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Guide to ye best traditional pubs of old London town. Although many of the Old Traditional London pubs have either been left to disintegrate into 'Old Man Drinking Dens' or transformed into touristy money grabbing shells of their former glory, if you hunt hard you can still discover some of the historical treasures London has to offer. With a history of drinking venues dating back to the Roman tabernae, the English pub has metamorphosized over the years to its present format.
By Paul Caffell
The Lamb & Flag
West End / Bar /
Covent Garden - This has the accolade as being the oldest pub in Covent Garden - 300yrs, and also the pub with one of the coolest past nicknames - 'Bucket of Blood' due to the bare-fist fights held, come on Mr Pitt if you think you're 'ard enough.
The George Inn Yard
London Bridge & Bermondsey / Bar /
Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese
City of London / Bar / Cuisine: Eclectic
The Ten Bells
City of London / Bar /
City - The Ten Bells is notorious for being the boozer that Jack the Ripper used to frequent. Although this cannot be confirmed there's no denying that all five victims lived nearby and that the pub dates back to at least the 1750's. Still a traditional pub in the East of London.
The Nags Head
Belgravia / Bar /
Knightsbridge - Caught in a time warp, the Nag's Head is how pubs used to be and some argue still should be. Children welcome, dog friendly, small drinking area out front, no tv, no juke box, mobiles banned, all steeped in lots of character & tradition. The landlord - Kevin Moran - has been at the Nag's Head for over 25 years and believes in the true sense of Free House.
The Wilton Arms
Belgravia / Bar / Cuisine: Pub
Belgravia - The Wilton Arms was built in 1826, at the time when the Duke of Westminster's Grosvenor Estate was being developed. The name of the mews is derived from Kinnerton a village in Cheshire close to Eaton Hall, the family seat of the Duke of Westminster. The magnificent floral display on the front of the pub has quite rightly been recognised for awards by Westminster Council on several occasions.
Prospect of Whitby
Whitechapel & Wapping / Bar / Cuisine: Pub
Wapping - This pub dates back to the 1500's, this simple tavern became a mecca for villains to meet and became known as Devil's Tavern. Frequented by the likes of Charles Dickons and Samuel Pepys this historic pub is now known as the Prospect of Whitby.
The Ship Tavern
City of London / Bar / Cuisine: Pub
Holborn - The Ship Tavern was established in 1549 & has been at the heart of Holborn's social scene for over 500 years. A sanctuary for hard working city professionals, visitors and tourists looking for respite from the bustle of the capita. Offering what British pubs do best: a good honest pint, a friendly face and quality home cooked fayre, The Ship Tavern is a village local in the heart of London.
The White Hart
West End / Bar / Cuisine: Pub
Drury Lane - Reputedly first licensed in 1216, Old Bailey archives reveal The White Hart has a colourful and interesting past. It was known as a popular watering hole for London's notorious highwaymen and rogues. Regular customers included Jack Shephard and Richard (Dick) Turpin just prior to his hanging in 1739. Condemned men also stopped by for a final drink and the comfort of a good (bad) woman before facing the hangman's noose.
Lambeth & Elephant & Castle / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: English
Lambeth - So old school English is the Three Stags that upon entering the establishment for a pint of best, an authentic Spitfire plane will whizz along the bar to serve you whilst sporting a rather fetching top hat and tails and doing a perfect impression of Churchill (the Prime Minister, not the jowly insurance hound). Plus, the beady gaze of Queen Victoria will be upon her former subjects at all times as a knowing bust of her has been positioned above the door.
Borough & Southwark / Bar /
Clerkenwell / Bar / Cuisine: Gastro
Clerkenwell - Though the building dates back to the 1720's, the pub has only been around since the mid-nineteen nineties. Commendable, then, that the designers resisted the 'Olde English' cliches and managed to create a place of imbibing that just sort of feels somehow 'right' for this great old area of London.
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