Visited on 18 January 2017 by JC
This is one of only two coaching inns to survive in London, which is a shame but also, to be fair, when was the last time you took a stagecoach anywhere? Yeah, that’s what I thought. It was frequented by Charles Dickens when he wasn’t writing novels or cheating on his wife, and the pub is even mentioned in Little Dorrit.
Ok, here ends the history-stolen-from-Wikipedia part of the review. What’s the pub actually like? Well, just like London’s best historic pubs, you get a sense of just how old it is immediately. Before you even walk in, in fact. It’s tucked away on a small cobbled street which you will probably walk past at least once. Once you enter, you will probably find yourself in a narrow, low-ceilinged room, which you will realise does not contain a bar. Embarrassed, you will walk out again and enter through the correct door, where the bar will reassuringly catch your eye like a desert oasis.
They have a very good selection of ales and some great lagers and craft beers too. It’s not cheap, but not eye-wateringly expensive for the area. At some point in its history half of it was pulled down to make way for a railway depot (proving that arseholes have always been doing their best to ruin London), so you can blame the Great Northern Railway for the fact that you will struggle to find a seat even in the middle of January.
There’s dining upstairs, and the courtyard outside must be glorious in the summer. Even in the midst of winter there were plenty of people taking advantage of the heaters.
So, not only a pub and building with a fascinating history, but one which has made the most of the unique space they’ve got, respecting the past while still operating a pub that anyone in the 21st Century will enjoy. A definite must visit for any pub fan in London.
Do they do food? Dining room upstairs.
Are they in the 21st Century? Yep, contactless, no minimum.
Are there dogs? Like all old pubs it is dog friendly. There was a tiny French Bulldog when we visited.
I want to smoke: Even if you don’t smoke you’ll enjoy the outdoor seating in the summer.