London is one of my favorite cities because it cleverly combines beautifully old with incredibly hip. And in the case of these three pubs, aged meets cool with an unexpected twist. Check these out…
The Prospect of Whitby
Surprisingly, few London restaurants or pubs grace the water’s edge despite the River Thames cutting through the capital city. Situated in Wapping between Tower Bridge and Canary Wharf , The Prospect of Whitby benefits from a magnificent view on the river.
Proudly the oldest riverside pub in London (circa 1520), fascinating trivia adorns the walls throughout this fairly large establishment. Historical tidbits range from ghost sightings and a smuggler hangout to the original trading point of the first fuchsia (flower) from the New World.
Patrons may prefer sitting inside the waterside walled garden or grabbing a table in one of the cozy dining areas. Like many English pubs, The Prospect of Whitby felt family friendly (although the next two pubs, not so much).
Evans & Peel Detective Agency
Evans & Peel Detective Agency creates a unique experience in central London’s Earls Court. To book a table at this speakeasy, one must submit a case online for the detective agency to accept. Thankfully my case of amnesia was approved for further investigation.
Upon arrival, we met a detective in a dimly lit office fitted with an old typewriter, worn desk, and full bookcase. A bar and dining area were revealed behind a secret entrance after briefly discussing the case’s details. Going forward, the play-acting stopped.
The menu included some food but focused more on drinks. The 1920’s ambiance paired well with the theme.
The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town
You have to be in the know to enter this unmarked pub curiously named The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town in Spitalfields.
You enter The Breakfast Club cafe and approach the host/hostess with the password phrase, “I’m here to see the Mayor”. Then you are whisked through a Smeg refrigerator and descend stairs to a small, quirky basement bar enveloped in wood paneling.
Advance bookings are not accepted so there can be a wait – but where else can you walk through a refrigerator with a secret password?
Read more: 21 Unique Things To Do In London