The Nags Head, Kinnerton Street, S.W.1
SOMETIMES, nothing seems right. You know how it is? A “short”
seems inadequate, perhaps; the house is too large for your present
mood, though very attractive normally; and perhaps there are
too many people about tonight?
There is no analysing such a mood, and the fault may very
likely be in ourselves. In any case, it’s best to accept the situation
and deal with it.
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The Nags Head -Mine Host
Some such feeling came over me not so long ago”-perhaps it
was the thought of what the ’ﬁfties have in store for us? I couldn’t
‘help thinking: what wouldn’t I give to be in a small house with a
tankard full to over,owing!
And that was why I found myself in one of the smallest pubs
in London,‘ occupied (I think that is the only word) by one of the
largest living examples of Mine Host. The pub is The Nag’s Head,
which is close to Sloane Street and Knightsbridge. ~
Mine Host”a mere eighteen-stoner, as he describes himself,
owns Sally Ann, who is certainly one of the smallest Cairn terriers
I have ever seen.
And thus it is that we are surrounded by pleasing contrasts in this
charming pub. One contrast is that although there are plenty of
good spirits in The .Nag’s Head, there are none to be had from the
bottle, for it is a beer house. If the landlord has been brought
up on beer, then he’s certainly the ﬁnest possible advertisement
for his own particular brew.
So if you want to see the smallest Cairn, owned by the largest
landlord of the smallest pub, get there early or it may well be a
case of standing room only and not very much of that, because
there are many people who ﬁnd much interest in the antique and
If you close your eyes, you can almost see the regulars smoking
churchwardens. And the landl0rd”well, he ought to be clad in
velvet breeches, silk stockings, buckled shoes, and perhaps a silver-
buttoned waistcoat and a powdered wig. He would look thoroughly
at home in that dress.
The innate friendliness of the man alone tells you that; to him, everyone is “dear boy”, and his Cairn’s
aim in her ﬁve year old life is to play with her “dear boy”.
Sally Ann is, of course, the apple of his eye”and the feeling
is mutual, for Mine Host looms large on her little horizon. And
why not? He acted as midwife to Sally Ann’s mother. l can’t think
of a better reason.
The tiny Cairn is, in short, a very precious member of the
household of The Nag’s Head. Someone seems to have realized how
easy it is to go astray in London, perhaps a wrong turning at Sloane
Street or Knightsbridge to brave the peril-s of Hyde Park, so Sally’s
collar records not only her name and address, but the telephone
number as well!
The Nag’s Head – Old as the hills
The Nag’s Head dates back to 1700. The next item of knowledge
reads rather like a “believe it or not” story, yet I have it on the
highest authority that early in I920 the lease of this ﬁne beer house
was bought for the incredibly low ﬁgure of £1 1 17s. 6d., this being
the sum paid to the solicitor as his fees for carrying out the transfer
of the lease to the new owner.
If you got to this charming house and I strongly advise that
no time is wasted in doing so bear in mind that you cannot buy
the lease for that ﬁgure now. Indeed, Sally Ann couldn’t be bought
for ten times that amount; she’s priceless.
The charm of this little pub has to be tasted to be properly
appreciated. There can’t be many pubs like it. Why not go along
yourself one of these evenings, particularly if you are feeling out
of sorts? You can be certain of a tremendous welcome, human and
canine, in a house that can only supply you with spirits of the past,