London pub crawl Christmas 2012

Here's the arrangements and route for the Christmas 2012 London pub crawl on Wednesday 12-December.

Meet at the waiting room at Kings Cross Station just before noon. Travel on to the first pub at Blackfriars to meet up with Martin at about 12:30 and have lunch.

The aim is to reach the last pub about 18:00 for a bit of tea before dispersing into the night so Terry can catch his train home from Kings Cross at 20:00.

The Black Friar... an Art Nouveau pub unique for its elaborate interior. A Dominican friary stood on the site from 1279 to the Reformation in 1539, hence the name. Built in its current style in 1904, there are about 50 different types of marble used in the building. Hard to believe it was scheduled for demolition in the 1960s, saved after a campaign led by Sir John Betjeman. Thankfully it's now a Grade 1 listed building. The address is 174 Queen Victoria Street, Blackfriars, EC4V 4EG.

The Punch Tavern... once a favourite with the staff of the satirical magazine The Punch, which was conceived in the pub in 1841, the interior is all Victorian extravagance, with beautiful glazing and tiling, ornate plasterwork and Art Deco lighting. The interior was originally larger, but when the joint ownership between two brewing giants came to a sticky end a few years ago the right hand side of the pub was bricked up; the bar actually continues through the wall into a now derelict room. The address is 99 Fleet Street, City of London EC4Y 1DE.

Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese... step back in time to a pub with a dark interior and sawdust floors where Charles Dickens warmed himself beside the fire in the tiny front bar, and the surroundings would be much as Dr Samuel Johnson remembered them during his visits. The pub dates from its rebuilding after the Great Fire of London in 1666, and many famous names have sipped here; Thomas Carlyle, Lord Tennyson, Wilke Collins, Mark Twain, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, W. B Yeats to name but a few. The address is 145 Fleet Street, City of London EC4A 2BU.

The Seven Stars... staking a claim to one of London's oldest continuously occupied pubs and built in 1602, it narrowly escaped the Great Fire of London by a few hundred yards. Today it's a an uncommercial, warm and relaxed pub with one of the most charming routes to the toilet. The landlady is interesting too, Roxy Beaujolais, chef, cook book author and once celebrity chef on a BBC food programme. The address is 53 Carey Street, Holborn WC2A 2JB.

Cittie of York... one of London's most unique, there's been a pub on this site since the 1400s. In a great church-like hall, under a high pitched roof, a long bar counter sits below large oak vats. On the opposite wall is a series of small cubicles, like confessionals, where it's easy to imagine lawyers in confidential conversation with their clients. Another unique feature is an ingenious triangular stove (c.1815) which stands in the centre of the bar. It has no visible chimney, the smoke is ducted away below the floor. The address is 22 High Holborn, Holborn WC1V 6BS.

Princess Louise... the interior of this pub must be a national treasure. Even the gents' toilets are listed! The manufacturers of the interior mirrors were so proud of the beautiful mirrors produced for the pub, they even signed them. The address is 208 High Holborn, Holborn WC1V 7BW.

The Cross Keys... one of the few pubs to serve beer from the microbrewery of the Sweet William Brewery sounds enough reason to visit this establishment. An interior full of authentic bric-a-brac and the feel of a real old London pub is thrown in for good measure. The address is 31 Endell Street, Covent Garden WC2H 9BA.

Lamb and Flag... one of the few remaining timber framed buildings in London, at one time the pub had the apt name 'The Bucket of Blood', reflecting the prizefighting that took place in the adjacent Lazenby Court. The address is 33 Rose Street, Covent Garden WC2E 9EB.

The Porterhouse... strangely, we end up in one of the area's superpubs, so no great age to this one. But three things making this pub special; although the interior is huge there's lots of levels and spaces to find an quiet alcove, it has an award winning interior where there's great attention to detail and huge amounts of copper, but most of all it has a huge collection of bottled beer from the Porterhouse brewery in Dublin, but also from around the world. Good place to end up and have tea. The address is 21-22 Maiden Lane, Covent Garden WC2E 7NA.

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