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⚙️ Table Talk #115: Weird, Wonderful Watering Holes 🍻

Despite the headlines, Britain is still bursting with pubs.
No other country can match us on sheer volume. It’s nigh impossible to find an institution we’re better known or loved for abroad.
Today’s Table Talk takes a meandering tour of the weirdest, oldest and most magical watering holes on and around these shores.
Pubs, when they're good, are so much more than the pints they serve. Today, we'll be celebrating that.

Take The Old Forge. It may take an 18 mile hike over munros or a 7 mile sea crossing to get there, but this community owned highland gem is the pulsing heart of the Knoydart Peninsula’s south shore.

Much like Lundy Island’s Marisco Tavern, a pub that famously never closes, needing to be all things to all people on this tiny, unspoiled island, a granite outcrop off the North Devon coast restored lovingly by the Landmark Trust.

Then over in Ireland there’s The Jolly Roger, a hub of music and merriment on Sherkin Island, on the southern tip of County Cork. For the keen-on-kayaking it’s a three mile paddle from the mainland, for anyone else it’s a hop, skip and a ferry.

Three pubs, three shores, but community on tap at all three.
The Marisco Tavern: Lundy Island
Can an inanimate object have charisma? Is a pub an inanimate object, or instead a living, breathing entity? Either way, The Mayflower in London and The Canny Man in Edinburgh have it by the gallon.
The Mayflower, is the oldest pub on London's River Thames. It’s hugged by cobbled streets, somehow still feels like a secret, and has a covetable river facing garden outback. A time warp and a treasure.
A little less traditional, but just as treasurable is The Canny Man, Edinburgh. ‘A free house, as free as the wind’ as the founding family used to say. With trombones and parasols dangling from the ceiling and typewriters fastened to the wall, it’s more than possible to feel drunk without consuming a drop here.
The Canny Man: Edinburgh

Then to wrap things up, we couldn’t not mention Mr Fitzpatricks, Lancashire.

Thought to be Britain’s last standing temperance bar, this place has been alcohol-free its entire life, since 1899 that is. Its menu is a hub of handmade and herbal cordials and tonics. A pub you can leave feeling healthier than when you walked in, win-win.

A few weeks back, I spent a very happy day calling none of the shots and instead playing runner to my brilliant sister, an editorial photographer.

She's now shared all the lovely shots we captured that day and we've been loving, in turn, sharing these with you. If you don't already follow us, but fancy it, head over here.

Until next Wednesday, 

Luke x

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