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Wenlock Arms, Hoxton

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user reviews of the Wenlock Arms, Hoxton

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

Was back in the Wenlock again yesterday for a couple of pints. It was quiet when we arrived. But a large group arrived, stayed for one and then left again. Ales were Dark Star Hophead & American Pale Ale, Mighty Oak Oscar Wilde, Fyne Ales Jarl, Triple fff Hunky Dory, Mighty Oak Black Crow Porter, Harvey's Sussex Best Bitter & Hawkshead NZPA. I was a little disappointed to see the cider range reduced to two - Broome Farm Dry & Ascension Cider Company Into The Dark. Still a good pub.
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JessieKesty - 11 May 2017 19:42
Love going here when I'm in the area. Great Real Ale pub and a CAMRA favourite. Mainly local clientele with the odd tourist. Many beers on hand pump and a good few specialists beers on keg. Now has its own micro brewery in the cellar - BLOCK brewery but it's not always available as they seem to sell out quicker than they can brew! There's the odd pie available but no food to speak of.
denmans - 21 Mar 2017 10:18
First visit after the refurb'. It has changed, there seems to be less seating and the background music was loud, not at all background, with a few people stumbling around to it. I would be hard pushed to go back now and going by the small amount of people in on a Friday night others could be feeling the same.
Good selection of beers still available.
rpf1955 - 15 Dec 2016 15:30
I visited the Wenlock last night for a session. The pub seems to be going for more of a trendy feel these days and the clientele is a bit more well heeled than previously. But it's more popular than ever and finding a table was difficult. The ale range was just as good as ever and there are still a few real ciders in addition to some craft/keg options. Real ales last night were Dark Star American Pale Ale, Hackney American Pale Ale, Marble Chocolate Marble, New River Riverbed Red & London Tap, Tyne Bank Sorachi Dollar, Windsor & Eton Guardsman, Mighty Oak Oscar Wilde & Thornbridge Jaipur. Ciders were Handmade Crazy Diamond & Browns, Seacider Hardcore & Thatchers Cheddar Valley. They also had Olivers Perry. Still an excellent pub that has survived the test of time.
blue_scrumpy - 24 Apr 2016 17:30
A tremendous pub! A real ale oasis in the area. The Wenlock is full of character. No frills and certainly nothing fancy or overly trendy. This place is what you might expect in the old East End! A mix of clientèle (gender and age) make for a variety of conversation and opinions.
A great selection of real ales including several Dark Star beers, Windsor & Eton Guardsman & Zinzans Drop, Oscar Wilde & Southwark Gold. In addition there was a good choice of ciders!
I had a couple of Dark Star beers and a Guardsman all of which were of top standard.
A must visit if you're in the area and well worth making the effort if you're not!

outtamehead - 5 Apr 2015 15:34
Visited last Saturday night when there was an excellent Northern Soul night on. Wonderful mix of friendly locals and an outstanding range of extremely well-kept ales. This attractive and well-managed place is a gem.

Oh, and watch out in case you get short measure. I did and before I could point it out, a big bloke next to me at the bar did so on my behalf. "There's a right way and a wrong way to do things..." he growled at the barman... who didn't hang about at correcting the situation. Super place!
Torqueback - 11 Mar 2015 14:52
First time back at the Wenlock for quite a while on Sunday. I'm sure I've posted a review since the refurbishment. But the interior is certainly much improved. There are 10 constantly changing ales. On Sunday these were Dark Star Hophead & American Pale Ale, Southwark 5 Hop & Gold, Black Jack Archer, Five Points Derailed Porter & Five Points Pale, Hobsons Champion Mild, Siren Sound Wave & Independence APA. There are also 6 ciders - Abrahalls Medium Dry, Gwynt y Ddraig Black Dragon, Farmhouse Scrumpy & Dog Dancer, Olivers Perry & Barbourne Sweet Kernel. Still a really good pub, worth visiting.
blue_scrumpy - 3 Mar 2015 20:32
We hadn't visited The Wenlock since it was refurbished a year or so back. Prior to that I'd become somewhat fed up with the place, and had fallen out with the "Save The Wenlock" crowd for describing the old place as a "sh*thole" on their Facebook site. The much need refurbishment hadn't in any way changed the basic character of the place - a "proper" pub with an excellent and imaginative range of real ales. Yes, it was quiet in there since it was a Thursday afternoon - would we return? Certainly!
DaveE6 - 16 Jan 2015 11:31
Visited this famous pub for the first time yesterday and frankly was somewhat underwhelmed. Nice range of ales, the Firebrand Stout was particularly nice. However, on a Saturday afternoon it elt more like a private locals' club rather than a pub. Wouldn't goout of my way to visit it again.
Aztecgoat - 7 Dec 2014 08:58
I love this pub. I wish we had pubs like this where I live! I stopped by today (Sunday) about lunchtime on the way back home. It's a proper, no pretensions, down-to-earth pub. There were about 8 ales on, I think. I was on my bike so only had a pair of halves of Oscar Wilde mild and Mighty Oak porter but both were in tip top condition. Other beers included Dark Star's Hophead and Festival, the Pale Ale from Five Points, and some others I can't remember. Food is good, basic, this-is-a-pub-not-a-restaurant food: toasted sandwiches, pork pie with piccalilli, scotch eggs and the like; no overpriced burgers here! There are not enough pubs like this around. Cherish it, use it, keep it going!
red - 16 Nov 2014 18:13
An oasis in the area but a most welcome one for those seeking good real ale in an unpretentious setting.
There is always a wide range of ales available and the staff are friendly.
Basic furnishings and bare floorboards this is not a pub pandering to the trendy or the tourist trade, (they've got plenty of pubs to pick from anyway).
Hopefully the Wenlock will return to the CAMRA GBG where it belongs!
Well worth a visit!

