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Boris Johnson sinks a pint
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One of London’s cheapest pints is served in the House of Commons bar!

This bargain brew is for politicians (and their pals) only

Written by
Alice Saville

Forget wrinkles, music taste or preferred trouser silhouette, the quickest way to tell someone’s age is their level of shock when they’re asked to pay £6 for a pint. And that’s a feeling Londoners have got increasingly used to, as booze prices creep upwards with the grim inevitability of rising damp. But as the world’s media trains its microscope on the boozing and partying habits of the UK’s politicians, one particular drinking den is hitting the limelight for its impressively low prices. The Strangers’ Bar is the Houses of Parliament’s popular in-house pub, and it serves up some serious bargains. 

A pint of Carlsberg is just £3.56, and Green King IPA is even less at just £3.45. And wine drinkers will find their tipples a steal too: a small glass of sauvignon blanc white wine is a penny-pinching £3.05. Even champagne clocks in at under a tenner a glass.

It’s an impressively cheap price list, especially when you consider that the average London pint everywhere else costs £5.33, according to shopping comparison site (although rival pint-pricers The British Beer and Pub Association estimate it at a rather cheaper £4.84). 

But the House of Commons is keen to stress that there’s nothing untoward about its prices: their onsite bars are unsubsidised, and apparently prices are benchmarked with venues outside parliament. 

So how can you get in on the bargain pint action? Well, guests of politicians are allowed in, so you could try currying Boris’s favour by utilising a few key phrases like ‘You know, I’ve got a thing for gold wallpaper’ or ‘Don’t you just love a surprise party?’ Or alternatively, you could get a job in politics purely to spend your days propping up the bar and seeing how long it takes anyone to notice you’re better acquainted with the bottom of a pint glass than with the cost-of-living crisis: on present form, it could take quite a while... 

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