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Three Kings, Clerkenwell

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user reviews of the Three Kings, Clerkenwell

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

I find the fosters drinkable and the toilets usable. Not attempted the omnipresent pie, due to said conflicts. Challenged? I remain.

fostersfan - 9 Dec 2015 11:27
Don't blame the Pub for their prices blame the local business taxes
ALBEERT - 20 Apr 2015 15:09
It's a nice enough little boozer down a quiet street. But £4.80 for a Landlord and well over a fiver for a lager? Cheeky
bitememore - 20 Apr 2015 14:14
After fighting earlier in the day in a West-Essex Wetherspoons, (at 10.30am since you ask), this fine pub was a pleasant counterbalance for an evening's discourse with more decent-minded chums. Landlord and two other guest ales were in fine fettle, as was the pretty miss serving behind the ramp. She was from somewhere on the Continent but I couldn't tell where - I kept it strictly business you understand.
Speaking of the Continent, I fell into conversation with a Swiss, who enlightened me on the finer points of two of his favourite national sports - Swingen (a type of wrestling) and Hornussen - which is a cross between enigma and defying any description. 'I cant believe you don't play it here', he entreated. 'What would I need?' I enquired.
'For a pick-up game? Simple - you need the Nussen (puck) the nettes, the zsdickenscwahb (racket)......and a Swiss Farm
senberbex - 1 Apr 2015 14:34
fine place.try and use if you are in the area.
becks007 - 27 May 2013 13:49
Quirky place tucked away down a side street. Three beers when we were on including Landlord and Woodforde Wherry which was on good form. Downstairs was busy but there was no problem getting a seat on one of the sofas upstairs. Jukebox looked interesting although wasn't on while we were in. Worth a visit if you're in the area.
DuchyBoy - 5 May 2011 11:08
Superb pint of Timothy Taylor, best time to visit would probably be a weekday afternoon if you want a bit of peace. Lovely jukebox upstairs with obscure records.
nich52 - 30 Mar 2011 14:01
A friend of mine works in the area and we have been rendezvous-ing in this once-charming boozer for a few years now. Unfortunately, it has declined somewhat over the last few months or so with service that can at best be described as surly, and the selection of real ales (including Timmy Taylor) shows promise but sadly delivers little. The laid-back and ‘local’ atmosphere seems to have disappeared also, and our last visit was marred by an unwieldy number of undesirables who preferred to antagonise other punters with uncouth behaviour and expletive-laden conversation at decibel-busting levels. The staff seemed to think this was de rigueur, but I personally prefer to keep my sexual waverings of the previous week rather more private. With such a wealth of pubs in this neck of the woods, I will be giving this place a suitably wide berth in future.
six_years - 23 Mar 2011 13:08
Nice drop of Landlord - first one served on a Monday lunchtime! Friendly pub.
ParchgoldBiz - 14 Feb 2011 15:03
Strange little pub with friendly bar service and clientele. Will visit again.
ShelfStacker - 2 Jan 2011 12:40
Lovely pub for us locals as well as the suits.
hotlipz - 21 Nov 2010 14:30
A great looking little pub, 3 ales should have been on offer (monday lunchtime)
but none were on. Nevermind I'll have a cider (stowells)....off.
On this visit , not impressed. I'll give it a go another time but after making
the effort to go here , before the Jerusalem tavern its not on my 'essential pub' list. 5/10 for looks .
rob372 - 26 Apr 2010 12:10
A wonderful little pub. My pint of Doombar was excellent and was reliably informed that the Landlord was also on top form. Music from the 60's was being played and the crowd inside and out all seemed friendly. Not your typical ale pub but one that is definately worth going to again.
nutsaboutbeer - 22 Feb 2010 17:30
A great pub, real fire in winter, and friendly outside drinking in summer. they do now take cards behind the bar and the food available is simple and good value. Bar staff are chatty, and may even take you on for a game of scarbble on a quiet night. Beer is good, usually 3 on tap. A place with a genuinely warm and welcoming atmosphere that difuses those in there who try a bit too hard to be trendy after leaving their publishing job for the day.
oldhorizontal - 15 Feb 2010 16:25
Arrived just after the occassional Hip Hop Pub Quiz they have here on some Saturdays. Lovely old school boozer. Beers were good as was the welcome and the vibe. Toilets could do with a makeover though.
krsone - 25 Oct 2009 11:59
Normally I would refuse to drink in a pub that displayed a signed photograph of Dennis Bergkamp in his Arse.. kit , but I made an exception for this one as I quite liked the Three Kings and the framed photo fitted in quite well with the rest of the tat hanging from the pub walls. I will also make an exception, as I’m led to believe a previous landlord’s (or could even be the present one’s) old man used to run The Hope and Anchor in Islington in its punk heyday.
On this balmy summers evening with all four doors open , The Three Kings was a really good place for a few beers. Lots of people drinking outside and the steps and the St James church steps were fully utilised. And even inside it was airy enough to for a decent al fresco feeling.
The three handpumps this evening were TT Landlord, Pride and Deuchars IPA. Unfortunately the Deuchars was off but the Landlord and the pride were in good nick.
Yes the décor is quirky and I can appreciate the comments about it being a bit like a student bar, and if you venture up the stairs to the two rooms and associated small kitchen you could well be forgiven in thinking you’d stepped into an 80’s student bedsit..
In conclusion, enjoyed my evening at The Three Kings

