Going to the Caxton Bar is like a trip to your Great Auntie’s - old and cluttered with antiques (and that doesn’t refer to the furniture).
The entrance of this Grade II listed Victorian hotel is set off the street with a large courtyard. The Caxton Bar (named after William Caxton, the first man to print books in English in the 15th Century) is tucked off to the side of the lobby. The lobby has an impressive staircase in which there used to be a hidden passageway that went from the hotel lobby to the House of Commons, so Members of Parliament could get back and forth from the bar to the Commons.
The Caxton Bar is styled in late Victorian Gothic with red walls and ceilings and marbled fireplaces. Antique-style furniture is clustered in small groups. Mostly tourists and the odd aging businessman populate the bar and it all feels slightly depressed in a gloomy Sir Walter Scott kind of way. When it is pouring with rain outside, it can be cozy by the fireside.
The Jolly Hotel is Italian owned and as such, the Caxton Bar has a good selection of Italian wines and single-malt whiskeys. Try a bottle of Prosecco, the Italian answer to champagne.
The Last Word
The Caxton Bar feels like the kind of bar that a Member of Parliament would drink at – that’s either your thing, or it’s not. It’s a perfectly passable place to ponder over a pint, but don’t go too far out of your way to get there.