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Pitcher & Piano

(formerly Bar Excellence)

28 Cornhill
Gracechurch Street

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Opening Times


Monday8.00 am - 11.00 pm
Tuesday8.00 pm - 11.00 pm
Wednesday8.00 pm - Midnight
Thursday8.00 pm - 1.00 am
Friday8.00 pm - 1.00 am


Pitcher & Piano (Marston's)

About the Pub

Once the home of the Scottish Widows. Now the only one of this chain left in central London. Features include high ceilings, wooden floorboards, a basement bar and a boardroom.

Historic Interest

Grade II listing:- Offices. 1934-5 by William Curtis Green for the Scottish Widows' Fund and Life Assurance Society. Steel frame with Portland stone facings to Cornhill and glazed brick to rear elevation in Change Alley. Trapezoid plan, incorporating a passage to Change Alley at right. Building steps down from nine storeys on frontage to five at rear. Symmetrical five-bay facade under three-bay pediment incorporating two attic storeys and much sculptural enrichment. Principal five upper floors under balustraded parapet with regularly spaced fenestration of small-paned timber sashes in alternate pattern of single and tripartite openings that is reversed on fifth floor. Segmental pediment and architraved surround to central first-floor window. Ground floor rusticated, with round-arched and keystoned entrance to passage at right matched at left by entrance to speculative offices on upper floors. The offices of the Scottish Widows' on ground, first floor and basement reached through imposing central entrance with double doors of bronze panelling under top-light with jazz-deco style iron grille, in architraved doorcase surround with bracketed cornice. Square windows to either side have rectangular metal panes under giant keystones, and incorporating grilled basement lights between volutes and moulded sill under. Simple plinth at base. Original lettering over door: 'SCOTTISH WIDOWS FUND', and under first floor 'SCOTTISH WIDOWS' FUND AND LIFE ASSURANCE SOCIETY'. Return through passage to Change Alley of eight bays, the upper floors with tripartite sash windows containing glazing bars and the ground floor with metal windows (with similar panes) and incorporating sloping toplights to basement. Rear elevation with attic set back behind jazz-deco ironwork, over three storeys with three-bays of sashed windows containing glazing bars and ground floor of metal windows with similar panes in tripartite pattern incorporating sloping top-lights to basement. Rounded cornice over this incorporates plaque and banner, bearing the lettering 'THE SCOTTISH WIDOWS FUND'. Round-arched door with metal door with margin lights. Interiors. Lift lobby to ground and first floors with plaster decoration in Regency style. Ground floor dominated by the General Office Hall, of double height and rectangular in plan: four bays: pillars to east, coffered ceiling and decorative frieze survive largely unaltered despite insertion of gallery. Offices at south-east corner include, in sequence: a waiting room with shallow, apsidal ends and plaster decoration; inner room panelled in brown oak with inlay panels in contrasting woods; an interview room. First floor has Board and Meeting Room extending into shallow bay with flush panelling in English brown oak inlayed with contrasting woods and Portland stone fire surround. Motifs such as a lion and winged horse recurrent heraldic motifs. Entrance to speculative offices lined with Hoptonwood stone, which continues up stairs and in the upper foyers. The facade is simple but well-detailed, with good sculpture at its top and metalwork at its base. The interior is remarkable not just for its completeness and opulence, but for the lightness and modernity of the motifs used a contrast to the continuing classical tradition of the City, as exemplified most obviously in the work of Sir Edwin Lutyens. Source: Architects' Journal, 25 July 1935.

Regular ales

This pub serves 2 regular beers.

  • Marston's 61 Deep
  • Wychwood Hobgoblin Ruby

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  • RealAle Real Ale Available


  • DisabledAccess Disabled Access

    Via Change Alley.

  • LunchtimeMeals Lunchtime Meals
  • EveningMeals Evening Meals
  • FunctionRoom Function Room

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Pitcher & Piano

28 Cornhill
Gracechurch Street

Sat Nav Reference

51.513277, -0.086783


  • <Bus Close to Bus Routes
  • <Station Close to Railway Station
  • <Underground Close to London Underground / Overground / DLR

Nearby Bus Routes (< ½ mile)

Nearby Station (300m)

London Cannon Street

Nearby London Underground/Overground/DLR (150m)


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Pitcher & Piano London EC3 taken Sept 2012

Pitcher & Piano

28 Cornhill
Gracechurch Street

Pub Features

  • Real Ale Available
  • Disabled Access
  • Lunchtime Meals
  • Evening Meals
  • Function Room
  • Close to Bus Routes
  • Close to Railway Station
  • Close to London Underground / Overground / DLR

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