To be found in Rose Street, Covent Garden, great London pubs do not get more historic than this one. The very first mention of a pub on this site dates from 1772, when it was known as The Coopers Arms – the name changed to The Lamb & Flag in 1833. However the first building in this spot dates back to 1638. The building’s brickwork is circa 1958 and conceals what may be an early 18th century frame of the house, which in turn replaced the original 1638 structure.
The pub acquired a reputation in the early nineteenth century for staging bare-knuckle prize fights earning it the nickname ‘The Bucket of Blood, and the alleyway beside the pub was the scene of an attack on the poet John Dryden in 1679 by thugs hired by John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester, with whom he had a long-standing quarrel. Nowadays the pub is rather more friendly. There are no signs of the brawls but instead you enter a rather cramped, family-friendly bar that serves tourists a fine gravy-laden roast on Sundays. There is an excellent selection of beers.
The historic photographs of Charles Dickens, who is believed to have been a regular customer, are worth viewing, as is the diminutive staircase up to the loos, which may not be so easy to negotiate after a few drinks.
For further information go to www.lambandflagcoventgarden.co.uk
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