Thursday 14 November 2019
The Seven Dials Ale Trail
Seven Dials is home to a wealth of pubs full of history, atmosphere and a diversity of ales. Here are our top picks for a quick pit stop or an evening with friends.
The Crown & Anchor
45 Neal Street
Huge planters and hanging baskets distinguish this beautifully tiled traditional pub, rebuilt in 1904 and filled with copper and vintage trimmings. Upstairs is more conducive to dining on good traditional dishes including beer battered fish and hand cut chips with mushy peas and the house tartare. Gin lovers will find some of the capital's more unusual gins including Half Hitch, produced in Seven Dials' own borough of Camden. Regular ales are Sharp's Atlantic and Sharp's Doom Bar, with guest beers likely to include Twickenham or Sambrook's.
43 Monmouth Street
This small, nearly 200-year-old pub, which was re-built in 1934 and is Grade 11 listed, with a glazed tile frontage. Inside, The Crown is a busy authentic pub, with a quirky snug bar, and a good place for a class London gin and tonic or a pint of refreshing cider.
The Two Brewers
40 Monmouth Street
The oldest surviving pub in Seven Dials is said to date from the 1690s as part of Thomas Neale's development of what had once been known as Marshland.
The one-room pub with beautiful oak panelling has some stunning backlit glass at the rear and the walls are hung with photographs of stars of stage and screen. Monmouth Street is said to have been an inspiration for Hogarth's famous 1751 print 'Gin Lane', as it was then a byword for drunkenness and crime. The two Brewers has always attracted a theatre-loving crowd who appreciate its Greene King London Glory and IPA and regularly changing guest ale besides well-sources British cooking including lamb shank shepherd's pie.
The Cross Keys
31 Endell Street
Maximalism best describes this splendidly foliaged Grade 11 listed pub dating back to 1848. The inside is ornate with masses of copper decoration, thespian and musical photos and the landlord's intriguing personal collection, ranging from a napkin signed by Elvis Presley and Beatles memorabilia to some of David Beckham's signed letters bought recently at auction. Ales are well kept here: they include Brodie's Bethnal Green Bitter, Brodie's Piccadilly Pale Ale, Green King IPA and Hands & Hanson Old Tap, and are best enjoyed with a homemade pie or doorstep sandwich.