skip nav  

Sir John Oldcastle, Farringdon

back to pub details

user reviews of the Sir John Oldcastle, Farringdon

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

Not a huge JDW fan on the whole but efficient friendly service and decent beer quality at this one far better than most
mike_s - 6 Apr 2018 12:32
This aint bad,not bad at all.Ales are always perfectly kept and the staff quick and good at their job.The walls are full of interesting historical bits and pieces about Clerkenwell and the surrounding area.
Nice boozer
tottenhamsean - 29 Jun 2015 17:49
A nice comfy Spoon which always has some interesting ales. I had two pints of Weltons Winter Heat yesterday, a stout made with chilli. Very pronounced chilli flavour too, which was excellent. I like the Oldcastle. As I say, it's comfy, and the service is always good and friendly. I wonder why some people are harsh, but then again what people demand varies. I think it's always good to have a pub you can rely on. Alright, it's not pub Heaven, but nor is it pub Hell. It's a decent pub.
Charno - 7 Mar 2014 15:02
Pub looked a bit garish. Very good mulled cider, but it ran out after a pint and a half - shame, as we wanted two pints. Both meals served with wrong potatoes.
Consequently, it left us with the impression that no-one was very bothered to get it right. Won't be visiting again.
artieleblanc - 27 Dec 2013 18:16
Adequate Spoons and a cheap and cheerful alternative for those who find the Craft Beer Co too expensive.
Arctium_lappa - 24 Feb 2013 22:05
Very harsh comments below which not justified on my visit yesterday evening.The place was busy but service was quick and friendly.Meal was served in a few minutes and was well cooked. Surroundings and atmosphere were as good as any other Spoons I have been in and a lot better than some.
covman45 - 27 Sep 2012 13:12
A toilet that serves beer.
Wisbechvander - 19 Aug 2012 02:01
As atmospheric as an airport lounge. Was here on a Satuday evening when most of the surrounding decent City pubs are closed, also one of our party was hungry and we all like real ale, so to be fair to this place it was exactly what we needed at that time, the ale was decent too. No complaints.
Abteilung - 12 Feb 2012 16:33
Entertaining big pub which I believe used to be a bank building. 3 TVs. Big glass windows all around which let you look out at the people going to and from Farringdon tube station. I've been going here for several years, but got a shock when I visited just after Christmas 2011 when I saw a black rat run across the pub. Contacted Wetherspoons about it to complain, but just got back a standard sort of letter that is sent out by customer support people, saying that rats are only to be expected in a city area pub !! Varied customers - students, city types, regulars.
John_Barnet - 5 Feb 2012 19:27
Fairly standard Wetherspoons. Good for a quiet Sunday morning breakfast for not much money. Standard selection of beers, however they do serve some bottled Belgian beers, such as Leffe and Duvel, which you don't often find at other pubs.
Hestia - 22 Jan 2012 19:22
Basic Spoons pub. Only difference to where I come from up north is the price. Two halves of real ale £3.60
ng10 - 5 Dec 2011 20:00
All the atmosphere of a damp paper bag.
By Weatherspoons standards it is pretty poor.
Not really as cheap as other 'spoons due to 'City' prices.
Used to only go there out of desperation if wanting to continue drinking before heading to Farringdon, now have even given up on that.
There are better budget optons in the area, so only go here if you want a cheap meal deal in a dank hole overlooking a tube station entrance.
meltwaterfalls - 3 Feb 2011 11:39
OK. Clean and you usually get served promptly.

However not particularly cheap compared to suburban Wetherspoon. Pint of London Pride £3.05.
ArhurPint - 16 Jan 2011 21:41
It's a 'does exactly what it says on the label' Wethers.........
EdgarBriggsMI5 - 7 Mar 2010 10:03
Average Spoons. A few too many "Sorry not availables". Itchen Valley Fagins was ok.
GuideDogSaint - 11 Jan 2010 20:17
This is a fine pub. I don't understand all the critical posts. Some people need to remember this is a WETHERSPOONS - the easyjet of pubs where the beer is very cheap - geddit? If you want a more refined pub you have to go somewhere else and maybe pay a bit more for your pint.
malo66 - 29 Oct 2009 12:02
Not the nicest of pubs, certainly not the nicest of the Wetherspoons...
Due to bad acoustics, you can hear everything the city knobs rant and rave about ten tables away, but you have to strain your hearing to listen to what your mate across the table says.
Bar staff could do with some telling-off from management now and then.
ernie1971 - 14 Sep 2009 14:07
Standard Wetherspoon's pub, can't complain. Never had any of the problems any of the previous posters have talked about. Whenever I've been in there, even when it looks relatively busy, there's still tables.
gregatb - 3 Sep 2009 18:41
Princemonolulu - 28 Aug 2009 10:33
Have to agree with previous poster,the manageress has a very abrupt manner about her,totally wrong kind of person to be running a pub.
boundsgreenboy - 13 Aug 2009 13:45
Probably the worst wetherspoons I've been in. Staff very unfriendly place a tip and the foreign manager is so cold, abrupt, and rude. Told her several times about the state of the toilets, but was told she didn't care. Lovely service I'm sure.
thetruthatlast - 13 Aug 2009 13:03
Regular "after work" haunt - no good on Fridays though because of ridiculous overcrowding given its proximity to Farringdon station. Service can be very slow, but normally friendly, and reasonable quality cheap beers - where else could you get a pint of bitter for under £2.00?