outtamehead - 4 Jun 2014 11:11
Exactly the kind of pub that would make me want to move back to London. Great range of beers, a pork pie with real piccallili and I'm a happy man ! Just feels like a proper pub. Not up itself at all.
OnAMission - 29 Apr 2014 08:27
I'm sorry to say that I am in two minds about The Wenlock. The pub has changed hands and been re-furbed, so there's no point in me moaning about how it isn't like the good old days because it is now a different business altogether. But is it worth bothering?

It is clean (although I didn't mind the previous grot). It has lot's of beer. The staff are occasionally very odd. I have been in here when it is quiet and on busy Saturday nights. It is a BORING pub.

The Old Fountain is better, and you can visit both easily enough.
Green_0nions - 3 Feb 2014 14:20
It's been a couple of years since I was last in the Wenlock and a lot of things have changed. Luckily, the pub is still open. The beer selection is just as good, if not better than previously and the cider selection is now much improved. Yesterday, they had Clarence & Fredericks Best Bitter, Oat Milk Stout & American Pale Ale, Crouch Vale X, Mighty Oak Maldon Gold & Oscar Wilde, Pitfield Norman's Mild & Okells Olaf. Ciders and perries were Green Valley Sweet, Sam's Devon Cider Dry, Hunt's Medium Dry & Sweet, Yarde Medium, Westons Country Perry & Lawrence's Medium Dry. There was also a mulled cider being prepared. The one thing I'm undecided about is the interior. It's now much cleaner and doesn't smell. But gone are the local characters and the rough and ready feel of a local London boozer. The pub feels less homely and the decor is bland. Nevertheless, I was impressed by the drinks range and the gents toilets were much improved. No longer a place I'd want to spend too long in. But certainly worth staying for a few halves/pints.
blue_scrumpy - 9 Dec 2013 22:33
I have been a regular, if intermittent, visitor to the Wenlock Arms over the years which, I hope, gives me the required objectivity to post an unbiased review.

The 'new' Wenlock Arms is very much like the 'old' in many respects . The range of Ales is still excellent, the customers are still the same mix of beer tickers and locals, the atmosphere of the pub is unchanged.

The new managers have mended various things, cleaned the place up and there are new toilets in the basement. At the moment there is only one cubicle for the men, which is hardly adequate, but there are plans for new toilets on the ground floor.

All in all, the pub has ditched many of the bad things, but retains nearly all that is excellent about the Wenlock. The bar staff are a little callow, but friendly and polite nonetheless, but the excellent Sue appears now longer to work at the Wenlock. The salt beef sandwedges (sic) have obviously been subject to 'portion control' and are not as substantial as Sue used to make them. This is only a minor quibble however.

All in all, the Wenlock is a must visit for all real Ale lovers and the new managers deserve every encouragement and support for all the hard work they have put in.
Harry_the_Dog - 27 Jun 2013 21:40
In here last Saturday and half a dozen punters present just after mid day.
Not much more to add to the posts below.
10 Hand pulls with prices of > 4.5% £3.40 a pint and over that £3.60.
CAMRA members get a 10% discount so thats £3.06/£3.24 very resonable.
I tried a couple of the ales and both were in top condition.
bjbrummiejohn - 17 Jun 2013 08:35
As others have said recently, a greatly improved and cleaned up Wenlock without destroying the proper pub ambience. A good range of beers and craft keg offerings. Should have food available from next Monday. I wish it well.
TiaMariaJim - 8 Jun 2013 11:43
I went here last night for the first time in about two years.

