We all know that Londoners enjoy a good old fashioned pub. Popping down to the local for a pint on Friday night is a given and you’ll find some of them so jammed full that swillers even overflow onto the streets blocking passing motorists – who politely wait their turn to putter past.
The neighbourhood drinking house is such a cornerstone of the community in fact that five of them even became the namesake for their surrounding areas. Sounds like a good pub crawl!
Angel – (Northern Line)
This recently thriving hub just fifteen minutes walk from Liverpool/St Pancras station has an Eat Street to rival any London spot. You’ll find The Angel, just across from the Tube – after a couple pints, head north to The Diner for a burger to make any American homesick. If you get a bit bored of the pub scene then check out Slim Jim’s for loud rock music and plenty of hilarious handwritten notes on the walls – until 4am.
Elephant & Castle – (Northern and Bakerloo Lines)
This famous pub name and decor has been duplicated all over the world – including North America where it’s now a chain, you’ll find it on a major traffic intersection in Southeast London which was the centre of the German bombing campaign in WWII. Famous local homeboys include Charlie Chaplin and Michael Caine. “The Elephant” was also mentioned in Shakespeare’s play “Twelfth Night” as the best place to stay in the south.
Manor House – (Piccadilly Line)
To the north of London you’ll find this (unfortunately) former noteworthy pub that has seen the likes of Rod Stewart, Cream and Long John Baldry play for it’s patrons. Another famous (apparent) visitor was Queen Victoria who stopped there in 1843 – perhaps for a quick wee. The occasion was marked with a tablet inscribing her short visit. The building where the pub used to stand now houses an organic cafe and Evergreens supermarket. Queen Vic would be rolling in her grave.
Royal Oak – (Hammersmith & City and Circle Lines)
The term “Royal Oak” comes from a story of when King Charles escaped from the battle of Worcester in 1651 during the English Civil War. He apparently climbed and hid for a day in an oak tree while his pursuers played hide and seek – unsuccessfully. He eventually escaped to France and the tree now has over 541 pubs named after it in England alone. This one sits in The Borough in Central London. There are no trees there.
Swiss Cottage – (Jubilee Line)
This fairly boring district is named after The Swiss Tavern which was built in 1804 in the style of a Swiss Chalet. I imagine it was like an early version of The Hard Rock Cafe, they probably sold t-shirts and cheap coach drivers collected beer mats for their sad little collections back home. It’s north of the city – don’t bother bringing your skis.