Bohemian Haunts: From Poetry and Art to Music and Drama, the London Pubs Serving Up a Cultural Cocktail

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PINT AND A PLAY The Kings Head 115 Upper Street, N1 (0844 412 2953, The most treasured of Islingtons many good theatrepubs, it counts among its patrons Joanna Lumley, Tom Stoppard (right) and newMayor Boris Johnson. Its been producing shows for more than 35 years, andtransferred 37 to the West End, more than any other pub of its kind. Theprogramme changes weekly, so check out the website.

White Bear Theatre 138 Kennington Park Road, SE11 (0207 793 9193, Focusing on both new writing and lost classics,this is a good place to spot rising talent. Emily Watson, Lucinda Coxon andKwami Kwei Armah have appeared here. The bizarre tale of The Cabinet of DoctorCaligari runs until Sunday.

POETRY PUBS The Troubadour 263-267 Old Brompton Road, SW5 (0207 370 1434, Official poetry evenings are held in this eccentricboozer once a month in the club downstairs, with occasional impromptu readings.Prices for food and drink are low for this part of town, a house bottle of winecosts [pounds sterling]12.50.

Spaniards Inn Spaniards Road, NW3 (0207 731 6571) The reputed birthplace ofhighwayman Dick Turpin, the Spaniards Inn has in fact served some notoriouspoetsincluding Byron, Shelley and John Keats, who is said to have composed Ode to aNightingale in the garden. The lyrical tradition continues with poetry readingsevery Tuesday evening.

THE FAME FACTOR Bumpkin 209 Westbourne Park Road, W11 (0207 243 9818, This gastropubs sales line is for city folk who like alittle country living. Those who have flocked here for the rustic interior andhearty food include Orlando Bloom and Stella McCartney.

Punch Bowl 41 Farm Street, W1 (0207 493 6841) Earlier this year, it wasreported that Madonna and Guy Ritchie (below) had forked out several million tobuy this Mayfair haunt. Madonnas publicist insisted otherwise but did admitthat the pair often drop by for a drink, possibly for a pint of bitter, asMadge is a fan of Timothy Taylor.

LIVE MUSIC VENUES The Bull and Gate 389 Kentish Town, NW5 (0207 093 4820, Once a laundrette and snooker hall. …


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