Fitzroy Tavern, Fitzrovia

16A Charlotte Street
020 7580 3714

The Fitzroy became one of the few pubs to have given its name to an entire district when MP and journalist Tom Driberg coined the term Fitzrovia in the 1940s. Choosing the pub name for the area was no accident because by that time it was famous as the haunt of London’s bohemian community which included artists, writers, politicians and comedians.

It’s a long list but the more notable regulars included artist Augustus John, the ‘Queen of Bohemia’ Nina Hamnett, writers George Orwell, Dylan Thomas and Lawrence Durrell, and comedians Tommy Cooper and Kenneth Williams. The entry in What Pub includes a long and detailed history of the pub and its regulars.

The red-brick Fitzroy was built as a coffee house with dwellings above in 1883 in what was then one of London’s main German areas (photos 1 & 4). In 1897 it was lavishly remodelled by prolific pub architect W.M. Brutton although most of the ornate Victorian fittings were removed in 20th century makeovers. In the 1960s the iconic Post Office Tower (now the BT Tower) was built just along the road and was the tallest building in the UK for a number of years (photo 1).

In 2016 the pub was completely and expensively refurbished by Samuel Smiths Brewery in their now familiar style. They have recreated the Victorian glory days with cut glass windows (photo 2), wood panelling, and a lovely mosaic tiled entrance floor (photo 3). It serves two Sam Smiths cask ales and all their bottled beers, and food is served all day.

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