The Stories Behind London’s Greatest Pubs

The Stories Behind London’s Greatest Pubs

London and its pubs have been interwoven for centuries and the historical — not to mention architectural — significance of Britain’s watering holes is the subject of the forthcoming book Great Pubs of London, where 22 significant pubs are highlighted and celebrated. These haunts of wayward travelers and famous poets, some centuries-old, continue to feed the hearts, minds (and stomachs) of travelers across the pond. There’s a reason why visitors seem to manage to squeeze in a visit to a pub in between seeing Big Ben, the Tower of London and the like; the feel of London is quite tangible in a tavern. Below, a look at a handful of the remarkable pubs in this exclusive excerpt from the soon-to-be-published title:

Cittie of York

It has been claimed that a pub or alehouse has traded on this site since around 1430 — if that were true, and the original building still stood, it would make the Cittie of Yorke the oldest pub in London by a considerable margin. But like so many landmark pubs, it’s been home to different occupants over the centuries. The main bar was, and remains, the pièce de résistance, while its architects created a stunning interior in the style of the great hall of a Tudor mansion.

The vaulted main bar at Cittie of Yorke.

The Blackfriar

Historians will tell you it is the finest pub design anywhere in London — while the outside of the building is certainly striking, it does not prepare you for this astonishing interior. When The Blackfriar was remodeled, the interior was designed by sculptor Henry Poole, who, like the pub’s architect, was influenced by the Arts and Crafts movement. What he managed to create sent a shockwave through London’s art world.

The main bar at The Blackfriar.

The French House

The French House looks nothing like a London pub. That’s because for more than a century, everyone has tried to keep it looking like a very popular bar you’d find in the backstreets of Montparnasse in Paris. For most of the twentieth century, this pub’s official name was The York Minster. Its metamorphosis into “The French,” the name by which it is usually known colloquially and fondly, began in 1914 when its then owner, Berta Schmitt, sold the business to Victor Berlemont, an impressive individual who sported an enormous waxed mustache.

The main bar at The French House.

The Flask

Virtually backing on to Highgate Cemetery, the burial place of Karl Marx, this delightful and very old London pub has all the hallmarks of a village inn. Long ago, of course, it was just that. What made The Flask particularly attractive was its elevated position, the clean air and the natural spring water. It was the water that gave it its name, because in the seventeenth century, the pub sold flasks made of clay or leather to store mineral water drawn from the many springs on this escarpment overlooking the city.

The view from behind the central bar at The Flask.

The Lamb

The Lamb is a treasure trove of mahogany panelling and a palace of etched glass and mirrors. And, although this conversion was undertaken in the late-nineteenth century, The Lamb was a London pub of note well before that, having opened its doors in 1720.

A popular corner at the bar at The Lamb.

The Viaduct Tavern

In 1863, work began on the construction of the famous Holborn Viaduct, spanning the steep valley of the River Fleet and Holborn Hill. It was completed in 1869, and The Viaduct Tavern in Newgate opened the same year, its name celebrating this remarkable feat of engineering.

The bar bar and stilion at The Viaduct Tavern.

The Lamb and Frog

Tucked away in a cobbled alley in Covent Garden called Rose Street lies the very old, warm, cozy and ridiculously busy Lamb and Flag. Like most of London’s surviving early pubs, it has a small interior with little natural light. For most of its first 200 years of existence, lit simply by candlelight and later by gas lamps, The Lamb and Flag would have offered an almost sanctuary-like retreat from the harshness of life in the streets outside.

The Dryden Room and the bar on the first floor at The Lamb and Flag.

Great Pubs of London, by George Dailey with photos by Charlie Dailey, will be available on later this month.

What are some of your favorite pubs to visit in London? Tell us about them, below.

All images by Charlie Dailey.


via The Points Guy

August 19, 2017 at 11:12PM

These photos will transport you to the desert utopia of Burning Man

These photos will transport you to the desert utopia of Burning Man photo editor Nicola Bailey surfaces from the dust of Burning Man with photos of what life is like at this annual desert gathering, a utopia of hedonistic human connection and mind-bending art installations.

