Tired of London, Tired of Life - A website about things to do in London



For more regular updates, visit Tom's Britain, a new website about things to do in Britain.


12 November 2009

Drink with politicians in the Red Lion

The Red Lion, on the corner of Whitehall and Derby Gate, is a magnet for politicians and civil servants, despite being overpriced and at one time allegedly suffering from a dubious bill of health from Westminster City Council. The pub sits across the road from 10 Downing Street, the Treasury and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and is also surrounded by office buildings for the Houses of Parliament and the Department of Health.

Despite its prices, this pub is synonymous with Westminster drinking culture, and it was even here that the Government chose to announce their change in licensing laws in 2005, rather than in one of the numerous bars inside the palace itself.

The current interior is late 19th century, but there has apparently been a pub on this site for much longer, and politicians, civil servants and journalists have drunk here in equal measure for generations (sometimes literally). In fact, so much part of the machinery of Government is the Red Lion that your author once heard a rumour that a replica had been built in the Cold War nuclear bunker to which the Government were to be evacuated in the event of an attack.

On most afternoons/ evenings you can still find a Member of Parliament propping up the bar, providing you know who you are looking for. If you have trouble spotting one, watch for someone dashing out of the door when a loud bell sounds. The Parliamentary division bell is installed in all local bars to make sure they don't miss key votes.

^Picture by ell brown^


  1. Hey what a great find!

    I will post a link page on my London going out blog www.nightflux.co.uk

    Omar NightFlux