Old Kings Head, EC2

Here is the Old Kings Head, 28 Holywell Row, EC2A 4JB: ” a family-run retreat from the stresses of everyday life in the proximity of the almighty Silicon Roundabout” [oldkingshead.london]

The Old Kings Head, Shoreditch 26 November 2022 in Sketchbook 12

“Enjoy great beers, ales, spirits and, if you must, soft drinks in the friendliest, happiest, most traditional, greentiletastic and fantastically the least expensive pub in the area” continues their website.

I love “greentiletastic“. The green tiles are indeed fantastic: I have tried to show them in my drawing.

This pub is in a network of tiny streets running at all sorts of unexpected angles. As I sketched, I saw, more than once, an expensively dressed person trailing a carry-on size suitcase, picking their way over the broken paving stones and patched up tarmac, in unsuitable shoes. Usually they were a woman. Ill-advisedly, they were loosely holding their mobile phone and consulting it, while walking. I could not work out where these people were going, or where they came from. Evidently no-one had warned them of the possibility of mobile phone snatches. I wondered if I should do so. But while the thought crossed my mind, the person drifted on, towards Old Street, bearing a dreamy mystified expression, as though these piebald buildings did not quite correspond to the mental image they had of their destination, or, more likely, the street pattern did not correspond to the image on their mobile phone. They saw neither me, nor the pub, but seemed to exist in another reality.

This pub is old. According to “pubhistory.com” the earliest landlord was “James Taylor, victualler” in 1792. This is from insurance records in the Guildhall Library.

It sounds like a great pub.

I drew it standing outside the restaurant “Padella”, next to a narrow alley called “New North Place”. New North Place is the opposite of new, but it does go North. To my total astonishment, a huge lorry emerged from this tiny alley, and blocked my view. This is a common hazard sketching in London. It soon moved on though. I was impressed that the driver had ventured into the alley.

Sketchbook 12

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