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Kings Arms, Clerkenwell

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user reviews of the Kings Arms, Clerkenwell

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

Rather pretentious and overpriced for what it is, just my opinion.
mike_s - 28 Apr 2016 17:22
Renamed to the Lady Ottoline and totally refurbed. Not sure what it was like before, but a good bet now. The revamp has been sympathetic to the original interior, and it has an old time uncluttered feel while remaining intimate and cheery. Friendly bar staff, they came over before last orders to ask if we wanted anything else, and when we said yes served it and brought it over! Now that's service. And the gents must be the finest pub toilet in London.

Beers were good, Mad Goose on I think, plus a couple of others.
OldRogue - 2 Jan 2012 17:47
I could have quite happily settled in this pub for the whole afternoon and evening. But I had several other places I wanted to visit. It's relatively unassuming from the outside. But inside was quite welcoming. Only Greene King IPA and TT Landlord were on. Two guest beer handpumps had no beers. Westons Organic cider was available in bottles. Thai food is served until 9pm and the Thai cook/owner(?) was quite happily discussing Thai politics with fellow customers and was quite happy to throw the F word in occasionally! The windows of the pub are old Charringtons ones. There is also a Charrington mirror and a fireplace in the corner. A sign indicated a games room and function room upstairs. A TV in the corner was showing BBC News, whilst pop music was being played. There is also at least one fruit machine. A fairly friendly and cosy local pub in the back streets of Clerkenwell.
blue_scrumpy - 22 May 2010 15:47
I thought that the barmaid in here was friendly and the ale selection of Greene King IPA, Pride, SA Gold and Landlord covers most people’s tastes. I opted for the Guinness which was on good form and there was also a selection of standard and premium products. I visited on a Monday night so nobody was tucking into the Thai menu, but there were some people upstairs utilising the two pool tables and two dartboards. There is some more seating in the front room upstairs and back down in the bar there is a plasma screen for the sports.

I liked it in here but the toilet is tiny and there is no lock on the makeshift wooden board that is hinged to the cubicle. Maybe this has been sorted in the three weeks that have passed since my visit.

This pub is a bit out of my way, but if I lived or worked closer I would revisit.
Strongers - 3 Jan 2010 23:19
Small nondescript corner pub in a quiet st near Grays Inn Rd. The interior of the pub is fairly spartan with wooden chairs and tables. There is not too much to recommend this place given nearby competition although there was a sign offering free pool on Monday nights which showed a touch of imagination.

Ok for one if in the area but not somewhere to head for the evening.
murgatroyd - 18 Oct 2009 12:15
They had GKIPA, London Pride and Timothy Taylor Landlord on, as well as a Bulmers Perry and the usual array of lagers on tap. The Pride was OK. They’ve smartened it up a bit since the last time I was in here – gone has the pitted and scruffy black floor covering to be replaced by bare boards. I think that the last time I was in was before the smoking ban so not surprisingly it looks a lot cleaner overall. The clientele seemed to be mainly office workers enjoying food from the Thai menu. There’s a large TV screen on one of the walls, showing the news when I was in, but with the sound muted and with subtitles. Watching the unscrupulous and venal antics of some MPs I had a nasty taste in the mouth, and it was nothing to do with the beer. There was some music playing but it was not loud enough to be a nuisance. The young girls behind the bar were friendly enough, enjoying some friendly banter with a few drinkers at the bar.

This bar is somewhat off the beaten track, and is another of those decent but unremarkable pubs that I quite like. In some ways it is better off for being off the main roads from a punter’s point of view, if you’re looking for a less crowded backstreet pub.
RexRattus - 15 May 2009 12:10
The Kings Arms is a traditional pub that provides somewhere to run to if you get fed up with the bar/restaurant type places in the local area. It still has some original fixtures and fittings including some attractive etched glass windows. The beer selection is OK and the quality has always been good on my visits. Staff are very customer focussed and happy to chat. Nothing remarkable about the place but just a good honest pub.

