Roger Protz raises a glass to the London pub that was named after a philanthropist, and pours cold water on a London station
The Lamb on Lamb’s Conduit Street, London WC1, is a superb Victorian pub, with seats on the pavement and a blaze of hanging baskets in season. It is famous for its “snob screens” – revolving cut-glass partitions above the central horseshoe bar. This device was introduced in the 19th century, when pubs had saloon and public bars, to prevent the “lower orders” seeing who was drinking in the saloon, often gentlemen with ladies to whom they were not married. The pub is decorated with a vast array of photos of stars of the Victorian and Edwardian music hall. And it sells Young’s sublime beers.
The downside of a few beers in the Lamb is the return trip to St Albans from the horrors of King’s Cross Thameslink Station. Cramped, ugly, with limited seating, partly open to the skies so that passengers can be rained or snowed upon or dive-bombed by incontinent pigeons, this hellhole is a public disgrace.
Roger Protz is editor of the Good Beer Guide 2006, available from CAMRA, £13.99