In tribute to the forthcoming Windsor-Middleton nuptials, Londonist put together its very own stag/hen bash and set forth on a tour of London's royal pubs. Armed with a flag and copies of Hello! and Reveal to pore over details of the big day, we headed off to the first pub...
Prince of Wales, Highgate
Nicer, we reckon, than the more famous Flask round the corner, the Prince of Wales has an open fire in winter, a photo of John Betjeman on the wall, Thai food from the kitchen and Yorkshire Terner, Jouster and Crop Circle on tap. Technically, William's Dad is Prince of Wales, but his given surname at university and the army is 'Wales'. Basically, any excuse to visit this pub.
Kate fact! 'Kate Middleton' is an anagram of 'Detonated Milk'.
Myddleton Arms, Highbury
The 271 bus swiftly carried us down the hill to the Myddleton Arms. Hmm. Arsenal posters lining the walls, fruit machine and dartboard, lots of middle-aged men laughing like Sid James... It's safe to say we had difficulty picturing the fragrant Kate in here. Still, there's Youngs and Courage Best on tap and a small garden out back.
Kate fact! Kate and William's favourite drink is something called a 'crack baby': vodka, champagne and fresh passion fruit. We didn't ask for one in here, we'd probably have been barred.
William IV, City Road
Back on the 271 for a few stops and into the William IV — once Gran and Pops have shuffled off this mortal coil, William will be William V. Light, airy, tasteful colours; yes, this was much more the kind of place for Kate to flash that engagement ring. Perhaps a bit soulless, but they're having a street party on the 30th (a day late, just to be different), with music, games and a barbecue. Tickets cost £10 and get you a burger and a drink.
Kate fact! When she was at school, Kate was bullied by nasty girls who put poo in her bed. The reason? They felt she was 'too perfect'.
The Princess of Shoreditch, Old Street
A short walk away is the Princess of Shoreditch, always rammed to the rafters when we've been in. It's got a dedicated dining room up a spiral staircase but we were more interested in what was behind the bar (Adnams Lighthouse, Meantime Pale Ale and Sambrook's Wandle Ale, plus ciders and plenty of bottled lagers). There's table service if you feel inclined to linger, but we were on a tight schedule.
Kate fact! Kate's favourite pizza is Pizza Express's Margherita.
The Royal Oak, Borough
What should have happened next was a trip to the Westminster Arms, the pub we reckon is closest to the Abbey (beating, by probably a few metres, St Stephen's Tavern), but that would have meant a detour off the Northern Line and frankly we couldn't be arsed. The Royal Oak is a Cask Marque pub, so you can be certain of getting a decent pint of Harvey's Sussex Old Ale, HSB or revolving guest ales. By this point we were too happy with the ambience and our beers (or mistakenly ordered cider) to bother with the food or taking many notes. This is probably the ideal place to hide from the whole event, if we're honest.
Kate fact! Kate has upset Camilla by not wanting to wear a tiara, preferring to have flowers in her hair. Bloody hell, women's magazines are awful.
Previous alternative pub crawls: Tudor boozers, Rude and lewd drinking dens, the Blue Posts, Scientific pubs, Shakespeare, Houses of Parliament bars, the East London Line extension, 12 Days of Christmas.