What a great improvement.It is now clean with decent toilets but still a traditional pub Great choice of ales and for those who want to pay sky high prices for so called craft beers also a good range.
BAZZZZ - 7 Jun 2013 12:53
i attended the grand reopening of this well established pub . There has been a vast improvement with a complete clean up removing all of the old dirt and clutter and the terrible staff , gone is the old piano and the filthy net curtains , there is now comfortable seating all round the pub with new stools at the bar and the doors on the side where the beer menu used to be are now opened allowing more air to enter. The toilets are now downstairs and are so much cleaner than before the stink is gone. There are seats outside on windsor terrace so the photograph at the top of this page will need changing. 10 real ales from Adnams, Dark Star, Windsor and Eton, Clarence and Fredericks ,Franklins, Hackney ,By the Horns , Portobello and Sambrooks were the selection at time of writing. There are more in the cellar i was told, hopefully these new owners will succede , i also reccomend there hot dogs and the fact that the London Drinker magazine was available .
mr.toes.5_ - 4 Jun 2013 16:34
After watching the unfortunate decline, over a couple of awful years, of a once legendary pub; I visited for the "soft" opening at the weekend and was very pleasantly surprised. Tried 5 ales - all good, together with a couple of keg Pilsners, ditto. The place has been restored, not ruined and one thing has improved by miles - the staff were not drunk, incompetent or abusive. Let's hope it's a success for the new Guvnor, great as Steve and Will were in their pomp.
Darbs - 3 Jun 2013 18:28
Improved beer and quality from my last visit when frankly I said it was a nice locals pub but beer not top of the pops. Probably want to visit on a Friday when the sun's out due to room to spread out.
bedfont - 1 Jun 2013 14:36
The pub will officially re-open, as mentioned below, on 3rd June. However, it has been 'trying out' the new equipment and I was fortunate enough to help out.

Ten handpumps with some excellent ales -- likes of Dark Star, Sambrooke's, Windsor and Eton, etc. The quality was excellent.

The CAMRA types will probably be less impressed by the large number of keg taps for craft beers like Camden Hellas but that's part of the ongoing craft vs ale debate. So long as there's excellent ale available I don't see why the keg taps should matter (hasn't done the likes of the Euston Tap any harm).

The refurbishment hasn't substantially altered the pub. Various features have been restored (original mirrors reproduced) and layers of grime removed to reveal novel fixtures and fittings. The clutter and randomness of the old Wenlock have disappeared, which may disappoint some, but there have been vast improvements in areas such as the toilets, which are now some of the smartest you'd find in a pub.

This famous pub was on the verge of being lost forever but now it's back as a great beer destination. With the Old Fountain round the corner, it's an excellent basis for a crawl.
charlie_m - 1 Jun 2013 12:56
The Wenlock Arms is due to re-open in the late after-noon of Monday the 3rd. of June, 2013.
suggestion_tryAnewBEER - 22 May 2013 16:22
Currently closed for refurbishment. However, word on the block is that it will re-open as a real ale serving establishment rather than a gastropub. Time will tell.
TiaMariaJim - 16 Apr 2013 06:42
I was taken here by a friend who knows my preference for straightforward, unspoilt and unpretentious pubs - he thought I'd like it and I DID and have been several times since. It does look vulnerable to redevelopment so I would strongly suggest that all pub fans passing through London N1 go here and give it the support it deserves. Excellent beer and showing a proper range of styles - not just the ubiquitous golden beers at ca 4% ABV. Basic facilities but exactly the kind of local where one relaxes at once.
Arctium_lappa - 17 Feb 2013 21:40
Visited this fine London boozer again last evening...excellent array of real ales..had a couple of then..forget the names but no matter...all the ales are very well kept...Whole area around the pub is being redeveloped..I fear the worst for this veritable oasis....
itchytony - 17 Feb 2013 09:18
I know this place is under threat and I take that into consideration.

The ale is still of a high quality.

But if you drink ale you need to go to the toilet and to have all the urinals out of order and to be honest a slight urine smell throughout the pub is just not acceptable.

Sorry!


