Ye Olde Chesire Cheese, London

Ye Olde Chesire Cheese, London

Arguably one of London's most iconic public houses, Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese has been around since the days of Pepys and Wren. It has earned renown for its literary associations, having counted luminaries such as Samuel Johnson, G.K. Chesterton, Mark Twain, George Orwell, and Charles Dickens among its regular patrons at various points in history. Established in 1538, it stands as one of London's oldest pubs, rebuilt shortly after the Great Fire of 1666. Some sections of its lower cellars predate even these ancient origins.

The edifice once served as a monastery, resulting in a labyrinthine network of chambers, cellars, and tunnels beneath its surface. Above ground, the pub offers a wood-paneled dining room and a cozy bar, typically strewn with sawdust on the floor. Located on Fleet Street, a historic hub for Britain's major newspapers, 'the Cheese' has long been a favored retreat for weary journalists seeking sustenance.

Dickens had been known to frequent this place, and it is alluded to in his work "A Tale of Two Cities": following Charles Darnay's acquittal on charges of high treason, Sydney Carton invites him to dine, "drawing his arm through his own". Carton leads him to Fleet Street "up a covered way, into a tavern … where Charles Darnay was soon recruiting his strength with a good plain dinner and good wine".

Currently under the ownership of Sam Smith's Old Brewery, this pub provides an unmissable opportunity to immerse oneself in the historic watering-hole ambiance of London's past, following in the footsteps of literary giants (as well as many less celebrated imbibers). The ambiance is alluringly dim yet unexpectedly welcoming.

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Ye Olde Chesire Cheese on Map

Sight Name: Ye Olde Chesire Cheese
Sight Location: London, England (See walking tours in London)
Sight Type: Food/Drink
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

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