This is the third in a series about my three-day jaunt to London in November. Read about my arrival, hotel and first evening here, and my first day of Kensington Gardens, shopping and Tate Modern here.
After a full day, I returned to my room at the Sheraton Park Tower, where I found my husband resting after hours upon hours of business meetings. We had decided to have dinner at The Pantechnicon Rooms, which once again was just a short walk from the hotel. (Our Knightsbridge/Belgravia location really could not have been better.)
The Pantechnicon Rooms restaurant serves Modern British cuisine — we shared a delicious whole Dover Sole — in an old British setting. We sat upstairs, which felt like a library in a country estate with its wood paneling and comfortable leather chairs. But the restaurant is only about a year or a year-and-a-half old, despite its vintage setting. Interestingly, it gets its name from a building that burned down on that site in 1874 called The Pantechnicon that served as a repository for arts and antiques.
After dinner, we wanted something authentically old and decided to seek out The Grenadier, which we had heard was a well-preserved pub where we could experience what London used to be like. We knew that it was in walking distance, that its address was 18 Wilton Row and that it would be difficult to find. We just hoped it would be worth it.
It took us three tries to find The Grenadier and we almost gave up. We went down a lot of alley ways. I don’t remember how we got there, so the only advice I can give is that you keep going down alleys and make turns that you are certain are wrong. (After the fact, I found helpful directions here. And I also learned that it was haunted, but I didn’t see any ghosts or apparitions while I was there — although maybe that’s because I didn’t have enough to drink.)
The pub is on the small side, but we found a petite table by the little fireplace and enjoyed our pints there amid the dark wood, hunter green walls and maroon trimming. The decor was accented with oldtime military memorabilia because The Duke of Wellington’s Grenadier Guards originally used this space as their mess. The vibe was mellow and we truly felt like we had stepped back in time — it was worth the trouble of finding it. But unfortunately, we didn’t get to spend too long there because it closed at 11pm. At first, when the waitress told us it was last call, we thought she just didn’t like us. But the British guy next to us said that the pubs really do close that early. That was fine with us, though, because the next day was going to be our only sightseeing day together in the city.
To be continued…