Gann - 27 Jun 2009 15:18
Loved it. Sat outside last Saturday afternoon supping Aspalls, listening to the excellent music selection and passing the time with the friendly, laid back staff. Original without trying too hard. Gem of a pub.
cheekyhalfpinter - 22 Jun 2009 13:38
Popped in a couple of weeks ago as was early to meet a friend round the corner. Fantastic little place with a really great vibe and a cracking pint of Deuchars - one of my favourite ales. Food looked great and not expensive although I didn't eat there. Will definitely be returning.

Worth noting also that they don't take cards for all you people that don't carry cash!

Staff were very friendly also. The lovely barmaid from Brasil, was happy to promote the party they were holding that night to celebrate the last day of Carnival, but alas I could not return due to a prior engagement.


SJohnson - 11 Mar 2009 10:01
The first problem I had with the Three Kings was finding the way in, but once I discovered which of the things that looked like a door really was a door I squeezed past the curtain into a dark and mysterious interior. The random bric a brac distributed around the room looked like something from a child's imagination; in keeping with the hippyish exterior. I was served a very good pint of Landlord by a very pleasant barman and enjoyed the quirky surroundings with some ambient sounds none of which I recognised but which created just the right atmosphere at the right voume. A bit pricey at £3.15 a pint but I've spent more for a lot worse.
A really interesting pub in an interesting part of town; very well worth the visit.
fitzonthepiss - 9 Mar 2009 16:19
Lovely little pub. It has a nice, unique vibe.

The drinks are varied and they even did real cornish cider last summer ... they warned my boyf that it might be too strong for me (sweet!) but he explained that I'm into real cider and therefore have guts of cast iron.

The art and decor make it, along with a real variety of customers. A gem.
squizita - 21 Feb 2009 17:35
quirky, with an excellent atmosphere. in an area of decent pubs and bars i'd probably rank it top in the clerkenwell area.
mps77 - 5 Feb 2009 16:21
A pub of many talents: it can even act. In the 1985 film Dance With a Stranger it played The Magdala in Hampstead.
Martinl - 27 Nov 2008 14:09
Oh, if you're reading this... Don't ever change
alabamatrombone - 30 Apr 2008 21:08
Honestly? My favourite pub. Great beer. Lovely staff, pub cat, fire. Packed on a Friday evening but, somehow, you don't seem to mind waiting.
alabamatrombone - 30 Apr 2008 21:08
This is a quirky little pub just off Clerkenwall Green. Nothing unusual in the way of real ales on offer (I think we may have been drinking Bombardier or Pride) but I felt it to be a really welcoming little pub. Would be very happy to drop in again for a pint when I’m in the area.
RexRattus - 22 Mar 2008 18:20
A classic amongst London pubs in that it expertly treads the line between old-fashioned boozer and trendy bar with slightly distressed furnishings. Everything is well judged including the papier mache ornamentation and one of the best pub signs in the world - the 3 Kings are Henry VIII, King Kong and Elvis.
BoehmBawerk - 8 Oct 2007 13:29
Good beer, nice fire in winter and the cat does his rounds occasionally. Recommended.
Semence - 20 Aug 2007 12:23
my favourite pub in london! love the room upstairs where they have the jukebox, i love that downstairs is so nicely decorated, and I love that when the pub is too full (which happens regularly on friday afternoons when my whole office goes there) you can still drink on the pavement of one of the prettiest streets of london, or alternatively on the stairs of the church across the road (hallelujah). I will miss it dearly when we move offices in a couple of months!
Rob.Carver - 22 Jul 2007 23:23
An unusual little pub in a beautifull, quiet street in the stained glass shadows of St James church.
When you are in a pub in a street like this, you realise what people mean when they describe London as a series of villages.

