You can still drink at the former brothel that inspired the Proles pub in George Orwell’s 1984


Committed dandy and literary bohemian Julian Maclaren-Ross once described Fitzrovia’s Newman Passage as Jekyll and Hyde Alley, on account, one assumes, that someone might enter with a decorum befitting Dr Henry Jekyll and emerge as evil as Mr Edward Hyde.

Maclaren-Ross ventured that the dark, narrow passageway might be somewhere “one sometimes guided girls in order to become better acquainted”. The presence of the Newman Arms next door, on Rathbone Street, might have had something to do with the corridor’s less than salubrious reputation.

The pub is the third stop on a walking tour of the area led by Nick Hennegan, founder of the London Literary Pub Crawl, and a popular hangout for the likes…

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