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Old Fountain, Old Street

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user reviews of The Old Fountain, Old Street

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

This pub stands head and shoulders above anything else in the vicinity.
An absolute treasure, good independent traditional pub but run by a landlord with an eye for the modern drinkers who clearly takes pride in his pub and is interested in his clientele.
Up to 8 ales on hand pumps and tasters readily offered and a massive range of unusual canned and bottled beers.
Excellent food menu, cooked in a kitchen adjacent to the bar. Tasty, good value too.
Siren Suspended in Rainbows 4%, Market Bosworth Autumn porter 5%, London Pride 4.1%, Moor Raw 4.3% (unfixed), Oakham Citra 4.2%, Redemption Rock the Kazbek 4.1%.
TonyMitch - 3 Oct 2018 19:41
14 keg beers on sale last Friday mostly priced around the £6-£7 per pint mark (although the Hardywood Kentucky Christmas Morning was £9) and 6 cask ales all priced around £4.20 per pint (three of which were also on sale when Blue Scrumpy visited). I tried the keg Chorlton Lemon Brett Sour which looked disgusting but tasted sublime. The planters on the roof terrace could easily have graced the concurrent Chelsea show.
paul_d102 - 29 May 2018 11:31
I agree with all the favourable reviews. One extra point: I like the feature of showing names of all the beers, source, ABV and price big and clear on a blackboard.
You know what you're ordering with no nasty surprises waiting.
Jimdee - 8 Mar 2018 16:26
I think it had been almost 5 years since my last visit here. I was back briefly yesterday, following a visit to the Draft House Old Street, just across the road. The Old Fountain was quiet and we were the only ones in. But it still has a good craft beer and real ale range. Ales were Hammerton N7, Tempest Cascadian, Five Points XPA, Oakham Citra, Moor Confidence & Fuller's London Pride. The cider was Cock Eyed Mad Jack.
blue_scrumpy - 4 Feb 2018 19:01
Just have to agree with "curleysue" and other posters this is a gem.
A must visit if in the area.
bjbrummiejohn - 23 Mar 2017 08:13
Great boozer, with a fantastic range of beers from near and far. Staff very friendly and helpful and price of beers and food is surprisingly good value for the area. Food is also excellent. This pub is a gem and all involved have got things just right. Long may it continue
curleysue - 5 Aug 2016 11:16
A busy lively pub with a great range of real ales. Not only is there quantity the quality is of the highest standard as well. This pub is run by people who know how to look after beer!
From memory there were 10 ales available including Siren Dinner For 2, Camden Town Gentlemen's Wit and Camden Hells and Mallinson's Chinnor. The Dinner for 2 and the Camden Hells were both very good!
The staff are knowledgeable and friendly. There's an aquarium in the pub which is a novelty. A lack of music means conversation is encouraged. I ended up chatting about Dover to a fellow drinker who regularly visits the town for a spell of fishing.
This pub is not to be missed if you are in the Old Street/Angel area.
outtamehead - 5 Apr 2015 15:19
A superb pub,parts of which are old and some are made to look old,a better pub than the Craft &co. outlets which is high praise Craft &Co. springs to mind as like the Old Fountain ten handpumps and several keg beers are dispensed. The pub is perfectly clean and the service is knowledgeable and polite. I had a perfect Marble ale called Pint,some of the others went for Oakham's Citra , the Marble was a bit better on the day,it was very hard to leave this pub. Very handy for Moorfields Hospital i'm told.10/10.
slerpy - 11 Jan 2015 19:34
Little gem of a pub in an area which is not short of watering holes. Whereas a lot of other establishments in the area are fairly mediocre to say the least, this little place shines like beacon on the horizon.

Situated with entrances on both Baldwin St and Peerless St and in very close proximity to Moorfields Eye Hospital this split level bar maintain the look and the feel of a traditional family run free house which is somewhat a rarity for Central London.

Great range of ales on tap and a real cider to boot. Only stayed for one which was an offering from the Summerwine Brewery in Yorkshire. At 5.5% this went down quicker than Paris Hilton on video camera!

This place also seems to be free of the groups of boring, pretentious spoilt little rich kids trying to be all out there hipsters that pollute the nearby pubs of Hoxton and Shoreditch with there stupid hair and clothes and their match thin roll ups of old drum. Long may this continue!

All in all, a great pub with great values!!
BeerGutt - 12 Sep 2014 14:59
After the 15 minute walk in the rain from Exmouth Market I finally visited the Old Fountain. I’ve been meaning to come here for almost a year now but never really had the chance.

8 cask ales, 7 on keg and 1 cider make for a great selection and very difficult to choose a beer!

Busy in both areas in this split level bar with seating areas to suit, comfy seating upstairs, wooden tables and chairs downstairs towards where the food is prepared in the open kitchen, food had finished by the time I arrived.

Music being played through a juke box or i-pod but at a decent level and lots of chatter going on from the customers and regulars alike.

The wooden floor in the lower bar deserves a mention as it’s like a chequer board and obviously has some age to it.

There’s a roof garden but I didn't visit it, this will be on my next visit.

Overall this is a quality pub and is well worthy of it's place in the Camra Good Beer Guide, a true London family run free house…this is a must visit.
lezford - 14 Aug 2014 13:47
Excellent charming pub doing very fine beer. Good service and unpretentious.

Terenced extends a firm handshake.
terenced - 22 Apr 2014 15:35
Devil take me. Dial not 666 but 999. This is an emergency. Cod Fosters required. Isee the ads Aussies drink it.......I think they judge solemly. Other beers availableon request. Worth trying.
albertfox - 19 Mar 2014 09:34
I paid a couple of visits to the Fountain last week, and I am pleased to report that the beer is as good as ever. I decided to visit soon after opening as, in my experience, the pub can get crowded as lunchtime approaches. The Kent Porter was in excellent condition and very drinkable.

The a couple of other plus points to note. Firstly, the salt beef sandwiches are excellent and the other food available looks well-prepared rather than the generic boil in the bag/microwave stuffed served in many gastropubs. Secondly, the bar staff were excellent and paid close attention to their customer's orders.

All in all, a must-visit pub.
Harry_the_Dog - 20 Feb 2014 21:52
One of the best real ale pubs in the area and justifiably CAMRA East London & City branch's pub of the year 2013.
Senberbex......I think your taste buds, as well as your spatial perception were seriously disoriented.......Fosters???? Agreeably palatable????? :)
beerlover666 - 12 Dec 2013 18:18
As a venue for a simple Gothic Puppetry get-together I founs this place to be most odd. First, a moat, made by a tributary of The Walbrook, one of London's 'lost' medieval rivers must be navigated. Once the waist deep slurry has been forded, a slippery volcanic mount must be ascended - only the fittest and bravest prevailing here - due to the spiralling, ascending causeway being so slippery that a vigourous sprint up its kilometre length is the only way to maintain forward inertia.
Once atop the promentary, one is confronted with more peculiarity - the bar rotates around a fixed 3-dimensional escalator....or is it the other way round?? The lack of external fixed reference points makes spatial orientation and the ability to ascertain relative position an extreme challenge.
Aside from this, I found the Fosters to be well kept and agreebly palatable. Service was brisk but competant. A rooster was shaved in seconds without having to ask.
senberbex - 25 Oct 2013 16:45
Located a short walk from "Old street" LU station this is a large open plan pub that looks like it was once a two room pub.

