This is the second instalment of my series of articles about the pubs of London.
Pubs are actually one of my favourite places to go to in the UK; they are so wonderfully “British”! You should not think of returning home from a visit to England without having had the experience of “going down the pub”…
This pub has a narrow frontage, but once you get inside you’ll find yourself in an unexpectedly spacious interior; like the Tardis, Dr Who’s time travel machine, it’s ‘a lot bigger on the inside than what it looks like from the outside’!
This historic pub was built in 1898, and is conveniently located about two minutes’ walk from Trafalgar Square.
Its main feature is a spectacular glass dome ceiling. The bar counter is also striking, picked out as it is in a very fashionable green colour.
Soothing music playing in the background makes you want to settle down and relax here for a long time!
|Address (Google Map)||37 Whitehall, Westminster, London SW1A 2BX|
The Salisbury Pub
This pub was named after Lord Salisbury – Robert Cecil, who served as British Prime Minister for three terms between 1885 and 1902.
[It is from him that we get the expression “Bob’s your uncle” – meaning “it’s easy!” – after he promoted his nephew to high office!]
The pub has been designated as an historic building because of its beautiful interior of very valuable specially patterned glass. The etched glass is a museum piece, so you should not miss it.
The food is typical ‘pub fare’ such as Fish & Chips, Stake & ale Pie, and Beef Burger.
|Address (Google Map)||90 St Martin’s Ln, Covent Garden, London WC2N 4AP|
Located on the ground floor of a rather oddly shaped building beside the railway, and right next to the Thames, is The Blackfriar.
The uniquely decorated building, which was built on the grounds of a much earlier Dominican monastery – the ‘Black Friars’ – in 1875, was designed by two famous architects.
The pub is not particularly big, but the décor is especially pleasing. The gently curved ceiling – echoing perhaps the vaulted roof of a monastery – is decorated with golden mosaics, and the walls are adorned everywhere with stunning carvings.
Since the number of seats is limited, you would be well advised to make a reservation in advance.
|Address (Google Map)||174 Queen Victoria St, London EC4V 4EG|
The Old Bank of England
As the name implies, this pub is a renovated bank building.
Famous for its stunning atrium interior and bar counters, it has always been one of the most popular pubs in the City, and is considered by some to be ‘the most beautiful pub in London’.
Unfortunately, it has been closed for renovation since 2020, but it’s well worth your while to check its homepage from time to time to see when it will be reopening – Home Page
|Address (Google Map)||194 Fleet St, Holborn, London EC4A 2LT|
The Hung, Drawn, and Quartered
Macabrely, this a pub is named after the horrifying method of execution reserved for traitors in bygone years: to be “hanged” – then cut down while still alive, and “drawn” – have one’s intestines removed – and finally “quartered” – chopped into four pieces, which were then put on public display as a warning to others!
It doubtless got its name is due to its proximity to the Tower of London, which is famous for its bloody history of imprisonment, torture, and executions. Despite its grisly name, it’s actually rather a nice pub!
There are many interesting exhibits on display, so do take the time to read everything carefully.
|Address (Google Map)||26-27 Great Tower St, Tower, London EC3R 5AQ|
As a Japanese expat who has been living in London for four years, I am a big fan of pub culture. So I’m in an excellent position to recommend some fine ‘watering holes’ to you; I do hope that you will refer this article when planning your ‘pub crawl’!
Again, space precludes me from introducing more pubs here, but those are not enough that I’d really like to recommend; so ‘stay tuned for Part 3!’