• Walk the Talk

Tipsy Words

Where some of the most celebrated writers used to go for their favourite tipple in London


Not frequented by Dickens, this inn in St Katharine's Dock was opened in 1976 by his great grandson. We suspect Dickens would have loved it.

Most writers are bohemian types. When a writer looks like they're doing nothing, they are most like creating stories. Cafés and pubs have always been places for authors and wanna be writers to feed on their imagination. It comes as no surprise that a city like London has a wealth of pubs frequented by the most celebrated names in literature. Think Shakespeare, Dickens, Sylvia Plath, Virginia Woolf. The capital is dotted with pubs that are literary gems and we just wish that their walls could talk so we could hear what they had to say. Well, we can always read their books and that is as close as it gets to a writers mind. Cheers!



THE FLASK

If you like writers from the English Romanticism this pub will inspire you. This beautiful and dark 17th century building was once frequented by literary heavy weights such as Byron, Keats, Shelley, Wordsworth and Charles Lamb. Some of them would come all the way to North London to visit their friend, opium addict Coleridge who lived across the road. More recently Coleridge's old house has been bought by Kate Moss and it once belonged to English novelist John Boyton Priestly. The Flask offers excellent food and a fair amount of haunting stories too.


The Flask

77, Highgate West Hill, London



YE OLDE CHESHIRE CHEESE


One of the oldest pub spots in London, The Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese was built in 1667 after the great fire of London, a tragedy caused by a bakery in Pudding Lane that saw a vast part of the city burn down. Step inside this pub is to travel through time into they very dark rooms and underground cellar where you can picture its regulars who were some of the most famous writers in the world. Dickens and Mark Twain were often seen drinking in the Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese. The pub's name also appears in the works by Agatha Christie, Yeats and Dickens himself. This is yesterday's London at its most legendary.


Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese

145 Fleet Street , London



THE SPANIARDS INN

This very handsome building sits in the North London area of Hampstead, Barnet and Highgate and it has its fair share of literary History. It is a 16th century pub have had many illustrious regulars. It is said that Bram Stoker "borrowed" one of the chilling stories in Dracula from one of the pub goers. And how about you sit at the large and fabulous garden which is believed to have been when Keats wrote his most famous work "Ode to a Nightingale"? Or you can enjoy its atmospheric interior, a welcoming, snug yet dark rooms of this piece of History that also appears in one of Dickens' pieces of work.


The Spaniards Inn

Spaniards Road, Hampstead, London



THE GEORGE INN

Be prepared to step into a serious piece of English Heritage. This Medieval pub located in the Southwark area has the last standing coaching inns with galleries which are known for have being used as play productions. So, you know what's coming: Shakespeare. Yes, he was one of the regulars when down from picturesque Stratford upon Avon. This less salubre part of town was where actors, artists, poets, beggars would hang out during Elizabethan times. This pub was rebuilt in 1677 after catching fire, and, not surprisingly, Dickens also visited the inn regularly. Why having one favourite pub, if you can have many? This could well be a quote by Dickens.


The George Inn

77 Borough High Street, London



THE LAMB

Built in the early 18th century, this pub is located in the heart of Bloomsbury which gives us an idea about the fair amount of writers who had a drink or many inside these walls. It is said that Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes met in this pub earlier on in their relationship when things were a little rosier for the literary pair. Dickens and Virginia Woolf both lived nearby and are believed to have frequented this pub. We can certainly see Mrs Woolf sipping gin at one of the tables that still have the so called snob screens, a filter that would give people more privacy to drink without being observed by staff. We are amused!


The Lamb

94, Lamb's Conduit Street, London



Did you like our feature? Why not share it with friends and spread the knowledge?