Pubs where you can’t tell what time of day or night are dangerous. Much like Las Vegas casino’s they lull you into a false sense of security where you think you have all the time in the world. Before you know it you’ve emptied your bank account and you’re rolling down The Strand belting out Chumbawumba whilst hunting for a kebab.
The lack of lighting in the Nell Gwynne Tavern is almost certainly good thing. Closer examination of the wallpaper reveals that it one had a pattern and wasn’t always dung brown and the less said about the floors the better. This being said it doesn’t smell as bad as it looks and a bit of grime never hurt anyone. Besides which it tends to scare away the kind of folk who think that eating in the Angus Steakhouse an authentic London experience.
What is most charming about the pub is that it’s very compact and simple. The tiny bar bristles with pumps and the back is festooned with bottles. No inch is wasted. The two staff dance a merry whir around each other with levels of agility which make an Olympic gymnast look positively clumsy. A small chalk board boasts a dedicated crisp menu complete with Monster Munch.
This is also a good shout for those who long for days gone by when duke boxes were mechanical & mostly silent. Where the shelves are lined with leather bound books no one has ever, or will ever, read. The word ‘classic’ would seem appropriate if saying out loud didn’t instantly make you sound like Alan Partridge.
This tiny little backstreet tavern is never going to win any awards but if you’re looking for a characterful little nook to head into before a show nearby you could do a lot worse.