The Norman’s Coach & Horses, 29 Greek Street, Soho, London’s best known pub! EST 1847.
Norman’s Coach & Horses is the last bastion of the traditional pub boozer. “A proper pub, real London, real people, proper conversation”.
Alastair Choat, along with Greg Stewart and Melanie Krudy bought the Coach from the long standing landlord of 63 years Norman Balon, in May 2006.
Alastair has ensured the pub has retained its great atmosphere and ambiance built up through the last 77 years. Little has changed much to the acclaim of 1000’s of regulars and the local community of Soho.
The only real changes is the introduction of the piano, in hosting traditional pub sing ”a” longs on Wednesdays and Saturdays “A good old knees up!” which were once the norm of all pubs, and another is in making the Coach & Horses London’s first only vegetarian and vegan pub.
Whilst Norman was widely regarded as the rudest landlord in London, Alastair’s fame comes much more from his charm and eccentric ways, although be aware he has been known to resort back to Normans type of telling customers to F off if they misbehave.
This legendary pub has association with the columnist Jeffery Bernard, Private Eye magazine and other journalists, a haunt for Soho personalities. Its former landlord, Norman Balon, became famous too—in part for his self-proclaimed title of “London’s rudest landlord”, but also, presumably, because of his proximity to writers who documented his actions and anecdotes.
The interior of the pub was recreated on stage for the biographical play about Bernard’s life Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell. The play was successful and Balon’s memoirs followed entitled You’re Barred, You Bastards. There has been a pub on the site since the 18th century. The current building dates from the 1850s.
Hollie Choat—now 30—has been involved with the Coach & Horses since the age of 17 , much like Norman when he started to help his father run the pub. She has been working and helping to manage the pub for the last eleven years becoming a very well known face in Soho, through her kindness and empathy with everyone, and occasionally the odd lock in and mad night out with which ever regular could keep up!
Hollie has become involved in caring for a lot of the homeless and people on the street and can often be found chatting away to them outside as friends. She has also raised over £12,000 and organised pub grub 4 Calais, leading volunteers to Calais to feed and help the men, women and children in the Jungle.
This is very much a London family run pub, a proper pub, real London, with real people, and proper conversation, so if you love London, you have to love the Coach & Horses, it’s a walk back in time, and one of the London’s best known pubs.
All we say to you is take us as we are, because this is what we are and this how we will stay.