Date: Thursday, 14th February 1991
In view of the relocation of many DSS personnel in the John Adam St area after a break of some years it seemed appropriate to do a trip in the area. This trip is actually slightly north of the Adelphi but well within the lunchtime drinking area. To get to the first pub from the Strand go up Bedford street to its junction with King St then turn left into New Row. Nearest tube actually Leicester Sq.
1. The White Swan, 14 New Row WC2 [18:00]
Beers:- Charrington IPA, Bass
A two bar pub, gets very busy at lunchtime. Few seats but usually more room in the back bar. Wood panelled, I believe this is a reasonably old pub, 17th century according to RBIWL mentioned by Pepys who obviously liked a drink. Almost opposite the White Swan is the next pub on the corner of Garrick St and New Row.
2. Roundhouse, 1 Garrick St WC2 [18:45]
Beers:- Theakstons best, Youngers IPA
A rather bare looking semicircular 1 bar pub, mainly a pub for leaning against the bar. The notes mention background music ameliorated by duff speakers can't say I remember them myself. Out of the door onto Garrick street and up a small alley to :-
3. Lamb and Flag, 33 Rose St WC2 [19:30]
Beers:- Courage Best & Directors, John Smiths bitter
Another old pub, once known for the prize fighting that took place there, no sign of this on our visit though. Two bar pub, small public at front with little seating, saloon at back but seemed very busy. Brass name plates on the bar and some latin inscriptions above bar (apparently about the poet Drydon being ambushed there in 1689). Signs of food in the evening. Out of the side door into the alley then right into Floral street then along till you meet James St on your left.
4. White Lion, 24 James St WC2 [20:15]
Beers:- Charrington IPA & Bass
Two bar pub, lounge bar upstairs and very busy. Managed to get a seat in the downstairs bar. A fairly anonymous pub or is the drink getting to me? Left up James St :-
5. Nags Head, 10 James St WC2 [21:00]
Beers:- McMullens County, AK Mild and Stronghart
Large one bar pub, this is the big one as far as crowds go, it was packed on the night we trialled it. Busy and expensive but for all that worth a visit if only for the McMullens beer. StrongHart (probably a winter ale) was not for the weak of heart at 7% abv. Right onto Long Acre and along.
6. Kemble's Head, 61 Long Acre [21:45]
Beers:- Ruddles County & Best, Websters Yorkshire
Compact one bar pub, seemed quiet by contrast with the previous pub, chance of a seat. A nice roaring 'real' gas fire if you like roasting, interesting vending machine. Left into Bow St and down.
7. Globe Tavern, 37 Bow St [22:00]
Beers:- Wadworths 6X, Adnams Southwold bitter, Tetleys
A Nicholsons pub, apparently comfortable and convivial, gas fire and some seating. Has an upstairs bar, not explored on this trip. Nearest tube home probably Covent Garden, though not too far from Holborn.
Survey Date: 27th November 1990