The Blackfriar, whilst not the oldest of pubs it is pretty unique as far as London’s historic pubs goes.
The flat iron shape of this his grade II listed building is impressive, but what’s inside is even more so.
Built in 1875 on the site of a Dominican friary that existed here from the 1200’s. It was was transformed into an art nouveau experience in 1905 . The decor was designed by architect H. Fuller-Clark and artist Henry Poole, both committed to the free-thinking of the Arts and Crafts Movement.
Depictions of jolly friars drinking and feasting appear everywhere in the pub in the copper, plaster and marble sculptures, mosaics and reliefs, a contrary commemoration of what lay on this spot before.
You’ll see from the outside it looks quite out of place between the modern and semi modern buildings that surround it. The pub was almost demolished when the area was redeveloped in the 60’s, but was saved by poet John Betjeman (who also saved the beautiful St Pancras Station from demolition).
Inside the pub you’ll be pre-occupied with the elaborate decor of the walls and ceilings, a cross between a wine cellar and a cathedral, but you definitely won’t be disappointed.
In the summer is has pleasant make shift beer garden out the front (albeit on the main road, this doesn’t seem to put off punters). If you want to visit a unique historic pub in London then this one must go on your to -do list.
Dates from 1875
174 Queen Victoria St,