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The George must rank in the Premier League of London pubs. It's ancient, popular, atmospheric, has a Wikipedia page, is 'haunted', is galleried, is owned by the National Trust, was mentioned by Dickens, was the subject of a very enjoyable book — Shakespeare's Local by Pete Brown — and, which is more, was the location for the first ever drinks night for Londonist contributors, back in 2005. We've returned many times since.
There's a fair amount of tourist trade here. It's close to Borough Market but also soars as a destination in its own right. The building sprawls and the yard accommodates hundreds, so there's usually plenty of space. Do explore the many dark panelled rooms that make up this old coaching inn. The dining room is especially atmospheric, while the Talbot Room is perfect for functions. Sadly, the central bar area has been robbed of its charm in recent times, thanks to an overzealous modernisation.
Watch out for the ghost: the spectre of Mrs Murray, the former landlady who presided over the bar when the trains first reached Borough and undermined her coaching inn business. Her spirit is blamed for any technology failures in the pub.
It's a Greene King pub, so the food and drink are reliable if not exceptional. But you're not really here for that.
On Twitter as @GeorgeInn1677
Last updated May 2019.