It is the oldest established pub in this area of Knightsbridge dating back almost 500 years with it being licenced premises since 1760, formerly called the Hoops and Grapes. It has played host to royalty and film stars alike as Lord Rothschild entertained both George III and George IV and the pub itself featured in a Roman Polanski film.
When the first London congestion charge came into force in 1796, the owner built another pub just 1 mile up the road in Knightsbridge called The Bunch of Grapes, and as such changed the name of the pub. The renamed Hoop and Toy now had an added stable to look after commuters’ horses for the day, to avoid the daily charge levied at the Brompton Gate where the Victoria & Albert Museum stands today. The 'Toy' is symbolic of a rum soaked leather bound peg which could be placed in a horse's mouth to stop it grinding its teeth or biting its gums. The original building suffered fire damage in an incident that started at a bakery just three doors east of the pub, and was re-opened at great expense by the new owner Lord Rothschild in 1885.