Tour Locations | Historical Pubs of London: A Tipply Trundle Through Liquid History
The Ship Tavern
Turn right into Gate Street and our last pub lies ahead of us. You’ll find it tucked away in the corner at the end of the street.
But alas! It's last orders and our final drink stop awaits us at the splendid Ship Tavern. A beautiful backstreet boozer to finish our trundle down Tippling Street .
The pub harks back to the humble inn that stood here in 1549. A place where elusive Catholic priests would dispense secretive masses to the crowds. If the King's men were spotted approaching on these narrow gated streets, the priests would head off to their hidey-holes whilst the congregation would simply appear to be enjoying a jolly good drink. Now that's my kind of church!
Unfortunately a couple of priests were caught and executed on the spot, with their ghosts now adding to the spirits found behind the bar!
Today the Ship Tavern offers a most hospitable array of ales and is famous for proffering over 50 gins all served in large goblet glasses with the correct botanicals served as garnish. There's live jazz to tap your toe to on a Sunday and if you notice men in suits sharing funny handshakes then you've probably bumped into a Freemason coming or going from the Grand Lodge across the road in Covent Garden.
Perhaps by now you might be feeling a little peckish, so there's often a hearty scotch egg or sausage roll to satisfy a rumbling tummy. Alternatively head upstairs to the Oak Room for some fine candelit pub grub of the highest order, and if you do need to dash off then Holborn underground station is located just around the corner.
But this is where I say my farewell, and I raise my glass in thanks to you for joining me on our pub crawl through London's liquid history. You can find out more about our guided pub walks at www.liquidhistorytours.com and perhaps you might be tempted to purchase our illustrated guide to another 50 or so iconic alehouses you should visit at least once in your life.
Please leave a positive rating on VoiceMap if you've enjoyed the stroll, and don't forget to keep supporting our pubs with some further elbow-bending activity.
With Hilaire Beloc once forewarning
"When you have lost your inns, drown your empty selves – for you will have lost the last of England."