Hassrale Trips: Strand to Covent Garden

Date: Wednesday 3rd February 1988

 

 

This trip even on a Wednesday will mean going into pubs that are packed and we certainly will not be ble to guarantee seats. What you will get is a good selection of beer and a chance to get some food if you find that you need it. The trip starts at Charing Cross which is simple to get by train or bus or tube. The easiest way to get to the first pub is to go down the stairs at the side of the Main line station and at the bottom turn left to:-

1. Griffin - Villiers Street [18:13]

Beers: Tolly Cobbold Original, 4X and Griffin Bitter (Griifin is probably the ordinary bitter)

A large semi-open plan pub with a number of bars. Recently taken over by the same group that own Charing Cross Hotel and is in the throes of redecoration. The landlord assures us that the pub will not be ruined and that their policy on real ale will not chnge. You can see for yourselves. Will be doing food in the evenings so a good start. Very close to both Charing Cross and Embankment stations.

On leaving pub turn right up Villiers Street until you reach the Strand. Turn right along the Strand until you get to the:-

2. Coal Hole - 91 Strand [18:56]

Beers: Tetleys Bitter, Burton, Taylor Walker

An interesting pub which is on two levels street and basement (that explains the hole but I am not sure about the coal). The entrance to the basement is up a side alley and down there is where you will find the food. Can get very crowded and does not always have the full range of beer.

Next cross over the Strand and turn right to come to:-

3. Lyceum Tavern - 354 Strand [19:39]

Beers: Sam Smiths OBB, Museum

Small but excellent pub with reasonably priced beer for the area. One of Sam Smiths first acquisitions in central London. Again two bars and the one upstairs may be quieter and also does the food.

On leaving this pub turn left and continue up to the next corner where you can turn left into Wellington Street. On your left you will find:-

4. Gilbert and Sullivan - 23 Wellington Street [20:22]

Beers: Greene King Abbot, Brakespeares, Wethereds plus guests

A very attractive pub but rather small and narrow. No food as far as I could see but the beer was excellent. Sometimes has its own beer festival with reduced price beer. The guest beers are inclined to be from the Whitbread range.

Turn left out of the pub and continue into Bow Street where you should endeavour to cross the road. You are now in Covent Garden and the first pub you should come to is:-

5. Marquis of Anglesey - 39 Bow Street [21:05]

Beers: Youngs Bitter, Special, possibly Winter Warmer

Excellent pub selling good quality beer. As a result is inclined to get very crowded. Beer not over expensive for the area. In the 1988 Good Beer Guide and deserves to be. Food in the evenings.

On leaving the pub turn right past the Globe (a free house with a good range of beer but the quality is not that good) right up to Floral Street then turn left and take the first turning on the right into James Street. On your right you will come to:-

6. Nag's Head - 10 James Street [21:48]

Beers: McMullens AK Mild, Country Bitter

With the exception of the beer this pub is a bit of a joke. Packed with teeny-boppers with their lagers and drambui shandies. Even the bar staff had difficulties finding the handpumps. A welcome addition is the light mild which is indeed a rarity in central London. In the 1988 Good Beer Guide but I assume just because of the quality of the beer.

Now turn right once again and continue up to Long Acre and turn left walk down to the pub the Round House (was on the list but was removed because we had too many pubs. A Youngers pub and always worth a visit). Turn left down Bedford Street until you reach Maiden Lane and turn left. On the right hand side you will come to:-

7. Peacock - 13 Maiden Lane [10:31]

Beers: Bass, Charrington IPA

Definitely a much quieter pub where you may be able to get a seat. Nothing to rave about but a good basic backstreet pub. Is in the 1987 Good Beer Guide and the beer was certainly good when I visited.

Now the crawl has been completed and you need to attempt to get home. Proceed back to Bedford Street where you will have a choice. A turn to the left will bring you back into the Strand for Charing Cross. If you turn right you will get up to the Leicester Square tube.

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