A historic pub interior of national importance
Listed Status: II93 Warrington Crescent
This is one of London’s most opulent pubs, built 1857 but magnificently refitted later, probably in the 1890s. The glorious faience-covered columns to the entrance porch and the huge mosaic floor bearing the name of the pub give a foretaste of the riches within. The main room (right) is spectacular. It has a grey marble-topped counter with prominent pilasters and lozenge decoration. Grey marble also appears in the arcade columns marching across the room, the fireplace behind and two small, bulgy supports to the bar back.
There is a generously scaled staircase to the first-floor restaurant. Some of the windows have lively stained glass, that at the rear with Art Nouveau touches which surely cannot be before the mid-1890s. Over the servery is a semi-circular canopy, decorated with Art Nouveau-style paintings of semi-naked ladies. More such paintings appear on the back wall (signed ‘Colin Beswick 65’) and side wall. They derive the salacious, widely-purveyed tale that this place was a brothel. No doubt illicit close encounters took place here, but any pub openly acting as a brothel would very quickly have had its licence withdrawn by the licensing magistrates.
The left-hand room was once clearly divided with the lowest status part having simple matchboard wall panelling and an ornate, much decayed, mirror advertising Bass Pale Ale. The main entrance has an odd arrangement as it leads directly into a small space which always seems to have had direct communication through a screen to the grand lounge. Did it have a real function or was it just a kind of ante-room to the great main room and where hotel guests might have checked in?
One of the most opulent London pubs, this spacious, stucco-fronted hotel was built in 1858. It was given a major update later in the century, probably in the 1890s, and the glorious tiled columns to the entrance porch and a huge mosaic floor bearing the name of the pub give some idea of the richness that lies on the other side of the doors.
The main room is on the right and has a grey marble-topped counter with unusual, bulgy pilasters and lozenge decoration. Grey marble also appears in the columns of a three-bay arcade which marches across the right-hand side of the room, embracing the generously scaled staircase to what is now the upstairs restaurant. Some of the windows have lively stained glass, while over the servery is a semi-circular canopy, decorated with Art Nouveau-style paintings of naked ladies. More such paintings, with the signature Colin Beswick 1965, appear on the back wall and are meant to evoke the unlikely story that has grown up that this was once a brothel.
The left-hand room was once clearly divided into three as the patterning in the ceiling shows. The lowest status part has matchboard wall panelling and an ornate, much decayed mirror advertising Bass pale ale. Other things to note are the attractive and unusual high-level chequerwork glazed screens, the skylight over the first-floor landing and the deep, decorative cornices on the first floor. Don't miss the Prince Alfred nearby.