This pub also has cutting edge poetry of a high quality upstairs at the Y Tuesday club in an intimate, candle lit room upstairs on the first tuesday of each month. These events are by word of mouth, never in Time out, and worth checking out.

Back downstairs a Stella Peetermans tap has been added, a lovely lager.

Burgess - 11 May 2007 11:23
Very nice place, fairly unpretentious and laid back, beer was on form and theres great vinyl playing jukebox in one of the upstairs rooms, during my visit there was a ukelele group practicing in the other upstairs room, providing a quirky backdrop for a few pints. Plus theres a poster of Phil Spector in the gents over which somebody's scribbled "it werent me who killed them girls"!Friendly and diverting place.
sprungmonkey - 28 Apr 2007 19:53
Not sure this place justifies the hype.

Three mainstream beers on the go (my Pride was fine) served by a bloke who was in Holby City for a bit and supplemented by some nice exterior glasswork to catch the eye.

However I found the interior dark and messy. The tat and random posters reminded me more of a student union bar circa 1994. Mind you, I guess for the area that's a bit unique...? In fact, a lot of the people in there seemed quite studenty.

Might pop back on a summers day to sample the al fresco element, but not tempted back at present.
Quinno - 25 Feb 2007 13:34
Went there for lunch with colleagues and the amazing sausage and mash, cosy fire and quirky decor really cheered us up on a dull January day. Nice friendly bar people too.
I think it will become a regular haunt.
starafurzina - 9 Jan 2007 16:15
Quirky and charming, with good tunes! Ale is generally not so good, though. I like this place a lot, good to get hammered in.
insekt - 27 Nov 2006 20:23
Nice little pub, cosy and friendly. tends to be popular amongst architects, which is good and bad.


mralistair - 17 Oct 2006 13:20
I think it Southwark might edge Clerkenwell on pubs JUST but Clerkenwell is such a nicer area so that makes the difference for me. Regularly drink in both.
anonymous - 16 Aug 2006 19:34
Personally, I prefer people describing areas by the nearest tube station than the historical area, as it lets me know which stop to go to. If someone said "this pub is in Clerkenwell", there's about 3 or 4 stations that could be closest. "Farringdon" is pretty precise.

Also - I'd have to disagree that Farringdon/Clerkenwell is pub-mecca. Surely that title has to go to London Bridge? ("Southwark" for Stonch):O)

Anyway, this pub is acceptable if you happen to be in the area, but unless you work for the Guardian or live locally, there's probably little reason to be in this part of Clerkenwell, and it's not worth a special trip. Plus the place just tries too damn hard to be quirky (the exterior in the picture tells the story).

Like a Shoreditch pub that lost its way.
topdog_andy - 14 Aug 2006 12:50
Farringdon is a railway station, not an area of London. The Three Kings is in Clerkenwell / Finsbury. It isn't even adjacent to Farringdon, just close to it. Why do people insist on ignoring well-defined, historic areas of London in favour of a lazy classification based on the stations on a bloody tube map. Annoys me.

However having said that I agree with the fella below about this area, best in London for pubs - though Three Kings is only an average one. Would be fantastic anywhere else but round here there are better places.
anonymous - 11 Aug 2006 12:36
To digress slightly, sod Soho, leave Leicester Square, say "See Ya!" to The City, move over Mayfair, shove off Shoreditch (I'm running out of ideas now...), etc. - Farringdon is my favourite part of London for a pint. It's got everything.

And this is my (current) favourite Farringdon pub. I can't put my finger on anything in particular, but I'm a picky punter and I Just Like It!