TheHorsesMouth - 13 Feb 2013 14:28
'we can't keep losing pubs of this quality'. Clueless.
gaypostman - 17 Jan 2013 23:43
there must be someone/people who can buy this pub, to keep from closing? The amount of money in the area...we can't keep losing pubs of this quality. Well done to everyone concerned. Unfortunately property developers are patient beasts!!
natalinbrazil - 7 Jan 2013 20:14
Not so sure about the review left on 13/4 but anyhow it is good that the Wenlock is still open, I have to stand corrected on my last doomsday post there! Despite all the odds against seeing the pub open now, and just about on its feet. That is a credit to everyone who has supported the pub. Well done!
jamie.nakin - 5 Dec 2012 17:55
These developers just don't give up....there's yet another planning application in, this time for part-conversion to residential use. Deadline for comments and objections 8th Nov; check Hackney Council website for details of the application and how to comment.
E17Bee - 4 Nov 2012 15:03
I have visted this pub a few times.It is obviously going through a testing time because of various planning applications and threats of closure.Ever time I have been there there has been a fantastic range of beers many from micros from the local region.The quality was first class.Yes it could have been cleaner and the decor has seen better days.But everyone is friendly and the staff helpful.There are very few real community pubs nowadays and I will take the Wenlock "warts and all" above the bland theme and gastro pubs which seem to be taking over the rest of the universe.
Roden - 13 Oct 2012 19:04
Short answer- no, go to the fountain.
jamie.nakin - 8 Oct 2012 19:26
Can someone fill m e in about what's going on at the Wenlock. There are no recent BITE comments and all this twitter/facebook stuff. Film crews!!! What the hell is going on. I come back to my old Shepherdess Walk neighborhood every couple of years. Is it worth a visit any more?
fernebranca - 8 Oct 2012 02:47
Hophead in top nick, my mates was flat. Same old hit-and-miss Wenlock. Much as I disagree with spoiling character pubs with progress, toilet-cleaner wouldnt go amiss. Apart from that, it's an endearing place with a decent range of beers. And no 'hipsters' in sight.
pkrp - 20 Jul 2012 23:24
'You just don't get pubs like this anymore', 'glorious period decor' (??!!!!). The egotist in me would like to think Dick is trying to wind me up but as his profile declares him to be a young man of 30 years I shall put his statements down to cluelessness.
Dickie Boy...why don't you tell us what you actually drank in this place?
gaypostman - 2 Jul 2012 23:14
You just don't get pubs like this anymore, at least not in North London. Pay a visit to drink from a wide selection of ales, glorious period decor and standing antidote to gentrification.
Richard_ReadingFC - 11 Jun 2012 12:41
I popped into the Wenlock in midweek and it is open for business as usual - what is more, the salt beef sandwiches are back! The new manageress seems a likeable young woman and she is obviously trying to keep the best bits of the Wenlock whilst making improvements where necessary.

The beer range was perhaps not as good as usual due to a predominance of 'session bitters' rather than the usual Wenlock range of strong ales, stout, bitter etc. However, the new cellar team are probably still getting the orders sorted out so this can be excused.

All in all, the Wenlock is on the up after several months in the doldrums.
Harry_the_Dog - 27 Apr 2012 18:06
I am constantly amazed at the amount of reviews for this pub, your humble narrator having visited this boozer back in day, when he lived in our "glorious" capital city.

Bog standard as i recall, with the usual tiresome cockney clientele hogging the bar and dispensing local witticisms and being geezerish to the point of boredom. Yawn!!
nokegthanks - 15 Apr 2012 00:10
gaypostman, now that the gay man behind the bar is gone, why don't you just head back to Old Compton Street?
elsie_pop - 14 Apr 2012 22:13
'The Wenlock Arms is exactly the same'. With the hole in the floor where you can see the cellar? What a shithole.
gaypostman - 13 Apr 2012 22:28
Went in yesterday to see it on its first new day, and was pleased.

The Wenlock Arms is exactly the same....!!!EXACTLY!!!: ambience, aesthetics, prices, range (better, even), live-music offer. Just a hand-over of front-door key.

Good news: the new owners include the boss of The Queens Head, King's Cross~a great pub with a good attitude.

They expect to do the refurb around January, 2013~of course, could be earlier or later.

Normal service resumed for now.

.....................................................................
Bring back the brass plaque.


suggestion_tryAnewBEER - 11 Apr 2012 12:27
The Wenlock is open again as from today (10.04) same beer policy in fact much the same as ever. There will be some refurbishment - new kitchen etc - but no major changes.
ed.spbw - 10 Apr 2012 20:07
Is it though? Their website says Wenlock Arms but look at Google street view, the signage says 'The Wenlock' Looks like jumping on the bandwagon to me
TiaMariaJim - 8 Apr 2012 20:23
Turns out that there is another pub called the Wenlock Arms:

73 Main Street, Weldrake, York YO19 6AA
suggestion_tryAnewBEER - 8 Apr 2012 14:32
Have received verification: it is, indeed, re-opening on Tuesday the 10th. of April, 2012.
suggestion_tryAnewBEER - 6 Apr 2012 13:46
Wenlock resurgent!

