The Ship Tavern

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Venue name: The Ship Tavern
Address: 12 Gate St
Transport: Tube: Holborn
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Average User Rating

4 / 5

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London Aficionado

I came across a review of The Ship Tavern in which the reviewer remarked “It really felt as if you were in a real ship’s tavern!”. Am I missing something? 16th century ships had taverns?? That question aside, this atmospheric little place does have a very nautical feel about it, as you might expect. Tucked away at the end of a narrow alleyway leading into Gate Street, Holborn, The Ship Tavern was established in 1549 and the current building dates from 1923. This used to be one of my work locals and I’ve supped many a beer here. It’s not a huge place, so arrive early in the evening to ensure getting a seat inside. There is a cosy lounge area at one end of the pub and a number of panelled seating enclosures running the remaining length of the ground floor. As you might expect in a pub claiming Tudor heritage, there’s lots of wood panelling, a wooden floor, decorative plaster ceiling, all of which is complemented with nautical references in framed pictures of various shapes and sizes that are dotted around the walls. Food can be ordered at the bar, including all the usual British staples; fish and chips, sausage and mash, various pies etc. There is also a dining room on the first floor (the Oak Room), which serves all the aforementioned and a good deal more, and is especially nice in the colder months when the real open fire is blazing away. Expect the pub to be busy though, particularly when it gets too cold to drink outside. There’s even a ‘1549’ ale on tap (and it ain’t bad!).