• Jay

FIFTEEN BARS

Updated: Sep 21

A bit of fun. Perhaps. Neverland in Shadow is home to a generous measure of pubs. Boozers pop up throughout the story, most prominently the Mermaid, Mr Hook's bar of choice.


Here's a rundown of a select few venues, complete with some homespun visuals.



THE CRIPPINGHAM ARMS, DEPTFORD, SE8


Located in Deptford, and close to the Crippingham secure hospital. Close also to Smee's dowdy flat. It's in the Crippingham Arms that...


...he’d run up a tab of watery gins and long, to the amusement of the trendy young incomers, for those times when you still had to lick a stamp, and only post offices were allowed to sell you them.
From Chapter 38: Last Orders

Dock, NEWHAM, e16


A trendy watering hole. Soulless and spiteful. It's here, outside Dock, where Hook and his chums discover their meet-up place has been changed without their permission. Next, in their own way they each eventually accept that time has been called on their boozy get-togethers.


Hook? He’d arrived late. Having spent the day in museums and antique shops, he had quite forgotten about the time. Compounding this, from the platform at Bond Street, a young woman, dressed, technically speaking, as a Viking, had fallen for a moment onto the tracks. It had caused an interminable delay. So, by the time the appalled Hook was presented with Dock, both Jukes and Smee had long-since retreated. Hook decided to walk back to Limehouse that night, and with every step he mourned the Mermaid’s passing. No ginger wine, he thought, would anyone discover in that new monstrosity.
From Chapter 38: Last Orders

The Fallen Angel, SPICERHILL, N23


A fixture on Spicerhill High Street since 1752, the Fallen Angel is renowned for its novel approach to upcycling.


On the Spicerhill High Street, Halloween revellers were already out in force. Wendy squeezed past knots of them – skeletons and witches, werewolves and vampires – each shivering outside The Fallen Angel. Here, masks, like helmet visors, had been flicked up to accommodate cigarettes and the strawberry and bubblegum mists from vaping gadgets. Through the glass, the pub’s quietly notorious Mausoleum – a corner in which patrons sat on benches made from coffin lids – was rammed. It always was on Halloween night. To rest a drink on a table of genuine Victorian gravestones required a spot on a waiting list. And only one hour per booking was permitted.
From Chapter 28: Rush to Danger

THE MERMAID, NEWHAM, E16


Thanks to its authentic history as a bar favoured by dockers, Hook favours the Mermaid. Jukes, his fastidious friend, not so much.


‘Used to be about beer, pubs. Beer. Or gin if that was your thing. Now they reek of vinegar and cheap ketchup. In the gents? Pull-down shelves for nappy changing.’ It was a curious fact then that, despite everything – despite the ill-spelled notices and the curse-filled air – here in The Mermaid, where you’d be lucky to find a locking door and a roll of tissue in the gents, Jukes had somehow rapidly established a weird affinity. ‘And at the bar itself?’ said Hook, ‘Blackboards hawking,’ and he wrapped the next two words in a sigh, ‘herbal teas.’
Hook began supplementing this complaint. But Jukes, with a raised hand, put a stop to it. He’d heard, several times, Hook’s spiel about the fact that herbal teas were in fact infusions and not teas at all. And he didn’t care to hear it again.
From Chapter 16: The Mermaid


Naff, KNIGHTSBRIDGE, SW1


Always one for a spot of one-upmanship, the slimy Jukes demonstrates his social standing by dropping a name or two...


‘D’you know Emporia?’ and without giving Hook space to respond, Jukes went on, ‘Well, it’s desperately challenging to acquire a table, of course. Same crowd behind Naff. The cocktail place.’ And when Hook, who really wasn’t at all fascinated by cocktails or the bars in which they were constructed and served, said nothing, Jukes mistook this for three things: awe and wonder and permission to continue. ‘Off Turret Square is Naff. It’s where the Velenosa was concocted. It was almost Cocktail of the Year in 2012, you know.’
From Chapter 16: The Mermaid


The Second Star, SPICERHILL, N23


A subtle little tribute to Peter Pan lore.


From behind the funhouse, a squad of foxes emerged. Off to dine on scattered chips, they trotted out towards the fence. They should stay, thought Wendy, here in Neverland. Safe from cars. Safe also from the looping kicks of the drunks that reeled from The Second Star, the only pub within stumbling distance.
From Chapter 15: Cross My Heart

THE THIRTEEN CHIMES, FARRINGDON, EC1



Found close to Pendulum Properties, The Thirteen Chimes makes a fleeting, one-off appearance across which office tales and legends are recounted.


Even many years later, on Friday evenings around the bar and tables of The Thirteen Chimes, big-eyed, vanilla-scented office juniors bit down on hair clasps and hung on, fascinated, to the words of their managers. In tones designed to impress, these bosses would wonder aloud if Hook had been cursed; compelled to revisit his lost empire, but never again to rule. And when the elders, loaded with ale and improper thoughts, were pulled reluctantly from the stations to the suburbs, they would trade, these juniors and new-starts, thin wages for just one more drink. And then another. And to fill the gaps between flirty talk they’d debate not about the legend of the crocodile and the watch, but rather whether this Hook had ever even existed at all.
From Chapter 39: Are You Asleep?


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