skip nav  

Crutched Friar, Tower Hill

back to pub details

user reviews of the Crutched Friar, Tower Hill

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

I hadn't been here for years, and went with some friends today. It has certainly had a makeover in the intervening years! There was a good selection of ales, such as London Pride and Wadsworths 6X and some I hadn't seen before - about 6 in all. The prices are typical City prices. Being a Friday lunchtime the atmosphere was good. We had the sandwiches and chips for lunch, which were quite good, although probably not worth 8 quid. Service was friendly and efficient. I am sure that there are worse pubs around. Worth a visit.
HornchurchJohn - 28 Sep 2018 15:52
This pub has definitely had an atmosphere bypass. Been there twice in twenty years - won't go again.
peterwarlock - 18 Apr 2014 18:21
Always pumping out dreadful dance music, full of braying morons, avoid.
wizzard - 17 Feb 2014 17:04
Always a good ale selection but its one of those pubs that just lacks that certain something. To me it has no character.

Saying that there are a lot worse pubs in the area and its big enough if there is a large group of you.

TheHorsesMouth - 6 Mar 2013 13:28
My favourite pub in the city, nice staff and ales
Claude1957 - 23 Dec 2012 16:04
I visited this pub on a Thursday evening, food was delicious. Service was friendly and efficient, lovely range of well looked after real ales, would recommend!
Johnbarans12 - 23 Dec 2012 15:59

Large pub with a conservatory type extension at the rear.

8 pumps that had 6 real ales on the Friday night I visited.

Friendly enough bar staff but the whole place was just completely soulless

Not a great place in my opinion, maybe I choose the wrong day to visit.
lezford - 9 Dec 2012 14:42
This is no longer a Nicholsons pub. But it still rated as my favourite pub of my 10 trip Friday evening stroll around the City. Whilst it doesn't quite have the character of many of the other pubs we visited, it does still have a fairly unique layout and has a reasonably wide selection of ales. You approach the pub through what looks like a courtyard. Rooms with seating are on either side of the passage. At the end is the bar, with a drinking area and an outdoor patio around the corner. Beers on were Springhead Drop O' The Black Stuff, Fullers London Pride, Sharps Doom Bar, Bath Summer Hare, Timothy Taylor Landlord & Black Sheep Best Bitter. A nice one to combine with the Ship, just up the street.
blue_scrumpy - 1 Jul 2012 12:11
Wednesday lunch, gets busier around 1pm for the hour but still good service.
Nice pub from Nicholson's range 5 ales about £3 per pint and they do a collector's card 5 ales with the 6th one free
Chunkyetti - 22 Jun 2011 14:20
This seemed to be the only decent looking place in Fenchurch, open on a Saturday - my partner and I were the only customers for the first ten minutes. The beer was passable enough and the landlord seems keen to get punters in. His pub looks less chavvy than the others (that were open) along this road.
pkrp - 11 Jun 2011 14:35
Pleasant staff, a decent range of ale and pub grub. I know it's part of the Nicholson chain but as chain go this is one of the best IMO. Good place to grab some food and a pint whilst waiting for a train out of Fenchurch Street.
Rod_Hariga - 12 Mar 2011 11:57
An interesting place this - it's obviously a fairly recent creation but unlike many similar establishment works pretty well. The photo does not really do justice to the pub as it shows only the left half of the bar. The entrance to the right hand side of the picture is, in reality a central entrance.

Rather strangely you enter up a gently sloping ramp of maybe 15-20 metres with the bar at the upper end. To the left and right are seating areas with the one on the left (pictured) being comfortable chairs and tables for drinking and the one on the right being rather more elaborately decorated and more directed at eating. There is another drinking area with high tables and stools to the left of the bar and behind that a courtyard for outside drinkers (and presumably smokers).

The Crutched Friar then is a fairly large establishment but still manages to retain a decent atmosphere. There is a good range of ales with the usual suspects like Pride, Landlord, Doom Bar and Tribute being supplemented by less common offerings - Copper Dragon Golden Pippin and Adnams Ghost Ship - on my visit. A long list of ales on a blackboard (perhaps 30 in all) suggests regular rotation.