Visited it on a Monday afternoon so it was not busy but had a steady number of drinkers coming in, had 6 real ale on draught and 4 craft beer in keg on offer too, I tried the "kent" brewery "session pale" which was very good and at £3.30 a pint pretty reasonable value.

Prompt service from the bar staff, as you would expect on a weekday afternoon, and the food which is available from 12 to 3 pm looked good as well.

CAMRA East/City pub of year 2012.
beershot - 10 Jul 2013 16:21
Good beer and was just not over crowded latish on a Friday. Well worth a visit.
bedfont - 1 Jun 2013 14:33
Great ale pub -- selection of beers too numerous to list but O'Hanlon's Dry Stout was good and there's always a couple from Dark Star.

Can get a bit chaotic trying to get served around the bar but the staff are efficient.

The rooftop terrace is well worth a visit but this part of the pub tends to attract the Shoreditch-Tech City hipster contingent so choose your spot carefully.
charlie_m - 1 Jun 2013 13:05
You'll struggle to find too many better pubs than this in London, especially with regard to the selection (and quality) of ales. Brisk and friendly bar staff and I like the small roof terrace too. A 'must visit' pub.
Doob - 31 May 2013 13:03
Earthy, authentic feeling pub, one of very few in the area. Arguably the second best beer selection in London e.g. always stuff from Kernel, Arbor etc on tap. Free house, owned by the same family since the early 60s.
catbert - 28 May 2013 01:50
Excellent back street pub, good replacement for the Wenlock Arms over the City Road that's now a building site. Friendly, cosy vibe. Top class lineup of cask ales, Dark Star and Crouch Vale were favorites of mine. Didn't try any of the keg beers this time but some unusual names were on. Easy to miss from the City Road but well worth coming down for a pint or maybe half a dozen of them. If you need to contact the pub at all, click on the link to their own website. You'll find the proper 0207 number there. Great pub. 9/10
jamie.nakin - 11 May 2013 19:09
I'm still to be won over by the Old Fountain. I had planned to give it another try to sample its Easter beer festival. It was almost deathly quiet on my Easter Monday visit with only 4 or 5 other customers. Most of the festival beers were still available on stillage at the end of the bar. Sadly, there was no real cider. Cask beers on were Kent Session Pale Ale, Raw Zenith & Majic Mild, Brighton Bier Maple Porter & Red Rye, Thornbridge McConnel's Vanilla Stout, Arbor Down Deeper Goo Goo G'Soop, Marble Ginger 6 & Earl Grey, Oakham Tranquility Dream Catcher & Atilla & London Fields Shoreditch IPA. They also have an interesting selection of keg beers, including a rather strange tasting gooseberry beer. Service was swift and friendly. But I still find that the pub lacks atmosphere. A real cider would also be a valuable addition.
blue_scrumpy - 3 Apr 2013 20:49
First visit for a while and still has good as ever. Great selection of well kept ales. Good atmosphere.

Definitely not a gastro pub.

Always visit when I'm in the area. A must visit for the ale drinker.
TheHorsesMouth - 13 Feb 2013 14:31
Enjoyable visit to the Fountain last week. An excellent selection of beers on tap - my pints of Oakham Carioca and Brodies Dalston Black were superb.
holbornboy - 15 Oct 2012 22:35
Fantastic selection of real and craft bottled beers in here. Good service, loved it. There is an upstairs balcony which doesn't enjoy the best views but still nice to get out for some air.
dyyony - 24 Aug 2012 23:19
Dismally slow service for a Thursday evening...beer was thankfully worth the wait, Cobnut exceptional. But get some staff on please - its 2012.
pkrp - 20 Jul 2012 23:18
The OF seems to be showcasing Fyne Ales from Argyllshire - and very fine they are too. Ales always in top condition with good service.
ed.spbw - 17 Jul 2012 22:38
Contrary to the reviews below this place is certainly NOT a gastro pub. Having been a regular for several years the pub has in the last few months had some money spent on opening a roof terrace, much improved toilets and a lick of paint in the main bar. The bar itself has been kept so the 'new' style is very sympathetic to how it always has been. However, its main draw remains the fantastic range and quality of beer it sells and the first class landlord and staff who work behind the bar.
BothamsAshes - 21 Jun 2012 17:46
Pub with a decent range of beers. Had JHB, Jaipur keg, Marble Mild and all well served.
bedfont - 2 Jun 2012 01:01
I have been working in the Old Street area for a year now and visitied this pub on different times and days. Never have had a bad pint and had some of the best ever. The food offering looks reasonable being well sourced but not over fussed gastro style. Always worth a stop for one but it will keep you there for the next
KentishScot - 24 May 2012 11:12
My first visit - a Friday lunctime and it was very busy but I got a beer (Oakham Citra) fairly quickly. Not what I had expected when it came to decor (it's not your normal traditional alehouse but smart and modernish inside). Good range of ales with a couple of interesting guest beers and not too badly priced. I will certainly use it again - it's very handy for Old Street station.
mcroyal - 4 Mar 2012 10:26
My opinion was clouded by having to wait behind a dithering amateur pub-goer ordering a round for six people with just the one barman working. The beer was okay, cheaper than expected, but the place seemed a fairly basic gastro-type pub and certainly didn't seem worthy of the many awards it's received.
djw - 25 Jan 2012 00:44
Visited today for a quick one - nice atmosphere and good pint of Brodies, Kiwi (my first one ever). Got busy very quickly and I look forward to another visit with the Missus.
Mr_ESB_Harry - 4 Nov 2011 19:18
Bounded into the Fountain with three friends on Wednesday 3rd August at 9.47pm. An extremely warm welcome was afforded us by the drinkers at the bar who seemed unable to stop laughing!! At least eight beers on offer in this marvellous pub, I opted for an exquisitely quaffable half of Saltaire Cascade.
This remains a TOP PUB. Do visit!! You will not regret it!!
Newton_Lad - 6 Aug 2011 21:12
Friday was my first visit here for a while. It was much quieter than the last time I visited, despite being a Friday afternoon. There were about 8 or 9 of us in total, including the long haired guy from the Wenlock! Wimbledon was showing on the TV. Even the barman looked bored. However what the Fountain loses in atmosphere, it gains in its beer selection - Fullers London Pride, Mighty Oak Oscar Wilde, Hopback Taiphoon, Oakham Citra, Camden Pale Ale, Brodies Nugget and Acorn Barnsley Bitter. In addition, they now have a real cider on handpull - Gwynt y Ddraig Medium Farmhouse on my visit. It stays as a 7/10 for me. It's certainly better than the Wenlock these days. But it may need to raise its game to compete with a new breed of real ale pubs/bars springing up. We moved onto the new Craft Beer Company in Clerkenwell. With 15 cask ales, a cider, many foreign keg beers and a huge bottled beer range, pubs like the Old Fountain have their work cut out.
blue_scrumpy - 4 Jul 2011 17:50
Excellent showcase of London brewers (+ Windsor & Eton!) all this week.This pub is always well worth a visit.
ed.spbw - 10 May 2011 20:45
Nice little find, perhaps a touch contradictory for my liking, very old style inside but the pavement very studentlandish. Beers all rare finds in London and kept decent, although perhaps too many "golden" beers. Assume the carpet is listed!
loveleedshatebates - 16 Apr 2011 12:10
Excellent pub, a good compromise between the priciness of the Eagle, and the scruffiness of the Wenlock.
Uncle_Dunkel - 27 Mar 2011 18:02
Enjoyed Pale Rider, Trashy Blonde and Amarillo among other beers there last night. 3.20 per pint. All in excellent condition, as you'd expect from a pub that concentrates on doing what all boozers should - serving decent beer rather than going all gastro.
There are pizza, chips etc if you get hungry, but essentially just a decent pub to drink good beer.
duchyjim - 11 Feb 2011 12:04
Visited on a Friday night as an early stop on our city crawl.Predictably busy so had to stand outside in the roadworks to sup. However pub friendly with a real cross section of punters. Helpful staff waded through the eager waiting throng at the bar with cheerful ease. Beer selection excellent and unusual and the temptation of a second pint of the seasonal Dark Star Tripel would surely have ended the crawl there and then. A real gem and some compensation for the loss the mighty Wenlock nearby.
Bonecracker - 23 Jan 2011 08:45
NB CLOSED WEEKENDS
rabdes - 7 Jan 2011 17:14
A great boozer that's come on a treat in the last few years. Always a good choice of beer and a proper cider.
ofrex - 7 Dec 2010 09:39
Friday lunchtime, fairly busy with the usual varied crowd. The mix of customers is part of what makes this such an excellent boozer. Excellent pint of Ascot Single Hop and a hot salt beef sandwich. I always try to make a detour here when in London, and am never disappointed.
Schwalbe - 5 Dec 2010 14:23
The recent festival was superb, hopefully there will be some things left over for next Monday. The Tally-Ho mentioned in the last review had been in the cellar for well over a year, shows what a fine brew it is.
TiaMariaJim - 27 Nov 2010 12:53
Popped in late on Weds 24th - Beer Festival is ON.
over 20 ales, porters and stouts ! Tried five, all in tip top condition and some brews rarely available. Best sip of Tally Ho I've ever tasted, truly outstanding.
700_Cheeses - 25 Nov 2010 13:30
Excellent range of beers in a good old-fasioned atmosphere, certainly good for a couple of quick pints after work on a Friday.