Food is the usual Wetherspoons pre-packaged microwave stuff, the curries in particular are spectacularly tasteless, but again you get what you pay for!
jfrebrycn - 9 Aug 2009 11:50
Another bland JDW pub. Beer was alright, although nothing really special. Agree with the postert who says if you like JDW you'll like this, if you don't, you wont.
Bonzos_beard - 29 May 2009 22:32
This is the usual Wetherspoons affair with 12 hand pumps (at least 6 ales) and a selection of generic lagers. The staff seemed OK and I was served promptly, although it wasnít very busy at 21:00 on Saturday night.

If you enjoy Spoons youíll like it here and if you donít you wonít.
Strongers - 7 Apr 2009 06:55
Wetherspoons is crated to supply cheap beer and food. Curry & a pint of pedigree for £6-10 can't be all bad. Other beers available on tap - although not much atmosphere it was packed early Thurs. evening. Don't think the Printworks is open...if it is then it doesn't appear on Wetherspoons web site any more.
careyjars - 13 Jan 2009 20:19
I couldn't believe how crowded this was at 5pm on a Saturday afternoon! Good reason though - cheaper beer and a wide selection. I didn't stay long enough for the usual problem of a Wetherspoons - the beer I like runs out. A good pub to drop in for a couple of drinks and a meal.
WadesWorld - 23 Nov 2008 12:25

This has never been much of a pub. However, there is another pub "The Printworks" a little further up Faringdon Road which is part of the JDW group, albeit a Lloyd's No 1. You probably won't like this as it's situated in a basement.

With regard to your other criticism, most JDW's haven't much atmosphere as they are dependent on a high throughput because of low prices.
wyndham - 21 Nov 2008 19:31
Visited with friends. Large, carnivorous place linked to the usual non- atmosphere of a Weatherspoons pub (couldn't find another as the area is plagued with trendy wine bars). Very promising set of beers on offer with others to be featured in the forthcoming weeks. But this is a place where you have a drink - full stop. No atmosphere whatsoever. Why can't Weatherspoons create a range of small, cosy type pubs. Food - well it was edible.
kaktus - 20 Nov 2008 22:11
Can't see the problem here - standard-issue Wetherspoons, but usual cheap beer (supplemented no doubt by the current real ale festival) and a reasonable crowd in for the early evening rush (but not overly so). Would rate it two points higher than the nearby 'Printworks'.
rpadam - 9 Apr 2008 00:30
To Rachel 12

The reason for the dead atmosphere is that all the so called movers and groovers have gone up the road (about half a mile) to the other JDW/Lloyds No 1, "The Printworks"!
wyndham - 9 Mar 2008 19:56
Came late on a Saturday. The place was dead. The bar staff were quite friendly and you can't knock the prices. But it's really somewhere to come for drinks rather than atmosphere.
Rachel2 - 9 Mar 2008 14:40
OK for a stop off if you are on your way from/to Farringdon station but doesnít have much going for it, even for a Wetherspoons. It gets plenty of custom due to itís location so no doubt thinks it doesnít need to try too hard. Opens early for breakfast which is quite handy.

