buckingham Arms, Petty France, SW1
"This superb Young's pub built in the 1840s and hidden in the back-streets of Victoria is one of only 10 pubs to appear in all 36 editions of Camra's Good Beer Guide. It has also survived a recent upgrade and has retained its individuality and excellent beer." (See a photo of the exterior.) 44 (0)20 7222 3386
London: the Star Tavern, Belgrave Mews West, SW1
It's one large room with a horseshoe-shaped bar. According to the Ultimate Pub Guide, "its walls are covered with historical cartoons, framed beer mats, a framed advertisement for Fuller’s beer and a large mirror. Hanging beneath the pressed paper ceiling are several chandeliers...It has two fireplaces, both of which feature a bucket of coal and an open fire on a cold winter’s day." 44 (0)20 7235 3019