To be recommended.
jfrebrycn - 20 Nov 2010 12:22
Lovely little pub just off the massive Old Street roundabout and across the road from the dead-undergoing-redevelopment-to-flats Three Crowns. The beer choice is excellent (generally covering the full spectrum from light 3% ale to dark, heavy porters), the quality reliably good and the atmosphere just like that of a busy-ish backstreets pub in any major city - never too loud but never all that quiet either. Clientele range from locals from the nearby estates, through offcie workers needing a couple of pints before facing the sardine-like experience of commuting to the asymmetrically-coiffeured bright young things of Hoxton and Shoreditch all, it seems, rubbing along just fine.

It seems worth noting that I've never yet found a bad pub (Wetherspoons aside)that takes the trouble to buy, look after and serve beers from the more palate-challenging microbreweries (Thornbridge, Marble, Brewdog, Darkstar). The Fountain is no exception.
pablos13 - 10 Nov 2010 08:20
VISITED THIS LOVELY PUB ON THE 25TH OCT AND WAS VERY PLEASED, GOOD RANGE OF BEERS THE OAKHAM APOLLO WAS IN EXCELLENT CONDITION AND THE FOOD ON OFFER LOOKED GOOD AS WELL, GOOD WELL RUN PROPER PUB!
TWOJACKRUSSELLS - 3 Nov 2010 03:38
Traditional pub.

Well-kept beers - micros often.

Limited food.

Atmosphere so-so.

Worth trying.
eggyoke - 13 Oct 2010 21:35
Popped in on Tuesday night on my way to the Scala. Saddened to see that the beer garden has now gone.

Times are a changing.
churchyboy - 7 Oct 2010 05:40
Excellent range of draft beers, all of the 5 I tried were in excellent condition. Pub had a real local feel to it, with friendly, efficient staff. Pizza from 5 PM that was good for pub pizza-topping was excellent, the base was so-so, went down very well with the beer though! My only complaint was that the level of light meant it could be tricky trying to read in there in some parts of it (where one attempting to work-from-home in there!!)
BlindTiger - 3 Sep 2010 14:53
Went to this pub and had a new Dark Star ale. Seemed a decent place.
blackash - 14 Aug 2010 17:03
Very quiet tuesday afternoon didnt seem quite as good as i was expecting from previous reviews. Maybe when busier in the evening it has a bit more atmosphere. Will try again.
Picasso09 - 28 Jul 2010 21:54
It's okay and they had plenty of ales on but I was kind of expecting something more from this pub. With doors opened either side it had a bit of throughother feel to it - not a kind of place you'd want to linger. I didn't do well with the choice of ale either... tried a pint of Brodies Red Ale and I'm afraid it echoed the Irish style too well. Was like a pint of MacArdles (in it's time Dundalk's finest keg for those unfamiliar with it) and not something I'd fancy another pint of. Will give it another try when next in the vicinty.
anonymous - 22 Jul 2010 22:09
Came here on Thursday afternoon, fairly quiet but a pleasant comfortable place to be in. There were 6 ales on tap - I tried the Marble Stout and Dark Star Chestnut; both kept well & only 3/pint. Top pub.
Booze_Allen - 12 Jul 2010 17:28
Made a special trip to visit here on a Sunday afternoon - waste of time as its only open Monday to Friday :-(((((
dGriz - 7 Jul 2010 12:46
Lovely place, with good selection of well-kept ales. I can't believe I've passed it by so many times: I suppose if you don't know it's there, then it's easy to miss. Once you've found it though, you won't forget it (for the right reasons).
Charno - 6 Jul 2010 13:34
8 beers on at 3. Quality and service excellent. Dead in the afternoon today. Maybe it livens up. Worth visiting.
cheshirecat - 8 Jun 2010 21:07
The recent ale festival was superb , the Marble Ginger and Dark Star Victorian Ruby Mild were the best with the Boggart Rum Porter and Marble Chocolate also worthy of mention . The owner and staff did well .
mr.toes.5_ - 5 Jun 2010 14:11
very enjoyable festival last weekend. top 3 beers: Marble Pint, Dunham Massey Choc Cherry, Brodie's World Cup Willie.
The usually excellent Pictish Brewer's Gold was oddly very poor, but I overlook that because there were so many other good beers to choose from.
Also, great atmos on the Saturday evening, when most of the suit contingent were absent.
well done.
Dimple_mug - 1 Jun 2010 14:05
Went to the Old Fountain on the back of a review in the London Drinker on 20th May only to find that this was the first day of their Beer Festival? Yes!! This pub is set down a side street in Old St., and from the outside doesn't reveal its secrets, but on the inside is a real gem, a true London standard for real ale and the Crouch Vale Fountain Apollo, Red Squirrel London Irish and Dark Star Victorian Ruby Mild I sampled were all super with the barrels racked beautifully and the staff all very friendly. It's a simple pub with few frills - the food menu seemed down to earth and good value, but really, this place is about beer and relaxation, so next time I'm in the area, I'll pop in!! Cheers!!
mikeypr - 31 May 2010 15:14
Paid a visit yesterday for the pub's very first beer festival. Ten beers on stillage and eight on tap - almost all of those sampled were superb, including Pictish Brewers Gold, Crouch Vale Dry Hopped Brewers Gold, Marble Pint, Dark Star Victorian Ruby Mild and Red Squirrel American 100 Special.
An excellent first festival, well done to all involved.
holbornboy - 21 May 2010 23:36
Beer festival was going well yesterday - 10 beers on stillage plus the usual 8 handpumped. A very wide and interesting selection indeed!
ed.spbw - 21 May 2010 20:31
FaP is advertising World Cup football here. Say it isn't so!?
cmofish - 10 May 2010 09:38
Called in this afternoon. Usual wide range of beers on and the couple I sampled were fine. Beer festival 20 - 22 May seems to be going ahead. Still a pub worth visiting .
ed.spbw - 6 May 2010 19:55
I was surprised to see Paul is now working at the Wenlock. Must