This is a decent place to drink and I'll probably return here.
murgatroyd - 3 Nov 2010 08:55
Wandered in as part of the Dick Whittington ale trail. Seemed nice enough with plenty to look at, choice of rooms with differing character. Usual good selection of beers, service was fine, would call in again if passing.
phill1110 - 10 Oct 2010 18:13
Visited a couple of Saturdays ago, 19/6/10, as part of the Dick Whittington Ale Trail but it was shut along with the Ship in Talbot Court. This was during the day so don't know if it opens at night.
chuck1ez - 28 Jun 2010 19:59
visited today, 4 ales on draft from 2.75, to tim taylor at 3.15. lots of internal space and seating for dining, a little dark inside,
sports tv's, food looked respectable, its a nicholsons. outdoor garden at the back. not as cheap or downmarket as the nearby cheshire cheese which was bitter from 1.99. staff seemed friendly and efficient, manager is an irish female.

popeye321 - 17 Jun 2010 13:54
Reasonable enough, clean with acceptable staff. I would not rave about the ale, but it is worth dropping in if you are passing. The best on the street, but that is not a challenge.
caskmark - 2 Jun 2010 12:15
first time visit and will return. good pint and very friendly staff.
46dave - 7 Feb 2010 16:29
Previous posters have described this place pretty well, so not a lot to add except to concur that it has that Nicholsonís chain pub aura, but with a bright and airy feel to it. As mentioned below it does have an outside drinking area at the back of the pub, which is quite a rarity in these parts and does mean that you donít have to stand on the pavement for an alfresco pint. Perhaps Iím being a bit too picky but referring to it as a Courtyard Garden could paint images above the smallish concrete courtyard for smokers, which was my experience.
Back inside there is a spacious bar area supporting 5 real ale handpumps which to memory included GK IPA, Brakespears Bitter, TT Landlord and Jennings Cumberland Ale, and the Brakespears I tried was perfectly passable.

Gann - 27 Sep 2009 19:59
Visited this pub yesterday afternoon as part of the "Dick Whittington Ale Trail" what a find. Sadley the place was not busy but found it to be very tastefully decorared with lots of small rooms and nooks and Crannies to tuck yourself away. Has background music playing and the cleanes toilets I have seen or smelt either in London or the provinces. They are a credit to the cleaning staff and rival posh Hotels.. LOndon Pride, Greene King IPA Whitstable Bay and Proud of Pubs (Morrisy Fox) all available on Hand Pump served from a Bar situated under a Skylight in the Roof which made the pub light and Airy. Friendly Staff and Manager. Highly recommend to visit if you are in the area. This pub also has a courtyard Garden for those long summer nights.
Bitter_Man - 19 Jun 2009 10:38
Good food. Friendly service. Great beer - SA Reverend James; yum yum
Darren_in_the_City - 25 Mar 2009 14:50
As a visitor to London (from Australia/New Zealand) I found the Crutched Friar (by chance) to be a cheery, welcoming place where the barmaid poured a small sample of ales for us to taste before choosing one. One of the things that drew us in was that, unlike many other pubs we passed that night where crowds of people were spilled out over the footpath outside (the new smoking laws?) and you had to fight your way in to get near the bar, this place was relatively quiet and restful. The beer garden out back was moderately busy however, and enjoyable. We didn't eat there but the menu looked good.
twoflower - 22 Nov 2008 08:34
Well it was St George's Day. So that explains the free jellied eels and strawberries (not in the same pot), the deckchairs, and town crier-complete-with-bell in the entrance passage. I even got a small free glass of Bombadier. I would have preferred free shepherd's pie or yorkie pud to the eels though.

But leaving aside the saint's day jingoism, and sticking to the traditional-pub-wot-makes-Britain-truly-Great ratings jingoism, this is a Nicholsons. Which to me means an above average chain. The pub has an odd entrance passageway, and looks like it will be dark and dingy, but then opens into a fairly light and airy bar. There are a couple of decent sized side rooms, and a small garden. Being Nicholsons, it has a range of RAs on, and was in the midst of its spring guest beers. If memory serves, I switched between Brains SA, and Bombadier, both of which were in reasonable condition. I think Jennings Cumberland and Titanic's Capt Smith are due on soon. I didn't try the food.

This is a reasonable sized pub on the edge of the City. Buisy, and no problem with the customers. I gave it 7/10, which to my mind, is a 'top average'. It doesn't quite have that something to make it an 8+, but it is a decent pub and what I expect from a Nicholsons.

