Top 10 famous pub landlords

While celebrity drinks brands are all the rage, a clutch of stars, from David Beckham to Sir Ian McKellen, have gone one step further and bought their own pubs. We’ve rounded up our 10 favourite celeb landlords we’d love a lock-in with.

Sir Ian McKellen

One of our most beloved (and talented) actors, Sir Ian McKellen, is a landlord in his spare time, having snapped up The Grapes pub in Limehouse in 2012. A onetime haunt of Charles Dickens, who references the pub in his novel Our Mutual Friend, the riverside pub offers a cosy retreat from the bustle of the city.

Dickens describes it thus: “A tavern of dropsical appearance, long settled down into a state of hale infirmity. It had outlasted many a sprucer public house, indeed the whole house impended over the water but seemed to have got into the condition of a faint-hearted diver, who has paused so long on the brink that he will never go in at all.” You’ll find the complete works of Dickens in the pub’s parlour.

The Monday night quiz has become something of an institution, not least because you may be lucky enough to get McKellen on your team. The pub dates back to 1583, when it was then known as The Bunch of Grapes.

McKellen recounts in a brief history of the pub on its website that Sir Walter Raleigh set sail on his third voyage to the New World from directly beneath The Grapes. More recently, artist Francis Bacon lived down the road at number 80.

Leave your reply

Most Recent Stories

New Casamigos rooftop cocktail terrace opens in London’s Chelsea 

A new Casamigos Terrace is set to open on the rooftop at Cuban-inspired club Embargo Republica in the heart of London’s Chelsea.

Emirates Airlines now offers unlimited caviar paired with Dom Pérignon champagne in first class

Even as carriers scramble to deal with unprecedented supply and demand issues, Dubai-based Emirates Airlines is undertaking a US$2 billion overhaul of its in-flight experience with the ultimate perk for first class passengers: unlimited caviar paired with Dom Pérignon Champagne.

New limited edition cocktails launch for Milan Fashion Week

Two new limited edition cocktails are set to launch at Hotel Principe di Savoia to celebrate Milan Fashion Week.

2023 Le Taittinger International Culinary Prize opens for entries

The 55th edition of Le Taittinger International Culinary Prize, named in honour of Champagne house founder Pierre Taittinger, is now open for entries.

On-trade drinks sales up 4% on pre-pandemic figures

The drinks trade is showing positive signs of recovery after the last two years, as average sales by value in pubs, bars and restaurants across Britain were up 4% in the week to 6 August compared to 2019.

Most Recent Stories

New Casamigos rooftop cocktail terrace opens in London’s Chelsea 

A new Casamigos Terrace is set to open on the rooftop at Cuban-inspired club Embargo Republica in the heart of London’s Chelsea.

Emirates Airlines now offers unlimited caviar paired with Dom Pérignon champagne in first class

Even as carriers scramble to deal with unprecedented supply and demand issues, Dubai-based Emirates Airlines is undertaking a US$2 billion overhaul of its in-flight experience with the ultimate perk for first class passengers: unlimited caviar paired with Dom Pérignon Champagne.

New limited edition cocktails launch for Milan Fashion Week

Two new limited edition cocktails are set to launch at Hotel Principe di Savoia to celebrate Milan Fashion Week.

2023 Le Taittinger International Culinary Prize opens for entries

The 55th edition of Le Taittinger International Culinary Prize, named in honour of Champagne house founder Pierre Taittinger, is now open for entries.

On-trade drinks sales up 4% on pre-pandemic figures

The drinks trade is showing positive signs of recovery after the last two years, as average sales by value in pubs, bars and restaurants across Britain were up 4% in the week to 6 August compared to 2019.