have been an acrimonious departure.
robots1 - 2 May 2010 16:50
So sad that Paul felt obliged to leave. His cellar skills, devotion to good beer, plus his being good company, caused me to while way my time and money here. I hope Jim finds someone with a fraction of his dedication and skill as this has been a must visit for the last 18 months or so.
ed.spbw - 29 Apr 2010 19:46
Absolutely gutted that Paul has now left - he really did make a BIG change to this place. When I first started drinking in this pub back in '89, you had a choice of London Pride or London Pride. I really do hope that we do not go back to those days again.

Good luck to you Paul, and thanks.
churchyboy - 26 Apr 2010 16:25
Going to be very interesting to see what happens now...
Dimple_mug - 25 Apr 2010 11:12
Shocked to discover that Paul upped and left yesterday.

It was his cellar skills that really made this pub something better than your average back-street boozer.

Let's hope that whoever takes over has the same dedication to real ale.
TiaMariaJim - 21 Apr 2010 22:44
We went to The Old Fountain which was very different style to those we had been in. Carpeted on 2 levels with a bar in each displaying the 8 beers available. We found 2 new ones Red Squirrel Springfield IPA and Cottage Between the Posts. Cheapest so far at 2.95. Both beers in great condition. Food menu looked good too.
gillhalfpint - 24 Mar 2010 22:14
Great night had in the Fountain last night. Tip top beer as usual.
Role on May!!
churchyboy - 18 Mar 2010 19:42
Great Pub, great service, good food. Nothing in the surrounding area comes close - enough said
Poundland99 - 6 Mar 2010 14:01
I'm afraid this won't be your cup of tea if you aren't a fan of dated pubs. Some people seem to love that kind of thing, however, so the place seems to do a moderate amount of trade.

The beer is good quality and the choice is outstanding, but ultimately a pub is about more than beer and consequently this place doesn't appeal.
sitwell - 1 Mar 2010 15:10
Cracking pub in an nice location just by Old Street tube station. 8 ales on including a stout and a mild. Suprised to find this empty on a Tuesday lunch time but least it was easy to get served. Can see why this is/has been such high up on this website well worth its place in the top 5. Will visit again.
superseagulls - 24 Feb 2010 18:45
A very nice pub but i didnt think it was outstanding.

They had seven ales on when i visited, i was a little underwhelmed by the choice and cannot understand why a freehouse and one seemingly so highly praised would have London Pride on.

They had a Sam smiths wheat beer on keg, interesting to some i guess but i prefer a good authentic German weisse myself. surely there are enough Sam smiths pubs around to let them sell there own beers....

i would come back if in the area, but wouldnt make special journey, that said, this place is in different league its rival the Wenlock!
bongobob - 23 Feb 2010 01:24
This is one of the best pubs in London, the quality and service are superb . If all pubs were like this then this would be a better place.
mr.toes.5_ - 19 Feb 2010 04:28
Traditional style boozer in the middle of a terrace which, unusually, has an entrance in the streets on each side. Internally it's reasonable smart and typical of the type of London pub that hasn't changed much over the last fifty years, but what really sets the Old Fountain apart is the range and quality of the eight real ales on offer. Mostly from smaller southern breweries such as Crouch Vale, Dark Star, Mighty Oak etc. the four I sampled were uniformly perfect.

A shame the place doesn't open at weekends as it's clearly usurped the Wenlock as the best pub in the area for me. I like a down to earth boozer but unless ithe Wenlock has taken a turn for the better in recent months it's become just a bit too tatty and scruffy and the ales, whilst always drinkable, have rarely been kept as well as they might be on my more recent visits.

The friendly and efficient service at the Old Fountain also contrasts with the often surly and inattentive equivalent at the Wenlock.
Delirious_Nomad - 1 Feb 2010 13:17
A suprisingly large pub set back in a side street near Moorfields Eye Hospital (where many of the customers come from). The beer was well kept, especially the Oscar Wilde Mild. Food OK, although the Salt Beef sandwich was not as good as those served at the Wenlock Arms, but this is a nicer and cleaner pub.
simontheeditor - 29 Jan 2010 13:20
Only visited this pub once before as I always have a few in the Wenlock before
moving on but tried it again after reading the recent comments posted here. The beer selection and quality was great. The landlord was noodling about on
the bar with beer clips and stuff, seriously into his craft.

rob372 - 28 Jan 2010 20:49
Drank in there on Monday.

