A man walked in to a bar and asked for an innuendo, so the barmaid gave him one.
Pubs and perversity go together like beer and nuts. Wherever you find a bar, there you will find a f'nar. And not just in the punters' conversations. Sometimes the pub itself has a deliciously smutty theme or name (especially 'Members' bars). So indulge us as we go in search of the bluest wordplay since King Cnut discovered anagrams and changed his middle name to Fu.
1. The Albert, 52 Victoria Street
We started off at a seemingly innocuous boozer midway betwixt Victoria and Westminster. The Albert is a fine drinking house and a bastion of traditional British values: numerous real ales on tap, an afternoon tea-for-two menu, elegant wooden furnishings with fan-emblazoned ceilings and pictures of Chelsea pensioners on the walls. But like all things Victorian, the veneer of respectability hides darker undertones. In this case, we're talking erect penises on full public display, each unleashing a spatter of man yoghurt. OK, so they're tastefully woven into the delicate foliage and scrollwork of the window etchings, and no one in our party could find them without a helping hand (pictured), but they are there, dammit . And the more you look, the more you see. Is that an 'Albert' style piercing midway up the shaft? Are those chastity devices circling the member? At that point, the fire alarm started ringing. Things were getting too hot, and it was time to move on.
2. The Cock and Bottle, 17 Needham Road, Notting Hill
After a complicated multi-train journey due to weekend Tube closures, we arrived at this quiet residential pub all-bladders bursting. Fortunately, the toilet facilities were a little better than the name suggests; but not much. It's a decent place for a pint, though. The C&B keeps it real with the smell of stale beer and leather. We eschewed the interior to take advantage of the half-decent weather and supped our first al fresco pints of the year, with choice from Best, Pride or TEA. The clientèle looked like a local crowd, here for the rugby and a quiet chat (apart from Jeremy - see gallery). We're 90% sure we spotted Sienna Miller, but then she does have a shop round the corner. More importantly for a rude and lewd pub crawl, we have to thank the lady with no knickers and her boyfriend who enjoys giving fireman's lifts. You are the oblivious stars of our rude and lewd pub crawl, and you upstaged Sienna Miller.
3. The Cock, 27 Great Portland Street
The phallic fun continued in this diamond of a Sam Smiths pub just north of Oxford Circus. Nothing particularly rude here, although one of our guests was itching to impart an observation.
"I saw a man's cock in the toilets. Is that noteworthy?"
"He was using the 'thrusting' hands-on-hips method."
And that was as lewd as it got. Still, a fine place to drink with its immaculate furnishings, tin ceiling and giant exterior lamps. If it's too busy, a large room upstairs seats plenty.
4. The Ring, 72 Blackfriars Road
In name, at least, The Ring would make the perfect meeting place for gay hobbits. In reality, the smart gastropub is more Barboa than Bilbo, taking its inspiration from rings of the pugilistic kind, and catering for the Young Vic pre-theatre crowd. Arriving somewhat later than the showgoers, the bar made a splendid place for a quiet Saturday night drink. Framed fighting memorabilia lines the walls, and the main seating area is about the shape and size of a boxing ring. There's history here. The pub stands diagonally opposite the site of the Blackfriars Ring boxing arena, which stood on the site of the Palestra building until bombed out in 1940. Once more, we found precious little to get smutty about, unless you count the copious nuts jarred behind the bar. Better fare can be had from the roving waitress, who purveys hot treats of both Thai and English persuasion.
5. Dirty Dicks, 202 Bishopsgate
Named after a local character who refused to discard rubbish or clean his home, Dirty Dicks is a bar of two halves. Downstairs, you get a spit-and-sawdust tavern; upstairs, a civilised garret space overlooks Bishopsgate. A third bar, in the basement vaults, was closed on our visit, but contains relics from the original Dirty Dick's warehouse including a mummified cat and a resident ghost. We climaxed in the upper bar with a selection of fine Young's beers. Those still seeking lewdness settled on the shooters menu, where traditional slippery nipples and orgasms are augmented by the Dirty Dick (Kahlua, Amaretto & Vodka). Check out the gallery if you want to see how that one went down.
We have to mention a number of other prurient drinking holes that, for one reason or other, we couldn't ease our way into. There's some debate in the ranks as to whether the Bishop's Finger in Smithfield counts as rude. There's something intrinsically Carry-On about bishops - dress-wearing, crook-clutching men of the cloth, who sit upon their Bishoprics. To invoke a bishop's finger, therefore, conjures up all kinds of inappropriate imagery to anyone of the Viz generation. Nice beer too. Filthy Macnasty's on Amwell Street is an obvious complement to Dirty Dicks that we completely forgot about till Twitter told us better. Nominative nods to the Bung Hole Cellars (Holborn) and Balls Brothers (City-wide) who can't be with us at weekends. And finally, the Wibbley Wobbley in Surrey Keys. Until someone opens the Poo-poo Trump Fart Lounge, it will remain the very height of rudeness for five-year-old Londoners.
With thanks to our friends at Kudocities for consensual but non-sexual lurve.