Literary Pubs of London

Tuesday 3 November 2015 by

There are hundreds of pubs in London. Some are better than others, but usually it’s impossible to know where to go for a drink with friends. I love my pubs with some character, and I’m constantly on the hunt for new drinking spots. When I went on a pub crawl with the Society of Young Publishers last week, I found just those kinds of pubs I liked. Frequented by the literary greats, they boast plenty of character and then some!

The Lamb & Flag, Covent Garden, Pub, London, Charles Dickens

The Lamb & Flag

Hidden off a back street, this old pub is nestled amongst its more modern neighbours with a certain belligerence. Small, dark wood panelling, and only a small amount of sitting space downstairs (there is dining upstairs and even a function room), the Lamb & Flag was frequented by the great Charles Dickens. A little search of its history brings up some fantastic facts! It earned the nickname the “Bucket of Blood” in the 19th Century for staging bare-knuckle prize fights on its premises. Nowadays, you’re more likely to get a pie and a pint. It’s worth checking out their rather impressive whisky collection too.

The French House, Pub, London, Soho, Dylan Thomas

The French House

The French House has been popular with everyone from musicians to royalty – check out their photos! It was also a favourite of Dylan Thomas, so you’re in good company. Pick from their wide range of champagnes and wines, or sup on the gorgeous Breton cider they offer by the bottle. The staff are some of the friendliest in Soho, and the atmosphere is always fantastic. Hidden by scaffolding at the moment, it’s still open, but you will want to get there early to get a space – it’s hugely popular.

Dog & Duck, Pub, London, Soho, George Orwell

The Dog and Duck

Similar to the Lamb & Flag, the Dog and Duck is a small, dark-panelled pub. It’s just as rich in history as well – built on the site of the Duke of Monmouth’s home, it’s served George Orwell, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and John Constable! It serves traditional pub food and plenty of real ales to choose from. Downstairs is narrow, but definitely the more picturesque part, so make sure your pitch your spot early. I can imagine it will be beautiful in summer too.

There are plenty more pubs around London that have played host to literary greats (these are just three Soho-based spots), and I will be adding more as I discover them!

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