Mercurial - 24 Apr 2008 16:33
A Nicholsonís establishment, The Crutched Friar isnít too dissimilar to other members of the chain. It serves an array of well-conditioned ales, has pleasant, if a little MOR, background music and its clientele ranges from the odd tourist to suited office types. Situated near the City, expect more of the latter in this particular pub. The usual food was on offer and everything was as to be expected on my visit last Wednesday (9th April). One possible standout however, is perhaps the beer patio, a rarity in central London.
HTM69 - 15 Apr 2008 18:27
Had part refit since my last visit looks good alot better since no smoking and you can still have your cigs in the back garden had agreat pint of Brains SA
gwyl65 - 9 Apr 2008 22:27
WOW a pub in the City with a beer garden!!! It's a little sun trap too. The interior is great, it has the feel of a covered Dickensian street and the glass roof at the bar makes it light and pleasant. Service was absolutely fine and it's cheap as well (comparatively), £2.80 for a Kronenbourg and only £8 for a bottle of wine! Food was also cheap and tasty. Can't see why people have complained to be honest, I'll certainly be going back.
Cleversaz - 3 Jun 2007 12:44
I have to say I'm a little suprised by these comments. This pub is quite local to me and I've been there a few times. I think the service and food is good. I only have around an hour for lunch and I've never had to rush to finish my food
Popsuruncle - 28 Mar 2007 14:02
I agree with the previous comment. Took far too long to get a beer and then asking for one was a hassle. Maybe take a phrase book along to translate to the rude girl behind the bar what a beer is !!! Shame Burger King dont serve beer.
anonymous - 1 Mar 2007 15:27
Smoky as hell and took about 20 minutes to get a pint. If you only have an hour for lunch, skip this place.

anonymous - 23 Feb 2007 13:59
A bit of a mix n match pub good service lack of ale choice good for pub lunch
gwyl65 - 21 Feb 2007 18:57
Part of Nicholsons chain but nice feel to it friendly typical city pub rammed lunch /early evening
anonymous - 20 Feb 2007 23:03
Would agree with TheHorsesMouth. Visited yesterday, and it does have a chainy feel.
No bad points - cider [Strongbow] OK, and the IPA apparently fine.
Whilst satisfactory in almost every way [they do encourage vertical drinking, with relatively few seats, but that's OK for a 'do' from 1700-1930 or so] this pub has nothing special to attract me to visit it again.
railtracksurvivor - 1 Jun 2006 05:44
I must agree that this pub is pretty average. As a real chainy feel to it. Dont know myself, but told food is a bit greasy but u get large portions.
Its a solid bet for a lunchtime drink if your in a mix crowd of people.
TheHorsesMouth - 14 Feb 2006 13:23
ABO - All Bar Scum. P&P = Pitcher and Poser. Happy to clear this up.

Crutched Friar = not the worst of a pretty underwhelming bunch at this end of the City.
MrLash - 14 Feb 2006 11:29
Sorry Huddo, but as I am fairly new to this site I don't know what "ABO" and "P&P" refers to. Please explain what these mean.
dave45 - 14 Feb 2006 11:25
Solid option. Chicken burger with cheese and bacon on a Friday is a great hangover cure. Good selection of beers, but the bottles sometimes aren't cold enough - best to ask for one from the back of the fridge. Not sure I agree with the 'chain' comments, given that there's an ABO and P&P within an empty stubby's throw. Bar staff are nice and friendly. Can get rammed on a Friday betwwen 1 and 2.
Huddo - 22 Dec 2005 16:36
Surprisingly large. Agree with the sentiments that it has a chain feel to it and is rather bland.
I didn't like as much as some Nicholson pubs. However a minor mix up with my girlfriends starter was quickly righted by the manager and soothed over with a 1/2 on the house.
jorrocks - 26 Oct 2005 01:43
bland but not bad.
evers - 29 Aug 2005 17:36
Not bad. A bit chainy, as already stated, but comfortable enough. It does the job.
TheG - 25 Aug 2005 15:47
I went there a few weeks ago. The decor was a tad 'chainish', but, in terms of scenery, the two delightful barmaids who served me more than made up for it... One blonde and one brunette... Both friendly, with exotic foreign accents... Very nice.
che_ze_one - 9 Nov 2004 16:39
Nice and big. Serves London Pride. Okay garden out back.
RexJacobus - 19 Sep 2003 13:50
Been there a few times and it's quite nice and you haven';t been there yet!
Monica - 23 May 2002 17:12

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.