In the village where I now live there are half a dozen pubs which works out at about one for every 500 people. I never go out because by the time I’m home I stay indoors with wife, family and Masterchef. But even though I ‘do my drinking’ (and could there be a more English phrase?) in London I can tell who the boozers are aimed at from the quiet one with a limited menu and one door for public bar, one for saloon to the other with dart board, pool and karaoke visible via the gastro which wants you to know more about its menus than its beers. Pubs, and the stories and people they contain, are, to me, endlessly fascinating.
I mention this only because I happened to be wandering round Somers Town, which is an area between Euston and Marylebone that nobody is ever going to get around to gentrifying even though at its edge it touches on the balmy real estate on the circle of Regent’s Park and was noting the differing places for folk to spend their money on alcohol. And then, having done that, I picked up my copy of Christopher Fowler’s Red Gloves and the two stories were about just that – set in Somers Town and the stories of peoples and pubs. I’ll have more to say about Mr Fowler later.
For now though, I leave you with The Sovereign. The sign might say the nineteenth century but even if it’s genuine it’s the only thing that dates from there. The pub is fixed to a parade that only a hoodie could love and it’s a fair bet that few irregulars ever venture in – or that if they do they probably don’t venture back out.