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Pubs and Pantos

Westport, CT
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Pubs and Pantos

We are traveling to London between Dec. 27-Dec. 31. I have been to London recently several times but my 2 sons (22 and 20) have not been since 2000.

Two questions:

1. We want to take my almost 21-year-old son to a London pub so that he can try different beers to see what he likes. We are staying near the Green Park tube station but would like to stay around zone 1 and 2 for the evening. Can you recommend a gastropub with good food and beer tastings? I don't think he wants to commit to a full pint but would like to try different beers, and we all would enjoy some interesting food.

2. I want to see a pantomime, even if I go by myself. I love live theater and corny jokes and just want to get the typical English panto experience. Have any TA members seen this year's shows? Any recommendations for adults who are kids at heart? Will it be difficult to get tickets the day of the show? I want to remain flexible. (We are also seeing Jeeves and Wooster. We are big fans of British comedy.)

Thank you very much for any advice.

County Dublin...
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1. Re: Pubs and Pantos

Couple of good pubs in here.


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2. Re: Pubs and Pantos

Actually, both of your sons can enjoy a pint in a pub. When in Rome....

Kent, UK
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3. Re: Pubs and Pantos

I don't know about "beer tasting". I know that some pubs will let you try a couple of sips of a beer before purchase to see if you like it, but I don't think they'd just let you sample a whole load with no intention of buying anything, if that's what you ment. You son can order half pints if he wishes.

Sydney, Australia
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4. Re: Pubs and Pantos

1. You can get 1/3 pints at http://www.drafthouse.co.uk/ (various locations) I think you can also get them from http://www.lowlander.com/ but I think they serve mainly Belgian beers

Having said that, I think you should just get together a good list of pubs and each buy 1/2 pint and give everyone a taste.

2. I asked the same question earlier this month and got no input from locals. I am not sure if they missed the post or none had seen any yet. Chitownbigcityfan, a visitor from the US, saw Puss in Boots at the Hackney and seemed to enjoy it. I've linked the post I am talking about below which also has recommendations: tripadvisor.com.au/ShowTopic-g186338-i17-k69…

Phoenix, Arizona
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5. Re: Pubs and Pantos

I often do several half-pints, starting with the lighter offerings and working up to the stouts, and/or Porters. Most pubs will offer such a line up.

I also agree with the Shepard Market options, which are right where you will be.

Dallas, Texas
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6. Re: Pubs and Pantos

I'd head over to Belgravia and visit the Horse and Groom, the Star Tavern, the Grenadier and the Antelope.

London, United...
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7. Re: Pubs and Pantos

Do your sons look as if they are over 18?

If a pub thinks they could be under 18 (the legal drinking age in the UK) then they might ask for proof of age,

This doesn't happen very often, but it is as well to be aware.

You can always ask the person behind the bar about the beers, and some pubs will let you have a small sample of one or two beers. Other than that, you could buy half pints, or each of you can buy a different beer and then have a sip of each others pint/ half pint.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for London
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56,359 posts
15 reviews
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8. Re: Pubs and Pantos

I'd say if you want to see panto then go to a venue that's worthy of the festive season, the Hackney Empire. The panto is Puss in Boots, looks rather fun. Henry Winkler has reversed over the shark (if you will) by choosing to play Captain Hook in Peter Pan, in Richmond. theguardian.com/stage/…london-panto-special

Portland, Oregon
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for Air Travel
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9. Re: Pubs and Pantos

The BusinessTraveller family (UK branch) saw the Fonz play Capt Hook in 2006 at the Wimbledon Theater (another good panto venue). It was a good show, though Bobby Davro was the star.

Winchelsea, United...
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for West Sussex, East Sussex
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10. Re: Pubs and Pantos

The "sampler" of various beers that is so common in US brewpubs is basically absent in the UK. Just buy a half (you can call it that btw, you don't need to say "a half of a pint").

The Star is a great suggestion. It's difficult to find, which is a good sign in London as it's not touristy.