The Amarillo was perfect.
ericstadd - 28 Jan 2010 09:53
A well regarded and celebrated house with an exceptional choice of traditional ales. There are eight handpumps in two banks of four, shared between the upper and lower bars of this pub, split between two front and rear street entrances. Both sets of pumps are double clipped to show the full range.
The interior is a little dated, and functional, traditional tables in fours, plus banquettes around the external walls. A dart board and fish tank complete the picture. Brewery mirrors,occasional photos but a bit spartan really.
Never mind all that, for the real ale drinker it is heaven, on my visit seven on, Oxfordshire Marshmallow, Weltons Horsham Old, Skinners Cornish Knocker, Pride, fff Altons , Adnams Broadside, and Moorhouse Black Cat.
No one will knock that choice, and the pub is welcoming to real ale drinkers, even if the interior and decor seem from a different age.
Maldenman - 21 Jan 2010 22:06
Always a good choice of Ales and food. A little pricey sometimes, but not terrible for the area. Staff are generally friendly as are the locals.
robbief5 - 20 Jan 2010 15:18
Rather unpreposessing from the outside and not massively exciting to look at on the inside (reminds me a bit of the look of a university bar - merely functional). However, there the negatives (if you can call the negatives) stop. The beer was excellent; I had a couple of pints of Slater's Supreme, a Crouch Vale Fine Pale Ale and Twickenham Autumn Blaze. Very pleasant. The bar staff were friendly and the pub has a nice, diverse, clientele. All in all, a hugely enjoyable evening. Will return.
geosteve - 15 Jan 2010 11:19
Had a pint of Rudgate Ruby Mild and Red Squirrel London Porter in here last night on one of my all to infrequent visits. They were both excellent. The choice and quality of the beer in this pub is outstanding and the service and atmosphere match it.
Alfnoax - 15 Jan 2010 10:40
Happy New Year to everyone associated with the Old Fountain. See you in 2010.
churchyboy - 31 Dec 2009 05:15
Agree with the last review. Old fountain is a broad church and welcomes everyone. Of course the beer range is going to attract Camra members to the pub AND see it recommended in the Good Beer Guide which it deserves. On the whole, the beer at the Old Fountain is now better kept than in other local pubs nearby. In no way is Camra destroying the pub, as a review of 17/12/09 claims. My last visit a few weeks ago was good, and the pub was fairly full with everyone enjoying themselves. All pubs have their off days, but I certainly had nothing to complain about last time I was there. If only the pub was open on the weekend, this would offer welcome choice to drinkers in another nearby pub which has begun to deteriorate.
lad_newton - 25 Dec 2009 20:03
The beer is always wonderful here and a great range too. I don't know why people are moaning about CAMRA people - they are in a minority. It's mainly populated by office crew and hospital people. Paul is the cellar man and has an interest in beer - it's his job! It's not his only topic of conversation if you bother to chat to him. It's the diversity of pubs I find fascinating though. Even miserable scrotes make up the mix and are welcome here.
chick - 25 Dec 2009 10:20
I am lucky in that the pub is close to my office and I frequent it many a lunch time. Nowhere lse around that is a patch on it. Great variety of beer well kept and good affordable food. The hard part is keeping away. I note the comments re CAMRA members - though this wek is the first time I have come across such an anorak. Do what i did - just leave them to the bearded ginger cellarman and move to another part of the bar.
Dave and Jim very friendly and Jill happy to make up my weird sandwich concoctions. Tuna with red onion and horseradish a favourite. Paul (ginger) is ok when not stressed - though needs to get a life outside of beer.
Always worth a visit, and will struggle to cope as they close down over the xmas period. Visit and enjoy.
.
Dodger1 - 24 Dec 2009 10:55
Chav man, you seem to old to have all that angst, have you tried getting some friends or maybe prolonged spells of masturbation?
Henners - 17 Dec 2009 16:14
I used to like this pub but it now has those CAMRA nerds talking about the pipes etc. Avoid at all costs now. I can see why the traditional boozer is being destroyed.
Chav__man - 17 Dec 2009 14:59
Good beer as always on Monday evening. Credit due to Jim, Paul & David.

A tad concerned though about some of the CAMRA followers who attend this pub now. Please, just enjoy the quality ale on offer, in an unspoilt London pub & stop whinging.

20 years on & still enjoying the place.
churchyboy - 16 Dec 2009 07:25
Magic- it's good to know there's someone nearly as daft (and appeciative of good ale) as me and bongobilly.
Must visit the Old Fountain. Shame I live 400 miles away.
jagsfan - 12 Dec 2009 18:40
I was in the Old Fountain yesterday lunchtime, and I didnt notice anyone from Foriga, but I suppose there might have been some of them skulking in a corner somewhere, possibly near the dartboard. I did have a pint of Pale Rider as nice as it was, obviously I wouldnt have ordered it had I realised that it was from Kelham Island, which I believe is one of the main islands forming the Republic of Foriga. Having realised my mistake, but nonetheless necking the pint of Pale Rider in the interests of international harmony, I then had a pint of Amarillo, presumably named after the hometown of the famous comedian, Peter Kay.

Luckily this pub remains unchanged every time I visit it which is a very, very good thing. It quite rightly features as one of the capitals finest real ale pubs.
RexRattus - 10 Dec 2009 15:03
Blimey I must try Rubish Beer. As long as it's not from Foriga. Wonder if it's like Sarah Hughes Dark Rubish Mild?
jagsfan - 9 Dec 2009 20:08
I quite like Rubish Beer though - a tasty IPA brewed in the foothills of the Appalachians by the Rubish sect.
bongobilly - 9 Dec 2009 16:42
I hate Forigen People. I hate everyone from Foriga.
jagsfan - 9 Dec 2009 14:14
Although I have commented before in February, I must add that this establishment keeps getting better. Was in yesterday and the real ale quality and range were excellent. 8 Real Ales. It deserves the plaudits and accolades bestowed upon it. Keep up the good work.
Rudolph - 8 Dec 2009 12:00
An absolutely sublime pint of espresso stout in here last friday, and I can only echo the comments about the great range and consistently good condition of the beer. Starting to build up a real following. The cellerman is a legend, now a mate.
On a quick look round last time, I was very surprised to see the vast majority of punters not drinking real beer.
Interior is wood, relatively traditional with breweriana all-round, which is of course a positive.
I'd be down far more frequently if it was open later and/or weekends and if the clientele was more the friend-making type.
9/10
Dimple_mug - 8 Dec 2009 00:08
The ale quality here is absolutely top drawer with great cellar skills much in evidence.8 real ales available which on my visit included Crouch Vale Brewers Gold and Amarillo(fantastic,dangerously quaffable),Twickenham Sundancer and Grandstand Bitter,Dark Star Chesnut and Adnams Explorer.The bar snacks were also high quality ,salt beer sarnies,potato wedges ,fresh pizza all perfect for soaking up the alcohol.Deservedly popular and the bar service is wonderfully efficient and friendly ,so no long waits at the bar .IMHO this place has now overtaken The Wenlock despite being less earthy,and is one of the best in the country.Top marks all round.
Bucking_Fastard - 30 Nov 2009 12:23
Another fabulous evening at this pub at the end of a City crawl with three friends. On the pumps I espied Dark Star Porter, Downton New Forest Ale and Adnams Abbey. I had two pints of Woodforde's Wherry which were absolute nectar. Atmosphere as convivial as ever and surprisingly busy for a Monday night.
One of London's premiere pubs for Real Ale.
Newton_Lad - 19 Nov 2009 22:30
Spent a fabulous evening at the Old Fountain with four exquisite and juvenile friends of a kindred persuasion. How we revelled in the boisterous atmosphere as we chatted and giggled suggestively surrounded as we were but handsome young men in grey suits.
We dined wholesomely on wondrous provender: I had Cumberland ring, Tick had coq au vin, Adam dined on a nice rump whilst Bernadette went for the toad in the hole.
We noted to our sheer delight that there four males on pump - one was a big shining Dark Star, one a Ram Rod, the others being Dirty Dick's and Coocker Hoopwhich we certainly were!
And oh those barmen, pulling those decorative hand pumps - talk about fountains.
We'll be back sisters!
DarkManoeuvres - 9 Nov 2009 14:16
'London high flyers like the Wenlock'? Lee, stop talking rubbish.
holbornboy - 5 Nov 2009 21:57
Visited last night for session with a friend for the first time since the beginning of the year. There was a boisterous group of drinkers and a pleasant atmosphere. "Jim" governor was behind the bar and afforded all a swift and courteous service; and the two beers I chose from a range of eight were well-kept (Dark Star Original and O'Hanlon's Port Stout). Food portions looked good on the plates of those dining, however I arrived later on having eaten elsewhere so cannot report on food this time. The beer range was great (in the league of other London high-flyers like the Wenlock and the Cask Pub in Pimlico, and it is now attracting a loyal following.