“Burning Man is the place to find out who you are, then take it a step further. It’s a community, a cultural movement and a temporary city.” That’s how this annual week-long festival in the Nevada Desert bills itself.

Perhaps most importantly, Burning Man, a gathering that began in 1986 to celebrate the summer solstice, is a place free of any corporate sponsorship, where money is of no use, where all the entertainment is provided by its citizens, and where connectedness, creativity and collaboration are key.

I’d heard about Burning Man over the years, but knowing the challenges of getting a ticket and actually getting out into the desert, I never expected to one day find myself there. So when an opportunity came up to join a crew who would be building an art project at Burning Man, I jumped at the chance.

The post These photos will transport you to the desert utopia of Burning Man appeared first on



August 19, 2017 at 07:43PM

Enter to Win 100,000 TrueBlue Points From JetBlue

Enter to Win 100,000 TrueBlue Points From JetBlue

Not even the blackout during Monday’s solar eclipse will be enough for JetBlue to budge on its blackout policy. The New York-based carrier is known for its generous no blackout dates for award flights — which is one of the staples of the TrueBlue program.

Screen Shot 2017-08-19 at 10.28.52 AM

Now, the carrier wants to give you the chance to win 100,000 TrueBlue points for not believing in blackouts either — even though the solar eclipse is imminent. JetBlue is hosting its giveaway on Facebook in the form of an event. The event details read:

“At JetBlue, we don’t believe in blackout dates. And that got us thinking… if Monday’s blackout is the biggest in recent history, then we don’t believe in it either.

So that total solar eclipse? Totally made up.

Join us and see the light August 21, 2017 as we gather to celebrate nothing — no eclipse, no seat restrictions, no expiring points, and most importantly, no blackout dates when redeeming points on JetBlue flights with TrueBlue, JetBlue’s loyalty program.”

To enter to win the 100,000 points, all you need to do is go to the event page, which is titled “The JetBlue No Blackout Non-Eclipse Non-Event,” and indicate that you’ll be “Going.” Once you’ve done so, you’re automatically entered to win the grand prize. You can find the sweepstakes rules here.

Screen Shot 2017-08-19 at 10.31.47 AM

Based on TPG’s most recent valuations, those 100,000 points are worth $1,300. Considering how easy it is to enter this contest, the payout of TrueBlue points is very valuable. If you have a Facebook account, you’re definitely going to want to enroll in this sweepstakes.

H/T: Mommy Points


via The Points Guy

August 19, 2017 at 05:36PM

Private Jet Companies and Airlines Know How to Profit From the Eclipse

Private Jet Companies and Airlines Know How to Profit From the Eclipse


Brisbane, California-based XoJet will handle about 60 flights to solar eclipse areas, the company said. It is one of many private jet companies and airlines profiting from the eclipse.

Skift Take: We doubt the eclipse 99 years ago had such a commericial bent. But, hey, why shouldn’t aviation businesses try to profit from a natural phenomenon?

— Brian Sumers

For the well-heeled looking for a last-minute plan to see next week’s solar eclipse, a U.S. private-jet operator is offering an option for $10,000 a seat.

Million Air is whisking customers to remote airports where the moon will totally block the sun’s rays for a time on Aug. 21. Passengers will watch from lawn chairs near the wings of the plane while an astronomer offers expert commentary and views of solar flares through a telescope.

“Our idea is that, instead of tailgating at a ballgame, we’re going to wing-gate under the path of total eclipse,” said Roger Woolsey, chief executive officer of the Houston-based company. “We’ll load the jet up like a pickup truck, with the picnic baskets and the Dom Perignon and the snacks.”

The flights reflect the solar show’s bonanza for private-plane operators, which is on a par with major holidays and sporting events. The Federal Aviation Administration is putting up temporary air-traffic control centers in Oregon, where the total eclipse will begin over the U.S. as it sweeps toward South Carolina along a 70-mile band. Jackson Hole, Wyoming, a hot location for the luxury-jet set that’s in the path, is out of aircraft parking spots.