Millay - 17 Feb 2008 12:05
I do agree with the generally downbeat comments about this pub, though one of the most miserable of the East European staff (female) surprised me by turning out to be English, after all. There was no trace of a foreign accent when she glided over 2 minutes after the last bell & instructed me to finish my drink. Moreover, the air conditioning had been freezing us all evening. After an hour or so, I'd asked the manager if he could please adjust it; maybe turn one part of it down so there would be at least some place in the pub where it would be warm to sit. He was quite willing to in principle, he explained; but unfortunately it was impossible: the system was 'all one thing' He then chuckled to himself & went upstairs, carrying a full till tray.
jackthehat - 21 Aug 2007 21:30
dreadful ales, miserable staff - not worth making a trip too at all
anonymous - 16 Aug 2007 21:32
one of the worst wetherspoons in london, real ales are not looked after expect cloudy, freezing flat pints here, miserable east european staff dont help much either - avoid
moclips2002 - 27 Jul 2007 20:28
I come here occassionally for a cheap lunch and for that alone it's fine, its always busy at lunchtimes but you can normally find a table. Just remember its a Wetherspoons and not Cordon Bleu. Having said that I can't ever see myself come in here for a pint, there are plenty of far nicer pubs in the area.
shindigger - 14 Nov 2006 16:33
so you dont get caught out this place is shut on a sunday evening....
moclips2002 - 30 Oct 2006 21:08
real ale was suprisingly good, a big plus being a totally non smoking venue and as previous comment suggested badly let down by miserable east european bar staff - a mixed bag
moclips2002 - 7 Aug 2006 20:04
One day in some parrallel universe, Wetherspoons are going to get it right and have a decent pub.

This one is definetely not it.

Service is awful. Busy periods with one or only two very slow people behind the bar. Who avoid eye contact at all times even when they are serving you. Seems like they hope if they are slow you'll go away. Forget getting a smile.

Food is just awful. Ordered the Brunch, served up with some items hot and some cold, namely the beans and egg.

Some of the other customers are morons. Last time I was there, a guy try to push in on the food queque who then proceded to demonstrate bad karate if anyone argued with him, (and the fact he blatantly didn't know it) While the bar staff watched rather than refuse to serve him.

Basically the only reason to go is its cheap and there's the Goose round the corner. So there's no need to go.
jackgavin - 4 Aug 2006 15:02
Three words - 99p pint days.
The rest you can take or leave, the food is shyte and it has always been like Antarctica inside.
M_Evans - 21 Jan 2006 01:41
The food is appalling, even by Spoons standards.

Beer range and quality generally OK just lately, although there are so many better options nearby it is very hard to recommend it except as a "quick one after work".
SJC - 13 Dec 2005 15:05
Been here twice and while the range and quality of beers was good, both times it was absolutely freezing. The airconditioning was turned up so high it practically blew the froth off my pint, pretty stupid considering the whole pub is non-smoking! Even if it wasn't, I'd rather breathe in smoke than sit there shivering. Didnt stay long and wont be back
mannyowar - 28 Nov 2005 17:34
thumbs up for being smoke free, thumbs down poor choice and quality of guest ales
anonymous - 22 Sep 2005 17:01
Now totally no-smoking, so even less reason to go into this dump............
anonymous - 9 Sep 2005 15:37
Nice atmos, good range of people, handy
Holly87 - 17 Jul 2005 16:29
Should the below comment from Chris Hammond read 'the chicken burgers are to die from'? Not exactly Gordon Ramsey, is it?
Mr.Brightside - 4 Jul 2005 15:51
Now a non-smoking pub so you can taste the beer not someone else's smoke. The staff are friendly and topped my pint up without being asked (a lot of other pubs would have called it a pint). When a fair number of people came in at lunchtime it got busy and there didn't seem to be enough staff to cope but the wait wasn't as bad as I've had at other pubs. Good beer, no smoke, sort of on the way home without too much of a detour. I shall definitely return though for a better atmosphere the Jerusalem Tavern nearby is hard to beat.
anonymous - 10 May 2005 22:33
Packed on Thursday and Friday nights, pretty smoky, food is standard fare for 'Spoons. The Print Works, another 'Spoons pub about five minutes walk up Farringdon Road is much cheaper, less smoky and serves better food.
Fat Bob - 4 Nov 2004 15:31
Amazing atmosphere, great food and friendly staff.

The heart-shaped chicken burgers are to die for!

Highly recommended if you're in the Farringdon area.

Chris Hammond - 20 Sep 2004 16:09
Poor even by Wetherspoon's standards. Why have a huge range of beers if they are either unavailable or undrinkable? Why does it take up to twenty minutes to get served even when the pub is nearly empty? Being cheap is no excuse for being crap.
Steve - 12 Feb 2004 21:51
Large but otherwise standard Wetherspoon pub on corner near Farringdon tube
lout_from_the_lane - 3 Feb 2004 13:46

got anything to say about this pub?

Please read our reviews policy before posting.
Only registered users can post reviews. Please log in. If you don't have an account yet, register here.