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Friday 4th February 2000

This is the second in a series of three trips to this upmarket district of SW1. As before I have not trialled the route as such, the descriptions having been taken from the South West London Pub Guide. I have again included the Star Tavern in the itinerary because we can rely on it not only for its excellent beer (in the national CAMRA Good Beer Guide since 1708 or thereabouts), but also for its food. Most of the other pubs will probably offer comestibles of some description should any of our members find themselves in a state of inanition. Nearest tube to the first pub is either Sloane Square or Victoria.

  1. VINO VERITAS, 44 Elizabeth St (Courage Best, Theakston’s XB and Best)

Attractive Georgian-fronted building with polished floor and removable windows! These are somehow slid aside on summer evenings to create a verandah effect – but I doubt if we’ll see this feature in action at this time of year. Built in 1837 as the Joiners’ Arms, a beer only house, probably for builders engaged on the Belgravia development to slake their thirst. Don’t know when the current nomenclature was adopted – but shouldn’t it be In Vino Veritas?

  1. STAR TAVERN, 6 Belgrave Mews West (off Halkin Place) (Fuller’s: Chiswick, London Pride, Red Fox and ESB)

What more can be said about this revered hostelry? Superb beer, tasty (traditional) food and wonderful surroundings. Can get quite crowded but there is a little used upstairs bar if necessary.

3. TURK’S HEAD, 10 Motcomb St (Draught Bass, Hancock’s HB, M&B Brew XI (!), Worthington Best Bitter)

Large corner pub dating from 1826. Long lounge bar with slightly raised library-style seating area at one end, according to the SWL Guide – quite convenient really as the Literary Club use this as their local. So, apparently, does Danny Baker (he was sitting outside when I walked the route, anyway).

4. NAG’S HEAD (THE KEVIN MORAN), 53 Kinnerton St (Theakston’s Best Bitter, Younger’s Scotch Ale plus guests)

Small, unspoilt “below stairs” establishment with bars on 2 levels, the front one boasting the lowest counter in London, if not the country (I’ll be interested to see how it compares with the Four Horseshoes at Whitstable). Built c 1833 and first licensed as a beer house about 7 years later. Acquired by Benskins later that century and became a Free House in 1991. But who was/is Kevin Moran and why did he have a pub named after him?

5. WILTON ARMS, 71 Kinnerton St (Greene King Abbot, Boddington’s Bitter plus seasonal beers)

Another “below stairs” pub with a very comfortable interior featuring armchairs and settees. Built in 1826.

That’s all folks – nearest tube is Knightsbridge or Hyde Park Corner.

Hope to see you there.