If you are planning on coming to London, check out this creative guide.

February 10, 2017
Good Areas for Creative Pubs in London. 

1.  CHISWICK, LONDON, W4.
Chiswick (Listeni/ˈtʃɪzᵻk/ chiz-ick) is a district of West London, England. 

Chiswick, or ‘leafy  Chiswick’ as it seems to be known colloquially throughout London, is an interesting area for many reasons. Not least of which is the fact the London League of Irish Writers was established here in the 20th Century. This may have had something to do with the fact W.B. Yeats made his home here, as did the poet Alexander Pope, the Italian revolutionary Ugo Foscolo, the Impressionist painter Camille Pissarro and the novelist E. M. Forster.  I’m thinking of starting an Irish Writers Festival next year, as it happens.  Just because I can..! 
Chiswick was first recorded around the year 1000 as the Old English Ceswican meaning 'Cheese Farm.’  The riverside area of Duke’s Meadows is thought to have supported an annual cheese fair up until the 18th century.  Today there are numerous arts-realted festivals in Chiswick, but sadly, no Cheese fair.

Chiswick grew up as a village around St Nicholas Church (pictured) from c. 1181 on Church Street.  The street and the church are, thankfully, still here.  Chiswick’s early inhabitants practised farming, fishing and other riverside trades, including a ferry - very important as there were no bridges between London Bridge and Kingston throughout the Middle Ages.  The area included three other small settlements; the fishing village of Strand-on-the-Green, Little Sutton and Turnham Green on the west road out of London. Two of the three are still known today.  (Clue: Little Sutton is not!)
A decisive skirmish took place on Turnham Green early in the English Civil War. In November 1642, royalist forces under Prince Rupert, marching from Oxford to retake London, were halted by a larger parliamentarian force under the Earl of Essex. The royalists retreated and never again threatened the capital.  And today, Chiswick has the lovely Turnham Green Terrace, a delightful and often award-winning collection of local, small, craft and - of course - corporate shops.  I strongly recommend you visit the Oxfam charity shop if you have any interest in old books.  I bought a second edition copy of a Walter Sickert biog for two quid!  And the staff are the usual Oxfam volunteer friendly.

Chiswick also contains Hogarth’s House, the former residence of the 18th-century English artist William Hogarth; Chiswick House, a neo-Palladian villa regarded as one of the finest in England; and Fuller’s Brewery, London’s largest and oldest brewery. The brewery run regular tours too.  Not as exciting as our Literary Pub Crawl, of course, but its well worth doing if you have any interest in how our beer is made!  

Chiswick occupies a meander of the River Thames used for competitive and recreational rowing, with several rowing clubs on the river bank. The finishing post for the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race is just downstream of Chiswick Bridge.  I’ve always been an Oxford - dark blue - supporter.  Not that I went anywhere near Oxbridge on my council estate, housing project, secondary modern school, of course - but we had a family holiday there one year.  And I’d never been to Cambridge.  

With good communications to London from an early time, Chiswick became a popular country retreat.  As part of the suburban growth of London in the late 19th and early 20th centuries the population significantly expanded. It became the Municipal Borough of Brentford and Chiswick in 1932 and has formed part of Greater London since 1965, when it was merged into the London Borough of Hounslow.

This stuff is important if you are not familiar with Chiswick.  More importantly, perhaps, it still feels a bit like a village; indeed some of the older locals still refer to the main shopping area along its High Road as “the village.”  

It’s also the home to many film stars and celebrities and house prices reflect this.  But it still has some good bo-ho enclaves, as you will discover if you stick with me!  And if you are nursing a pint, need to write or feel like a creative fight, Chiswick’s sheer gentility is more honest and creative than the arguably now false artifice of East London.  It’s no coincidence, I think, that media private members club, Soho House, opened their Chiswick branch, High Road House at almost the same time as they expanded east to Shoreditch. Unlike many other parts of this great city, there are very few bohemian 'tourists’ in Chiswick.  It’s posh, but not posey.   If someone looks bohemian in Chiswick, chances are they are.  It’s got no international showbizz reputation, which is why, perhaps, so many international showbizz people live here.  And it has one of the lowest crime-rates in the city.  If you can survive the extortionate rents, it’s a great place to create.  And Soho’s poseurs (and now equally eye-watering rents) are only 30 minutes away!

 

The first of the Pub Reviews... We start in West London.

February 7, 2017

The Cross Keys, Hammersmith.


This is a bit of a strange one for us commando writers, but actually the Cross Keys is possibly one of the most ‘local’ pubs in West London (that I’ve been to, obs!) in spite of being surrounded by the millionaire dwellings of St Peters Square.  

In spite of being a ‘corporate’ (Fullers) pub it reflects its area completely though.  This small part of Hammersmith is perhaps remarkable for being hugely creative yet completely unknown.  All the external shots...


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The real Dylan Thomas?

January 29, 2017

It’s been great being involved with the new International Dylan Day. 14 May each year has been designated Dylan Day to mark the first time his play for voices ‘Under Milk Wood’ was performed in public in the USA. It’s a direct lift from Blooms Day, an annual event inspired by one of the lead characters in Ulysses, by James Joyce. We're going to celebrate it this year with an extra tour and extra Dylan content.  Book now for 13th May - the Saturday before the day.  We also have some id...


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David Bowie - another London star, in the tradition of Beethoven?

January 11, 2017

We're used to writers, artists and stars in London.  In the last few months, we've literally bumped into a Doctor Who, a Beatle, a Downton Abbey Lady and the most famous female author in the world!  We've also been asked not once, but twice, to provide a 'secret' performance tour for A-list Hollywood actors and their teams!
But Nick, our writer, remembers early days of Bowie in South London and we thought this might be of interest.  

It's by 
Andrew Frayn, a Lecturer in Twentieth Century Literat...


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A Modern Dickensian Celebration this Christmas

December 2, 2016
As you will know if you've been on the London Literary Pub Crawl, we are passionately enthusiastic about our unique bit of central London. Soho and Fitzrovia are arguably unique in the world. They are part city-centre, part artists enclave, part architectural delight and part hedonistic hot-spot.  




Fitzrovia, once known as East Marylebone or North Soho, is particularly attractive to us. One hundred yards from the busiest shopping street in the world I love the fact that some Saturday afternoon...

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About Us


Nick Hennegan Hello. I'm Nick Hennegan and I started the London Literary Pub Crawl. Most of the blogs on here will be by me. I've always written but my first theatrical success was an adaptation of Shakespeare's 'Henry V'. I founded Maverick Theatre in 1994. This pub crawl is really more a promenade theatre performance than a tour and I'm running it with a bunch of enthusiastic local actors and writers. I love sharing my passion for the area and the artists. I also present a radio show on Resonance 104.4fm - London's Arts Station. It's called 'Literary London' and is on Fridays at 7pm (and repeated Weds at 7am.) If you haven't visited us in London yet, I hope you'll come soon. And feel free to leave comments or email me at nick @ LondonLiteraryPubCrawl.com - I reply to them all and I love to hear from you.

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