Re-opens Tues 10/4 at 4pm - quotation from yesterday by John B the new cellarman: '11 beers in cellar now, more coming tomorrow. Same beer range, same live music, same quiz. Don't expect too many ticks until we get going - with emergency orders, we're just getting what we can. Only downside is that I'll be cellarman.'

Planned opening hours - Tue-Thu 4-12; Fri 4-1; Sat 12-1; Sun 12-12. Mon closed
chick - 5 Apr 2012 08:31
Gutted: I took my eye off the ball, and this happens. I was in here about a month ago and it was great. The toilets did smell, but they smelled of toilet cleaner. The place was full of people drinking happily. No-one was swearing or shouting, no-one was causing aggravation, the staff were friendly and attentive, and the beer was cracking, both in selection and quality. What's going to happen now? They can't demolish the place because of the extension of the conservation area, so I presume they'll just gut it and turn it into flats that way, like so many other sad reminders of our once-great pub heritage that are now residential. I know we need places to live, but there are lots of office blocks in the City which are being turned into shops that no-one uses. Why can't we have more people living there? So sad that somepeople would rather destroy something with real character because it's an easier option than giving some proper thought. Goodbye Wenlock: you'll be missed.
Charno - 4 Apr 2012 11:02
Still recovering from our little good-bye(?) drink. Thanks to everyone for yesterday, and good luck with whatever happens next...
Green_0nions - 1 Apr 2012 21:31
Glenn and Lester, since you ask.

This weekend will be the last in the Wenlock's present form so make that final visit now.
TiaMariaJim - 26 Mar 2012 10:41
The word was that the Wenlock's last day under its current regime is the 5th. of April, 2012, but one of the senior guys said 31st. of March, 2012. Many people whether still fans or ex-fans might still like to wave a final good-bye.
suggestion_tryAnewBEER - 16 Mar 2012 16:04
Gaypostman, Millhouse and all are entitled to their oppinion.
Just don't go there and go out and get a life!!!!!!!!
bjbrummiejohn - 15 Mar 2012 08:30
When the self-appointed ambassadors of the Wenlock - Millhouse, Phucough, elsie pop, the execrable lad newton - stop spouting sycophantic and misleading drivel, then I'll stop feeling the need to provide a more balanced and truthful picture about the place.
gaypostman - 13 Mar 2012 18:20
Gaypostman , there is nothing wrong with a negative review if your experience of a pub has not been a good one, indeed on my last visit to the Wenlock the atmosphere coming from the other side of the bar was not great, the beer was reasonable, not great. But why keep slagging it off? If you dont like it dont keep going there, no need to continuously comment negatively.
"There are loads of great, old pubs in London." Why dont you tell us about them instead ? I agree with your only positive review to date , The Royal Oak, lets see more reviews in the positive.
Picasso09 - 10 Mar 2012 11:47
Yes, Millhouse, I did have a bad experience here. Several in fact. You see, I've visited this pub at least six times. On only two occasions was the beer good (Hophead, and an Oakham ale). On at least two other occasions the beer was shit.
However, the beer is not the main problem with this pub. The problem is the complete contempt the owners have shown towards their alleged core clientele. Every time I've been in here, there has been a group of foul-mouthed old men sitting on the right side of the bar. The staff never make any attempt to curb their behaviour. This would not be tolerated in most pubs, so why here?
Then, of course, there is the celebrated floor, it's atrocious condition ignored for at least the last five years. And now, apparently, there's a hole in it and you can see down into the cellar! It makes one wonder how long the owners have been planning to jump ship. .
But what irritates me most is the way The Wenlock Arms is held up as some shining example of the 'classic British boozer', 'last of a dying breed' etc etc. It isn't, it's just a run-down dump.
There are loads of great, old pubs in London. I suggest you go and find them.

gaypostman - 10 Mar 2012 09:50
"a hole in the floor so you can see the cellar"....yes, that about sums up the contempt the owners of this 'pub' have for their clientele.
"to destroy this pub would be nothing short of cultural vandalism"....no, to destroy this 'pub' would be doing the world a massive favour.
Oh, and MrReadingFC, George Orwell wouldn't have drank in this toilet if it was the last 'pub' on earth.
gaypostman - 8 Mar 2012 21:20
Tetchy Landlord who is fed up about peoples concerns over the welfare of the pub. Beer selection still good. There is a relatively new feature...a hole in the floor so you can see the cellar. the star wars bar on planet earth. Hope it lives on.
rob372 - 7 Mar 2012 20:36
Went in for the first time on Saturday and loved it. A fantastic selection of beers, lovely cosy decor with fireplace and wooden beams. Interesting memrobilia on the walls and good mix of regulars. I'll be back for certain. This pubs verges on the iconic in its example of an east end boozer. Fingers crossed it is saved from the developers. To destroy this pub would be nothing short of cultural vandalism.