‘Super Bowl’

“The magnitude has a Super Bowl feel,” said Brad Stewart, CEO of XOJet, which owns a fleet of 41 aircraft. “The idea of the eclipse has captured the imagination.”

The coast-to-coast total solar eclipse, a phenomenon that last occurred 99 years ago, is giving an extra boost to a private-jet charter industry that already enjoyed a 6.7 percent increase in charter activity in July from a year earlier. XOJet, based in Brisbane, California, will handle about 60 flights to eclipse areas, Stewart said.

At Jet Linx, bookings to see the eclipse began a couple of months ago after a customer broached the idea, Chief Executive Officer Jamie Walker, said. Now the Omaha, Nebraska-based company has 16 flights planned. The average cost to rent out a light jet is about $4,000 an hour and $8,000 for a heavy jet such as a Gulfstream 450, Walker said.

NetJets, the private-jet company owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc., has about 500 bookings to and from the eclipse zones. That puts demand on par with the busiest holiday times around Thanksgiving and Christmas, Kristyn Wilson, a spokeswoman for the company, said in an email.

“We do, on occasion, experience peaks related to popular events. But demand of this nature, especially on a Monday in August, is truly out of this world,” she quipped.

‘Cosmic Cocktails’

Commercial carriers are also getting into the mix. Alaska Air Group Inc. is operating a charter flight that takes off from Portland, Oregon, for select astronomy enthusiasts and eclipse chasers. Southwest Airlines Co. is providing special viewing glasses and offering “cosmic cocktails” on flights most likely to experience the eclipse’s maximum effects.

Pilots flying during the event will have to keep an eye out for about 100 high-altitude balloons that students in coordination with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration will launch to capture live footage of the eclipse, the FAA said.

People outside the path of totality will still be able to see dramatic partial eclipses with no help from private-jet operators charging thousands of dollars. But the fever to pack up the family and fly off to a place in the path of complete darkness has been increasing as the natural phenomenon nears, said Ron Silverman, U.S. president for VistaJet in New York.

“The biggest challenge right now is finding an airport that we can get into,” Silverman said.

©2017 Bloomberg L.P.

This article was written by Thomas Black from Bloomberg and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to


via Skift

August 19, 2017 at 05:04PM

Trump Says Sun Equally to Blame for Blocking Moon

Trump Says Sun Equally to Blame for Blocking Moon

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Attacking the media for its “very unfair” coverage of Monday’s solar eclipse, Donald J. Trump said on Saturday that the sun was equally to blame for blocking the moon.

“The fake news is covering the eclipse from the sun’s side instead of the moon’s side, but if you look at it from the moon’s side the sun is blocking the moon’s side,” he said. “There are so many sides you can’t count all the sides.”

Additionally, Trump tore into the sun itself, calling it a “showboat” for its role in the solar eclipse.

“The sun thinks the world revolves around it,” Trump said. “Sad.”

Trump said the sun was a “big problem” that his predecessor, Barack Obama, did nothing to solve, but that that situation was about to change.

“It will be handled—we handle everything,” Trump said, adding that a preëmptive military strike on the sun was “very much on the table.”


via Everything

August 19, 2017 at 04:22PM

Noises I Heard People Make While Browsing for Books

Noises I Heard People Make While Browsing for Books

Jeremy Nguyen provides GIF illustrations of the sounds he hears in the young-adult, self-help, and other sections of a bookstore.


via Everything

August 19, 2017 at 02:00PM

52 Places to Go: Drinking in Northwest Puerto Rico

52 Places to Go: Drinking in Northwest Puerto Rico

Travel along the coast of Northwest Puerto Rico, where vendors and bartenders use machetes, ice picks and delicate herbs to create their drinks.


via NYT > Travel

August 19, 2017 at 10:18AM

The New Yorkers Tied for the Total-Solar-Eclipse Record

The New Yorkers Tied for the Total-Solar-Eclipse Record

On Monday, people in a seventy-mile-wide swath of the United States will witness one of nature’s great spectacles: the total solar eclipse. The event will attract swarms of eclipse chasers—or, as some of them prefer to be called, “umbraphiles,” derived from “umbra,” the technical term for the darkest part of the moon’s shadow. New York City will not be a prime destination; here, the moon will obscure only seventy-two per cent of the sun. But the city is distinguished nevertheless: three men currently claiming the record for the most total solar eclipses seen (thirty-three) are all New Yorkers.

