Central London Pub Di
PUBNETWORK.COM™ and the barstool of Ed Vidunas
Posted November 2004
At night the western edge of this is a buzz of activity around
the garden. Moving east, things quite down a lot as you get more business and
the courts. A walk down the
The coordinates [123 A1] locate the area in the Geographer's AZ London Street Atlas, the small book. That is page 123 and grid A1.
Angel (Scottish-Courage) St. Giles/Holborn [140 BC7]
Phone 020 7240-2876
This is my Sunday evening pub. Just a bunch of local lads shooting darts over a round of pints. Not noisy and that makes it a nice place to relax. There is not much street activity here during evenings but the area is safe albeit dark.
Angle and Crown
New Row WC2 at St.
Martin's Court (
Phone 020 7813 2233, Web www.belgo-restaurants.com
This is not a pub but I am listing it here because of its beer selection.
Bloomsbury (Tavern) (Nicholson's)
Phone 020 7836-5065
Bulls Head (JD Wetherspoon)
This is the Moon Under Water. I do not know how I got the name Bulls Head.
Chandos (Samuel Smith)
Phone 020 7836-1401
You will find it across from the National Gallery. A must stop for Sam Smith lovers who enjoy cask ales in the wood. The Opera room upstairs (which has a separate entrance) opens at 09.00 for breakfast. Food is available on both floors until 21.30.
In the rear of the pub you will find a dart room. This room is off to the side and used exclusively for shooting. The bar, during the day may not have many people but the staff can play the music too loud. The evening hours may have a diminished noise level but it can be quite smoky.
Pub on the left
Phone: 020 7836 2347
Coach & Horses Covent Garden [140 D8]
the only pub in the
Coal Hole (Nicholson's, now Six Continents) Strand [140 E9]
Phone 020 7836-7503
Next to the
Owner is Six Continents Leisure, per Jan 2003
Phone 020 7836-5185
a nice out-of-the-way pub near the north end of
Cove Bar Covent Garden (
1 The Plaza WC2
Phone: 020 7836 7880
The pasty shop is on the ground floor and the bar is on the first floor.
The bar at
This pub was not tied to any Cornish brewery but it sold only Cornish Ales.
The pub opened about
2002 and is the first pub for the Cornish Pasty Co. A second pub is scheduled
to open in
Crown & Anchor Covent Garden [140 C8]
Devereux The Strand & The
Edgar Wallace (Whitbread)
Phone 020 7353-3120
Phone 020 7240-1441
Phone: 020 7240-0302
Evergreens (Scottish-Courage) Covent Garden-Holborn 
Phone 020 7836-2019
May be a Sports bar
Faun & Firkin (Firkin)
This may have changed to Locomotion but now Bat & Ball, summer 2003
77 Kingsway WC2
Not a traditional pub but rather a chain-bar owned by Fuller’s.
Flyman & Firkin St Giles [140 B8]
Freemason Arms (Free House, formerly Samuel Smith’s)
You can see the waves in the wood floor of this Green King Pub,
which shows how long it has bee around.
It is just on the fringe of
Fulmar & Firkin Holborn [140 D7]
Phone 020 7405-0590
Fleet St WC2 near
Across from the main entrance of the Royal Courts of Justice.
George IV Holborn [140 E8]
For the curious this pub is around the corner of the Old Curiosity Shop.
Gilbert & Sullivan (now the Hogshead)
This is now a Hogshead pub per Jan 2003. How sad too that they changed the name.
Phone 020 7836-0219
Green Man & French Horn (formerly Chef & Brewer)
Phone 020 7836-7644
Phone 020 7839-3113
This is a good size place but it seems too open and has too much clear glass. This is more like an American bar than an “old pub”.
Phone: 020 7321-2791
Hand & Racquet (Scottish-Courage) St. James [146 B1]
Phone 020 7930-5905
Near the Marquis of
My Jan 2003 notes has
the street at
be confused with the
This was the Gilbert & Sullivan prior to Jan 2003
Hogshead Ale House (Now the Sun since 1999)
Phone 020 7240-2489
a small and very interesting pub. The
ale selection was quite interesting as well.