Richard_ReadingFC - 13 Feb 2012 13:47
Had a decent pint of cumbrian legendary dark stout ,still a good selection of beers available ,still grubby but i'm fine with that.I heard it will be sold and boarded up in April,we will have to wait and see if its true, could have been my last visit which would be a shame.
Picasso09 - 12 Feb 2012 11:43
Visited tody and had an excellent pint of Crouch Vale Blackwater Mild. I hear Hackney Council have designated the street part of a conservation area now so it's not going to disappear any time soon.

Unfortunately they had the radio on - and tragically no more salt beef sandwiches! Apart from that it's good to see that some places never change.
jimothy - 19 Jan 2012 13:19
"God beer"! Ambrosia, no less. My cup overfloweth
Revd_Cuntyman - 10 Jan 2012 10:46
Still their, still serving god beer and an interesting range. Still needs a little clean.
loveleedshatebates - 10 Jan 2012 08:10
Heard a whisper that Hackney Council plan to discuss listing the pub at their meeting on Monday.
Can anyone confirm?
ell - 16 Dec 2011 23:55
The Wenlock Arms was once a legend having won several awards in its time. It is inconceivable that its OWNERS want to destroy it, rather than take their money and retire to leave the place intact for others to follow on. Despite the Government's announcement shortly after the General Election that issues with pubs like this would be looked at, I for one am dismayed this hasn't happened. Needless to say, Save the Wenlock group will leave no stone unturned in its search for a lasting solution.

As for the owners, I wish them no ill, but plead with them to have a rethink on the social consequences of their proposed action.
Phucough - 14 Dec 2011 13:20
Demolition of this pub was rejected by Hackney Borough Council 6 weeks ago, It seems that one of the owners will use any loophole he can find to get the pub shut and knocked down. Surely there's some way to stop this (although lifelines I fear are running short for the Wenlock!!!) Can the bar staff complain against unfair dismissal, or perhaps even sue? (If the pub is making money, and earning them their livelihood, why should any of them lose their job???) And don't forget there's at least one tenant about to be made homeless - all this is wrong on so many levels, and so unnecessary. And it's just before Christmas how cruel can people get?
jamie.nakin - 13 Dec 2011 18:46
For someone who detests this pub so much, the poster directly below this has an awful lot of unhelpful things to say on this page, maybe he won't be happy until every pub except HIS current favourite is closed, then no doubt he'll come back on here bemoaning the fact he can't get served in his chosen watering hole because it has become too popular.
Why is he so embittered ('scuse the pun) was he barred, did someome beat him to the last bag of scratchings, would no one talk to him (hard to believe I know), did Burnley give him the Spanish archer? I think we should be told!

LONG LIVE THE WENLOCK ARMS
ell - 12 Dec 2011 22:19
Blah blah blah...(Yawn)....Zzzzzz.....
gaypostman - 12 Dec 2011 18:34
Agree. The loss of this pub will be a great failing in human terms. Two reviewers cite the Oakdale with reference to events in N1. It is regrettable that Stephen Barnes was not prepared (if recent notes are true) to accept an offer that would have left him with MORE, not less money in his pocket and kept the pub open.

