The Old Blue Last Pub

The weekend before Christmas, we wandered into a pub in Shoreditch. The Old Blue Last, according to their website, is a great place for live music. There wasn’t a band the night we were there. Before going to this pub we knew nothing about it. To be honest, both of us were desperate to use the loo so we weren’t that picky when we selected a pub to try. When I ventured downstairs I got quite a kick out of the dungeon restroom.

Surprising it was quite clean.

Surprisingly it was quite clean.

We aren’t the type of people to use the bathroom and then duck out, so we ordered two beers. Nothing fancy–Heineken.  It was dark inside the pub and there was a rather large group of inebriated men. This can be off-putting sometimes. However, the guys were full of Christmas spirit and several of them slurred: M-Merry Chr-Christmas to us. They were sweethearts and had a blast taking tons of group photos. I wondered if they had known each other since school, but never confirmed that suspicion.

There was only one barstool free so we decided after the one drink we’d leave to seek out a different pub and hopefully score two seats. I’m getting old. Then all of a sudden the pub cleared out and we had our choice of seats. The weather outside wasn’t all that great so we decided to stay for another round before our dinner reservation around the corner. I ordered a mulled cider and The Better Half had another beer.

This isn’t the typical pub that we find ourselves in, but I have to say I really enjoyed the experience. And it’s the first place I’ve been to that had Christmas trees hanging from the ceiling. I didn’t notice it until TBH pointed it out.

See the upside down trees?

See the upside down trees?

The staff was excellent, the customers were drunk, but friendly, the atmosphere festive, and the alcohol was tasty. I give it 3.5 stars. Not sure if I will go back, since I fear it wouldn’t be the same. It was like Christmas Elves made sure we had a great night.

About TBM

TB Markinson is an American who's recently returned to the US after a seven-year stint in the UK and Ireland. When she isn't writing, she's traveling the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs in New England, or reading. Not necessarily in that order. Her novels have hit Amazon bestseller lists for lesbian fiction and lesbian romance. She cohosts the Lesbians Who Write Podcast ( with Clare Lydon. TB also runs I Heart Lesfic (, a place for authors and fans of lesfic to come together to celebrate lesbian fiction.
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52 Responses to The Old Blue Last Pub

  1. No I agree – leave it as a one off magical moment.

  2. elisaruland says:

    Sometimes the holidays do bring out the best in any business, but I don’t know…this pub looks inviting!

  3. Vishy says:

    Beautiful review, TBM! My favourite part of your review was this – “The staff was excellent, the customers were drunk, but friendly, the atmosphere festive, and the alcohol was tasty… It was like Christmas Elves made sure we had a great night.”

  4. the sign to leave a pub like that is when the trees are no longer upside down

  5. I know you were eating elsewhere, but did they do any food, or just lots of beer? 😀

  6. Were you two the only women in the joint? It looks charming from your pictures. I know you’ve learned to acquire a taste for warm beer, but I much prefer my suds frothy and cold. It rates 3.5 stars out of how many?

  7. I pummel you with questions like I’m going to head there tonight!

    • TBM says:

      There were other women, but in the beginning, we were outnumbered. I think the group of men were on a pub crawl and when they left it was a much quieter place. 3.5 out of five. The beer was pretty cold that night. Not all beer is served warm. It’s mostly the ales that are served warm. Lagers are colder.

  8. Sometimes life just has to revolve around the potty breaks! Well, maybe not “revolve,” but I have a tiny bladder, it seems, so I get this!

    Hugs from Ecuador,

  9. Beth Ann says:

    I get the need to find a loo. I do. Too true.
    And with those rhyming words I leave you .
    Oh poo.

  10. Phew!! I was starting to get worried about you because there hadn’t been any pub reviews for a while :). Aren’t happy drunks entertaining? As my kids got to the party stage, I used to tell them to stay away from the booze and just watch the drunks. They agreed that it was really quite entertaining LOL!!

  11. Wow, Christmas trees on the ceiling? Never would’ve expected that!

  12. I agree too, leave it as a special memory!

  13. You bare such a busy lady…writing and travelling too. N.i.c.e.

  14. Sorry…typos. You ARE a busy lady… 😉

  15. Lucid Gypsy says:

    How many London pubs are you up to now?

  16. Rorybore says:

    Sounds like a good night of Christmas cheer – but perhaps left best as an annual tradition.
    I am so fascinated by this pub tour.

    • TBM says:

      When I moved to London I fell in love with the pubs. Actually there’s so much to love here, but the pubs are a wonderful place to stop, enjoy a drink, and cherish my new city

  17. The pub would have to be really, really great for me to stick around without a seat. I’m old.
    Glad the others cleared out so you didn’t have to stand too long. 🙂

  18. Novroz says:

    Is that a real tree or a fake one? Great idea tho.
    Not sure if I will go back, since I fear it wouldn’t be the same. < Why do you think so? I am just curious. I never go to a pub or will I ever be (Alcohol is prohibited) , so I wonder how you define the good one and not so good one.

    • TBM says:

      Hmmm, I’m not sure if the trees were real or fake. It was rather dark and I couldn’t get close to them. And you can get non-alcoholic drinks at most pubs just in case you want to visit one. Not sure if that is allowed though.

      I’m not too scientific when it comes to my ranking system. It all comes down to how did I feel/did I enjoy it. Sometimes I factor in the staff/cleanliness/food, but for the most part it comes down to a gut feeling.

      I fear that the holidays made this pub more interesting to me since it was pretty low key the night I was there. I think this pub is usually for a younger crowd and I’m guessing it gets quite rowdy when they have live music. I’m getting a little too old for that scene.

  19. The upside down trees are great! You’re lucky to have such unique places around you. And now I’m curious what a 5.0 evening would be.

  20. T.F.Walsh says:

    What a cool looking pub… I love discovering new places with so much personality

    • TBM says:

      Yes I agree. And it doesn’t take much to add personality. However, I’m glad I wasn’t the one who had to hang the upside Christmas trees.

  21. The Guat says:

    I love the upside Christmas trees. I like the fact that it finally cleared out so that you could appreciate them and have a stool to yourself. I like the fact that you were able to discovery its little bit of charm.

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