The Wenlock Arms
26 Wenlock Road
(0207) 608 3406.
Open all day
The Wenlock Arms
A real London boozer which serves good real ales in comfort and with the real characters of London around you. Located half way between Old Street and Angel tube stations, it's a bit of a trek on foot, but well worth it. Walk along the City Road, just North of Shepherdess Walk turn down by the National Westminster Bank, along Windsor Terrace. The Wenlock Arms is at the Corner of Sturt Street and Wenlock Road. Note - there is a Wenlock Street nearby and isn't the one you want.
According to legend the Wenlock Arms was established in 1835, survived the wartime bombing of the district and still retains much of its original characteristics and character.
Beers on at the time were: Adnams Best, Adnams Fisherman, Buffey's Mild, Cottage Sale ale, Jennings Ale, Ridleys More Bitter; Crouch Vale Best Dark; Clarke Traditional Bitter; Rebellion I.P.A.; Wye Valley Summertime Ale. Lined glasses ensure full pints - prices are also good for London. They serve draught Kriek too plus a selection of continental bottled beers.
There are quiz nights Thursday's and it's free from 9pm. Every third Saturday of the month there is a traditional jazz session - though you'd be hard pressed to guess where the band will set up as the room is quite limited. Traditional Jazz is also on every Friday with Klaus, Brian Masters and Frank Wilson among others.
The Wenlock is a genuine free house, with real fire and real ale. A mild is always available as are hot salt beef and other good value sandwiches. Food doesn't extend much beyond this at present.
The bar is a central semi-island bar on three sides. There is a wooden overhang for glasses and stools to prop against the bar. These are usually busy at weekends, but provide a good point from which to watch the TV or the other customers.
Very much a locals pub - they banter across the bar at full volume, but this only adds to the pub's charm. There was even some impromptu Cockney singing when we were there.
Other seating is round the outside wall, some alcove semi-booth's, but seating is generally short on the ground. In one corner there is an old piano.
The real fire keeps the pub very warm, even in the dead of winter.
The decor has a dated air about it - note the jugs and bottles on a shelf at the back of the pub. Disabled access is possible if they open both front doors, but narrow toilets.
There is also a function room free to CAMRA members.
No accommodation here.
Well worth seeking out.
It should be noted that the Wenlock arms pub was build in 1835 and opened as a pub in Jan 1836, the bar is the original, as it is today, loads of the glass work is now at the lamb and flag in convert gardens, removed in early 80s. Also there are no steps to the toilets, coming or going too, as I painted them not too long ago. (Gilbert)
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usually up to 7 guest ales.
Thistle City Barbican
Central Street, London, EC1V 8DS
0845 60 60 611
Single B&B from £40-£123
Double B&B from £80-£134 pr.