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#1 IanT

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Posted 20 October 2011 - 10:58 AM

Despite its location wedged between the City and the restaurants and bars of Clerkenwell, the south side of Smithfield Market has largely consisted of run-down stationery shops and greasy spoons for market workers, taxi drivers and couriers. Not much good to eat or drink.

Things are changing. Last night I had a few very enjoyable pints in The Old Red Cow, recently re-opened after refurbishment. 16 beers on tap and lots more by the bottle. The craft beers from Harviestoun stood out especially the appropriately named Old Engine Oil.

The Old Red Cow is a few doors down from Dose Espresso, my vote for best coffee in London. And, just along the parade, the old Sausage and Mash Cafe has a sign in the window that Morgan M are moving in (Michelin-friendly French place in Islington).

The Old Engine Oil suitably lined the belly for a few plates of deep fried tripe, devilled kidneys, veal tongue and welsh rarebit at St John's bar the other side of the market.

#2 Wilfrid

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Posted 20 October 2011 - 03:04 PM

The Old Red Cow. That takes me back. I used to eat lunch in a greasy spoon along there in 1979, while working a summer office job on Holborn Viaduct. It was big news when one of the pubs started serving Thai Food upstairs.

#3 Sneakeater

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Posted 20 October 2011 - 07:01 PM

That little area around the Hospital and St. Bartholomew is so picturesque (to those of us without preconceptions) that it would have been a surprise if the development from the northern side of the market didn't spill over to the south side.

An area resident told me that the cost of housing on Long Lane has become prohibitive.

What with the TV show and all, maybe they'll start calling that neighborhood Little Britain again.
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#4 Wilfrid

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Posted 20 October 2011 - 07:19 PM

It is a nice little district. And I imagine there are still market pubs like The Fox & Anchor where you can swill beer for breakfast.

#5 Sneakeater

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Posted 20 October 2011 - 08:22 PM

They have rooms now.

Of course, they're on the other (north) side of the Market, in Clerkenwell.
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#6 Wilfrid

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Posted 20 October 2011 - 09:21 PM

The Bishop's Finger. That was another good pub.

#7 Sneakeater

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Posted 20 October 2011 - 09:27 PM

I'm such a trendoid lemming that I spent all my time in the Jerusalem Tavern, fake though it may be. I loved it (and loved the St. Peter's range of beers).
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#8 IanT

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Posted 20 October 2011 - 09:37 PM

There's another pub in the area with an even wider selection of draught beer - The Craft Beer Company on Leather Lane has a crazy 35 on tap. There's also The Dovetail (just north of Jerusalem Tevern) which has over 100 Belgian beers (though mostly bottled). We'll not go thirsty in Clerkenwell.

#9 Wilfrid

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Posted 20 October 2011 - 09:47 PM

Pah, gentrification. We were happy with a light and bitter in my day.

I can visualize other pubs in the neighborhood where I spent happy hours, but recalling their names is something else. On and off - with some big gaps - I must have spent ten years working in that area.

Maybe if I jump up and down I'll puke up a novel about it.

#10 IanT

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Posted 20 October 2011 - 09:53 PM

Pah, gentrification. We were happy with a light and bitter in my day.

I can visualize other pubs in the neighborhood where I spent happy hours, but recalling their names is something else. On and off - with some big gaps - I must have spent ten years working in that area.

Maybe if I jump up and down I'll puke up a novel about it.


I work 5 minutes walk to the South and live 10 minutes walk to the North. If gentrification means lots of pubs with great beer and coffee shops run by Australians who take espresso far too seriously then its ok by me.

#11 Sneakeater

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Posted 20 October 2011 - 09:55 PM

This is so silly. I was put off by the Craft Beer Company's name. It sounded too much to me like something bad in Brooklyn. I should have better judgment than that.

So, Ian, I just spent a week within minutes of you, it seems.
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#12 IanT

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Posted 20 October 2011 - 09:57 PM

This is so silly. I was put off by the Craft Beer Company's name. It sounded too much to me like something bad in Brooklyn. I should have better judgment than that.

So, Ian, I just spent a week within minutes of you, it seems.


Ah, shame. Would have been good to meet up.

#13 Sneakeater

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Posted 20 October 2011 - 10:02 PM

At least you could have saved me from my bad judgment about where not to drink.
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#14 IanT

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 09:17 AM

At least you could have saved me from my bad judgment about where not to drink.


Your judgment really wasn't so bad. We worked our way through a few of the Craft Beer Company's finest last night and, although the range is phenomenal and well kept, its just not all that great a bar. Very high prices (£7 for a pint of Lowenbrau!), sterile decor and dodgy air conditioning, I don't think we'll be back too soon. We stopped off for a nighcap at Jerusalem Tavern on our way home post some wurst at Kurz & Lang. Much more like it. I had a pint of their new ale made using peated malt. Lovely stuff and it saves on the Islay chaser.

#15 AaronS

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 09:28 PM

You had a pretty good week if sitting around the Jerusalem Tavern was your big fuck up. That's a pretty pleasant place to drink.