HASSRALE - South of High Holborn

Wednesday - 30th October 1996

This trip takes a short stroll down from Chancery Lane to Shoe Lane which is just south of Holborn Circus.

1. Cittie of Yorke - 22 High Holborn [18:30]

Sam Smiths OBB

This used to be a Henekeys Inn up to 1983 when it was acquired by Sam Smiths. There has been a tavern on this site since 1430. This pub used to have the longest bar in London till it was refurbished a few years ago when the end nearest the street was turned into a seperate bar. There is also a cellar bar downstairs specializing in food. The best preserved part of this pub for me is still the back bar which remains fairly long and has something of the atmosphere of a baronial hall with a high arched roof, large barrels, wooden floorboards and intimate confessional style booths dotted round the walls. I noted that they had seating in a somewhat sparse garden area out of the back of the bar.

2. Melton Mowbray - High Holborn [19:15]

Fullers Chiswick, Pride and ESB

A fairly new pub in Fullers Ale and Pie chain. This is a Wetherspoons style conversion from a shop unit. Very popular with office types and somewhat crowded on our visit, though we did get a seat. Food is heavily promoted and seemed to be quite reasonable for central London. There was a balcony with extra seating at the back. The front opened onto High Holborn and seats and tables spilled out onto a enclosed area of the pavement outside.

3. The Castle - 26 Furnival St [19:45]

Friary Meux, Tetleys, Burton

Small single bar pub, comfortably furnished with TV and a couple of fruit machines. Curtains on the windows plus small net curtains. There is an upstairs room which can be hired for functions. Food only at lunchtimes.

4. Walkers of Holborn - Norwich St [20:15]

Bombadier, Tetleys, Old Bailey (4.8 ABV)

Wine and Ale bar but looks much like a pub. Front bar is fairly narrow but there is a large downstairs bar which does food at lunchtime. There were a number of seats in the street but our trial run was in July. This bar is directly opposite the Associated Press building.

5. Printers Devil - 98 Fetter Lane [21:00]

Pedigree, Flowers Original, Boddingtons

Large pub with several bars. The public bar has a pool table. Upstairs claims to be a Pizza Hut but I didn't check this out. Fairly loud music but not too crowded. Very wooden, floorboards, ceilings, chairs etc.

6. Mucky Duck - 108 Fetter Lane [21:30]

Youngs Special & Ordinary, London Pride

I am used this used to be the White Swan so this would seem an unusual reversal of names (or is it?). Single bar pub was fairly busy and noisy on our trial visit but by this time of the evening who cares. There was apparently a fair amount of Fleet St memorabilia on the walls but I can't remember this.

7. City Retreat - 74 Shoe Lane [22:00]

Youngs Special & Ordinary

This pub seems to have changed its name rather frequently, I can remember it being called both Dizzys and The Two Brewers. It is a fairly modern pub which occupies the site of the Crown and Anchor which was demolished over 20 years ago. There were plenty of seats on our visit and a pleasant ambience.

CENTER Trial Run :- Date 16th July 1996 Present :- J.Wright, E.Featherstone, J.Featherstone
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