Hailed as being one of the City of London’s most beautiful boozers, The Viaduct Tavern is one of the last standing examples of a former Victorian Gin Palace. Elaborately fitted with dark mahogany décor, this pub has Renaissance-style art adorning its walls and exquisitely ornate ceilings. This watering hole is also touted as being “the most haunted pub in London.” A highlight of ghost walking tours, The Viaduct is rather ominously situated opposite the infamous Old Bailey courthouse, a place where between 1730 and 1837, 9,481 men, women and children were sentenced to death for minor property offences such as stealing a handkerchief or a sheep. Thousands of hangings took place across the street where a fountain now stands.
Perhaps London’s most opulent Victorian-era pub with its magnificent marble bar, richly upholstered semicircular banquettes, carved mahogany, Art Nouveau light fittings, and etched and polished glass, this infamous Victorian drinking hole on St Martin’s Lane in Covent Garden’s theater district takes its name from the Marquess of Salisbury, a three times Prime Minister between the years 1885 and 1902. His likeness adorns the pub’s sign. From Oscar Wilde’s time up until the mid-1980s, the Salisbury was well-known as a gay-friendly pub. The place can become crowded before curtain-up at the nearby theaters. There’s no denying this pub’s exalted atmosphere and palpable ghosts of thespians’ past vibe. Not surprisingly, this ornate venue has been featured in several films.
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