The term ‘falling off the wagon’ can be traced back to this historic tavern, once a staging post midway between Newgate prison & the gallows at Marble Arch. It was here that condemned criminals were allowed down from the tumbrel to have ‘one for the road’, their last sup of ale before their appointment with the noose. These days, ‘hanging out’ is a less gory affair & this pleasingly refurbished ramble of dark saloons with its patterned tiles & damson/gold wallpapers is just the ticket in St Giles. Owner Samuel Smith’s, whose reasonably priced Yorkshire brews are on display, eschews visual & aural techno-mayhem in favour of darts & chess sets, plus unpretentious wines, populist pub grub & a patio for that ‘one for the road’ ciggie & a sneaky half.
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