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ALE December 2004/January 2005 No. 315 : Next section

ALE December 2004/January 2005 No. 315

It must have been around a year ago since the erstwhile Editor and I visited London for an upmarket wine tasting. Naturally once we had punished the grape, a beer was in order and he introduced me to the most wonderful of Victorian pubs in Holborn.

The Princess Louise was opened in 1872 and has not changed one bit, retaining all the classic features of a genuine Victorian London pub. The pub is now owned by Sam Smiths, and sells its Old Brewery bitter at 1.68 per pint, staggering when you consider this is Central London.

There are etched and gilt mirrors, a wonderful horse-shoe bar similar in length to the former Fountain bar in Regent Street, Cambridge, before it was vandalised around 30 years ago by the owners. There are fine Portland stone pillars and very colourful tiles and a lofty heavily plastered ceiling. The most striking feature is the listed gents toilet, a real trip back to the past. Mr Brown never goes to London without a visit to this lovely old watering hole, and indeed has been known to meet up with one or two of his female friends there! [Not in the listed gents loo I assume - Ed.]

The publican is a rather portly and polite northern guy who keeps a friendly ship, and it never fails to amaze me that even if I have not visited for a while he remembers to take the fizzer off the tap to pour my pint. On one visit he took me down to the cellar, where he handles really large barrels that are still made of oak. The food is simple cheap but of a good quality and there is an upstairs eating area.

This friendly boozer is situated 100 yards west from Holborn Underground station and well worth a visit.

Jerry Brown


See also:


ALE December 2004/January 2005 No. 315 : Next section
Cambridge & District CAMRA