The Three Kings
This rowdy little gem dates back more than 100 years and is sprinkled with the twinkle of fairy lights, animal statues, a vinyl jukebox, weird old maps, autographed sport pictures and a roaring fire. And yes, the place is as lit as it sounds. Intimate, dingy and 100% Clerkenwell. Pop down on Mondays for their infamous quiz night or hold out for one of their popping weekend DJ sets.
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The Sun & 13 Cantons
This stylish pub sure looks like a classic drinking hole from the outside, but step over the threshold and you’ll be getting some serious Parisian bistro vibes - think classy mirrors and splashes of brass all round. Don’t worry though, it ain’t too fancy here and they serve up a ripe selection of ales and craft beers. We were really feeling the Big Wave and Sierra Nevada brews. Got yourself one of those stomach things? That’s handy, ‘cos The Sun and 13 Cantons have seasonal kitchen residencies going down to keep you full and merry. Spring ‘16 sees Sambal Shiok take over - expect Malaysian street food, packed full of spice and flavour. The Basement Room below is available for hire if you’re looking to throw a cheeky knees-up.
The Charlotte Despard
Named after a social activist who was once in Holloway Prison, The Charlotte Despard brings simple, honest pub vibes and not much else. But if all you're after is a pint and a game o' pool then you can't go too far wrong with this lady. There's a huge selection of bev - 13 ales on tap and plenty more stouts, porters, pilsners, craft beers and ciders in bottles. They also have a darts board, pool table, weekly pub quiz, board games (Scrabble, chess, cribbage, Cranium) and a generous selection of newspapers for your amusement. You amused yet?
Being located behind the Royal Courts of Justice and all, this barrister hot spot is one of those places you'd be happy to stumble across, but maybe not travel for. What they do have though is a cracking selection of real ales including Adnams Bitter, Broadside and the very tasty Dark Star, as well as a small selection of wines by the glass. The pub grub gets a thumbs up from us too.
Draft House, Old Street
Right next to Old Street station is The Bower - a slick new development filled with the likes of Gymbox, Bone Daddies and now Draft House. With so many bars in the area you may be wondering why you should be drinking here. Well, an ever-changing selection of guest ales could be a good reason. The staff really know their stuff too, so if you fancy a venture into unknown territory be sure to have a word - 1/3 and 2/3 pints are available if you don't want to jump in at the deep end. Good food, an understated decor and a relaxing vibe make this a great spot to catch the rugby on telly over a beer. There's classic pub grub on offer too with the likes of burgers and fish & chips knocking about.