London is the cultural hub of Britain and nowhere is this more clearly demonstrated than from within its plethora of quintessentially English pubs. Delve into the more obscure historical origins of the great British pub and enjoy our list of pubs with character, perfect for when you’re seeking an opportune thirst quenching experience or simply when craving a cultural place in which to relax.
A fixture on the streets of Soho, The Dog and Duck is an ornate spectacle with a Victorian-styled interior, grandiose mirrors and impressive tiling. The history is best seen within the lavish architecture, which has attracted extraordinary punters. Regular drinkers at this pub have included George Orwell, John Constable and Dante Gabriel Rossetti. This pub differs from any other ordinary establishment as it has housed and perhaps inspired many great minds.
Previously divided into two distinct taverns – then demolished to become a branch of the Old Bank of England – this pub was restored in 1994 to its former opulence by well known brewers Turner, Fuller and Smith. Located on the grand Fleet Street, the building has been standing, nevertheless, since the 16th century and is now a historical monument. Hidden in the cellar are original vaults belonging to the bank, previously used to store bullion, and the pub still holds some of the Crown Jewels from the First World War. Legends also surround the building; it is said that the venue stood between the barber shop of Sweeny Todd and Mrs Lovett’s pie shop. Certainly, this pub has enchanting Victorian elements that resonate throughout.
The idyllic Spaniards Inn, located on the London outskirts of Hampstead Heath, binds charm to history. The literary greats often took solace within the walls of this 14th century establishment. The pub is forever preserved in Dickens’ The Pickwick Papers and it is said Keats’ Ode To A Nightingale was composed within the confines of the Inn. Other Romantic visitors include the notorious Lord Byron. The great odes to British literature were perhaps inspired by the picturesque setting of the pub, something to consider as you enjoy one of their craft ales.