One of the first gastro-pubs, this dining institution stands opposite tree-shaded gardens in the heart of Clerkenwell. With imposing brickwork and a balustrade outside, the eye-catching interior emphasises the Victorian grandeur of the pub with its decorative tiling, plasterwork ceiling, mosaic floor and great horseshoe mahogany bar. The first-floor restaurant continues the theme, with bold chandeliers and a quirky collection of arty circus memorabilia. Beer hounds will not be disappointed by the selection of real ales, including beers from Crouch Vale brewery, whilst Bounders cider quenches a sharper thirst. The good value bar menu indulges most tastes, kicking in with starters typified by squid tempura and chilli aïoli; pheasant burger; and Denham Estate sausages, mash and caramelised onion gravy. The restaurant has a set menu (2 or 3 courses) of modern European-inspired dishes – coq au vin, pancetta, mash and mixed greens catches the eye.
Closed: 24 December to 2 January, bank holidays
Open all week
Open all day
Lunch: all week 12–11
Dinner: all week 12–11
Food and drink
Restaurant menu available
Credit cards accepted
Coach parties welcome, notice required
Nearest tube: Farringdon. Pub on corner of Saint John Street and Percival Street.