Be warned, cash only. Go to the bank first.
TheG - 11 Aug 2006 10:54
Lovely pub, lovely staff, lovely pint of Young's, lovely plate of Portuguese pork stew, lovely people spilling out onto the lovely street. Lovely!
LordRadlington - 18 Jun 2006 03:33
Went for a drink last monday night,chilled out place,good service and decent beers-a pretty good pub-pity I keep referring to it as the 3 Henrys(Cooper, v111'th & Kissinger?)..............
EdgarBriggsMI5 - 2 Apr 2006 10:45
Seems to attract the "in" crowd, which can make the experience a bit tiresome if you dont like people like that, but otherwise generally impressed with the pub. London Pride not as expensive as you might expect it to be. Yes, I'll come back some day -although I do prefer the nearby Sekforde Arms.
JohnBonser - 17 Mar 2006 11:34
A good traditional pub, with good food at lunchtime. Questionable clientele though: last time a very drunk city-type vomited all over the next table.
anonymous - 17 Mar 2006 10:51
A unique treasure hidden away in Clerkenwell. They even keep the outside lights dimmed to make it hard to find for first time visitors. Despite that, it's quite friendly. And it's THE place to be on a warm summers evening when you can take your pints outside and site on the church steps across the street. Quite simply one the very best pubs in London.
mrfalafel - 12 Jan 2006 12:04
Odd selection of rubbish beers. Needs to get something decent either on draught or in the fridge at least to attract me regularly. Lovely place though.
anonymous - 3 Jan 2006 15:30
Remember that old Eiffel Tower in a snowstorm that Aunt Agnes brought back from Paris when you were a kid. Well give it to the Three Kings. They will find a loving home for it alongside all the other weird, quirky, tacky, unusual and downright eccentric bric-a-brac that can be found lining the shelves and windowsills. A plastic rhino head casts its eye in a watchful gaze over the candlelit bar. A plastic Chinese lion waves gleefully underneath it. Pictures, posters, mirrors, and flyers advertising anything and everything fill in any space on the walls that are left. Anything that looks out of place is well suited to this pub. I would not like to be the cleaner who has to dust everything but I am quite happy to be a customer, sampling any of the 3 well kept beers. The rest of the single room main bar is quite basic with bare floorboards and plain décor and it is fair to say that the interior is, in its own way, pleasantly grim. There is an upstairs but but I didn't have time to sample it. Full of character and set in a village type area of London, this is one of the more unusual pubs in London and well worth tracking down.
RogerB - 16 Nov 2005 18:30
This is my local for lunch during the working week and I am a big fan. But there is one thing sacred, yet also utterly basic about serving beer..there are no excuses for serving flat insipid larger. Normally it's such a good standard, but today's lunchtime pint
was a challenge too far; even celebrity guests in a Jungle would find it hard to swollow. I was eventually advised to get my money back and try down the road...oh dear, oh dear
Musak - 25 Nov 2004 15:12
A fibreglass rhino peers across the bar, over the heads of the edgy yet friendly crowd who frequent this place. The upstairs is often deserted, allowing you unfettered access to the snow globe cabinet and comfy sofas. Lots of wood. Nice staff, nice place. Bit noisy for me downstairs, mind. Good for the start of a messy night out.
Sue - 9 Sep 2004 12:39
Best pub in London,by far!! & the best cricket Team!!! as well
Womble - 1 Sep 2004 20:19
A joy of a pub, one of the best in London. The downstairs is eccentricly decorated and you can also spill out on to the green.

There's also a fantastic upstairs which hardly anyone seems to know about. So "sssshhhhhhhh".
MrScott - 9 Aug 2004 09:25
Why is this pub not on the list? Cheap, good food, lovely outdoor drinking area, good views of old church, excellent bar stuff. One of the last proper, non-chain pubs. Your list is full of All Bar One's etc. Leave them alone!!!
Liza Brett - 8 Jun 2004 17:26
Great place for a drink after work. Can get crowded on Fridays but you can always go outside in the summer.
Mike - 26 May 2004 13:15
my favourite pub in london. papier mache decor, stuffed rhino, interesting crowd, and you can drink in the churchyard over the road. good music too.
james - 10 Jul 2003 20:25
This pub isn't bad. As part of a crawl in Clerkenwell on Friday 20/06/03 I had a pint of Old Speckled Hen which was quite good. This pub has a very traditional albeit exciting interior, keeps quite a good pint of speckled hen and is worth a visit. You can take youur beers outside in a plastic, and drink in the church yard, which is an added bonus. Refreshingly, this pub attracts NO troublemakers and the atmosphere, both inside and out, is great!
lad_newton - 23 Jun 2003 17:05
lively friendly local pub, with plenty of good beer!
missdee - 11 Mar 2003 19:04

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