lad_newton - 12 Dec 2011 01:49
I for one will be sorry to see the Wenlock go if it is indeed demolished. The pub stood out as an inspiration for others to follow for many years. But I sadly agree that the Wenlock has been going downhill for a few years now, with no investment. A bit more cleanliness wouldn't go amiss. But this is still a good down-to-earth boozer with a decent selection of real ales and a cider. Last night was my first visit for a couple of years. But a lot of the old regulars were still there and I'm glad to report that there were women in there too (in response to the previous comment that there are none). One French lady had clearly over-indulged and was fast asleep on her bar stool. Luckily she had a back rest. Beers on last night were Sadlers Red House, Windsor & Eton Conqueror 1075, Butts Blackguard Porter, Pitfield Ginger Beer, Twickenham Naked Ladies, Mighty Oak Reliant Robin & Darkstar Hophead. As usual, the cider was Thatchers Cheddar Valley. As with the Oakdale, it will be a sad day when this place shuts its doors for good.
blue_scrumpy - 11 Dec 2011 16:45
For the latest please read the article on page 38 of London Drinker magazine - available free at most decent ale pubs in London. Interested buyers are invited to contact Will direct on a given telephone number.
lad_newton - 5 Dec 2011 01:04
Sadly pub's being allowed to go to the wall, this is because owner steve wants place demolished and is still turning down cash offers higher than amount offered by developers Wenlock LLP. Same thing is gonna happen like the Oakdale, closure and demolition of which all boiled down to one person versus the world! Sad, but there seems little anyone can do :(
jamie.nakin - 27 Nov 2011 13:09
After my last visit, I felt much the same as gaypostman, John Bonser -the erstwhile Grande Dame of BITE- and others that this place was getting too grotty for comfort. I don't know whether someone has shoved the hoover round since (yes that was deliberate understatement) but there did seem to be less grime this time. Maybe it was the time of year and the low light levels! Whatever the case I am glad that place got a reprieve and it still has more soul than many if it's gastro-ised neighbours.
rabdes - 27 Nov 2011 11:06
Well said, sir. I couldn't have put it better myself.
gaypostman - 22 Nov 2011 17:59
After several recommendations of the 'you must go to this pub before it closes down' type I called in after work the other week. It was a real eye opener. I'm sorry - but there is more to a pub than serving good beer. I thought I'd never say that - and I'm generally with the anti chain pub and anti gastro pub brigade - but a pub has still got to make an effort. This looked like it wasn't waiting for the demolition order but already starting from the inside! There were holes in the floor, skip furniture and - yes - the toilets stunk to high heaven. Thank God they don't fo food there any more! The place doesn't look like its had a female customer in years. And yes that is important otherwise drinking real beer just becomes a very sad pastime of sad blokes. People make an effort to go to this pub - its a crappy walk from Old Street tube - so they need to see that the pub makes an effort. I'm not asking for bells and whistles just a pleasant environment to enjoy beer.
PopRoberts - 22 Nov 2011 10:19
Finally managed to get myself to this fabled rough 'n' ready boozer last night and wasn't disappointed. The building itself is plainly worthy of protection - a rather fine Victorian edifice that screams character and solidity when set against its dull 1950s and '60s neighbours, it is the last remaining building of that era in the street and sits in glorious isolation at the corner.

Once indoors, one has to concede that it probably SHOULD be given a good old scrub down, and certainly they could make more of its interior. Saying that though, there's no denying it lends an extra layer of earthiness to the place, and the slightly grimy patina is actually well-placed for a pub of this kind.

The staff were maybe slightly oddballish, but efficient nevertheless (too efficient - my mate got 3 times the change expected!), but the punters were all pretty sound and everyone was beering and cheering very comfortably despite the cramped space. Yes, happily I can report the Wenlock was thronging, and with a really good mix too - young, old, rich, poor, you name it, they were there getting stuck in. The pub was dog-friendly too, with a couple of pooches at one point perched on bar stools!

Cask ale-wise - let's face it that's why most people who aren't local seek this out - there were I think 6 choices from around the country and 1 cask cider (the radioactively orange but delish Cheddar Valley). A Mild was available, as well as a Best, Porter and styles in between. Personally I didn't sample anything new that truly enamoured my palate, but that's merely my own taste and certainly no aspersion on the conditioning. Turnover was rapid as well which is a good sign. In some provinical towns pubs like this may be more commonplace, but it backstreet London they're all too rare and I hope people continue to support it, whatever is in store now the erstwhile owners are selling up.

I was heartened to hear that the Council disallowed the demolition of what is quite plainly a very viable and desirable business, as well as a bit of an aesthetic gem in that vicinity. Whilst refusal of a planning app is never the end of the story, I hope the pro-pub camp stand firm and resist future attempts to erase it from the streetmap. Well done folks - I'll be back.
TWG - 17 Nov 2011 17:22
Excellent news! This pub has stood for the best part of 200 years - here's to the next 200!
Phucough - 30 Oct 2011 12:20
Planning permission to demolish the pub has been denied.....
elsie_pop - 27 Oct 2011 14:47
Dear Sir/Madam

Town & Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) Order 2010

26 Wenlock Road
London
N1 7TA
Application Number:
2011/1996
Development Description: Demolition of existing two storey public house building and
construction of a five-storey mixed use building to provide 160sqm of commercial floorspace
(Use Class A1/A2/B1) at ground floor and basment level with five self-contained residential
units (comprising one x three-bed unit, two x two bed units and two x one -bed units) provided
on the upper floors.

