Built on the site of the Old Bull Inn, the Nell Gwynne Tavern was named after the infamous mistress of Charles II. Nell, born and raised in the locality at St Martin in the Fields, sold fruit in the nearby Covent Garden market before gaining fame as an actress on the Drury Lane stage. Samuel Pepys describes seeing “the mighty pretty Nell” on his way to the Strand in 1667.
Barnabas Blessed, great-great-grandfather of the actor Brian, was a bookbinder and stationer in the court at the beginning of the 19th Century. And in 1897, William Terris, a well-known actor of the day, was murdered yards from the pub by a stage hand from the neighbouring Adelphi Theatre.
Today, ‘the Nell’ is one of London’s most charming and historic hidden treasures, offering a great selection of local beers, wines and spirits and a lively but cosy setting just yards from the hustle and bustle of the Strand. It also boasts one of London’s best jukeboxes packed with classic old 45 records – come along and see if we’ve got your favourite track!