Bunch of Grapes

207 Brompton Road,

This pub is a grade II listed building and it is on CAMRA’s London Regional Inventory of Pub Interiors of Special Historic Interest where the description is as follows: “This busy pub between Harrod’s and the V&A Museum (hence usually crowded with tourists) was put up in 1844: it has three storeys and is now rather dwarfed by neighbouring 20th-century buildings. What is of interest for us here are the fairly substantial vestiges of a late-Victorian refitting. Pride of place goes to a series of back-painted mirrors. The first is in the left-hand lobby and shows the eponymous grapes hanging off a vine above various flowers. The mirrors continue with five on the left-hand wall showing birds and all sorts of vegetation. They are signed by ‘W. James of Kentish Town’ and date from 1890. It is possible to get a good sense of the way the pub was laid out a century ago. The servery is in the middle and is surrounded by various fragments of screens that would have divided the pub up into a series of separate drinking areas. Particularly notable is the row of five snob screens on the left-hand side with representations of birds and, of course, bunches of grapes. The area where they are located is demarcated by a gross head-height baffle carved with truly gargantuan clusters of grapes. Other historic features are the cast-iron columns with foliage capitals supporting the upstairs floors, and extensive etched glass. History nearby: The collections at the Victoria & Albert Museum were formed in 1857 by combining those of the School of Design and the Museum of Ornamental Art (established as the Museum of Manufactures after the Great Exhibition of 1851). The museum complex has developed ever since and today it attracts visitors from all over the world. The church of St Philip Neri is known as the Brompton Oratory because it is served by priests from the Institute of the Oratory, founded by St Philip Neri in Rome in the 16th century. This Roman Catholic church was designed in Italian Baroque style by Herbert Gribble who won the commission in 1878 (it opened in 1884) and is the second-most important Roman Catholic church in London after Westminster Cathedral.”

The listing description is as follows: “Mid C19 public house. Gault brick and stucco 3 windows wide, 3 storeys, with return to right of 7 windows including 3-bay 2-storey wing. Granite piers to ground floor front, possibly not original. Painted stucco Corinthian pilasters to return. Architraves to windows, with pediment to first floor centre window. Cornice above second floor, retaining balustrade and finials. Continuous cast iron balcony to first floor.”

The Bunch of Grapes featured on the Cavaliers and Grenadiers; Evening Crawl of Knightsbridge and Belgravia in August 2009.