Skip to main content
7th May 2024

Local Legends: The Hidden Pubs of London

by Horst A. Friedrichs and John Warland

With a foreword from Suggs

  • Published by Prestel: May 16th (UK), July 9th (US), 2024
  • RRP £32.50 / $40.00, ISBN: 978-3-7913-8973-8
  • Hardcover, 336 pages, 17 x 24 cm. 62/3 x 91/2 in. 300 color illustrations
  • Celebrating the unique character of London‘s lesser known yet most authentic pubs, pub tour guide John Warland and photographer Horst Friedrichs capture the captial‘s finest backstreet boozers in all their glory.

It’s easy to stumble into London’s iconic pubs, the ones where Shakespeare trod the boards, or Dickens scribbled his next novel. What’s more difficult is finding that special pub that’s tucked away from the crowds of tourists and passers-by down alleyways, through archways and up side streets. These are the hidden gems that are celebrated by pub tour guide and founder of Liquid History Tours, John Warland, and acclaimed photographer, Horst Friedrichs, in Local Legends.

This book brings together 38 of London’s finest hidden pubs, from the city centre to its outer limits and beyond, these watering holes are permeated by personality and a passion for traditional hospitality. With a foreword from Madness frontman, Suggs, and evocative texts from Warland, Local Legends guides readers through the richly woven history of each establishment, with insights from the custodians of some of the oldest pubs in London, including The Seven Stars and Ye Olde Mitre in Holborn.

While the interiors might not boast architectural wonders, their unique qualities are brought to life through Friedrichs’ stunning photography, which illuminates their character and charm, their idiosyncratic hosts and patrons, the menus scrawled on chalkboard, worn leather stools, and quirky artefacts. The pubs are the stars of this invaluable book that’s as informative as it is collectable.


Horst A. Friedrichs is a photographer whose work has appeared in the National Geographic, The New York Times, and Stern. Prestel has successfully published eight of his books including: I’m One—20th Century Mods (2009); Or Glory—21st Century Rockers (2010); Cycle Style (2012), Best of British (2016), and Bookstores (2021). He lives in London, UK.

John Warland established Liquid History Tours in 2011. As a noted garden designer, winning six RHS Gold Medals at the Chelsea and Hampton Court Flower Shows, he explores the streets of London for quirky history, liquid refreshment and horticultural bounty. Little wonder that a beer garden is his happy place. He is the author of the bestselling book Liquid History: An Illustrated Guide to London’s Greatest Pubs and is based in London, UK.


Prestel Publishing is one of the world‘s leading publishers in the fields of art, architecture, design, photography, fashion and children’s books. From pop culture and major exhibition catalogues to retrospectives and career-defining works, quality reigns throughout. I @prestel_publishing

A launch event for the book will be held at Ye Olde Mitre in Holborn, London on the 16th of May, 6 – 9 pm. If Guild Members would like to join attend, please RSVP to Kate Luxton,


Kate Luxton,

Third-party news items that are posted on the Guild website’s news section come from press releases received by the Guild. These press releases are posted as they have been received and their publication on the Guild website is intended as an informational service provided to our members and website visitors. As such, the publication of a story from a third-party source is neither an endorsement of the content, nor its sender, by the Guild. For enquiries on any news item, please use the contact details that can be found at the bottom of each post.