As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to sweep across the world, Irish pubs have been forced to temporarily shutter to comply with social distancing guidelines, but that hasn't stopped people from dreaming of visiting their favorite establishment when all this is over.
The Herschel Arms in Slough in England is one of those Irish pubs that people long to visit and it is the winner of our pub of the month award.
Located just outside London, the Herschel Arms doesn't overstate its Irishness and almost resembles any other pub to the untrained eye.
However, the retro Guinness advertisement on the pub's exterior wall and the Kilkenny Irish Beer sign hanging over the entrance are telltale signs that this pub has its roots in Ireland.
Inside, barman and manager Tom King, who hails from County Clare, is further evidence of the pub's Irishness, if you weren't convinced already.
King is, in fact, one of the pub's main draws.
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The Clare native's name is littered throughout the pub's Facebook reviews and many cite his warm and welcoming attitude as the reason why they frequently return to the Herschel Arms.
Andy Farrell, a regular patron, told IrishCentral that King runs the pub the way an Irish pub should be run.
"Tom King is generally on hand to welcome all and is one of the nicest guys you will ever meet, Tom runs the Pub the way all Pubs should be managed, no time for fools or idiots," Farrell said.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the bar held a number of events on designated nights every week, most notably holding a steak and music night every Thursday which was extremely popular amongst the bar's regulars.
Farrell said that King often offers guests free dessert on steak night and said that anyone is invited to perform live music.
The pub also holds traditional Irish music classes on Monday nights and literary groups on Wednesdays.
A number of patrons claim that the pub offers the best pint of Guinness outside of Ireland.
Farrell said that first-time customers quickly fall in love with the pub's quirkiness and, more importantly, its Irishness.
"If any pub deserves recognition for its outstanding service to the Irish way of life, it is The Herschel Arms."
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