Hassrale Trips: Charing X - Holborn

Date: Wednesday 10th February 1999

This trip has no particular theme it was originally just supposed to be Drury Lane but it got stretched a little, anyway its a nice walk. We start at Charing Cross station, the first pub is in Craven Passage at the back of the station. The simplest way to get there is from Villiers St., you go under the Arches and up the stairs at the end where you will find on your right.

1. The Ship and Shovell - 1 Craven Passage [18:30]

Beers: Badger Best, IPA, Tanglefoot

This is one of the few Badger brewery pubs in London and so is to be welcomed, especially when the Tanglefoot is in good condition. The pub was only opened about a year ago after having been shut for about 10 years. It has been pleasantly restored with lots of wood and mirrors. There is a open fireplace with a real gas fire. The walls are decorated with a number of nautical prints celebrating the theme of Sir Cloudlsley Shovell a naval hero of yesteryear. The pubs name is I think original though I had always thought that it was The Ship and Shovel! Does an interesting range of bottled Belgian beers. This pub can get very busy.

Leaving here we return under the Arches to Villiers St., turn left then immediately right onto John Adam St. Walk down here to Adam St. where we turn left and then right onto the Strand. Walk down the Strand till you are nearly at the Aldwych. You will find on your right a turning into Savoy Street. Just down here on your left you come to.

2. The Tup - 2 Savoy Street [19:00]

Beers: Theakstons XB, Courage Best, Brakspears Bitter

This used to be The New Savoy Tavern and to my mind the change has not improved it. The bar has been opened out by the removal of various partitions and the lighting is much brighter. It is still very busy but has lost some of its charm. A notice on the wall said Save money and bring your own sandwiches in 99, does one deduce that they no longer do food? There used to be a bar upstairs which was mainly used for functions. We didn't check this. Still there was no background music (apart from the noise of mobile phones).

Leaving here we cross the Strand and come onto the great curve of the Aldwych. Walking round this we come to the Waldorf Hotel and our next stopping point.

3. Footlights Bar - Waldorf Hotel, Aldwych [19:45]

Beers: Fullers Pride, Bass

A hotel bar which overlooks the bustle of the Aldwych, a good place to watch the tourists and the buses. This bar was fairly busy when we entered but almost empty when we left from which I deduce that it was mainly filled with a pre-theatre crowd. The bar had a high ceiling and bright lights plus a fair number of surveillance cameras but is actually quite a pleasant place for a drink and the Pride was in good condition. The toilets are excellent though somewhat difficult to access from the bar. Snacks are available all day.

Leaving here we continue on round the Aldwych till we find on our left the turning for Drury Lane. There is a nice walk up Drury Lane to clear your head till we reach the junction with Long Acre where we find on the right hand side of the road.

4. Prince Of Wales - 150 Drury Lane [20:30]

Beers: Pedigree, Bombardier, Courage Best & Directors, Theakstons XB & Old Peculier

This pub is listed in the West London beer guide as Charlies (formerly The Prince of Wales) so it has obviously reverted to its former name which is something that I like to see. The pub consists of a fairly large single bar with a raised area by the windows filled with lots of tables and chairs. I think that it specializes in food but then so do a lot of pubs these days. While busy its wasn't too crowded and we managed to get a table (and chairs). There was background music but not too bad. A very woody feel with bare floorboards.

Leaving here we cross Long Acre and keep on up Drury Lane looking on our left for the next pub which is on the corner of Betterton St. and Drury Lane.

5. Hogshead - 21 Drury Lane [21:15]

Beers: Flowers Original & IPA, Wadworths 6X, Highgate Bitter, plus others

I am not sure but I think from the description in the WLBG that this pub used to be The Sun, I don't think that it has been a Hogshead for that long. The pub itself is a busy street corner pub. It wasn't too bad as we managed to get seats. On a previous visit there had been football on the TV and it had been much busier. There seemed to be a fair turnover of guest beers, on our visit Walsall Fox's Nob was on offer and there was another one waiting to come on-line. Again a very woody pub with lots of floorboards etc. They did toasted sandwiches which was becoming very tempting by this point.

Backtracking from this pub slightly look for the turning into Parker Street which will take you through to Kingsway with a stop off at the junction of Parker St. with Newton St. where we find.

6. Newton Arms - 31 Newton St. [22:00]

Beers: Burton

The WLBG description still seems apt, "a modern lounge bar set in the base of an office complex". On our visit it was fairly quiet though there was football on the TV. The beer wasn't wonderful but maybe we were just unlucky.

Leaving here continue on to the end of Parker St. where you come onto Kingsway, turn left and walk up to the crossing which will take you to Holborn tube station and so to home.

Trial Run:

Date: Wednesday 13th January 1999

Present: J.Wright, J & E Featherstone

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