A few mates of mine call this place 'The Vampire Pub' so I had to go see what it was about.
Came here last week for a lunch time pint (on a Monday *gasp*), and understood why they've given it their affectionate name.
Its an underground place, right next door to All Bar One
The gargoyle in the stairs starts the decor off nicely and the remainder is interesting: gothic and eerie!
It was quiet at the time, but I've been told this place is quite busy at night and 'quite nuts' at Halloween (though I think the guy was referring to the corset-and-black make-up clad barmaids!
I shall be returning (it is Monday after all ;)
The last of the Eerie Pubs chain in London, where there once were four (Bell, Brook and Candle - St Paul's, Marlborough Head - Marble Arch and Ben Crouch's Tavern - Fitzrovia) there's now just one. London Stone on Cannon St.
Just an open doorway in the street with a 'London Stone' sign above it, one descends a staircase and turns a corner before finding themselves in a one-room faux-Gothic tavern. From personal experience from some of the other formally mentioned deceased Eerie Pubs there does tend to be more than a few gothically dressed groups in the mix and the music played largely befitted these hard rock and heavy metal custodians. However, given the area this pub is in the clientele favour suits and the occasional trendy t-shirt and to play safe, the selected choice of music is whatever may be in the charts.
Now, there's nothing wrong - in principal - with ladies and gents wearing suits or listening to chart music but this has forced an identity crisis on the London Stone. Where many had previously found solace inside Ben Crouch's or the Marlborough Head this place is purely a theme pub, a bit of a laugh. The Eerie Pubs provided drinking establishments with some soul for it's punters but the London Stone is just another pub, ten-a-penny.
But on the other hand, it's quite fun to sit and drink in a Gothic-themed pub. So, swings and roundabouts.
Unfortunately, the beer choice is pretty standard and some of those are a bit flat or just watered down. They do offer food though, which is OK - it fills a hole. The prices are quite average and I like that the toilets are disguised as a bookcase - an aspect that confuses many.
I found this place completely by accident when playing with Google Maps.
I was zooming in, zooming out, switching to Satellite, clicking on the tube stations, looking up directions, all a little too quickly for my work computer and KAPOW... it had crashed.
20 painful seconds later, Google Maps has come round to its senses and I'm clicked on this pub. Reviews inform me (from less favarouable London review sites I might add) there is a gothic, eerie themed pub just in the City. Huh? I figured we would be walking past just later that evening and so it'd be rude not to stop in for a pint.
It's a basement bar. Walking down the stairs, past a mean looking Yoda-resembling-gargoyle, you come across a little cavern with a bar in it. One room, one bar, lots of nooks and crannies and a really strange mix of people. Token gothic decoration and a loopy barmaid.
It's fun enough in here, I liked it. My favourite bit is that you enter the Gents loos through a secret bookcase.
The London Stone is a fantastic gothic-themed bar owned by the Eerie Chain. This bar chain used to own bars throughout London, including one in Bond Street, but the other bars have now closed down with only the London Stone remaining.
The faux-gothic decor is fantastic, with chemistry items and stone gargoyles making the bar look like something out of a Frankenstein movie. However, while all the decor is fantastic it's the toilets that get the most attention - both the female and the male toilets are hidden somewhere in the fake bookshelf that makes up the back wall and finding them after a few happy hour cocktails isn't always easy!
Happy Hour at this bar is from 4-7pm and if you can get there before the clock chimes 7pm then you can get 2 cocktails for £7. The cocktails here are also themed and although they're nothing beyond your standard pub cocktail naming them after the Seven Deadly sins is a nice touch. Likewise the shots are named after the Heavenly Virtues.
Unlike most gothic bars, London Stone doesn't insist on playing loud gothic music, which makes it the perfect place to catch up with your friends over a quiet drink. The prices are extremely reasonable for this part of London and more offers can be found by signing up to their website before you visit the bar. We didn't eat anything on my visit, so I couldn't comment on the food, but they do have a kitchen which is open until 7.30pm on weeknights.
Owned by the Eerie pub company London Stone is named after the actual London Stone (Which I think has been moved to the Natural History Museum as I couldn't find it last time I was there). We have gargoyles and cocktails named after the seven deadly sins.
I love the bar, its cute and faux gothic and appeals to my asthetic side.
One of London most ancient monuments.
