Fit for a Queen: Ye Olde Mitre
The lowdown: Founded in 1546, Ye Olde Mitre is not only one of the capital’s oldest boozers, but it’s home to the most famous wedding guest gossip in the whole of London, possibly even the world. It was here, in the courtyard outside the wood-panelled pub, on the eve of her father Henry VIII’s wedding, Queen Elizabeth I is said to have danced around a cherry tree with her court favourite, Sir Christopher Hatton. Almost impossible to find, tucked between numbers eight and nine down a nondescript alley in Hatton Garden, Ye Olde Mitre is a traditional London pub, with the exception of a certain famous preserved cherry tree sitting in one of its dark corners.
Nearest Tube: Chancery Lane
The tavern is sandwiched between the supposed sites of the Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Sweeney Todd’s barber and his mistress Mrs Lovett’s pie shop.
Perfect for pirates: The Prospect of Whitby
The lowdown: Located in Wapping, The Prospect of Whitby occupies a choice spot on the River Thames, and attracts a mixed crowd of in-the-know locals and travellers, who come to enjoy the views from its terrace. Back in the day it was frequented by sailors, pirates and smugglers, the latter of which used the pub as a base from which to conduct their dodgy dealings. During the 17th century, hangings ordered by the notoriously punitive Judge Jeffreys, were conducted nearby in view of the pub, and today a noose still stands outside to mark this dark past. It’s believed that JMW Turner used to paint here too, while the diarist Samuel Pepys was also a regular.
Nearest Tube: Wapping