Half way down Lower Marsh sits Carriage 34. As you walk in, immediately you are transported back to a different era, its moody low lighting, chandeliers and simple yet slick wooden design has a real elegance and charm of the 1940′s.
This beautiful little place brings a touch of French flair to an otherwise unloved and rather bleak corner of London between Elephant and Castle and Kennington.
I was brought here on a date a not so long ago and I have to admit, I was very sceptical on the walk there but I couldn’t have been more wrong. We hadn’t thought to make a reservation, thinking that it wouldn’t be necessary but alas, the place was completely packed. This converted pub oozes French eccentricity and is wonderfully warm and cosy. Loving the atmosphere, we decided to set ourselves up in the bar and take advantage of the live jazz music on offer.
As soon as we walked into the shabby chic hidden east end bar, we knew that we’d found somewhere special.
We were greeted by bartenders in 1950s waistcoats as we entered the Mahogany Bar which was lit by candles and vintage lamps. Local art hung on the crumbling walls, with exposed beams and brickwork being a theme throughout the rooms. Wilton’s has been a music hall since the mid 19th century and still seems to exude that air of times past.
A delightful little pub, The Gladstone Arms is hidden down a side street next to Borough Station.
Small but perfectly formed, the Gladstone is exactly what a pub should be. It’s quintessentially old English, lit by candlelight and fairy lights and offers live music in the downstairs bar on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. On my date there was live jazz in the form of a pianist and double bass player which was the perfect addition to the relaxed atmosphere. If you’re not up for live music, then visit the mellow upstairs lounge and make use of the scrabble and chess games on offer.