Very much worth a visit, but DO REMEMBER the pub is ONLY open Monday to Friday. Those arriving on a Saturday or Sunday would need to turn right into City Road, walk up to Windsor Terrace and turn right - lol :-)

Pub Rating with review 8/10.


lad_newton - 5 Nov 2009 17:46
We visited here on Thursday evening during the dark beer festival. The pub is brighter than the nearby Wenlock and was fairly busy with the after work crowd, plus a fair number of locals and real ale buffs. Available during our visit were Brodies Porter, Brains SA Gold, RCH Steam Bitter, Mighty Oak Oscar Wilde, Darkstar Porter, Moorhouses Black Cat, Fullers London Pride & Art Brew Spanked Monkey IPA. The only drawback for me was the lack of a real cider. Sam Smiths cider is a poor substitute. As one of the better pubs in the City, I'll probably be back. But I still prefer the Wenlock.
blue_scrumpy - 1 Nov 2009 12:44
A previous one line review said, An excellent and extensive range of real ales served by people who know what they're doing in an un-spoilt pub
Couldnt agree more.
8 Real Ales on, which included Test Brew 2 and White Mountain IPA from the Red Squirrel brewery in Hertford, Ascot Ales Posh Pooch and Alligator Ale, Whitstable Brewery East India pale Ale and Adnams Old Ale, all dispensed by three hard working bar keeps who knew what they were doing.
Decent looking traditional interior and its two distinct areas support enough seating and standing areas to enjoy the ale, and something you dont see in pubs very much now, a tropical fish tank bubbling away on one of the walls.

Gann - 27 Oct 2009 15:50
Decent boozer,the staff tried to keep the service level high,the beer was fine & its not too far from The Wenlock
EdgarBriggsMI5 - 25 Oct 2009 11:11
My friend has been going on about this place for months and I finally met him in London last thursday for a visit. Arrived at 5.10 and left at 9.10. What a session! I think I tried about 5 different real ales before starting on my favourites so far. Noticed a range of good priced sandwiches plus some pizzas at 6. The place was very busy and well deserved so as well. Considering only two people serving we didn't have to wait either. The landlord isn't afraid to get his hands dirty and worked hard with his other member of staff all evening. Loved it and I'm sure you will too.
ButchEgg - 18 Oct 2009 14:08
Great, no nonsense boozer with excellent service. It's a scandal that there are not more pubs with this standard of bar staff. No 'Who is next?' being asked in here.

Well done Jim and co.
Larry_E - 15 Oct 2009 16:13
Nice couple of pints last night - Darling Buds and Naked Ladies.
Always look forward to visiting the Fountain.
churchyboy - 9 Oct 2009 19:36
A 'proper' pub in an area where many have disappeared in recent years (either turned into trendy bars for students/yuppies, or converted into flats). Great beer, very relaxed, with a small beer garden to the side for smokers. There were rumours last year that it was going to close but luckily they seem to have been unfounded (so far).
thegoodlead - 9 Oct 2009 12:21
Another enjoyable visit to the Old Fountain last week. Seven or eight ales on the pumps including Meantime London Pale Ale, Dark Star Espresso, Brewdog 77 Lager and Red Squirrel White Mountain. The pints of 77 Lager and White Mountain were good.
The place was packed and buzzing with atmosphere. Reviewers of the nearby Wenlock should pay this place a visit. They'll find a better range of beers and a pub free of pond life.
holbornboy - 4 Oct 2009 18:11
The Fountain is obviously rather less basic than the Wenlock but I find it usually has a better beer range these days (apart from lack of mild). Visiting on Thursday I could happily of tried all the beers (well, not too bothered about London Pride) had I been less concerend for my liver and bank balance. All beers in top condition and 2.90 a pint.
ed.spbw - 19 Sep 2009 15:59
walked past on a few weekends and it looked shut. M-F only? if so, waaggghh! cruel and unusual punishment!
_grobag_ - 6 Sep 2009 11:35
It's easy to pass by this pub if you don't keep your eyes peeled as it is situated down unprepossessing side-street.
First impressions were of a well-kept, clean establishment with a modern display cabinet behind the bar. A small food servery seemed to indicate that this pub might be of the food first, beer second variety.

How wrong first impressions can be! The pub was indeed well cared for, but this was no faux gastro-pub. The food wasn't the freezer to microwave catering company produce that you find in most pubs. This was pukka, homecooked fare- fairly priced and delicious.

As I expected, the beer was top notch. Mighty Oak's Maldon Gold was among the offerings.

Overall, a fantastic pub within striking distance of the city offering good food and fabulous beer in a more refined environment than the equally excellent Wenlock Arms which is more of a 'local' pub. I wouldn't like to say which was better. They are just different.


Harry_the_Dog - 23 Aug 2009 23:02
An excellent and extensive range of real ales served by people who know what they're doing in an un-spoilt pub
stevecole - 12 Aug 2009 10:54
I've been drinking here once a week for the past 15 years and while it's always been good, the recent expansion of the range of ales on offer has made it even better. My weekly visit is now like going to a mini-beer festival ...
misterbaz - 3 Aug 2009 20:00
Something worthwhile to visit in a 'orrible part of London.
BARONVONBEERBARREL - 2 Aug 2009 18:09
Visited on 6 July. Dark Star Old Chestnut and American Pale Ale, Pride, Rev James, City of Cambridge Parkers Porter, Saltaire Bavarian Gold, Ascot On The Rails. Sam Smiths lagers and bottled fruit beers. Traditional pub with a separate outside drinking area. Beer was excellent, certainly one to combine with the Wenlock.
GuideDogSaint - 11 Jul 2009 23:54
Had my first drink in here on my way to the Wenlock. Another pleasant suprise; six ales (I think), and the two I tried were fine. Quite roomy inside with a small but decent beer garden. Locals were pretty middle class with the odd shoreditch type managing to behave themselves. To be honest it was rather boring, but I will be back...
Green_0nions - 4 Jul 2009 11:28
I noted this pub's brief appearance in the higher reaches of the BITE top 20 a few weeks back and resolved to visit it next time I was in the area. I was very impressed and would definitely rate this among the top ten I've been in in London - perhaps even the top five, although I'd need to give it the benefit of a longer visit. From the outside, it's a very unassuming local's boozer tucked away on a back street behind a council estate near Old Street. Inside, it's still fairly assuming but pretty large. I counted eight handpumps, and think I'm right in saying that each one had a different microbrewery-produced ale on - not sure I've seen a larger collection of microbrews in London outside the Wenlock. I could only stay for a jar and had a pint of something by the Squirrel Brewery, which was very well-served. I also noted that, unlike the Wenlock, the pub appears to do proper cooked food - I will pop back to try that at some point. My only criticism might be that it was pretty quiet - hopefully word will get around the London ale community that this is a real aleing destination.

