Top 10 writers’ favourite haunts

4: Oscar Wilde – Café Royal, London

A man of exquisite taste who could resist everything except temptation, it comes as no surprise that Irish-born writer and poet Oscar Wilde frequented the opulent Café Royal in Piccadilly. Legend has it that Wilde first fell in love with his lifelong muse, Lord Alfred Douglas, affectionately known as Bosie, over a glass of absinthe at the bar. Having recently undergone an expensive refurbishment, the ornate, golden Grill Room has been renamed the Oscar Wilde Bar in the writer’s honour.

Its original incarnation was founded in 1865 and boasted Louis XVI detailing. One of the first places to serve gourmet French cuisine, the Café Royal earned a reputation for boasting one of the greatest wine cellars in London. Enjoying a rich literary past, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, H.G. Wells, George Bernard Shaw, Rudyard Kipling, W.B. Yeats, D.H. Lawrence, Graham Greene and Virginia Woolf all regularly dined there, along with painters Walter Sickert and James McNeill Whistler.

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