Hassrale Trips - Ludgate Circus
This trip doesn't really get too close to Ludgate Circus but it is vaguely in the neighborhood so it seems to be as good a name as any other. We start at Blackfriars tube station, leave by exit 1 otherwise you will never reach the first pub.
1. The Blackfriar [18:30]
Tetleys, Adnams Bitter, Marstons Pedigree, Brakspears Bitter
Large single bar pub with central bar, narrows to a point on the south side. The other side is much wider with wooden floorboards and a scattering of seats. There is an adjacent area with extra seating and extravagant decoration. The bar surface is marble. This is one of the Nicholson chain. Bar food served at all times. The light fittings are interesting and look original, there are a few open gas burners but with no mantle they can give little light. The Adnams and Brakspears were both £2 each. The friar motif occurs in various bas-reliefs plus a stained glass inset in the window. Hopeful inscription carved over the bar "Tomorrow will be Friday". Became very busy as I was there, a mixture of suits and tourists. Small beer garden out on the street.
Leaving the Blackfriar walk east along Queen Victoria Street till you come to the turning on your left for St Andrews Hill. A short way up here you will find..
2.Shaws Bookshop - 31-34 St. Andrews Hill EC4 [19:15]
Fullers Pride, ESB, Honeydew
Fairly new conversion, apparently featured in a recent file "Wings of a Dove" or maybe it was a film about Dracula? Lots of wood, floorboards, ceiling furniture etc. Large clear glass windows looking out onto the street, large area with more seating towards the back of the pub. Has more of the feel of a wine bar (railway waiting room)than a pub. Food available though it looked expensive, chips and ketchup £2.50. Former paper mill premises, a relic of this is some sort of lifting equipment which has been left attached to the ceiling. Quite busy, mainly suits and city types.
You can see the next pub from the window of this pub as it is just across the road.
3. Cockpit [19:45]
Courage Best, Directors, Marstons Pedigree
Single bar pub of a curious shape, curved corner bar, lowered area to one side. The appearance of a balcony without any real substance. Not too busy.
Continue up St Andrews Hill till you reach Carter Lane where you will find..
4. Rising Sun [20:30]
Courage Directors, Best, Fullers London Pride
Large single bar pub with a Thai restaurant attached. Wooden floor, chairs, tables. Large projection screen TV showing football on our visit. Wooden ceiling with fans. Friendly bar staff. Large clear glass windows. Nice black and white chequered surround to the two fireplaces. The floor was black and looked somewhat polished though you could see floorboards through whatever was causing this appearance.
Cross Carter Lane and turn up Creed St to find..
5. Bar Rex [21:15]
Not really a pub, more of a continental style bar. No real ale but they did have draught Hoegaardens plus a very wide range of bottled beers. This included a very good selection of Belgian beers. Large and not very busy, plenty of seats and a stylish interior. Toilets downstairs. Bar snacks available. Quite an expensive bar. I understand that this is part of a chain.
Continue up Creed St till you reach Ludgate Hill, cross over the road and turn left towards Ludgate Circus where you will find..
6. Slurping Toad - 34-36 Ludgate Hill [22:00]
Bass, Eldridge Pope range of beers
Large bar, must be a conversion because I can't remember a pub here. Its next door to the Seattle Coffee Company shop, which was alas closed at this time of night. Downstairs there appeared to be a games room with various bits and pieces including two table football machines. A notice proclaimed that they would be one of the venues for this years World Table Football competition. This is part of an Eldridge Pope chain.
You are now not too far from either Blackfriars station or St Pauls station for the journey home
Date: Wednesday 6th May 1998
Present: E.Featherstone, J.Featherstone, J.Wright
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