During your next stay in London, you may want to grab a beer at one of the thousands of pubs in the capital of the United Kingdom, authentic cultural symbols of Britain. Some of these pubs were witnesses to great moments in English history, and others can boast hosting the likes of William Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe or Charles Dickens.
We invite you to visit three emblematic pubs in old London Town.
12 Gate Street, Holborn
Founded in 1549, the Ship Tavern has been at the heart of the social scene of the London Borough of Holborn for nearly 500 years. In fact, during the reign of Henry VIII, Catholic rebels celebrated Mass here, defying Protestant law. On many occasions, the priests had to escape in haste, so they built secret exits that still exist today. In a warning, the clerics fled to the basement, and the faithful held their tankards to conceal the illegal activity. Some priests were not so lucky and were discovered hiding in a tunnel in the cellar, where they were executed. It is said that every year, on Halloween night, you can hear their desperate cries from the ancient underground of the Ship Tavern.
The George Inn
77 Borough High Street, Southwark
Just opposite the old and fascinating Borough Market is one of the most famous pubs in London: The George Inn (or simply, The George), the only post house still preserved in the British capital. Founded in medieval times, it is now owned by the National Trust. It was rebuilt in 1677 after a fire destroyed most of the old Southwark. The place is mentioned in Charles Dickens‘ novel Little Dorrit, and playwrights William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe were among its most celebrated clients, probably because of the proximity to the legendary Globe Theatre. The George is an excellent spot to meet friends and is famous for its kidney pie and its pints of traditional ale. During the fresh summer nights, some classics of British literature are performed on the outdoor patio.
Lamb & Flag
33 Rose Street. Covent Garden
Located in London’s bustling Covent Garden, Lamb & Flag, dating from 1772, was the favorite pub of the great novelist Charles Dickens. This historic pub is very close to some of the most famous theaters in the world, as well as art galleries and markets. Take note of its interesting whiskey list and its simple but excellent traditional English cuisine. ■