George

55 Great Portland Street,
Fitzrovia
W1W 7LR

This pub is on CAMRA’s London Regional Inventory of Pub Interiors of Special Historic Interest and the description is as follows: “This is a popular pub, owned by Greene King, in the heart of Fitzrovia sitting proudly and ornately on the corner of two streets. It has now been turned into a single drinking space, yet it is still well worth a visit for its collection of surviving, excellent late Victorian fixtures and fittings. The panelled bar counter seems original and behind it is a magnificent five-bay back-fitting with etched and gilded mirrors with sprays of flowers and foliage which were so popular with pub fitters (and, presumably, customers) of the day. Yet without doubt the most appealing part of the pub is the left-hand side with its wood-panelled walls, more etched and gilded mirrors, and delightful ceramic panels. In the front area are three elongated panels of ladies and gents on horseback. The rear area has the air of a gentleman’s club, fully panelled to the ceiling and decorated with mirrors and tiles with beautifully realised painted hunting dogs and a stag. None of this is what you might regard as politically correct in a pub built today but evidently patrons a century or so ago saw no problem with it. They probably aspired to such a way of life and, indeed, given the social status of the area, they may even have been active participants.

History in the area: The name Fitzrovia, believed to have been coined in the 20th century, derives from the name of the man who became Lord Southampton, the Hon. Charles Fitzroy. He developed the area in the 18th century with Fitzroy Square its splendid focus. In the 1930s and 1940s Fitzrovia was the haunt of and artists and writers, some of them working for the BBC. Among the latter was Julian Maclaren-Ross who sometimes frequented the George and immortalised the atmosphere of the area in his Memoirs of the Forties.”

The George featured on the Auntie's Boozers: Evening Crawl of Fitzrovia and East Marylebone in December 2008.