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.
Wilton’s Music Hall. Sweet lady Wilton’s. Quite possibly London’s greatest little place, and we don’t say that lightly. Built in 1858, Wilton’s is really a giant ‘pub hall’. The pub predates the hall – having been built in 1725 – and sat at the front within what looks like 5 unsuspecting terraced houses. It was originally known as the Prince of Denmark, then intermittently (and now) known as The Mahogany Bar. John Wilton had the music hall built out the back, and its story has been a chequered one of dereliction and discovery ever since.
Having survived blitzes, being used as a church and a rag sorting depot, now things are on the up as it’s been returned to its original use as a home for entertainment – but they’re not there yet. There remains a crumbling glory to the place as its owners, the Wilton’s Trust, are hard at work getting it back to full health – and doing an amazing job at it.
But it’s precisely this weary and worn demeanour that gives this Grand Music Hall its charm; it truly is an incredible space and if you make it your goal to go to one new/old place in London, we’d recommend here. The music hall space is utterly stunning – a deeply atmospheric spot with a gallery that overlooks the main floor of the hall, held up by iron barley twisted columns and surrounded by faded murals. A stage at one end has played host to singers, music video shoots, entertainers extraordinaire, and most recently its fair share of table tennis tournaments.
Everything you do, every drink you buy, show you see, person you tell about Wilton’s, goes to saving this beautiful old building and they are very grateful for it. This place is a must.
Have you been here? Then be a champion and give it a rating. No set numbers, just go by your razor sharp instincts. What's this about?
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