A historic pub interior of national importance
Listed Status: II*10 Half Moon Lane
Although much opened-up, you still get a good sense of how the exuberant interior here was divided into many separate rooms, rather than the three which remain. Some panelling and the original bar back survive but the main reason to visit is the 'snug bar'. This has six lovely back-painted mirrors depicting birds in watery surrounds. Screens with etched, cut and coloured glass are also delightful and the iron columns are impressively hefty.
A tremendously exuberant piece of pub architecture with some marvellous fittings to match. The architect was J. W. Brooker and the building went up in 1896. There is a good sense of how the pub was originally divided up into separate rooms. In this case they have been reduced to three. A couple of them are named in the external glazing (which looks like a replacement in the 1930s), which also offers the blandishments of luncheons, snooker and billiards. The rooms are arranged around an L-shaped servery where the panelled counter and excellent bar-back survive. So does the panelling in the public bar.
But the biggest reason for making a trip here is the ‘snug bar’, tucked away at the back on the left. This has no fewer than six lovely back-painted mirrors depicting a variety of birds in watery surroundings. Two small labels helpfully inform us that they are the work of ‘W. Gibbs & Sons glass decorators’ of Blackfriars. In this room there is also a screen to the servery – but what a shame the snob screens have been removed from it. Two other screens have etched, cut and coloured glass with pretty lozenges depicting barley, hops and foliage. Four hefty iron columns with Corinthian-style capitals run down the ground floor making sure the upper floors stay where they are.
On the 7th August 2013 the pub suffered serious damage from flooding following a local burst water main and was closed for a lengthy period for repair, during which its future seemed uncertain. It was eventually leased by Fuller's with an initially planned summer 2016 reopening but this did not take place until 18 March 2017 after a major refurbishment. There is now a strong emphasis on food and the former billiard room (used in recent times for music events) is now a restaurant. The fixed seating is all from the refurbishment. 12 letting bedrooms have been added.