14 March 2010

Casketeers in the Capital.

As documented a few times previously, I've more than a passing interest in Real Ale, so my recent jaunt to the capital was a great excuse to drink myself merry in some of the capital city's finest taverns. Fast becoming a fave past time of mine is seeking out and drinking in newly discovered old pubs, boring to some I'd imagine but great to those on a similar wavelength. So, a bit of a duplicate post which I did for The Casual Connoisseur Blog, who came in tow.

I'll post this here aswell.Via carefully studied glances of CAMRA'S London Pub Walks book and geeky online visits to Beer in the Evening I kind of knew where to go and what to expect. Other's we simply stumbled across whilst on our happy way. Whilst we didn't get everywhere (you can only have so many pints) plus we need to leave some for our next escapade, the pick of those visited were as follows...
The Lamb and Flag 33, Rose St, London, WC2E 9EB [map]
A fantastic alehouse dating back to the seventeenth century, now a post war rebuilt backstreet traditional boozer. Housing ancient wooden interior. This place was a little hard to track down via alleys and the winding backstreet junctions of Covent Garden. Calling in on Friday tea-time it was busy, I'd imagine this being somewhere to really enjoy earlier in the day. One of London's last Freehouses, poet John Dryden was beaten to within an inch of his life outside in 1679. Once nicknamed the Bucket of Blood due to the prize-fighting outside from a more rotten, sleazy bygone era.

The Market Porter 9 Stoney St, London, SE1 9AA [map]

Excellent boozer which we visited on a couple of occasions, busy as you'd expect but lack of seating was made up by pretty young girls pulling our pints, they even let us try before we buy, which was nice.

This was just around the corner from the Paul Smith store, on a fairly famous setting, and opposite the famous Borough Market with a vast array of smells wafting across making my tummy do a little dance.

The Cock and Bottle 17, Needham Rd, London, W11 2RP [map]

Great locals style pub a stone's throw away from the hustle and bustle of Notting Hill and the touristy Portobello Road Market. Personally, I could think of a million worse ways to spend a Saturday night than drinking the so easy to sup Hogsback T.E.A, I wish I was there now, right now.

The Uxbridge Arms 13, Uxbridge St, London, W8 7TQ [map]

Just across the road from the busy Notting Hill Gate tube and it's packed surrounding areas, the day tripping tourists from afar are totally oblivious to this slightly hidden gem, a backstreet local pub which wouldn't be out of place in a quaint corner of Cheshire. Against purists wishes I'm sure, there was even a small screen to watch the final scores come in, we lost two-nil down the way at Charlton. I shamelessly (or perhaps wisely) gave that one swerve though, football and I seem to be going our separate ways at the moment. Drifting apart like bored lovers.

The Churchill Arms 119 Kensington Church Street, London, W8 7LN [map]

Busy, and perhaps a little touristy, but just look at this place, 'eld Winston himself would be proud to have a bedtime tot in here, well maybe he'd be a little embarrassed if he could see it, or overwhelmed, as it's crammed with photos and memorabilia of the one tory leader it's acceptable to like. Even the Gents is covered in pictures and posters.

Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese Wine Office Court, 145 Fleet Street, EC4A 2BU [map]

Just off Fleet Street lies one of London's most famous tourist attraction pubs, The Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese with it's famous old pendant lantern proudly displayed outside, this traditional pub dating as far back as 1667 a year after the great fire. The pub's interior has some of the most original and oldest in the city.

The Tipperary 66 Fleet Street, London, EC4Y 1HT [map]

London's original Irish pub, The Tipperary - a long way away (pfft...) claims to be the earliest Irish pub in London, on the famous Fleet St, just across from the Royal Courts which you'll normally see on the news every other day.

This tiny boozer has shamrocks in the mosaic floor. Re-named the Tipperary in 1918 to commemorate the unofficial anthem of the Great War.

The Lamb 94 Lambs Conduit St, Bloomsbury, London, WC1N 3LZ [map]
Lambs Conduit Street which I'll post about later, a real picturesque olde worldly cobbled street with an array of independent stores, from master craftsmans to clothing emporiums and delicatessens. At the end lies the Lamb, an awesome old pub first recorded in 1729. Complete with it's decorative lantern and original working snob screens dating from the Elizabethan era.

The Dove Inn 19 Upper Mall, Hammersmith, London, W6 9TA [map]

Splendid looking pub on the river though a tiny bit of a disappointment on our visit, mainly because we did visit on a Sunday mid afternoon, too busy, too many dogs, kids and pseudo posh loud, sweary Sunday lunchers for my own personal/miserable old liking, I reckon an early midweek afternoon visit sat out back overlooking the river would be the most perfect time to visit this not very closely guarded secret.

The Blue Anchor 13 Lower Mall, London, W6 9DJ [map]
Just a walk from Hammersmith tube, and a small jaunt to the Dove as mentioned above, lies the Blue Anchor, sat opposite the river, a good location to watch the boat race, if watching twits racing past is your thing. My thing was eating a basket of chips with a pint of Cornish Knocker on a late Sunday afternoon without a care in the world sat by the roaring fire, which wasn't actually roaring but you can picture the scene.

The Shipwrights Arms 88, Tooley St, London, SE1 2TF [map]

A Victorian corner pub with splendid exterior, with a nautical theme and island style bar, walking distance betwixt Tower Bridge and Waterloo, hints and glimpses of a raw, real London around here, not too far from 'bandit country' I'd imagine too. However an enjoyable place to spend a Friday Evening, I'm sure you'd agree, there were tits outside but not too many of note indoors.


  1. Market Porter is always a fave when we're "sarf of the river" and there's one a couple of doors down too, name escapes me, which is good too.

    Popped in the Churchill the other week when we were down at QPR, but inexplicably walked straight past the Uxbridge (TBH don't think I was thinking straight at that point!)

  2. Wheatsheaf? I think, that had been boarded up and moved around the corner, good boozer that, loads of framed b+w portraits on the walls.

  3. Yeah, Wheatsheaf, that's the one.