Millay - 11 Apr 2009 08:13
Pub number eight of a pre xmas crawl. Lacks a bit of charactor but bar staff were friendly and beer was good. Worth a visit.
TheHorsesMouth - 5 Mar 2009 12:56
I like this pub. On a quiet backstreet off Grays Inn Road (not sure "Clerkenwell" is an accurate location) but always busy when I've been in. Two or three well-served ales and does decent pork scratchings!
grecian - 5 Dec 2008 17:49
We use this for our home darts matches. GK IPA, Broadside and Landlord were available on Thursday, only had the last two which were in good condition. Was pretty busy in here, good atmosphere.
GuideDogSaint - 25 Nov 2007 12:13
Worth the effort to get there, good pub, good atmos, good beer. Gets busy though of a summers eve.
kenincamden - 24 Jul 2007 12:24
I really like this pub, and not just because we play our pool league home games there! The bar staff will bend over backwards to help and are always friendly. This is a "proper pub" for local people but you'll always be made welcome. The pool and darts room upstairs is great, although it gets very hot in summer. Toilets are tiny, but there's nowhere else to put them!
kingston_toon - 2 Jul 2007 11:33
This pub serves surprisingly excellent Thai food, is very friendly and hugely popular of a lunchtime and early evening. It's not all that hard to see why - there is nothing remarkable about it - and the recent refurbishment has altered its character very little - its simply a welcoming place with the feel of a proper local on a beautiful Bloomsbury street.
BoehmBawerk - 15 Jun 2007 16:20
This decent little boozer is tucked away in East Bloomsbury and serves a decent pint of ale as well as some cracking Thai food. There is, thank the lord, a jukebox as well as a couple of pool tables upstairs and the staff are always friendly. Outside the summer months it can be very cold and for such a standard pub it is quite pricey. Overall, it's well worth dropping in if you're in the area but not a detour pub. An afterthought - pubs which have sky news on at all times are breaking one of the golden rules of pubs. Stop. It.
Gerschenkron - 27 Mar 2007 16:37
This isn't in Clerkenwell. Try Holborn.
anonymous - 11 Oct 2006 23:17
I live locally and had never been in here (mainly on account of the fact it is closed weekends and I don't pass this way during the week). Hoped for great things but was disappointed. A pretty flat atmosphere, and although people have bigged up the real ales to me a selection of TT Landlord, Adnams Broadside and GK IPA hardly sets my world on fire if you know what I mean.

Maybe I will go in another time and enjoy it so will not rate it out of ten.
anonymous - 3 May 2006 16:08
Nice pleasant traditional side street pub, just off Grays Inn Road.

Worth visiting, but a bit difficult to find.

Has Real Ales and is CAMRA friendly. Try the Adnams Broadside if it's on
JohnBonser - 7 Dec 2005 11:32
Good pub; nice beer! 6/10.
Darren_in_the_City - 19 Oct 2005 14:17
Go there often. Great traditional London Pub. Beer is always well kept and atmosphere is really bubbly helped by a great Aussie barmaid. Well worth a visit.
anonymous - 14 Oct 2005 11:46
A Proper London Pub, not many left. Beer is great also nice Thai food.Upstairs room with 2 pool tables, Darts & table football!!Its magic
omniorg - 14 Oct 2005 11:41
Small pub but a proper pub.

Don't go in there that often but it aint bad.

Not really more I can say.
stoner - 23 Sep 2005 11:29
Just visited again and had a similarly pleasant lunch, but sampled the Thai food. Delighted to say it was superb.
Ketsbaia - 4 Jul 2005 16:37
Just returned from a very pleasant lunch hour at the King's Arms. Two very good pints of IPA and friendly service. Like the upstairs no smoking room and games room - nice touches. A thoroughly good way of spending an hour or so at lunchtime. Will definitely go again.
Ketsbaia - 27 Jun 2005 14:51
A great vibe in this pub. The food looked good, too. But, best of all, Triv on the games machine!
dawnage - 13 Jun 2005 22:57
Excellent and friendly local serving good real ale and (Thai) food.
Ivan - 11 Feb 2005 12:46

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