It's an unspoilt Victorian pub, with lots of mirrors, woodwork, lovely old blue & cream tiles and a roaring fire on chilly days. CAMRA's National Inventory records such classic examples of pub interiors needing preservation.
There's the usual disappointment of a Sam Smiths pub in London: just Old Brewery Bitter on (though at the heartwarming £1.64) even though there are plenty of handpumps. It's well-kept but they could surely have, say, a choice of three beers without compromising quality?
Cross to the north side of High Holborn and turn into Southampton Place.
|[This is a historic street, being one of the first to be built as the Bedford estate began to develop Bloomsbury. For instance, the fanlights above the doors are all different, allowing visitors to distinguish the houses in the days before streetlighting. Many developments then copied the ideas here.]|
Turn left along Bloomsbury Way and then right into Museum Street. At the top corner is The Museum Tavern, right opposite the British Museum.
It's another lovely old pub, with lots of wood and glass. The booklet A History of the Museum Tavern in Bloomsbury on sale behind the bar for £1 is worth buying. The pub features on the Sherlock Holmes tourist trail as Homes & Watson visit it in The Case of the Blue Carbuncle (in the guise of "The Alpha Inn").
On the day visited, it had Brakspear's Old Ale on as guest (£2.48) along with Theakstons, Youngs Special, London Pride and Courage Directors.
The pub food here seems popular - it was already busy by 12:30 on a Saturday.
This T&J Bernard (i.e. Scottish & Newcastle, at least for a while longer) pub is a bit smaller than the Cambridge one, the Fountain, but with a similar range of Scottish Courage and guest beers: Courage Directors, Youngs Bitter, Ridleys IPA and Theakston.
It's not as obviously "historic" as the first two
but at least it's not been horribly modernised.
|[During the illnesses of King George III, Queen Charlotte rented space here and made a home-from-home for the King when he had to be near his doctors - the area is still strongly medical.]|
It's another pub with lots of wood and glass fittings.
Pedigree, Bass, Boddingtons and London Pride were on during this visit.
This Shepherd Neame pub is another traditional one, in
this case with food featuring strongly.
The Late Red seasonal beer was on, in addition to Master Brew and Spitfire.