The Warrington Hotel - The Last Stop
Thursday, 15 September 2022

Following in Edward Ardizzone’s (1919) footsteps as laid out in The Local (1939), Hugh Thompson and Stephen Dover (both 1964) made their last stop at The Warrington Hotel, Maida Vale.  Certainly, the grandest of their four stops and sit-down lunch was called for.

What did Ardizzone and his sidekick Maurice Gorman make of the Warrington in 1939.?  “A landmark, a fine building that dominates a whole neighbourhood.  It has not rested on its laurels (it had as now just been “furbished”, done up).  A lighted sign proclaims “London’s liveliest Lounge Bar”.....lively modern decorations recently grafted on its historic lounge.....Edwardian revelry…. until recently still find something of that atmosphere….the staircase is still there but the furniture is modern.  A vitality that cannot be driven out with three-legged tubular stools... the frowsy survivals of Edwardian days have been swamped by the brighter young people.”

In one illustration there are both men and women in all kinds of inebriation lolling or going up stairs suggesting Edwardian pastimes as encouraged by the King.  The present owners admit that at one time it had a reputation. 
So on a recent Tuesday lunchtime, the two OCs approached.  While the bar was not exactly bursting there was so much to enjoy.  Victorian architecture to die for, murals rarely seen, priceless mosaics, stained glass of international standard, marble arches, tiled fireplaces - Ardizzone would have felt at home.  But more.

Other pubs had shown the dizzy barmaid was a feature of the past but at the Warrington, there was Jane who was friendly and fun. 

She made our stay.  Now, Assistant Manageress, she has worked in pubs all her life and has two children in their early twenties who are following in her footsteps.  She claimed that business was getting back to normal, popular bands on Saturday night and the hotel's five bedrooms were nearly always full.

While there, a good time was had. While Stephen was getting ready for an operation and didn’t drink, Hugh tucked in, but both enjoyed their pub grub (pie and burger).  The day was crowned by a delightful walk back along Little Venice to Paddington. A must for any fan of Ardizzone and or of London pubs.

Hugh Thompson