Some places just have that certain something. The French have a phrase for it: ‘zat certain sumsing!’ Quirky spots you stumble upon and tell stories about. Lesser known marvels like bonkers bars, rickety restaurants or curious museums where the curator’s cats run wild. It’s not about price or prestige, no, no. It’s all charm and character. Places with personality. That’s a GLP, my friend. Come in and explore, then go out and explore.
London is our oyster (card) to explore and find places of merriment. One such place is the King's Head which you'll find on Upper Street. The quirky interior of photo covered walls and inviting easy chairs by the fire should be enough to tempt but it is what lurks in the back room that will keep you coming back. For as you step through the discreet black doors like a trip to Narnia minus the White Witch, an intimate theatre space unfolds in front of you. The doors close and the small assembled crowd takes their seats; emerging smiling and, let’s be fair, a little smug at their shared discovery.
On a site that’s history as a pub dates back to the 1500s, even mentioned within the pages of Samuel Pepys’ diaries, the space has previously been everything from a boxing ring to a pool hall and the photos show many a famous face has graced its stage. However, just because its presence is hidden to the casual passer by shouldn’t mean it remains so, after recently being rebranded as London’s Little Opera House, the theatre currently presents classic opera with new interpretations that have been known to spill out even into the pub itself. We went to see La Boheme, and it was bloody brilliant.
For a full bodied bottle of culture with a chaser of history, look no further. Rumour has it that King Henry VIII, a chap who had a certain reputation for his high standards, used to pop in on the way to visiting his mistress. So please don’t take just our word for it, this one has the royal stamp of approval.
By Tanith Heap.
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