More London Boozers
The Castle pub in Cowcross Street, Farringdon is the only pub in London to have its own pawnbrokers’ licence. A refreshingly down-to-earth Farringdon boozer, it was once frequented by King George IV, who was tempted in by a spot of cockfighting. Arriving without money, he promptly issued the pub with a pawnbroker’s licence and handed over his gold watch to fund a flutter.
Here’s a scary London pub, but not because it has pickpockets (still an occasional feature of tourist pubs). The Bree Louise in Euston won the CAMRA pub of the year award last year because it’s what my Dad used to call ‘a drinkers’ pub’. Here the star is the beer, warm, cloudy, strong and not for lightweights. You can taste the beers before you try them, but you don’t come here for the decor. As one punter puts it, ‘you are greeted by a carpet that has had enough beer spilt on it to rupture an elephant’s liver.’
While we’re on the subject, the best comedy set in a pub remains ‘Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell’ by Keith Waterhouse, originally starring Peter O’Toole as Bernard. A filmed copy of the stage play will set you back at least fifty nicker.