Treading in the footsteps of Sherlock Holmes

I was sent down to London recently on a two day conference and tasked with finding a reasonably priced hotel close to where I was working and also finding somewhere to eat at night that wouldn’t break the bank.

After several fruitless online searches I reserved a room at a small B&B by the name of Regency Hotel located at Nottingham Place just a stone’s throw from Baker Street and the shops and bars of Marylebone High Street. It proved to be a good little find.

I was in the territory of Holmes and Watson, but thankfully there were no hounds on this particular visit.

An immaculate collection of three storey townhouses lined the street and the Regency occupied one of these. Whilst certainly not being what you’d call luxurious, the hotel provided me with a clean, comfortable and soundly located base for me to attend my conferences whilst offering a bounty of choice in terms of places to dine at night.

Now, when you are dining alone you don’t always fancy doing anything too flouncy. I didn’t want to go into a restaurant with couples and sit at a table by myself to eat. I told myself I wanted a nice pint of real ale and a hearty meal to accompany. But first I needed to check out some of the pubs and build up my appetite.

First port of call was dropping in at the Prince Regent, a pub that I could tell from the outside I’d like just by looking at it. Its hanging baskets and dark panel beamed exterior opened onto a smallish pub with ‘snug’ and old style ladies ‘opium room’. A good start, I thought.

After sampling the London Pride I quizzed a local on good places to dine expecting him to come back with the nearby Italian restaurant or Indian across the road that I’d spied on the walk from the hotel. Far from it. ‘Head to The Gunmakers‘ I was told, because ‘the food there is amazing’ and with that ringing endorsement I finished my drink and wandered back outside.

Next stop was The Marylebone, a slightly more upmarket pub but this time busier and frequented by young professionals who’d just finished their working day. A nice environment for a quick drink and I walked on, taking a detour up a side street to look in the window of a deli whose aromas had grabbed my attention.

Glancing across the road I spotted The Gunmakers, it was fate! So I headed over there to find a cosy pub with original features, a good range of ales, wines and spirits and live cricket being screened on the televisions. I was in hogs heaven.

The menu seemed to revel in London charm, featuring such delights as pie and mash with ‘liquor’, and beer battered cod with ‘real English chips’. I plumped for the homemade burger and when it arrived it not only looked amazing but the flavours were sensational, a beautiful blend of spices, herbs and succulent beef. I don’t do burgers often, but when I do, this is what they should taste like.

Simple pleasures are what define us as Englishmen and women. Now, you might read through this and think, ‘hang on, you’ve done a blog about going to London, staying in a B&B, going to a few pubs and having a burger’ and you’d be right. Well yes, that’s exactly what I’ve done… but remember this, luxury comes in all different shapes and sizes, and can often creep up on you when you least expect it.

Carole Booth is Commercial Director at Destinology.

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Comments (1)

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  1. Sailor says:

    I always enjoyed visiting Europe and specially UK. Glad to see that you visited my Hero Holmes :)

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