They had a limited number of taps but they rotated the stock between
brands often. So many pubs run the same
beers that variety is hard to come by in
Hogshead Ale House Strand & Temple [141 G8]
It may also be known as the Hedgehog & Hogshead
Essex St WC2 at
Some interesting ales can be found here. A restaurant on the first floor (second floor to you Yanks) has a small bar as well.
Hogshead in Covent Garden (Whitbread)
Phone 020 7836-6930
A Real Ale pub
Phone 020 7437-6573
Kemble’s Head (Inntrepreneur, formerly Chef &
Phone 020 7836-4845
Knights Templar (JD Wetherspoon)
Phone 0207 831 2660
Lamb and Flag (Inntrepreneur) Covent Garden [140 C9]
Phone 020 7497-9504
Interior or exterior features are architecturally impressive.
Just across from the Roundhouse, walking up a
narrow cobble stone walk will take you 300 years back in time. It has a very small room in the back that is
entered from a side door. If you are able to find a seat you may never want to
leave this most quintessential of
This pub has a drinking area at the front of the building and along the bar. But the best place to drink in the back room. Back rooms are the best place in many types of establishments for they are the most interesting. Here you will find a nice glowing fireplace in a cozy room made warmer by the small number of groups of people.
Jack Beard’s at the Lemon Tree
pub looks like it’s a part of the Irish theme but it looks authentic. They have a nice selection of ales on tap but
Guinness seems like the beer d' choice.
The Lemon Tree could be right out of
pub advertises out front that it is the first so-called public house in
Lyceum Tavern (Samuel Smith) Strand [140 E9]
345 Strand WC2 at
Phone 020 7836-7155
This is a very old looking pub that has some very private booths. Many of the Samuel Smith pubs have "booths" such as these. In all respects this is a good pub.
The Maple Leaf
Phone 020 7240-2843
Covent Garden or
Phone 020 7836-7657
Phone 020 7240-3216
pub has a beautiful interior with a cherry wood bar. This
The Association of London Brewers declared this pub as being the capital's best food pub in 1997. This was accomplished after only 4 months after new licensee Steve Williamson took over. Source: CAMRA, What's Brewing, August 1997.
Moon Under the Water (JD Wetherspoon Free
Just up from Old Compton
Phone 020 7839-2837
This is a bit more modern pub, but so were the old ones when they
first opened. It will mellow with age and become a classic. They have real ales on tap from across
Moon Under Water (JD Wetherspoon)
Phone 0207 287 6039
On a personal note I have to say that I like JD pubs but they need to be more creative with their names.
Nag’s Head (McMullen Pub)
Phone 020 7836-4678
only a few McMullen's pubs in
Nell of Old Drury (Inntrepreneur) [140 E9]
Phone 020 7836-5328
14 New Row WC2
Phone 020 7836-3291 or 020 7557-9831
Opera Tavern (Taylor-Walker)
Phone 020 7836-7321
Outback Inn Covent Garden Now the Walkabout Inn
Polar Bear (Now a nightclub)
Phone 020 7437-3048
The name of the pub is also given in Chinese. It is no longer a pub but now a night club. Per my January 1999 trip.
Phone: 020 7836-0054
Phone 020 7379 7917, Web www.porterhousebrewco.com
A modern: visually impressive,
restaurant and bar. The roots of this pub grew in
Porters English Bar
Phone 020 7379-3556, Web www.porters.uk.com
Their web-site has a
web-cam looking up
This is (I think) a tied house. Rather, not to a brewery but to a restaurant. Porters Restaurant which has a nice bar itself opened this tavern next door in 1997.
Porters English Restaurant
Phone 020 7836 6466 Web www.porters.uk.com
Their web-site has a
web-cam looking up
This is not a pub but is included anyway. It has a full bar off to the side with a nice set of tap handles. Charles Wells ales are served which is reason enough to enter. Other ales may be found from time to time but the key is that real ale can be had in a place you may not expect. Look up to see the Egyptian fans over the bar.
