Did you know that London’s most illustrious pubs were once the business grounds for pirates and body snatchers? They were also battlegrounds for bare-knuckle fistfights! Not only this, the place served as an inspiration for literary greats like Charles Dickens and Samuel Pepys.
Experience these historical pubs, when you visit London next. All you need for easy access to these bars is room in one of the best hotels in Paddington like The Paddington Hotel London, which is well connected to tourist attractions and is one of the best cheap & budget hotels in Central London.
1. Ye Olde Mitre, Holborn (Established: 1546)
Ye Olde Mitre was built in 1546 and extended in 1782. The place has witnessed many historical incidents, such as William Wallace being hanged, drawn and quartered at Smithfield while the other martyrs and traitors were killed nearby. It gained popularity for its cherry tree as well. It is said that that long back, when Henry VIII was married in St Ethelredas, Queen Elizabeth I danced around this cherry tree with Sir Christopher Hatton. It was Bishop Goodrich who built the first pub in this spot and today it is snuggled between two lanes. It is a cosy little boozer today. The place takes you to another world with its coal fires, portraits of Henry VIII, Tudor beams and dozens of whisky water jugs that hang from the ceiling. You can choose to relish your drinks in the tiny rooms, such as the royal red, the Bishop’s Room or Ye Closet, which is a cubbyhole with an intimate seating arrangement for six people. It offers the perfect blend of old world charm and handpicked selection of beers.
2. Ye Olde Bell Tavern, the City (Established: 1670)
In 1666, the Great Fire of London destroyed this beautiful building but architect Sir Christopher Wren emerged as the saviour and rebuilt the inn for his masons, who were working on St. Bride’s Church. If you want to enjoy the best milieu, grab a seat by the window, under the kaleidoscopic stained glass and enjoy the simplicity of the bar. It has solid tables crowded around the central bar. It is believed that the printer Wynkyn de Worde used this pub as his workshop and sold his books here, hundreds of years ago. Much later, London gin distillers, Nicholson’s, bought this building. If you are looking for a good beer selection, this is the place to be.
3. Lamb & Flag, Covent Garden (Established: 1772)
This is the original fight club of the 1800s, referred to as the Bucket of Blood by the locals then. The place used to host the regular, rowdy bare-knuckle fistfights. With the passage of time, the place has witnessed a complete image makeover. It is today a family-friendly bar that welcomes tourists with a mean gravy-laden roast on Sundays. It is believed that Charles Dickens was a regular customer here, and there are some historic photographs of him to validate this. If you relish bitter selections visit this pub, but stay away from bar area, which gets uncomfortably crowded at times.
Any trip to London is incomplete without experiencing its finest selection of drinks. So plan your trip in advance, book a hotel near Paddington Station and relish the drinks at these age old pubs.