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Cock and Woolpack, City Of London

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user reviews of the Cock and Woolpack, City Of London

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

Small but clean Shepherd Neame pub hidden away in the heart of the City. Bar staff friendly and beer in good condition plus reasonably priced for London prices. Food only available at lunchtimes. Relatively busy early evenings but tails off later on. Convenient for the Underground so why not pop in for a few pints to avoid the rush hour?
manx_888 - 9 Dec 2011 14:10
Lovely little London boozer that is well worth seeking out.

Pub was well packed on the Friday afternoon I visited but still managed to get a seat. Great pint of Spitfire, will return.
kevmac - 3 Dec 2011 09:28
Simple really. A proper London pub selling good beer in a good atmosphere where you can tall to people. Food is OK but not a reason to visit. Always bang my head on the way to the loos but that's my own fault
CityDog - 30 Sep 2011 14:39
Great little Shepherd Neame pub tucked away in an alley off Cornhill, well worth seeking out.
rob1981 - 6 Feb 2011 23:53
Arranged to meet some people from work here... You have to love london, even a tiny alley like this one has a pub! Definitely wouldn't have know it was here, unless we had arranged to meet.

Very typical London Pub, down to the tiny toilets down some windy stairs. Beer was good - I enjoyed my Spitfire - my colleague enjoyed his master brew.
anonymous - 24 Jan 2011 16:58
Called in on a Weds night, busy possibly cos football on but managed to find a seat at the bar. Decent beer, pleasant if a little bright interior, friendly enough staff and quick service. Seemed as though food only served 12-3pm. Easy to find if you know where to look otherwise you'd be more likely to walk straight past if wandering down Cornhill.
phill1110 - 28 Oct 2010 20:57
Several hours after posting the review below, I received a PM from the manager of the Cock & Woolpack explaining that they are not allowed to have a hanging sign above the pub because the council consider the lane to be too narrow. Also, above the pub, is part of the Threadneedles Hotel who will not grant them permission to place one higher up. Neither are they allowed to place boards on pavements.

The manager says in his message to me "please don't think it due to idleness on our behalf" and I'm more than happy to set the record straight.
JohnBonser - 15 Feb 2010 09:44
Smallish, but traditional Sheps pub hidden away down a narrow alleyway off Cornhill. The absence of any sandwich boards or signs at either end of the alleyway, nor of any hanging pub sign outside the pub itself, means that it's not a pub that you're likely to stumble across accidentally - indeed, I imagine it's only used by those "in the know" so to speak.

A bare boarded basic area at the front inside the pub leads to a more comfortable area towards the rear with carpeting and padded seats - probably rather more seating than the average City pub. The light pine coloured wood - panelling means that the pub doesn't have that dark sombre feel of many nearby establishments - eg , The Jamaica Wine House, from where I had just come.

Inside the pub a notice tells us that the pub is the sister pub to the Coach & Horses, Hill Street, Mayfair, which it describes as having the "same great beer, but a posher postcode". I take it that this means they're under the same Sheps tenancy. You might agree with me that it seems slightly strange to tell people about your sister pub, whilst at the same time, seemingly making little effort to attract people to your own pub, in that there's no hanging pub sign or directions at the alleyway ends.

My pint of Master Brew - £ 3.00p - was on reasonable form.

This is a pleasant, if somewhat unremarkable pub and, whilst I'd happily pop in again, I think there's better pubs close at hand if you know where to find them.
JohnBonser - 12 Feb 2010 13:28
As noted previously, this one is hard to spot and you can't help wondering whether a traditional pub sign hanging off the front of the building mightn't be a good idea. However, I suppose that it is popular enough with those that work nearby for catching the eye of passers by to be a low priority. However, once inside, you immediately get the impression of a friendly little place where the emphasis is very much on real beer - not many lager or wine glasses in sight. Modest, but well kept, range of Shepherd Neame beers - Spitfire, Master Brew and the excellent Late Red. Well worth seeking out.
rpadam - 7 Dec 2009 21:12
No doubt it's a good pub, tucked away on Finch Lane and serving good ales plus reasonable sandwiches. I can't help but think it is over-rated by many though, is also very cramped when busy.
MrSkinner - 14 Aug 2009 16:30
I go here in the afternoons when I can, certainly is real ale and real nice. Love it. Top notch staff as well.
markmundy - 21 May 2009 18:23
Sweet if you've just finished work and need a beer. The food at lunchtime is great, service at lunchtime great, in the evening decent enough but can take a while to get served. But hey- where's that not the case now??
earlhicks - 9 Mar 2009 00:11
Nice small pub hidden behind the Royal Exchange serving a very pleasant range of Shep Ales. Wood panelled décor with inlaid Shep Neame branded mirrors that give the place a feeling of being bigger than it actually is. I can imagine that it would be busy at 18.30PM as mentioned below with city workers, but its hidden location probably means it’s not on the route of the evening crowd. So when we got in there at 8.30PM last night it was quiet enough to grab the bar stools and for the bar staff to spend time reading their current novel whilst waiting for the next punter to appear.
Between us tried the Spitfire, Bishops finger and Master Brew, all good.

