Thursday 1st October 1998

This is the first in a series of up to three trips to this predominantly upmarket district of SW1. It is I think an area unexplored by HASSRALE in any depth. I have not trialled the route as such and some of the pubs will be completely new to me but the descriptions are taken in the main from the recently updated South West London Pub Guide so they should be pretty accurate. We shall see. For those who may at some stage become esurient, all pubs are likely to do food to some extent, however the Star is the most reliable (as with its beer) and although I haven't sampled their food to date it does look very tempting.

  1. LOWNDES ARMS, 37 Chesham St (Courage Directors, Fullers London Pride, Wadworth XXXXXX plus guest beer)

    Built in 1829 by Paul Dangerfield who had opened the neighbouring Duke of Wellington 3 years earlier. Claims to have the only beer garden in Belgravia. As featured in "The Crying Game"! Actually on our visit the pub turned out to be closed and I understand that there is a planning application to revert this premises to residential.

  2. STAR TAVERN, 6 Belgrave Mews West (off Hankin Place) (Fullers Chiswick Bitter, London Pride, Summer Ale and ESB)

    Dates from 1848 – unchanging and uspoilt. One of very few pubs to have featured in every edition of the Good Beer Guide – CAMRA members get your passports stamped here. Good selection of food at reasonable prices. There is an upstairs bar if it's too packed downstairs.

  3. HORSE & GROOM, 7 Groom Place (off Chapel St) (Adnam's Bitter, Ruddle's County)
    Tiny mews pub apparently leased from Greene King although sadly their beers don't seem to feature. First licensed 1846 as a beer house, presumably strictly for those "below stairs".

  4. TALBOT, 2 Little Chester St (Courage Best and Director's, John Smith's and Wadworth XXXXXX)

    Modern back street pub with attractive bay windows. Dimly lit bar with raised games area at rear and enclosed front patio. First licensed 1825; rebuilt 1960 following war damage. (Belgravia seems to have largely escaped enemy attention during the blitz – can any of our older members confirm this?!)

  5. GROUSE & CLARET, 14 Little Chester St (Hall & Woodhouse Badger Best Bitter, Tanglefoot, Smiles Best Bitter (Wow!), Wadworth XXXXXX, Charles Wells Eagle + guests)

    Plush corner pub in quiet back street. Wine bar downstairs and Swedish restaurant upstairs, connected by a spiral staircase. Was the Stanhope until 1966, then the Pig & Whistle until 1987. Apart from all this tomfoolery it should be well worth the walk!

Hope to see you there,
Mick Norman