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Why “The World’s End” is my favorite British movie of the past year

The World's End
I finally watched “The World’s End” this week (currently airing on HBO Go) and love love loved it. Have you seen it?

It really was a great ending to the “Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz” trilogy, starring Simon Pegg (who also co-wrote it with Edgar Wright, who directed all three).

If you missed this gem, it’s premise is simple: Six friends reunite 20 later to attempt one massive pub crawl – The Glorious Golden Mile – that they didn’t complete in their youth. In the course of hitting 12 pubs in their childhood hometown, they stumble upon the unsettling truth that they are surrounded by residents that are decidedly not human – and must fight for their survival.

It’s so British and so brilliantly written, so smart and funny and nostalgic. It made me ache for the 1990s in Britain again, when I first spent time there at uni (American translation: college). It will make you want to hunker down in a grandpa pub named something like the King’s Head or the Royal Arms on a winter’s day and order a pint (or two or more!) of real ale like Old Peculiar (or maybe that’s just me.)

The soundtrack is especially evocative – tunes like The Housemartins’ “Happy Hour,” The Stone Roses’ “Fool’s Gold” and Primal Scream’s “Loaded” are just golden. As a side note, if you do decide to buy the soundtrack, get the British version of it, which includes an additional 10 songs including The Sundays’ “Here’s Where the Story Ends,” Happy Mondays’ “Step On,” and Kylie Minogue’s “Step Back In Time.” Sigh.


Pub Heaven at the Duke of York

Duke of York Pub

We spent a day in North Devon and had a pub lunch in the Duke of York Pub in the little village of Iddesleigh.

I was in pub heaven! The Duke of York is a 15th century pub that is the local for British author Michael Morpurgo, who got the seed of the idea to write the novel “War Horse” (which later became the blockbuster play and film) while in this very pub. More about this here!

It was homey and cozy and a little hobbit-like and included all of the things that I look for in a good pub:

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License to bartend

Yep, they're British.

Sometimes, only a Brit will do.

Such is the thinking behind, an L.A. company that brings posh British bartenders and staff to service any event.

Started by a British bartending bloke (say that three times fast) named Martin Cole, the business is famous for “private event mixology” and “bartending to the stars,” according to their website. They can provide all of the ingredients, glasswear, alcohol and ice as well as the bar itself for the perfect bash.

I think he’s on to something. Brits know how to make a good, stiff drink. They don’t bat an eye at excess and they know how to tie a Windsor knot. Plus, they know how to pull a proper pint, when you grow tired of cocktails.

Too bad I’m not in L.A…