Gann - 19 Feb 2009 12:22
One of the finest pubs in the City of London; located in the heart of the City just behind the Royal Exchange, but situated on a ‘blind spot’ of Finch Lane rendering it invisible from both Corhnhill and Threadneedle Street.
as_johnson - 22 Dec 2008 13:40
I wonder in there pretty regularly to meet friends after work, nice and close to Bank Stn. Always busy @ 18.30, less so at 19.30. Beer is decent, good spitfire.
dan88 - 17 Dec 2008 12:49
Used this place back in the late 1970's. Glad to see it still going strong...and without a name change.
nickthefish - 27 Jun 2008 06:59
A lovely little pub that is much improved under the new landlord. The beer was excellent - it's always nice to see a good range of Shepherd Neame beers - and the food is worth a try at lunchtime now there's a new menu.

Some advice for the uninitiated - the gents is downstairs on the left.
tpw101 - 8 May 2008 08:03
Visited last week for the first time in ages. Beer excellent and service very good. Will revisit soon.
twineyboy - 27 Apr 2008 20:57
new landlord. welcome change after previous bad experiences. spitfire very good to excellent.
dyingofthirst - 20 Apr 2008 10:25
twice (both fridays) in a month, they've had no draught drinks! unbelievable!!!

And though there is fish n chips on the menu, they don't actually have it!

a disgrace!


evers. - 2 Nov 2007 10:36
Was in here yesterday and also got a duff pint, but the bar staff were happy to change it. It's a pleasant pub and worth a visit as you don't see Shepherd Neame ales that often in the City.
pubcollector - 14 Jun 2007 23:00
Must have caught the place on a bad day. was in here Tuesday lunchtime and was served up on eof the worse pints I have had for some time. Clear enough but tasted foul. Usually like Shepherds Neame pubs but I will be avoiding this one in the future. Service was OK and pub interior is fine but if the beer stinks the pub stinks in my opinion.
TheHorsesMouth - 21 Mar 2007 12:27
Lovley looking interior, good service, the only thing that let it down was a bit light on the selection of beers. Would still return though and see if they have any new ales at hand.
Andy_Poole - 13 Mar 2007 13:07
Nice small pub hidden away behind the Royal Exchange

I remember it back from the early 90s when all the obnoxious wide boys from the Liffe floor drank here. It was pretty unpleasant then but has reopened as an amiable watering hole.

Good for a quiet lunchtime pint
murgatroyd - 11 Jan 2007 21:44
Very friendly landlady, excellent beer, relaxing venue.
Ginger_Beard - 7 Jan 2007 15:04
Our favourite place on earth. I don't believe in heaven but if it existed it would be here! Sit outside in the sun during the day and watch the world go by - fantastic! Sit in the bar in the evening - even fantasticer
anonymous - 6 Nov 2006 17:58
I love this pub. It was here that I fell in love for the first time. She had the most beautiful brown/hazel eyes I had ever seen. Natasha. Worked there. Where is she now? All these years later and I haven't forgotten. Anyway, the pub. Greeeeeat! Spoof and lager 'till the last train has gone, then a taxi into town, probably Bond Street. Why are there no doors in time? Ed
Ed_Wilde - 1 Jun 2006 19:49
Disppointing lunch time visit. Poor service only one girl behind the bar for a busy session,a tired foamy Master Brew, food hardly exciting apart from the homemade chips.Wished I had gone over the road to the Phoenix where you don't wait 10 mins to get served!
leggless - 26 Apr 2006 21:44
Nice little pub serving excellent Shep Neame beers and lager.
leggless - 8 Mar 2006 06:39
I think there is a new landlady at this pub. Although full of suits at lunchtime it was decent beer and the doorstep sandwiches on fresh bread and home made chips looked good too. Not much food was being left by those eating. Not a massive place but a good out of the way pub not frequented by too many tourists and only the "suits" in the know.
Hucks - 1 Dec 2005 17:29
Not a bad place, average beer, below average food. The air con was broken all summer - not a pub to write home about.
gooding - 12 Oct 2005 13:44
A Shspeherd Neame pub 'hidden' in the middle of the City - bliss :-)

Masterbrew was very well kept.

8/10
Darren_in_the_City - 22 Jul 2005 15:38
Average pub - beer nothing to write home about and a bit smokey when I visited. Many worse pubs around - at least it is a proper pub with atmosphere!
writtleman - 19 Apr 2005 11:43
Good atmosphere here and not too crowded. Possible to get a seat at 6pm. Beer good but not great. Haven't got round to trying the food yet!
anonymous - 1 Feb 2005 13:27
This is a great traditional city lunchtime pub, the beer is the best Shepherd Neame beer anywhere in the city.
Mervin King - 1 Oct 2004 15:02
Cosy pubby pub. Friendly and helpful staff. Can get served promptly unlike understaffed chains run by accountants at head office. Can strike lucky with the food but can be disappointed at the price
andy - 16 May 2004 21:21

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