Having read about the Cittie of Yorke in several places, including on Tasty Fever, I decided I must visit it. As pubs go, it has one the best interiors I have seen. The back bar has high sloped ceilings with wooden rafters, stained glass windows, a long wooden bar, huge beer barrels balanced above it, bulbous lights hanging from the ceiling and cozy looking booths skirted by wood arches. All this makes the pub exactly what I image an 1800’s London drinking houses looking like (save the electric lights, of course). Awkwardly though, there was a Deal-or-No-Deal video game machine in one corner that looks very out of place amongst the magnificent interior.
From the outside, you would be forgiving for not thinking it is a pub worth visiting. A long corridor as you enter makes you wonder what you’re in for. The only brew served is Sam Smith, and I found their stout very enjoyable. The pricing of pints are strange though – the Extra Stout was £2.41 and the Mountain Larger £2.87. I will have to find other Sam Smith breweries soon to try the others. I didn’t visit the front bar or the cellar kitchen, which is another excuse for me to go back.
I stopped in around 3:00 PM on a Friday afternoon and the place was very quiet, with just one large group of what seemed like students, at the back. By 5:00 PM though, it was packed with the office crowd, which is to be expected.
According to the interwebs, a public house of some form has stood at this site since 1430. This history makes visiting London’s drinking houses all the more enjoyable. At a place like this, a little imagination is all it takes to conjure up a roaring fireplace inside, horses tied up outside while their masters bartered stories while drinking ale from a big, wooden mug.
The second stop on my quest to visit a 100 London pubs and write about them was The Blackfriar. This historic pub (over a 100 years old) stands on the site of a former Dominican Friary. One end of the building is has a triangular edge, which makes it impossible to miss.
The pub was recommended by Ben, who promised me I’d love the place. I wasn’t disappointed. We met there at 8:00 PM on a Wednesday night and there weren’t too many other patrons, which was nice. The interior is beautiful, with intricately carved wood and marble depicting friars and much more.
Ben and I tried the 4 ales that were available on tap and I particularly enjoyed the Lord Marple. The other three were London Pride, Landlord, and Hookey Gold. Since we were there at dinner time, I also tried a “famous British pie”. The only vegetarian option was the Lentil and Cashew nut tart, which was also really good.
Unfortunately I only had my Nexus One with me so the pictures I have aren’t great. Next time, I will have to remember to carry the dSLR.
Inspired by @abandonedlondon‘s 100 Pubs Project, I decided to start a similar mission of my own. What better way to get to know London than through its pubs? It also helps that I love beer. I would walk a 100 miles to to try a new beer, and walk a 100 more to drink a pint with a friend. Hyperbole aside, my fondness for beer goes back to the first drink I had after turning 21 (yes, I was 21!) during my Ann Arbor summer. Living in Philadelphia for so many years was a treat for a beer-aficionado with plenty of specialist brew pubs and micro-breweries in the area. I once brewed my own beer, that I like to say looked like a nicely poured Guinness but tasted like a Bud Light.
I like to experiment with beers and will go out of a my way to try a new one, so now living in Europe (and specifically London) is a dream come true for a beer lover. I’ve already been to several pubs and tried many ales, but only now decided that documenting my visits on my blog will be a worthwhile exercise and experience. Plus it gives me something to look forward to during my unemployment.
For the purposes of this “mission” (I will be calling it a mission so as to not directly copy Doreen’s title) I will attempt to visit 100 pubs over the next few months and drink at least a pint of beer/ale/bitter/brew. If I’m feeling spendy, I might get some food too (altho British food…not so much). I will also write about my visit and hopefully have a picture or three to remember the visit by. So without further ado, up next is a post about pub # 1.