Monday, May 16, 2005


I went out for something of a pub crawl in London's Bankside on Friday night.

Deriving its name from one of the medieval causeways built to hold back the Thames, the early history of Bankside owes much to its riverside location. Beyond the jurisdiction of the City of London, but only a short ferry-ride away, Bankside became home to a number of boisterous establishments that could not be located within the City bounds as they were considered too cheap, too unsavoury or were simply illegal. The main entertainments that drew crowds to Bankside were the 'stewhouses' (brothels), animal-baiting pits and public theatres, sometimes all at once, as prostitutes would trawl the playhouses, which doubled as bear-baiting arenas. The Rose, the Swan, the Globe and the Hope were the four Bankside playhouses of the Tudor era, and some of the first ever in London (the very first theatre was in Shoreditch and was dismantled to built the original Globe playhouse).

That made it sound like I would fit right in, so I took the tube up to London Bridge.

We kicked off in the The Barrowboy and Banker (6-8, Borough High Street, London, SE1 9QQ) and then had one the The Old Thameside Inn (Pickfords Wharf, Clink St, London, SE1 9DG).

Then we checked out Vinopolis and had a glass of red in their bar, The Wine Wharf (Stoney Street, Borough Market, London SE1 9AD).

After that we slipped round to Borough Market for a swift one in The Wheatsheaf (6 Stoney Street, London, SE1 9AA), and then walked around to the Hop Cellars (24 Southwark Street, London, SE1 1TY) for another glass of wine.

Decided to finish off with dinner (not stew) at The Peoples Palace Restaurant (Royal Festival Hall complex London SE1 8XX), but were tempted into The Founders Arms en route (52 Hopton St, London SE1 9JH) for a stiffener on the way.

Thence home on the tune from Waterloo, tired but happy, and with many valuable hostelry addresses for me to play with as I try and get my ideas on geoblogging straight.

No comments: