Rose and Crown

The Rose and Crown, Photographed by Ewan Munro

The Rose and Crown, Photographed by Ewan Munro

Regular readers will know all about the monthly first Thursday talk and drink-up held at Southwark’s Rose and Crown. The event is a long-standing tradition in the London libertarian scene and has grown into a substantial event. Organised speakers provide a varied intellectual agenda as does the high quality of attendees. Prominent libertarians, academics, pub philosophers, students and every kind of person. It is open to died-in-the-wool card carrying members of the community, those who are new to the scene and those who are simply curious. As such this local tradition is now the largest group for libertarians outside of North America which is something I am very proud to have acheived.


The date of the meetup is always the first thursday of the month at 7pm. This will never change.

Specific speakers are booked to turn up in one of these slots. This is organised on


The room has 28 chairs, and lately the RSVP limit on has been set to 35, since the word “full” on the meetup page puts off the kind of conscientious person who RSVPs and means it.

If you end up on a waitlist, then have hope. People often RSVP simply to have their smartphone add a reminder to their calendar, and they plan to turn up only if they can manage it. Of course some people come and never RSVP, but it’s worth taking a punt anyway.

The worst case scenario is that you’ll be standing for 20 to 40 minutes during the formal part of the evening, people who came for the talk will begin to leave immediately, if only to go to the bar, so there will be space most of the time!

Very occasionally people will sit on the floor, including the UKIP press secretary on one occasion, and this is the reason for making the capacity explicit. Like so many things, incentives and disincentives are clarified by more information, and by making this explicit I hope to never see that again but the max capacity is not something that I enforce.


The venue is near to Waterloo (National Rail, Northern, Bakerloo, Jubilee) and Southwark (Jubilee).  Southwark is the nearer station.

A few National Rail services stop at Waterloo East, and it is possible to leave Waterloo East through Southwark station by walking along Platform D in the direction of the Shard where there is an exit down.

Walking from Waterloo

Exit onto Waterloo Road. IMAX should be on your left. Navigate the pedestrian crossings over Waterloo Road and locate either of Exton Street or Alaska Street, two parrallel side roads that head away from Waterloo. Both join with Cornwall Road where there is an excellent cake shop called Konditor and Cook. Pass the cake shop without delay and keep going down Roupell Street past the language school and netball courts. Follow to the right past the netball courts,  The Rose and Crown is behind them on the left.

Walking from Southwark Station

The main exit from Southwark Station exits diagonally onto a cross roads. The Cut is behind you to the right. Blackfriars Road leads off to the left under a rail bridge. Take Blackfriars Road and look out for a small side road – Colombo Street. You will immediately pass a church and another pub. Keep going a few metres more and the Rose and Crown is on the right.

To avoid getting lost

Please note:

  • There are two pubs called the Rose and Crown in the Southwark area. We are off Blackfriars Road.
  • When it is sunny Libertarians will sit outside until the talk begins. Don’t be put off if the function room is empty.
  • The bar staff know many of us by name, including the organiser Simon Gibbs. Do ask at the bar if you need help.
  • If no-one at the bar can help, ask to speak to land lady Anna Quick.
  • The function room is accessed via the stairs to the right of the bar.


The meetup fulfils a need for drunken philosophising and like minded adult company.

Other advantages include:

  • Getting to know activists and experts.
  • Rehearsing and exchanging arguments.
  • Brainstorming and coming up with ideas.
  • Getting support with your idea.
  • Drinking and making merry.

Things resembling “rules”

  • Spontaneous civil order is expected, and is hereby ordered, to errupt in the vast majority of cases.
  • The event officially begins at 7pm, which is when the organiser agrees to turn up. Turning up a bit earlier is an option as it’s hosted in a public house. People generally begin to appear from 6pm, direct from work, so you may even find some company.
  • The formal part of the evening runs from 8 until 9pm, but it’s really about the informal part.
  • Some people do not leave until required to do so by law, but they are also allowed to leave earlier! Stay as late you prefer.
  • The formal part of the event is videoed. If you don’t want to be seen on tape then let that be known and sit behind the camera.
  • The organiser will generally claim one seat at a table to do camera work; and there is usually a “speakers table”. It looks odd on camera if anyone else sits there. Otherwise, you should sit wherever you please.


Twitter becomes a lively place for libertarians when an event is in progress. Various travel and timing updates e.g. “is anyone arriving early?” etc are sent to via @LibertarianHome and hashtag #libhome

Book swapping

Swapping books is encouraged at socials, however, be prepared to lug home any books you could not find homes for. You can drop a tweet to #libhome to encourage uptake.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s