Sunday 18 January 2009

A pub in which to put pen to paper?

The next pub in my sightline is the Sir Richard Steele on Haverstock Hill - I reckon this is one of the most fashionable Belsize pubs and has real charm and character.

But I haven't gone down the route yet of working out what he wrote and reading and appreciating so whilst this a pub that thrives on the atmosphere of the bohemian and the writer I'm not sure the allusion to Sir Richard Steele was intended.
Richard Steele himself was quite a character and has extensive records available on him:

I have previously written on the Kit Cat Club which Sir Richard Steele was a leading member of...

But this pub location is largely rooted in the former house that stood nearby that Richard Steele lived in - it is described as a cottage but I have a sense that that is cottage in the sense of pretty grand place for 18th century england...

This was demolished in 1867 and now we have Steele's Road, Steele's Mews and Steele's Studios.

Time Out is pretty colourful on the pub today:

Sir Richard Steele

"This old boozer oozes battered character: hand-painted Sistine-esque friezes, dripping candles and weird papier-mâché oddities hanging from the ceiling. Suffice to say it's the antithesis of the Hill (see above) across the road. There's real ale - Flowers IPA, Spitfire et al - on tap and a great Sunday roast, as well as the now standard pub Thai food. And since some of the less salubrious locals have been turfed out, the vibe has improved no end. Expect everyone from quietly loaded Belsize Parkers cosying up in the snugs to pint-downing students in the beer garden preparing for a night out in Camden. "
Time Out Bars, Pubs & Clubs Guide 2008/9

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure I like the description of the Sir Richard Steeles by Time Out..."less salubrious locals turfed out"

It was these less salubrious characters that made Steeles the fun place to hang out a few years ago. How could the well healed middle classes and pimply students bring any atmosphere to a pub?
When Jim Magrath was running the pub a few years back we would see blues bands playing and Sunday afternoon string quartets.
All sorts of interesting, offbeat nutters would be propping up the bar and the conversation was ultra stimulating.
Not any more, I fear!
Des Brittain.