Rose Street wasn’t always the domain of puzzled tourists sipping pints of Bombardier. Squeezed between Garrick Street and the old Covent Garden market, this dog-leg alleyway was once the haunt of whores and bare-knuckle fighters, the latter hosted at this low-ceilinged tavern when it was called the Bucket of Blood (the poet Dryden was beaten up here in 1679). Today’s regulars are now honoured with a photo and a plaque; Robert ‘Bob’ Townley even has his flat cap framed.
Estrella and Peroni make welcome appearances as draught options, though most seem to stick to bottled Corona or Beck’s. Food comprises ploughman’s lunches and doorstep sandwiches; heartier meals (sausages, roasts) can be taken upstairs or in the back room.
Two centuries of mounted cuttings and caricatures amplify the sense of character and continuity, although not everyone gets to see them: space is always at a premium, hence the pavement cluster on summer nights.