Coach and Horses, Soho
|The Coach and Horses|
|Address||29 Greek Street, London|
In the 20th century the pub became notable for its association with the columnist Jeffrey Bernard, the staff of Private Eye magazine, other journalists and as a haunt for Soho personalities. Through their writings its former landlord, Norman Balon, became known as "London's rudest landlord".
In the 20th century, the landlord for over 60 years was Norman Balon, who developed a persona as "London's rudest landlord". He began to work at the pub in 1943, when he left an engineering course to serve at the bar, after his father became the landlord there.
The pub became a favourite drinking spot for the journalists of the satirical magazine Private Eye and the location of their fortnightly lunches, at which it was hoped a plentiful supply of cheap wine would prompt an indiscretion from one of the guests, such as member of Parliament John Hemming's admission that he had got his mistress pregnant. It also featured regularly in The Spectator's "Low Life" column by Jeffrey Bernard, a regular at the pub until his death in 1997.
In 1989, the interior of the pub was recreated on stage for the biographical play about Bernard, Jeffrey Bernard Is Unwell. The play was successful, and Balon's memoirs followed in 1991, titled You're Barred, You Bastards: The Memoirs of a Soho Publican.
Clive Jennings says of regular clientele such as Bernard that "the lethal triangle of The French, The Coach & Horses and The Colony were the staging points of the Dean Street shuffle, with occasional forays into other joints such as The Gargoyle or the Mandrake ... The Groucho or Blacks".
Norman Balon was succeeded as landlord in May 2006 by Alastair Choat, Greg Stewart, and Melanie Krudy. As of February 2019, the pub markets itself as "London's first vegetarian and vegan pub". The Evening Standard have reported that the owners, Fuller's Brewery, have declined to renew the lease. In May 2019, the Coach and Horses was granted a nudist licence, allowing patrons and employees to be naked while in the pub.
- Francis Bacon
- The Beatles
- Jeffrey Bernard
- Tom Baker
- John Hurt
- Danny Kirwan
- Eddie Linden
- George Melly
- Keith Waterhouse
- 'You're Barred, You Bastards!', The Memoirs of a Soho Publican, Norman Balon with Spencer Bright, Sidgwick & Jackson, London 1991
- Historic England. "Coach and Horses public house (1235282)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
- Passed/Failed: An education in the life of Norman Balon, the rudest Soho landlord. Jonathan Sale, The Independent, 21 September 2006. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
- Time called at Bernard's watering hole. Mark Honigsbaum, The Guardian, 2 July 2005. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
- O'Toole's triumphant return. BBC News, 5 August 1999. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
- Jennings, Clive. "Drink-Up Pay-Up F-Off: Tales from the Colony – London's Lost Bohemia". artlyst. Retrieved 29 February 2020.
- History. Norman's Coach and Horses. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
- Home. Norman's Coach and Horses. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
- Have a pint and help save an iconic slice of old Soho. Nick Curtis, Evening Standard, February 2019. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
- Street, Francesca (24 May 2019). "London pub gets nudist license". CNN Travel. Retrieved 26 May 2019.
- Steve Boggan. "He went his own way to oblivion: Fleetwood Mac's former guitarist is found, a little the worse for wear, in a hostel for London's homeless". The Independent. Retrieved 27 March 2017.