Come out of Cannon Street Station, cross the road, turn right and walk eastwards a little. If walking it is about 10 minutes from St Paul's Cathedral and the 'Ray of Light' Millennium footbridge, which leads to the Tate Modern. The Bank is number 111, two buildings away from the London Stone Pub and next to St Swithins Lane (where the road dip indicates the route of the old Walbrook river).
The Stone is set low down into the wall and protected by glass and an iron grille, which is lighted up and reveals a small, blackened, damaged and seemingly insignificant piece of a type of limestone called oolite. This is known to be only a fragment of the original Stone. Most of it is black with city grime although some exposed clean sections indicate damage to the original surface. There are no markings on the Stone but there are two grooves on the top.
'So long as the stone of Brutus is safe, so long shall London flourish'
- ancient proverb
One of many legends is that Brutus the Trojan, or Brutus of Troy, founded London, around 1070 BC, about 1000 years before the Roman invasion. Following the destruction of the city of Troy, the inhabitants set off to find new lands. Brutus, a Trojan prince, is said to have been guided to the triangular white island of Albion by the goddess Diana. After sailing up the Thames he first had to fight a race of giants, led by Gog and Magog. The city he established was called 'Troia Newydd' (New Troy) which later became 'Trinovantum'. The people who came with him were 'Britons'. Brutus put his palace on the site where the Guildhall is today and a temple in honour of Diana, the goddess who had guided him, on the hill site where St Paul's is. It has been claimed that the London Stone is the altar piece from this temple. Brutus is supposed to have been buried at the other sacred hill site, now known as Tower Hill and there are statues of Gog and Magog at the Guildhall.
There's even a legend that claims it to be the same stone from which King Arthur pulled Excalibur, (although there are several places in Britain that make the same claim). Certainly it seems that this particular area of London has long been significant. In 1840, excavations to build sewers at Bush Lane, next to Cannon Street Station uncovered ancient remains of large walls belonging to a pre-Roman building, which was perhaps some kind of palace.
The most generally accepted theory is that the London Stone was placed sometime during the Roman creation of the walled city. This area was established at the highest point where the Thames could be crossed, around the year 50 AD.
Perhaps, once established, London, as with all other chief Roman towns, needed a central mark point. A Roman mile consisted of 1000 paces of 5-foot each, making it a little less than a mile today. Road builders would place an inscribed milestone or milliaria to work out distances, provide a reference point and give some useful information for travellers. There are written records of the existence of these stones along routes such as the one from Italy to Spain and some have been preserved. However, in order for this system to work properly a single reference point was needed. Augustus ordered a central stone set up in 20 BC and placed it in the Forum in Rome known as the Milliarium Aureum or Golden Milestone. It marked the starting point for measurement of the Roman highways. Constantine set another up in Byzantium. The indication is therefore that a chief city in each province of the Roman Empire needed a golden milestone and perhaps the London Stone is the remains of one.
The milestone explanation remains the most common reason given for the existence of the London Stone although one fact seems to contradict this. Despite a huge amount of evidence, including a Roman boundary stone now embedded in the ground of St Margaret's churchyard in Westminster, there are no written Roman references to the London Stone, this presumably important landmark
The first known reference to the Stone is in a book belonging to Athelstan, (Ethelstone) King of the West Saxons in the early 10th Century. In the list of lands and rents some places are described as being 'near unto London stone'.
Over the years the London Stone became the traditional place to pass laws, make proclamations, reclaim debts and swear oaths.
The London Stone therefore was a well-known landmark for many hundreds of years. It stood for all that time in the middle of Cannon Street. This location had it directly on what some claim is the powerful ley line from the ancient sites now occupied by St Paul's and the Tower. However, by the mid 18th Century it was decided to widen the road so that it could cope with the increasing traffic passing through. The London Stone was already obstructing movement of the carriages and carts so in 1742 the decision was made to move it to the north side of the street and place it on the pavement against the
Interesting pub, decent bar food and good beer. Odd clientele.
One of my favourite themed pubs in London. Its part of the Eerie chain and so has their usual decor: Gothic, Gargoyles and antique chemistry items. Chips are served in coffin shaped dishes, shots in test tubes and cocktails are each of the seven deadly sins!. Trying to find the ladies is fun...part of a fake bookshelf can be pushed to locate them! They used to play scary screams into the cubicles but last time I went they didn't - maybe it was broken or people were too scared to go! A mixture of open tables, stools and booths are available. They do special events for Halloween so this is probably the best time to visit, but I like to go here for a drink with small groups of friends after work..its located on Canon Street but its underground so feels a million miles away from the busy station. A must visit if you are in the area.
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