Ship & Shovell

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Charing Cross

At facing sides of the southern end of the arches, these two nautically themed pubs sharing the same title have historians tied up in knots. Are they named after the coal-heavers who also frequented the nearby Coal Hole, or are they named after the unfortunate Sir Cloudesley Shovell, who received a knighthood despite losing his fleet off the Isles of Scilly in 1707?

In any case, both have a maritime theme and, as befits a brewery (Hall & Woodhouse) also founded in the 18th century, both offer ales and pub grub in a trad setting. Those ales include Badger First Gold, Tanglefoot and Hopping Hare (alongside mainstream lagers).

Foodwise, superior baguettes, lamb shank and Florentine gnocchi are consumed with gusto by white-collar lunch-breakers. Later, those in the pedestrianised space outside mingle by the queue for gay superclub Heaven.

Venue name: Ship & Shovell
Address: 1-3 Craven Passage
Opening hours: Open 11am-11pm Mon-Sat. Food served noon-3.30pm Mon-Fri; noon-4pm Sat
Transport: Tube: Charing Cross tube/rail
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