Prince of Wales (Scottish-Courage)
Punch & Judy (Scottish-Courage) Covent Garden [140 D9]
40 The Market WC2
This pub is in the middle of the market and has an outside seating are on the second level. If you are fortunate to get a balcony seat you can see the world go by. Technically the Punch and Judy are two pubs in one place. One is the upstairs pub and the other is in the basement.
Queen Mary (This is a Ship) (Bass)
Queen’s Head Holborn [140 E5]
Rd WC2 at
Rat & Parrot (formerly Chef & Brewer)
Phone 020 7497-2796
This is not a quite pub as it is designed for the younger crowd.
Phone 020 7836-9838
They had a fine rotating line of fine ales and stouts in the late 80’s and early 90’s but I have seen the beer menu decline over the years. All in all this is a fine pub for a beer.
Round Table (Scottish-Courage) [140 C9]
Phone 020 7836-6436
pub looks a bit old and well used, most likely because it is nestled in a
well-traveled lane. Tucked in the middle
Royal George Soho 
Phone 020 7437-9369
marquee above this pub had this quote by Joseph Hilaire
Pierre Belloc (1870-1953), English poet born in
Do not confuse this pub with the Royal George Eversholt NW1
Phone 020 7836-5863
A beautiful Edwardian pub similar to the Audley with cut and etched glass.
Phone: 020 7836-9738
Seven Stars Holborn [140 F8]
Behind the Royal Courts of Justice
Phone 020 7242-8521
They close about 09.00 weekdays and all day Sat. and Sun. They may be opn on Saturday but I would call to be sure.
One door is marked General Counter and the other is marked Private Counter.
Point of Interest: Look
for the boundary stones for the parish of St. Clement Danes (in the
Shakespeare's Head Covent Garden-Holborn [140 E7]
68 Kingsway at Twyford PlaceWC2B 6BG (opposite Parker St)
Phone 020 7404 88464
Sherlock Holmes (Whitbread)
Phone 020 7930-2644
Mr. Holmes’ “study” can be viewed on the second floor. Why isn’t this pub on
1 Craven Passage WC2 between
Craven Passage runs under Charing Cross Rail Station
Two pubs having one name, across from one another on Craven Passage.
Ship Tavern (Younger’s) Holborn/ [140 E7]
Phone 020 7405-1992 (020 7405 1992)
Holborn Station (Exit the Station and turn left and left at the corner)
Closed on weekends. Sister pub to the Blue Anchor, Rolls Passage EC4
Soho Brewing Co.
41 Earlham WC2
Sun (Formerly the Hogshead Ale House until 1999) [140 D8]
Phone 020 7240-2489
Phone 020 7836-1834
Boswell indicates in his book The Life of Samuel Johnson, page 169,
that he and Johnson had their last social evening at the Turk’s Head Coffee
House. Page 177 places the Turk’s Head on
Two Brewers (Inntrepreneur)
Phone 020 7836-7395
Phone: 020 7379-5555
It doesn’t matter if you walkabout in the outback, this is still an Oz pub.
351 Strand WC2 at
Phone 020 7836-0513
White Hart (Charrington Free House)
Phone 020 7242-3155
An inn has been here since 1201 and was a nunnery at one time. It may look narrow but it is long. A sign was posted out front that patrons are wanted. They were not serious but need I say more about this once-fine pub? This really was a grand pub at one time but I noticed during my January 2000 tour that it changed from a butterfly to a moth. I hope the owners can see the light and the damage they have done.
Phone: 020 7242-5518
This is not a tourist pub as it is nestled in the back street of Holborn. The area is not well traveled late at night but it is safe. This may be why it closed at 21.00 in January 2003.
White Swan (Free House)
14 New Row WC2 at
Phone 020 7836-3291
Phone 020 7836-2347
I was here the evening on my birthday in 2003 and could
not have been happier. I met some nice gentlemen and the manager; a gentleman
himself. Not to be confused with Ye Olde Cheshire