Hey globetrotters, who’s up for a drink? If you ever happen to find yourself thirsty in Barcelona, Rome, Atlanta, or even Bath or tiny Hillsborough, North Carolina here’s where to go for the best flow of drinks mixed with camaraderie.
Please note, I left out London bars as I intend to share my faves in my next ‘best of’ post. Also keep in mind that venues are listed in alphabetical order and that this list – as is the case with all my Best of 2015 lists – merely reflects how I chose to spend my time during the year and is comprised of well established and brand new venues as well as businesses that are somehow related to where work and play took me.
The Bell Inn
103 Walcot Street, Bath, BA1 5BW, UK
The Bell Inn is owned by 536 customers, fans (including Robert Plant and Peter Gabriel) and workers under IPS CoOperative rules and offers punters a glorious line up of local ales, good food, live music, a convivial atmosphere and prices so cheap they remind you how nutso expensive life in London has become. Ah, that’s what a West Country pub’s supposed to be like, right? It’s even better if you manage a seat by the fireplace on a brisk night.
Carrer Girona, 175, 08037 Barcelona, Spain
Fun and welcoming little bar in Barcelona’s Gracia neighbourhood. It’s a great place for a low key and budget friendly lunch (octopus, avocado and pistachio salad plus a glass of slightly chilled Mysti Syrah from local Origami Wines equals big foodie win) or casual drinks in the evening. A lovely gem to stumble upon.
427 Edgewood Ave SE, Atlanta, Georgia 30312, USA
Joystick Gamebar in Edgewood area of East Atlanta features a killer range of classic arcade games and an excellent selection of beers and cocktails and is a dynamic setting for people watching and mingling.
Mystery Brewing Public House
230 South Nash Street, Hillsborough, North Carolina 27278, USA
Southern hospitality, Yankee ingenuity, and a worldly appreciative for great taste come together perfectly at this homey North Carolina pub. As much a stalwart “local” as any I’ve seen but exceptionally receptive to folks just passing through, Mystery Brewing Public House is the public facing end of a beer making biz bent on “producing seasonally appropriate, hand-made, artisanal ales.” God bless Mystery’s gregarious owner (and Maine expat), Erik Lars Myers, for the magnificent brews and fun place to enjoy them. When you visit enquire about “Beer Church” on Sundays.
Carrer de Còrsega, 343, 08037 Barcelona, Spain
Highly recommended and extremely popular, La Pepita serves up the right mix of tapas to meet local expectations while keeping a steady flow of tourists and expats happy too. They do a more than acceptable and keenly refreshing G&T at this teeming Barcelona bar as well. There’s a popular and fairly formal restaurant in the back; this write up refers only to an experience visiting Pepita’s front bar.
Time Restaurant & Wine Bar
Jumeirah Grand Hotel Via Veneto, Via Vittorio Veneto, 155, 00187 Rome, Italy
Surprisingly inventive cocktails, wisely recommended wines, a chance to dabble from the wonderful menu of the hotel’s fine dining restaurant, comfortable and elegant seating, amazing art by Picasso, Dali, Miro and Chirico on display throughout, and numerous other luxuriant elements amount to a grand night out at the Jumeirah Grand Hotel Via Veneto’s Time Restaurant & Wine Bar in Rome.
Kemplay Bank, Eamont Bridge, Penrith, Cumbria CA10 2BX, UK
This family friendly Lake District pub stands out for its especially warm staff and neighbourly approach to customer service. It’s in a pretty little village too. You will be well looked after and your patronage will be demonstrably appreciated here. Food is hearty and the beer is top quality.
More of the Best of 2015 to follow!