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Literary Pubs in London

If writers in olden times met in taverns to chat and exchange ideas and opinions, it’s now their legacy that remains in these establishments. Some parts of the history of literature have been forged in the pubs we are going to tell you about, and many are located in London. With something for everyone, we’ll start our “Route of Books and Drinks” in the British capital.


If we want to talk about literature in connection with London pubs, we must, of course, discuss the Cheshire Cheese. With its dark lighting, wooden interior and low ceilings, it’s definitely worth visiting. Built in 1666, it was frequented by the “cursed poets” and the Rhymers Club, including Ernest Dowson and Lionel Johnson (who is said to have died there after falling off a stool). And, of course, Oscar Wilde and Charles Dickens are also said to have been seen there on occasion. What secrets do the tables and chairs guard? The only way to find out is to visit.

In Northumberland Street you’ll find the Sherlock Holmes pub, which, as you might imagine, has been designed and decorated in the style of a detective novel. On the first floor there is a replica of the room where Dr. Watson kept his books and bottles. And among the many things that will inspire you on this Sherlock Holmes path is a portrait of the author overlooking one of the rooms of this curious London venue.

Then there’s the Fitzroy Tavern (16 Charlotte Street), where Dylan Thomas used to get drunk and write poetry on the coasters. Other literary greats that passed through include Virginia Woolf, George Orwell and George Bernard Shaw.

The Pillars of Hercules is a small shop in Greek Street that was frequented by novelists including Ian McEwan, Julian Barnes and Martin Amis.

And, of course, this post wouldn’t be complete without some mention of William Shakespeare. Well, at 99 Buckingham Palace Road, in the district of Victoria, you’ll find the Shakespeare Tavern, a place where everything is reminiscent of the famous playwright and his style of writing. And it should be mentioned that Shakespeare used to spend hours and hours clutching a bottle at the Globe Theatre. Today, the Shakespeare Tavern is a pub- restaurant where you can enjoy traditional English food and beer in abundance.

And if this isn’t your cup of tea, you can always take a walk along the Thames or spend an afternoon shopping at Oxford Street. The truth is, though, that the London pubs are part of their own history and a genuine treasure to explore.