I imagine an evening spent half at the Old Fountain and half at the nearby Wenlock with a quick stroll in between would be heaven for most ale fans. I will be back at the Old Fountain before long, I suspect.
grecian - 18 Jun 2009 10:23
If it doesn't improve it don't change it appears to be the idea, that alone makes this the equivalent of a Rolls Royce amongst pubs,

Excellent ever changing ales, Bitburger and man in a box to name just two of the standbys for lager lovers, honest food, spacious lounge, a small beer garden & nowt flash about any of it, everything in this pub does its job well no more no less, genuine genuine genuine.
funfunfun - 17 Jun 2009 18:18
First visit in several years. I was not dissappointed. Quality beers and good honest food.

It is a pity the bar staff don't smile more.
ericstadd - 9 Jun 2009 08:28
An extravagant encomium is indeed deserved for the selection of quality beers - including I noted today Hopback (Summer Lightning) and others of equal calibre.
Prompt and friendly service, spacious setting.
Did wonder for a moment about the canned music but an interesting mix so I soon warmed to it; relatively unobtrusive.
Gents' has functional soap dispensers and drier etc.
Certainly deserving of further custom.
_grobag_ - 1 Jun 2009 23:39
Popped in with a friend after seeing this in the top 40 on the site. We were just going to stay for one but ended up stopping all evening, sitting out in the beer garden. Good selection of well-kept ales and tasty potato wedges. A decent alternative to the general pub dross around Old Street.

DuchyBoy - 29 May 2009 07:48
This is one of the best , if not the best pub that you will ever visit. Was a regular from '89-'97 and still pop in whenever I get the chance. Congratulations to Jim, Paul and all associated with making this place so very special.
churchyboy - 28 May 2009 11:26
Been back a couple of times recently, good to see that word has got round and that the place has taken off. The beer remains in great condition, with some really good choices on offer. Well done.
Quinno - 26 May 2009 23:13
As you walk in the door of this rather unassuming back street boozer the first thing that comes up on your left is a hot-food counter selling traditional delicacies such as liver and bacon, shepherds pie, jacket potatoes (various) and bacon sarnies! Eat your heart out Conran. Progress to the bar, and you may find, as I did this morning, a light mild, a dark mild, a London porter plus five (yes five) bitters on hand pump! Joy of joys. A throw-back fifty years, this place gives the much hyped and overrated Wenlock a bloody good run for it's money. Come on Camra... WAKE UP. Credit where credit's due. This place deserves a Badge.
The way pubs used to be.
foghorn - 26 May 2009 16:18
An excellent selection of draught ales - including three milds during May - plus friendly and helpful bar people makes this a pub well worth seeking out. Twickenham Brewery beers regularly feature as well. Prices still under 3 quid and handy for Old Street tube.
ed.spbw - 12 May 2009 20:30
Went again when more sober. See below. Instincts were right this is an excellent pub with a great ale selection. Bar staff were very knowledgeable and helpful. Glad i went again.
TheHorsesMouth - 17 Apr 2009 10:33
Just had a couple of excellent (as always) beers in the Fountain. Ascot Double Trouble 5.4% Belgian dubbel style beer and an Adnams Broadside - the best Broadside I've ever had.
redplan - 7 Apr 2009 14:05
Glad this pub seems to be getting more custom and maintains a good reputation amongst real ale drinkers. It's always kept excellent beers and has a good varied selection from bigger brewers and micro-breweries. Splendid.
chick - 1 Apr 2009 19:37
Unassuming exterior in an unassuming location hides a traditonal gem. It is larger than you would think, with a long bar that stretches back to a higher level up some steps. Plenty seating provides for the mix of customers that keep the place busy, especially in the early evening. A great range of beers from London Pride to microbreweries I'd never heard of. The evening food was generous and superb- biggest bowl of soup I've ever seen! Service friendly and prompt. I look forward to returning when next in London.
Carlurmston - 28 Mar 2009 10:10
Fantastic little pub. Very convenient for Old Street. Lovely bar staff who served a great pint of ale. Well worth a visit. Will go again when more sober.
TheHorsesMouth - 16 Mar 2009 17:39
Excellent pub and close to my place of work. Last night they had eight ales on and the three I had were good. I had Essex Nights by Crouch Vale,Woodforde's Wherry and a Red Squirrel Conservation ale. All priced at 2.80. Wanted to try some more but was on my bike ! Friendly staff too. I will be back.

Miles007 - 13 Mar 2009 13:40
Beware flash FATGUT mobs
ZymurgyX - 4 Mar 2009 15:48
Visited here recently and there was 8 Real Ales on. The ones I tried were all in excellent condition, very good variety too. Pub was busy which is good to see. The place is slightly off the main road, about 20yards but I know friends have missed where it is. Worth a visit but remember it does close on weekends.
Rudolph - 24 Feb 2009 09:07
After sinking a few too many pints I happened upon this place and thanked the beer fairies for the big fat slice of luck that I was dished up.

This place has a good atmosphere and a large selection of very good beer. Theres a small glass display area at the front of the pub with a selection of sandwiches and a chalk board advertising jacket potatoes and omelettes at reasonable prices. The governor seems ok and there is a dartboard, although there were a few tables on the oche during my visit.

After an evening visiting some very uninspiring pubs I was glad to find this place and I will make a detour to visit it again.
Strongers - 23 Feb 2009 16:37
Came here yesterday and was thoroughly impressed with the beer range - seven real ales on offer, including several from small breweries. It does look a bit grim from the outside but the inside is pleasant in an 'old men's pub' way.

However, don't come here at the weekend as the pub isn't open then.
pubcollector - 20 Feb 2009 20:39
Traditional back street pub, a short walk away from Old Street Tube ( Northern Line )

Lee Newton's's posting below is a good sum up of the pub's characteristics.

Yesterday evening there were 2 Twickenham beers, 2 from Red Squirrel, plus Tanglefoot and London Pride on..

Several brewery mirrors inside would suggest that this is a former Whitbread pub.

The pub looks a bit forbidding and distinctly uninspiring from the outside, but do go in - you won't be disappointed.

It doesn't replace The Wenlock as my pub of choice in this area, but the Old Fountain is worth seeking out and I'll defo pop in again soon


JohnBonser - 21 Jan 2009 10:30
Paid first visit here on 07/01/09 following recommendation from a friend.

A traditional, hearty backstreet boozer is what greets the visitor. I received a warm welcome from Paul at the bar and soon got the lowdown on what I'd been missing since the pub opened. Having just reopened after Christmas, the ale range was limited but quality was absolutely first class. Brains "Bitter", 3.7% was on top form and highly quaffable, and Titanic Full Steam Ahead was superb.

The pub is divided into three distinct drinking areas and opposite the central bar sits a goldfish tank. I noted a tv set which was off for the duration of may stay, whilst the music was quiet enough for relaxed conversation throughout,

On top of the ales, bottled Leffe beers are available whilst Paulaner and Bitburger are in draught. A failrly comprehensive wine list is offered.

