Wenlock Arms, N1 7TA
- Getting there: From Old Street Station, follow the green line to Moorfield's up the City Road. Cross City Road and turn off at Windsor Terrace; follow this up into Wenlock Road. From Angel Station, walk east down the City Road and turn left after the canal bridge into Wharf Road. Turn right into Micawber Street, then left into Wenlock Road. If you get to Wenlock Street, you are in the wrong place.
The Wenlock is notoriously hard to find for first-timers. Note that this view of it is taken from the south on Wenlock Road. The Wenlock doesn't go out of its way to advertise itself, and is often quite dark from the outside, to the point of appearing to be closed.
If you like real ale, go to this pub. It's not the easiest to find, but well worth it. About ten minutes' walk from Old Street or Angel stations, the Wenlock is a small and old-fashioned pub, which usually has 6-7 real ales. (Prices used to be well below London standard; as of April 2006, pint prices ranged from �2.10 to �2.40 for draught beers.) It is regularly the CAMRA North London pub of the year.
The night we were there they didn't have any real ciders, but they did have a very nice perry. When I asked if they had cider, the reply I got was "No. Well, only Strongbow." :) More recently (June 2003) they've had a few bottled ciders in the fridge.
Service and ambience
The place does get crowded of an evening; if you want a table, be there before six. This is not a place to bring more than 4-5 people. We brought about 8, and got "don't crowd me" vibes from the old guy in the corner next to us. It's also not a place to bring non-real-ale drinkers; the selection of fake beer is very limited.
Thursdays are quiz nights; Fridays have live jazz; Sunday afternoons have jazz, boogie, stride and ragtime on the piano; Saturday evenings tend to have live music of various sorts; Wednesdays occasionally have live folk. Given the size of the pub, it's not possible to avoid these if they're happening, but their volume is rather more moderate than that of most pub "entertainment".
It does do food. The menu however is limited. Vegetable, meat and pork pasties, served with brown sauce. Then Hot Sandwiches. Salt Beef and Black Pudding being two of them and then a selection of 'Sandwedges' including tuna and the like. The night we were there they ran out of bread, so be warned, order early.