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Oct 17, 2008 01:47 PM

London - Farringdon area

Visiting London in November; planning a meeting with friends on a Saturday afternoon in the Jerusalem Tavern. Any local eateries in the vicinity that might appeal to those of catholic tastes - though there will be Canadians in tow. Bistro, casual but we could handle a bit of modern British/gastropub.

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  1. There's lots to choose from in that area, but if it's a gastropub you're after - you can't go far wrong with the Fox & Anchor on Charterhouse Street.

    3 Replies
    1. re: DollyDagger

      Please don't go to the F&A, it was a decent boozer that's been taken over by the Malmaison group whose hotel is next door. They've turned it into Ye Olde Tavern for tourists who are a bit nervous about venturing to a proper pub. Food's poor too.

      Go to Vinoteca or Comptoir Gascon up the road.

      1. re: Gav

        Both Vinoteca and Comptoir Gascon are good options. Or you could head up the road a bit to Exmouth Market where you will find Moro and The Ambassadors. For gastropubs you have that old stalwart, The Eagle, or The Coach and Horses, which is just round the corner from The Guardian offices (I went in August and liked it).

        Are you sure that the Jerusalem Tavern is open on a Saturday?

        1. re: Gav

          Ah I didn't realise Malmaison owned it now. Sure, it's a bit 'ye olde theme pub' but I've never had a bad lunch there.

          I second the Vinoteca recommendation though.

      2. Might be a bit of problem that the Tavern does not open at the weekend.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Gav

          Now there's a pretty useful piece of information. A pub that closes at the weekend is indeed a strange concept to an Irishman.............
          Just to throw the matter up in the air again, keeping things reasonably central (friends are staying near Tower Bridge), any suggestions for a combination of interesting pub / nearby restaurant, both of which do business on Saturdays. Very averse to imbibing where food is served but a seperate dining space would be okay if an all-in-one pub option is suggested.

          1. re: SeeDee

            It's not unusual for pubs in the business district of the City to close at the weekend, or even after about 8pm during the week, as not many people live there or spend evenings there. They cater for city workers. It used to be a bit of a desert outside office hours - although I believe there are more places open these days than used to be the case.

            It's similar in the business district of other cities - I live in Liverpool, and there are pubs which close after everyone has gone home after one or two after-work drinks, or moved on to other parts of the city centre for their evening's entertainment.

            1. re: SeeDee

              May I ask if your friends are staying north or south of Tower Bridge? If north then the local options at the w/e are pretty dire (I should know, I live here). 20 minute walk to Tayyab's but I can't recommend any of the local boozers.

              South is a little better, look at Magdalen (not open Sat lunch), the various Conran (sorry, now D&D) places on the river, or a short stride to Borough (Brindisa, Wright Bros, Black & Blue, Roast).

              Decent pubs there too, my favourite is the Wheatsheaf, and there's a newish place at the back of the market, very good selection of beers, can't for the life of me remember what it's called.

              1. re: Gav

                Friends at the Guoman Tower hotel, north of river. My limited trawl on the internet led me to the Rising Sun in Smithfield area for a typical London boozer with the option of Carluccios or Smiths afterwards. South of the river suggested the Anchor or the George Inn Yard - are any of your Borough recs nearby?

          2. I personally would head for The Bleeding Heart, but, as everywhere, there are other opinions!


            The simple section is on the road, the smarter bit is separate, at the back of the courtyard.

            1. I can recommend the Betsey Trotwood for drinks, followed by dinner at The Eagle. Both on Farringdon Road, just a few blocks North of the Tube Station. The Betsey Trotwood is a Shepherd Neame pub, recently cleaned and smartened up in a pleasant way. Excellent beers and some good wines. Has separate rooms where there is sometimes music or other events. The Eagle is, of course, my favorite gastropub, especially if you like mediterranean food.

              1. For a nice pub in the Clerkwenwell area, you might like The Gunmakers Arms, managed by a local London beer blogger.
                Definitely open on Saturdays. Very casual, cozy local pub.

                They serve food and I've had their fish and chips and they're quite nice. But for a change of scenery, there's always The Coach & Horses right around the corner. Or The Easton a bit up the road. (Or also The Eagle, London's original gastropub.


                For a more generic scene in that general area, there's always Smiths of Smithfield.