Visitors seeking food will need to check with the pub for details. I certainly recommend this hostelry for a quality pint in genuinely traditional surroundings and a friendly atmosphere afforded by the staff. Do go, you will not be disappointed!
lad_newton - 8 Jan 2009 03:30
What a joy this pub is, good real ales, good food and all reasonably priced. The outside does not sell it but the inside is welcoming and friendly, well worth visiting.
Randyray - 30 Dec 2008 16:36
They had several decent ales on when I was in there at lunchtime earlier this week Triple Brewery Moondance; Black Sheep Bitter; Springfield IPA; Buntingford Apollo; and the ubiquitous London Pride. I had the Moondance, which was superb. The pub doesnt look like much from the outside if you approach it from the Peerless St entrance; in fact it doesnt really look open, but once inside it opens up into a fairly large and welcoming pub. The clientele comprised mainly of office workers, as far as I could tell.

Theres an old-fashioned food counter at the back of the lower bar where you can see the food on offer. I had some excellent home made chicken and leek pie plus chips and veg for 5.95 and that was the most expensive thing on the menu. There was a TV, but it was not switched on; a fish tank; carpeted throughout with only normal tables and chairs. Theres nothing pretentious about this place.

So, a comfortable and welcoming pub with good beer and good food. Thatll do it for me. Highly recommended.
RexRattus - 13 Dec 2008 11:52
This place was transformed once Paul arrived. No disrespect intended Jim!
The quality of beer here is now fantastic and the variety excellent.
Always look forward to re-visiting this place.
churchyboy - 2 Dec 2008 16:52
I've never had any thing less than a superb pint in this pub. The beer is top notch as are the locals. The cellar man - Paul really knows his stuff, give it a try you wont be dissapointed!
Alfnoax - 31 Oct 2008 18:00
Walked past a couple of times thinking that this place was a classic rough Hoxton boozer, so was shocked when I finally went in to find a whole host of interesting and well-kept beers, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

TARDIS-like inside, loads of space, which unfortunately means that atmosphere can be a bit lacking at times.

Think the Wenlock with more space and a carpets that still retains the carpet element...it's well worth stopping for. Will be back.

Recommended to ale fans.
Quinno - 25 Jun 2008 11:41
Nothing particularly special in terms of decor, but an excellent range of beers on - about 9 in total in the upper and lower bars. Well worth the short walk from Old Street station.
rpadam - 16 Apr 2008 23:40
Red Squirrel Ruby Mild, Archers Bouncing Bunnies, London Porter, Cotleigh Tawny Owl, Pride, plus a golden ale I cant remember. A good line up served by a very congenial host who happily chatted about beer, beer towns, pubs. He also mentioned that one of his tickers had awarded the Porter 18/20, a dizzy height achieved by only four others in his sampling of 10,000 beers. Yes, it was tasty. If you enter from Baldwin St you first encounter a food servery, then a small bar with handpumps, up a couple of steps to the main bar, same handpumps, plenty of seating here although it was very quiet ystdy 14:00. Friendly, good ale, a worthy visit but, I suspect, closed at weekends?
trainman - 28 Mar 2008 07:53
Popped in last night, very decent boozer and the beer quality and range is always spot on. Tried some Red Squirell Mild and Porter last night very, very good.
Alfnoax - 27 Mar 2008 10:02
topdog-andy needs to get his eyes tested.....
he didn't see thw london pride (always on) or the summer lightning...
as for the new carpets they just got cleaned after the smoking ban... the crab sandwiches have been off the menu since 1975..
and the dart-board is for the use of the team that represents the pub in a london league and is available to anyone who asks on quiet evenings ( mon/tues) when the bar-staff will happily move the tables (at lunch-time darts in the head can sometimes cause offence to people who are eating)
he might even want to join the darts team...
elsiepop - 24 Aug 2007 23:58
Yesterday I was in the mood for a rough & ready boozer & a quick game of darts, and when I saw this place down the lane (see photo) I thought "Bingo!". Delight quickly turned to disappointment when I opened the door: New & clean carpets? Crab sandwiches? What the hell?

Double dismay formed when I noticed there was a dartboard.....above the end of a long row of tables. If there's one thing that upsets me more than a pub without a dartboard, it's a pub that uses a dartboard as a purely decorative object.

3 ales were available, all belonging to the failed Archer's Brewery. I'd describe their survival as "phoenix-like", but they don't seem any more focused than when they originally folded. Their survival is more "Zombie-like" - slow, aimless, and brain-dead. Still, bland ales better than no ale I suppose.

If you all you want is some sort of ale in a clean pub, this place would suit you in an area that's increasing devoid of decent boozers. Where else are you going to go? The Masque Haunt? The Litten Tree? Shoreditch?

Not a bad place, it just wasn't what I expected or wanted.
topdog_andy - 24 Aug 2007 13:15
Cosy and traditional, a proper drinkers pub. Beer range good and quality decent too - an equal to most in N1.
mtaylor40 - 23 Jun 2007 21:58
Sad to rport that Maureen (Durrant) the landlady, has died.
She was only 53 and died of a brain haemmorhage.
She will be missed by all of us who drank there.
Our thoughts go to her family...
anonymous - 22 Apr 2007 00:59
must be the only pub in london where you can see a member of staff do a fix job on a punter's bike ,,,,, we watched as the guy behind the bar fixed up an old fecked up peugeot..and good beer too pity the weather didn't allow for the beer garden to be open
anonymous - 29 Mar 2007 01:40
A quiet oasis in the afternoons, away from the bustle of City Rd. Nice and old fashioned - comfy seats and a nice rest before struggling on to the Wenlock. I always seem to drop in there when the Archers is on which suits me fine. Usually about 4 beers on handpump so a reasonable choice.
chick - 28 Feb 2007 13:52
I regularly used this pub when I worked in this area in 1999 and called in here last night on my way from the Wenlock to the station. Virtually unchanged since then, there are two handpumps devoted to guest ales [on this occasion a Titanic and an Archers beer]. The barman seemed very enthusiastic, and having noted that the OF is in the 2007 Good Beer Guide I assume that Paul was the cellarman referred to in that publication. A pleasant visit, normal punters, no chavs visible, will definitely add this one to my regular ale trail.
canastajim - 17 Jan 2007 09:19
Now in The CAMRA Good Beer Guide!
elsiepop - 31 Oct 2006 11:18
Great pub, really friendly staff and very good lagers. Shame that the food is of the old fashioned english pub variety, however the hot salt beef sandwich isn't bad.
uvarchie - 12 Apr 2006 14:06
A nice trad pub. I've lived round the area for quite a few years but have only just found this pub tucked away. Like a tardis, it looks small from the outside but is surprisingly roomy. Nice and cosy, good beer and the food looked OK too. A definate revisit is required.
chick - 3 Mar 2006 14:47
A cosy back street pub near Moorfields Eye Hospital.Good choice of real ales and value for money lunches friendly staff.Worth a visit if in area just for a decent pint!
leggless - 22 Dec 2005 09:45

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