“I’m not out for record-setting. It’s just something that happens,” Glenn Schneider, one of the triumvirate, said by phone, from Tucson, Arizona, where he is an astronomer at the Steward Observatory. Eclipses and the sun are not his field, just a passion. “It will change your life,” he said of viewing a total solar eclipse. “I warn people about that. When I give talks about eclipses, my first slide is like the label on a cigarette pack—a warning of addiction.”

Schneider, who grew up in the Bronx, saw his first total solar eclipse in 1970, when he was fourteen. He took a bus down to Greenville, North Carolina, with the Amateur Observers’ Society of New York to see it. “I had prepared exactly what I was going to do for every second of that totality,” he recalled. “I knew it was going to be two minutes and fifty-four seconds. I set up telescopes and cameras and had it all scripted, spent months practicing.” Then the moment came. “The word ‘mesmerized’ understates,” Schneider said. “I couldn’t move. I just stood there, with the binoculars hanging around my neck.”

Jay Pasachoff, a solar astronomer at Williams College, claims to have witnessed more eclipses, total or otherwise, than anyone else alive: sixty-five. He, too, is from the Bronx. He saw his first total eclipse during his freshman year at Harvard, in 1959, from an airplane off the Massachusetts coast. “It was beautiful,” he said. “But seeing one from an airplane is nothing compared with what it’s like being outdoors.”

John Beattie, a proofreader in Manhattan, also tied for the record, declined to be interviewed. Schneider said, “Despite being an extroverted eclipse chaser, John eschews press notoriety and is a rather private person.”

Schneider and Beattie were among a group of umbraphiles who experienced the longest totality ever viewed from a civilian aircraft, in 2010: nine minutes and twenty-three seconds. The pair also witnessed a “hybrid” eclipse (don’t ask) that occurred between Greenland and Iceland in 1986. They rented a private jet and flew over a one-kilometre-wide patch of the North Atlantic.

In general, umbraphiles are not a boastful or a rivalrous bunch; in the face of grand celestial alignments, the human ego shrinks. “Before the 2002 eclipse, in Australia, we were sitting around with half a dozen people, including Glenn and John, and my wife thought people were being competitive,” Pasachoff admitted. (His wife has accompanied him to thirty-nine eclipse viewings.)

The umbraphile’s life inevitably involves disappointment. Newtonian physics makes it possible to plan for an eclipse centuries in advance, but not for unexpected disasters. Pasachoff missed one in Eastern Europe in 1968 because Russia had invaded Czechoslovakia. “That still bothers me,” he said. Schneider missed one in Antarctica in 1985 because he couldn’t find a plane or an icebreaker to take him into the path of totality.

Why are the most accomplished umbraphiles New Yorkers? “We’ve been talking about that a lot lately,” Pasachoff said. “The Hayden Planetarium is definitely a link.” Pasachoff took trips there while he was a student at P.S. 114 and, later, at the Bronx High School of Science. He built telescopes in the planetarium’s basement. Schneider was also a regular visitor.

