Britain is known for a lot of things, but perhaps one of the fondest memories that visitors will take home with them is of a fine afternoon or evening in a traditional pub. While many countries have spawned imitations, there is still nothing quite like a traditional British ‘boozer’ – from the tasty ales, to the questionable carpets, to the tiled bars and lavatories.
But what makes British pubs the most unique in the world is undoubtedly their strange names. From the Bull And Spectacles to The Goat And Tricycle to the Sir Loin of Beef, these inimitable monikers often defy explanation and always conjure bizarre images in the mind’s eye of the thirsty drinker.
If, in the olden days, these pubs were identified by imagery alone, today the lost art of pub sign decoration means that we’re all a bit more reliant on written signs and Google Maps to find our way. Here are 16 illustrations that breathe new life into the lost art of surreal pub sign painting. Thirsty yet?