Calthorpe Arms, WC1X 8JR
- (020) 7278 4732
- 252 Grays Inn Road (map of this place)
- WC1X 8JR
The Calthorpe Arms
- Brewery: Young's
- Tube: The closest Tube station is probably Russell Square — turn right on coming out of the station then take the next right into Grenville Street. Turn left at the end of that into Guilford Street and walk along to the end, where it meets Grays Inn Road. The pub is across the road and along to your left a bit. Chancery Lane and King's Cross are also reasonably close, at either end of Grays Inn Road.
- Bus routes: Numbers 17, 45 and 46 go down Grays Inn Road. In addition, 19, 38, 55 and 243 go along Theobalds Road, which intersects with Grays Inn Road a few minutes' walk south of the pub.
Lots of lovely, lovely beer. The seasonal ale (eg Waggledance or Winter Warmer) at around �2.50/pint, also bottles of other Young's beers, including Chocolate Stout, Winter Warmer, Special London Ale. [Prices as of November 2004]
The Calthorpe Arms was CAMRA North London pub of the year in 2001 and 2004.
Served all day until 9pm. And cheap! Menu examples include sausage, beans and chips (�3.75), tuna melt with chips and salad (�3.00), sausage in French bread (�2.50); there are also specials at �4.50, such as roast stuffed marrow, Thai chicken noodle stew, cottage pie, or blackened chicken salad. [Prices as of August 2002]
Unfortunately the food quality is not great. The meat seemed to be all deep-fried, including Leon's “steak”, and the tuna melt sandwich was a bizarre combination of room-temperature melted cheese and chilled tuna. The veggie option (stuffed roast marrow) wasn't bad, though, and I had a really very nice chicken and ham pie with mashed potatoes (from the specials menu) last time we were here (September 2002).
Service and Ambience
A pleasant, quiet little pub, possibly because it's not directly outside a Tube station (well worth the short walk, though). Clientele seems quite mixed, and generally of the more mature persuasion. No background music. Although there's a television in the bar, the sound was turned off two of the times I've been here, and the other time it was turned down too low to hear, let alone to be obtrusive.
Often quiet even on a Friday night, very useful to know such a place within a short walk of the busier, suit-filled pubs on High Holborn.
Single, medium-sized room downstairs. There are small tables around the edges but regulars seem to cluster around the bar. The loos are off a corridor through the back.
Function room (seats 30) upstairs. It costs �25 to hire out for 2 hours, �10 for each hour thereafter (evening prices). [Price as of September 2006] (They don't seem to charge London Perl Mongers any more, though, possibly since we've been here a few times and they know we're going to spend a lot on drinks.)
Ladies' loos are quite nice, very minimally decorated but with plenty of room to manouevre. Men's loos used to smell pretty nasty but they've fixed it now (was a problem with the drains).