We had another long weekend this weekend, and spent a few hours walking around Clerkenwell and visiting some favourite pubs. Some we’ve been visiting for years, others are newer discoveries, and not all are open on weekends, so a rainy Monday was a good chance to while away a few hours.
Ye Olde Mitre: first is an “olde” standby, hidden in an alley off Hatton Garden (where all the jewelers are). This is a spot for the real ale lovers out there. It’s a Fullers pub, though it carries their Master Cellarman status so you know their ales – and their guests ales – are kept in prime condition. There’s lots of history behind this pub, and it is worth doing some “independent research” (ahem) by giving it a visit. There are 2 separate downstairs rooms (with separate entrances), a bit of outdoor space in the alley, and an upstairs. Try to get a table in Ye Closet if you get there early enough!
Craft: there’s a trend in London for newer pubs carrying an increasing amount of craft beers from the UK and beyond. The various Craft locations around the city are great examples – you’ll find a large number of keg and cask ales, along with a good selection of bottles. We were happy to find a source for Cantillion lambics, and you can even find some Pappy Van Winkle bourbon – yes, even the 23 – if you are feeling flush.
Bonus: their outpost in Clapham is worth a side trip.
Gunmakers: when we first moved to London, we were in temporary housing in this area, and this pub was the first one we happened upon out our door. It’s become a favorite in its own right though: a proper backstreet local with a small number of well kept ales and delicious food, and friendly people on both sides of the bar.
Three Kings: this pub is a new find, and we happened upon it simply by taking a turn down a quiet looking street (a pastime that has yielded some amazing discoveries over the years). A bit of a rock and roll vibe here, with the wallpaper to match, and a bartender spinning vinyl – what isn’t to like? Definitely not a place we expected to find down this quiet street, but we’ll definitely be going back.
Bonus: a little further north is another local called the Horseshoe that we’ve earmarked for our next trip.
The Dove Tail: this is another pub tucked into a tiny street (Jerusalem Passage), and focusing on Belgian beer. It doesn’t have the most adventurous selection, but you’ll find a solid assortment of reliables and a smattering of some extremely good ales (and perhaps the occasional gueze). It has a chilled atmosphere too (check out the seat backs in the back room). A nice pit stop when you’re craving a nice Belgian ale.
Jerusalem Tavern: a friend introduced us to this fine pub during a London visit several years ago, and it is every bit as good now as it was then. It’s small and can get cramped when busy, but it serves excellent beers in an interesting atmosphere. Check out the table in the “nook” opposite the bar.
Here’s a handy map of this little journey!