Hassrale Trips: Clerkenwell

Date: Tuesday 30th July 1996

This trip is the logical extension to the trio of HASSRALE crawls that took place from Blackfriars to Smithfield in mid-1994. The first port of call was the last on the Farringdon Again trip and is right by Farringdon tube station. Turn left from the station and it is on the corner of Turnmill Street. Approximate leaving times are shown in [ ].

1. The Castle - 43/45 Cowcross Street [18.30]
Beers: Bass; Wethered Best; Fullers London Pride.

Traditional street-corner pub with a large drinking area at the front and a raised area with more seating at the back which is also a dining area. The menu comprises an exotic range of Thai food. The usual selection of old-style tables and fiddle-back chairs is even more battered than two years ago not surprisingly.

On leaving go back past the station up to Farringdon Road. Cross over and go up Greville Street, then turn right to Saffron Hill. Just on the left is ...

2. The One Tun - 125 Saffron Hill [19.15]
Beers: Ruddles Best; Morland Old Speckled Hen.

The counter surround indicates that this is a "Manns" pub (Watney Mann etc.). L-shaped bar with plush seating and a saloon bar atmosphere throughout. Fairly capacious. Quiet in the evening and seems to be avoided by office workers. Beware, there is a steep climb to the toilets!

Continue up Saffron Hill taking the narrow turn on the left just before Clerkenwell Road. Immediately on the left is ...

3. The Hat and Tun - 3 Hatton Wall [20.00]
Beers: Worthington Best; Fullers London Pride.

Narrow one-bar establishment with the entrance opening straight into the bench seating which runs round the edge of the front area. There is a raised area with tables at the back where the lunchtime eaters gather. Very pleasant old-style pub with a notable wood surround behind the bar. Food is very reasonably priced, but not sure if it is available in the evening. The ELAC pub guide claims it is, but "on request", which seems odd as how else can it be ordered? One of the few places to have a fire-place propped up in the Gents.

Exit right then up to Clerkenwell Rd. A right and then a left take us to Farringdon Rd, continue up past The Guardian Building then cross and go up Bowling Green Lane. Turn left at The Little Litten, do not go through the walkway, but go along Northampton Rd until on the corner you find ...

4. The Thomas Wethered - 33 Rosaman Street [20.45]
Beers: Brakspears Bitter; Wadworth 6X; Flowers Fuggles & IPA; Boddingtons Bitter & Mild

Large comfortable pub with three discrete bar areas opening out from the U-shaped counter. The "public bar" is fairly spartan with bare-boards and limited seating, then the saloon area is next (anti-clockwise) and has proper tables and is more convivial, while the more decadent can continue to the "Director's Lounge Bar" with its sofas and easy chairs. Not at all busy on the trial run either.

Retrace your steps to the previous pub ...

5. The Little Litten - 32 Bowling Green Lane [21.30]
Beers: Courage Directors; Youngs Special; Tetley Bitter; Litten Bitter (4%)

Formerly called The Surprise, Charlottes and then The Harlem Yacht Club. Seems to have been refurbished with a plush style of decor. Extensive use of wood panelling (Yacht Club?). A one bar pub, separated into several areas. The main part by the counter is near the food bar, but there is also a further area at the rear with booth-type accommodation and another raised dais with more tables. Air-conditioned should it be necessary and food is served all day.

Leave to the left then cross over the road by the sandwich shop and go down the set of steps to Clerkenwell Close. Continue along where on the left you come to ...

6. The Horseshoe - 24 Clerkenwell Close [22.15 or whenever]
Beers: Courage Directors and Best; Boddingtons Bitter; guest bitter (usually)

Well-hidden back-street local that once figured in a HASSRALE trip many years ago. Once inside the apparently small exterior is found to bely the interior dimensions. There is a large L-shaped bar area with a garden/patio opening out from this as well. There is a function/pool room buried away too apparently. You may even wish to sit out at the front where there are more tables. Bare boards and spartan decor. Darts area at one end of the bar as well. There is a collection of currency notes pinned behind the bar, presumably worthless.

Well that's it! If you go back to the right you will find a cut through to Farringdon Lane, leading to Turnmill Street and hence Farringdon tube again. (You will also find The City Pride which is a reasonable Fullers pub).

Survey details: Trial run Friday 9th February 1996 Participants - John Wright, Edmund and James Featherstone

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