Special/Signature Issues » The Bar Guide

Patios Vs. Cellars

Will it be sun or shade?

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Which is better, the hallowed patio or the covert underground bar? The cellar made great for recluses or the deck on which the self-involved can preen? Certainly, a nice patio is ideal for practicing one's falconry whilst slurping a mai tai, but think of how many affairs have blossomed in the cool bowels of some cellar spot.

So what is it: Light or dark? Out in the open or hidden away?

It's a question the sages of yore have long debated: the Vikings were nearly as regarded for the wooden decks on which they quaffed mead as for the longships which carried their knowledge westward. And the Aztecs were famous for building small bars under their most popular sacrificial temples (the blood spilled from the captured offerings would run down long troughs into underground receptacles near the ice machine, the world's first Jersey Turnpike [see page 25]).

Clearly this is no new debate. Each man and woman inevitably must make a choice, answer a question asked deep in the breast by some lost ancestor. While you contemplate basking in the sun with a Pilsner or tucking into the cozy corner of a cellar with a White Russian, we endeavor to help with our top 10s.

Click here for the Top 10 Patios

Click here for the Top 10 Cellars

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