190 Euston Road, London, NW1 2EF
Nearest tube: Euston
Okay, so the Euston Tap is not exactly cosy. Nor is it particularly historical – although housed in a Victoria edifice it was established as a pub in the 21st century. And unlike other pubs in this blog it definitely isn’t hidden down some quaint cobbled alley: on the contrary, it enjoys a highly prominent position outside Euston Station. But like the Nell Gwynne, and indeed Harry Potter’s Leaky Cauldron, you may have passed the Tap many times without registering it’s even there. And it is this weird hidden-in-plain-sight camouflage that makes the Euston Tap one of a kind. Well, two of a kind, actually, since its identical twin stands directly opposite.
EST: 2011. Monarch: Elizabeth II
The Euston Tap and its doppelganger are practically all that’s left of the original frontage of Euston Station which was demolished in the 1960s. They are Portland stone lodges that were constructed around 1870 and engraved with the names of the towns and cities served by the railway. Rather imposing pediments sculpted by Joseph Pitts – son of the more famous sculptor William Pitts – feature relief compositions representing England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales.
Like many small pubs, the Euston Tap is one of those places where you can easily strike up a conversation with complete strangers and end up being best friends by the end of the night. This is partly because you are all sharing a small space; for instance, you may have attempted (and failed) to pass someone on the narrow spiral staircase or shared a grumble outside the single toilet cubicle (one for each gender –more of a guideline than a rule). Or of course it could be down to all that excellent strong ale.
The other stuff
Brewery: Free house
Food: mainly snacks
The Euston Taps may serve wine and soft drinks but they are all about the beer, with a vast selection of them dispensed from taps protruding from copper plates at the back of the bars. Both Taps are too snug to have a kitchen so you may need to content yourself with a packet of crisps and a scotch egg, then pick up a pasty on your way home to soak up all that ale.