Some historical notes, part of my illustrated guide to The Last Hellion*—
The characters appear in a number of London eating and drinking establishments, most of which I discovered in the works of Charles Dickens. One interesting place is the Fox Under the Hill. This tavern (not to be confused by others of the same name) was at No. 75 in the Strand, and vanished when the Victoria Embankment was built.
"When Dickens was a boy—and an unhappy boyhood was his—he used to resort to a little riverside tavern close to the Adelphi arches, which was known as the Fox under the Hill. It was an almost picturesque shanty, and you could look down on it from the Adelphi Terrace or from the 'gallery' at the bottom of the next street. Its tarnished signboard could be read as you looked. It seemed a smuggling, disreputable sort of haunt enough. It lingered on, however, until a very few years ago, when it was swept away to make room for the monster buildings on the Salisbury Estate."
—Percy Hetherington Fitzgerald, Bozland: Dickens' Places and People (1895)
*Recently released in audio format.
A shorter version of this blog post appeared earlier at Two Nerdy History Girls.