Tired of London, Tired of Life - One thing a day to do in London

A website about things to do in London

21 December 2009

Play Bar Billiards at the Owl and Pussycat

In the Cotswold Inns of your author's youth, Bar Billiards tables were plentiful, but in many areas of London, they have long since been replaced by quiz machines and big-screen TVs. That's why your author is a fan of the Owl and Pussycat, on Redchurch Street in Shoreditch. Despite a recent minor refurbishment, it has retained the table and most of its character, and in a land of haircuts and posing your author is thankful.


Bar Billiards is a particularly British game, though it is derived from a Russian game and there are various European versions. It began here the 1930s, and tables were made by the Jelkes company of Holloway Road in London and sold to pubs around the country. It became very popular in pubs without room for a proper billiards, snooker or pool table as an alternative to the local snooker club.

The rules take a bit of learning, but there is a rules guide, and once you learn them it is great fun. If any readers have spotted any others in London pubs, your author would be very grateful if they could mention them in the comments.

For more on Bar Billiards, see http://www.tradgames.org.uk/games/Bar-Billiards.htm or for details of the pub click the link above.

9 comments:

  1. The Pelton Arms in Greenwich has a bar billiards table

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  2. The Hope and Anchor on Tottenham Lane has a Bar Billiards table.

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  3. LAst time I went here it was closed because of flooding! Hope its alright now :-/

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  4. I was in on Friday night Joe, so it looks like it survived

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  5. Bar billiards is ace. We have a few suitably-equipped pubs listed on RGL.

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  6. The Glasshouse Stores on Brewer Street has a table too.

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  7. There is one at the King Charles I near Kings Cross Station, also a lovely pub with decent music.

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  8. Thanks for all your recommendations guys. Keep them coming if you find any more...

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  9. We played the excellent Bar Billiards table at the King Charles I pub last night. Great fun in a great little pub. You wouldn't think you were in London there.

    They've also got Shove Ha'penny in there, I'll be giving that a go on my next visit.

    The All England Bar Billiards Association has a very useful map of tables on their website.

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