For this week’s eclipse, Schneider will be in Madras, Oregon, and Pasachoff will lead a group of three hundred gazers, including students and researchers, a hundred miles away, in Salem. According to Schneider, Beattie plans to be near an airport in the path of totality, so that in the case of bad weather he can hop on a plane and see the eclipse from above the clouds. If the weather in Oregon doesn’t coöperate, might the strategy put him in first place, ahead of his fellow-umbraphiles? Pasachoff didn’t think so: “I think just being in the zone of totality should count.” ♦


via Everything

August 19, 2017 at 10:05AM

Tuefelsberg, the Devil’s Mountain, the cold-war listening station

Tuefelsberg, the Devil’s Mountain, the cold-war listening station

More and More Video

I took today’s photo with a drone. I also got a lot of video… I’m just kind of collecting cool video from all over the place. At some point, I’ll find time to make a new compilation video of some of these amazing places. Anyway, lock this place into your memory, as you may see it again in a future video! 🙂

Daily Photo – Tuefelsberg, the Devil’s Mountain, the cold-war listening station

How cool is this abandoned place? I had never heard of it until our most recent trip to Berlin. There’s a hill here that rises up about 80 meters. There’s also an abandoned Nazi military-technical college. I bet that was gonna be quite the party school. Anyway, on the very top is this listening station. Now it’s been taken over by graffiti artists and there’s all kinds of crazy stuff happening inside. It’s right out of Fallout. There are creepy people milling about, strange shut-ins, etc – the whole thing is wonderfully post-apocalyptic. You can buy a ticket to get in, but they make you leave (quite forcefully) after sunset.

Tuefelsberg, the Devil’s Mountain, the cold-war listening station

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-05-23 21:10:03
  • CameraFC6310
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/30
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO250
  • Focal Length8.8 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias


via Stuck in Customs

August 19, 2017 at 09:33AM

Maximizing Your Next Uber Ride

Maximizing Your Next Uber Ride

Whether you’re traveling constantly or a couple of times a year, chances are you will use Uber to get around. It’s easy, convenient, and often cheaper than a taxi. Not only can you save a ton of money by using Uber while traveling, you can also earn lots of points and miles. Easy, convenient, cheap, and a point bonanza – what could be better?!?! Here are 3 ways to maximize your next Uber ride:

Use a referral link

The first way to make the most of your Uber ride is to sign up with a referral link to get $5 off your first four rides. Already a member? Refer your friends to earn more credits when they sign up. I wouldn’t spam people with my Uber referral link, but maybe sending a message to close friends and family with your link will get the word out there. Even if they don’t sign up right away, at least they’re aware and will hopefully remember you when they are ready to sign up.

Use the right credit card

So you’ve got your referral credit, but your ride exceeded that amount. If you used the right credit card then you’ll be well rewarded. My personal favorite is the Discover It Miles Card – but only if you’re still in your first year and earning 3% cash back. Not only is it generous, but you can use the rewards earned to cover your Uber fare! Another great option is the Chase Sapphire Reserve – this is an excellent choice for those folks who want to earn 3x Ultimate Rewards points per $1 spent. In addition to the bonus, cardholders can also apply the $300 travel credit towards Uber rides.

The Amex Platinum Card is another great card to use for Uber rides. Not only do cardholders get $200 worth of annual Uber credits (paid out in $15 – 20 monthly increments), but they also become automatic Uber VIP members and earn 2 Membership Rewards points per $1 spent. More of a Citi ThankYou person? The Citi Prestige Card also pays out 3 points per $1 on Uber rides and the sign-up bonus was recently increased to 75,000 points! You should also keep an eye out for rotating category bonuses like the ones offered by the Chase Freedom Card, which sometimes offers 5x on the first $1,500 spent on travel/transportation.

Take advantage of Partner Promotions

Uber and Starwood’s partnership is worth keeping in mind if you want to maximize your Uber rides. Just link your SPG and Uber accounts and you’ll earn 2 SPG points per $1 spent on your Uber rides during your Starwood stay. Not staying at a Starwood hotel? You’ll still earn 1 SPG point per $2 spent on Uber. So really, you should be linking your accounts regardless. This is a super easy way to earn more points out of your Uber rides – and SPG stays!


I’d love to get your take on this: What are you doing to maximize your Uber rides?



via Frugal Travel Guy

August 18, 2017 at 10:02PM