London – Westminster (Borough of) – Princess of Wales

The Princess of Wales, a Nicholson’s pub located between Embankment and Charing Cross underground stations. It’s a new entry to the Good Beer Guide this year and CAMRA claim that the pub is named after the wife of Edward VII rather than Princess Diana. The pub disagrees, noting on its web-site:

“This historic pub is named in memory of George IV’s secret first wife. When still Prince Regent, he secretly married Catholic widow Maria Fitzherbert in 1785. The marriage was declared illegal at his father’s behest, because George would have been ineligible to reign with a Catholic wife.”

Anyway, I have little concern over who the pub is actually named after, and both individuals can perhaps share the honour. When I entered, the welcome was prompt and friendly enough, with the pub being moderately busy. Football is on tonight and so pubs are perhaps busier than they might otherwise be.

The real ale selection is usually more substantial, but today they just had London Pride and Nicholson’s Pale Ale on, neither of which makes my heart beat faster. As far as London Pride goes, it was fine and I got my 25p off a half pint as now seems to be the norm on the Nicholson’s app. On that point, the staff member seemed just slightly confused that I wanted to order via the app, but that was because I wanted my 25p off. Every penny counts…..

Incidentally, with the photo above, I didn’t crouch down below the bar to avoid detection or something, it’s just that the pub has in these Covid times put tables below the bar and that’s where I was sitting. There’s quite a food menu available and I think that there’s a separate dining area upstairs, although this remains a relatively small pub.

OK, this is a pretty terrible photo, but the environment was a little dark and it’s the best that I have. It was all clean and organised, with a variety of customers, from football fans to people waiting for a train. There was some trouble with Scottish fans trying to cause issues outside, although that hadn’t spilled over into the pub. Staff members weren’t thanking customers as they left, despite it being a small pub and they could have done. It doesn’t much matter, but it’s a nice touch when staff do offer some sort of farewell.

As it stands and based on this visit, I don’t really see anything to justify this pub being in the Good Beer Guide, the beer selection, the environment and the welcome weren’t anything particularly notable. However, these are difficult times, so perhaps it can be much better.