This past spring, my dad, brother, brother-in-law and I got away to London for a mancation to see some football games and take in the city. It was my brother's first time visiting London and the rest of us were ready to break him into the British pub scene. Our hotel was near Regent's Park and we discovered The Ship pretty much by fate, meaning it was the closest pub that was open at the time.
The obvious nautical theme aside, The Ship is a very traditional pub with an old wood bar and shiny brass knobs everywhere. It appeared to be owned by an older couple and a young girl was also working at the bar, possibly the granddaughter? All were very nice and didn't mind that we were the token dumb Americans at the bar.
I'll always remember The Ship because I'm pretty sure we single handedly introduced a drink that nobody in the ENTIRE bar had ever heard of: the Irish Car Bomb. This perplexed me to no end. Isn't Ireland, like, 10 minutes from there? The young bartender and I had a 10 minute exchange that went something like this:
Me: OK, first you have to pour a shot with half Bailey's and half Jameson, then you pour...
Barmaid: (interrupting) Wait, what? In the same glass?? (attempts to pour two separate shots)
Me: No, pour those babies into the same crib. This is gonna be good, TRUST ME.
Barmaid: Ummmm...(looking at granddad for approval)..OK...This looks disgusting.
Me: Oh, and you're gonna do one with us, so make one more.
Barmaid: Ewwww! No way.
Me: Just do it, I swear you're gonna freak, it's so good.
(The Guinness is poured. Much haggling, describing, hand gesturing ensues.)
Barmaid: OMG, that was actually delicious! Did you just make that up?
Me: (say it, say it!) ...Yes I did.
I won't even describe how hard it was for them to figure out what to charge us. By that time I'm pretty sure they just wanted us to leave.
Found The Ship after leaving our hostel. Enticed in by the Bass beer in the saloon bar sign. Typical cosy British pub. Lots of brass and nautical memorabilia. Like The Titanic there was lots of sinking going on as in sinking pints of Doom Bar. But without any ice!!!!!
Good beer, good tunes, great bar staff and a sense of welcoming bonhomie that's lacking in so many Zone 1 pubs. I would go out of my way to have a pint at this place, and you should too.