Few roads in London are as blessed with wonderful pubs as Fleet Street, but this little-regarded boozer at the western end might just be the most charming of the lot.
It doesn't have the great age of Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese (being a relative newcomer from 1783); it doesn't enjoy the cosiness of the Old Bell nor the set-in-aspic timelessness of the Sugarloaf. What it does have is a riot of beer and cigarette paraphernalia from yesteryear, covering every inch of the place. Skol, Dunhills, Double Diamond... erstwhile brands are the rule here.
Fortunately, the pumps are a little more up-to-date, with two local cask (Mayflower Session IPA and Bankside Blonde) on offer on our visit, along with the more traditional Timmy Taylor. Food is available, though of simple fare. We're talking fish fingers, chips and beans, or chilli con carne — no veggie nonsense here.
The pub is named after the 20th century author and journalist Edgar Wallace. Enormously popular in his day, Wallace churned out over 170 novels, besides plays, screenplays, a thousand short stories, poetry and a lot of journalism. He's since slipped into obscurity, but you've probably heard of his greatest creation: King Kong. If you'd like to sample further words from Mr Wallace, then simply sit alongside the windows, where dozens of Wallace novels can be perused.
We found the pub half empty at 6pm on a Wednesday, which is a little worrying, but also a welcome respite from the hurly-burly of the pubs on Fleet Street proper. It deserves your custom. (Note, it's closed at weekends.)
Last updated May 2023.