Courage Best Bitter, Courage Directors, Wells Bombardier,
The diminutive Nell Gwynne is hiding up an alleyway just off the Strand. She's small, pretty as a picture and dressed in red, but then Nell never did hide her charms. Nell (Eleanor) is thought to have been born in the Covent Garden area in 1650 to 'lowly' parents. As a young teenager she sold fruit (and oranges) at the local theatre doors. She was lured into the theatre and became one of the periods first and best known actresses. Samuel Pepys called her 'pretty, witty Nell', so it may not have been just her acting that persuaded King Charles II to take her as his mistress.
This pub was built on or near the site of the Bull Inn which gives the alleyway its name. It's a busy little place, low lit and cosy, packed in early evening by local workers and theatre goers. A sign behind the bar says it's 'the friendliest free house in the west end'. Well, there's only one way to find out. The Nell Gwynne Tavern -
I visited this pub on a tuesday evening and stayed until close. The visit was most definitely a pleasant one with cheery people in all corners of the pub. The music played on the jukebox couldn't be faulted and neither could the staff and their politeness. I will be frequenting this pub a lot more from now on. I can safely say that out of all the historic pubs visited in London this one sits at the prestigious Number 1.
The Nell Gwynne Tavernoldpubgang,
So sad to see a pub in decline...used to be a favourite of ours but poor staff, filth and disrepair have ruined it! Have visited less and less frequently lately but popped in last night to give it one last go......it's the last time for sure now! Having the Jukebox switched off, bar stools stacked on the bar at 22:50 ........ well we got the message!