Site Address:

Thank you for your correspondence concerning the above application.

The issues you have raised will be taken into consideration during my
assessment of this application. In the event that the application is to be
determined at the Planning Sub-Committee, I will notify you of the date and
advise on how you can arrange to speak at the meeting.

In the event that the application is determined under delegated powers, you will
receive notification of the outcome.

If your comments formed part of a petition, please make other signatories of the
petition aware of this letter.

Yours faithfully

Benjamin Dixon
Planning and Regulatory Services
elsie_pop - 11 Oct 2011 12:57
I was in the Wenlock tonight and I can't believe it's in danger given how busy it was. Beer was great, especially the Maldon Gold which became our drink of choice for the evening, the jazz was so good we bought the banjo player a pint, and I think I'm pretty much in love with the beautiful barmaid.
alecaesar - 17 Sep 2011 02:15
Good riddance to the most overrated pub on this site.
gaypostman - 16 Sep 2011 18:42
The last post is sad, but true.

The application reference referred to below is actually 2011/1996.

Objections to the demolition of this historic, once award-winning and still thriving pub can be submitted online, and must be sent before 10th October 2011.

On objections please keep language clean and reasonable. Let's all of us work together to save our pub.
lad_newton - 13 Sep 2011 13:33
For those of you that won't beleive a word I say go onto hakcneys website. Flats going up on site when the pub's knocked down. Planning app went in on 7 Sept 'Last Chance Saloon' springs to mind.
jamie.nakin - 13 Sep 2011 00:58
I tend to agree. This pub seems to attracts politics and intrigue from the druids of the real-ale-bore scene like no other.

The lack of food is a downer, so is the fact that it's for sale, but the last time I went it was still open, it was still a good pub, with good beers, good atmosphere, good punters and a good feel.

And the smelliest toilet in Christendom.

Hurrah.
benscaro - 26 Aug 2011 17:22
Rather a lot of speculative rubbish has been posted on this site about the Wenlock Arms. The last FOUR "reviews" dating from 21 July to 14 August should be ignored. The last accurate note was left by Sleeping Scooper. It is business as usual for the foreseeable future, until staff or management announce any further news. Let's not "do this pub down" but continue celebrating its very existence by visiting (such as I did last night) and supporting the venue.
Phucough - 14 Aug 2011 13:16
2 months to go chaps
jamie.nakin - 14 Aug 2011 13:09
Bounded into the Wenlock with three friends on Wednesday 3rd August at 8.33pm and was somewhat taken aback to find a total of two people in the pub. After I recovered from the shock of such a small clientele in the Greatest Pub in the History of Pubs Ever I managed to tell one of my friends what I wanted to drink. My half of Harvey's Tom Paine was simply DIVINE. There were at least five or six other ales on offer, including one that had a photograph of some old geezer amateurishly sellotaped to the pump clip. We would have had another half here but time was pressing on!
Newton_Lad - 6 Aug 2011 21:05
No. Cash speaks louder then words. Soon gone.
jamie.nakin - 29 Jul 2011 19:28
But not for much longer, eh scoop?
gaypostman - 21 Jul 2011 20:24
The pub is up for sale but as yet has not been sold. No-one has applied for planning permission. I know because I both live and work there.
sleepingscooper - 19 Jul 2011 13:59
always had some great times in this place,great beer and a nice salt beef sandwich.i know spoinge and was told he was the person who use to block the toilet system with his discarded soiled pants.
anonymous - 13 Jul 2011 13:50
I had a suit like that once.
spoinge - 13 Jul 2011 13:10
I used to like this pub but having been threatened twice(once for wearing a suit and once for coming from the north)by some low life customer I never go here now.
BAZZZZ - 17 Jun 2011 17:14
The quicker this toilet is replaced by a block of luxury flats the better. So there you have it, elsie dear.
gaypostman - 30 May 2011 23:43
EXCELLENT! Really hope the last-but-one post is "AB" as quoted. I had an enjoyable visit to the pub a few days ago and there was no talkj of any sale being complete.

Murmurs, suppositions and rumours really aren't doing the Wenlock any good or helping the cause.
lad_newton - 17 May 2011 01:40
Latest posting is, in the words of Burnley Dave '' absolute b*ll*cks! '' so there you have it.

elsie_pop - 13 May 2011 14:23
Days are numbered :(

Pub sold and will be closed & demolished in a few short weeks make the most of it!
jamie.nakin - 12 May 2011 23:51
Ian's birthday beer from Mighty Oak was most enjoyable and the Red Squirrel London Porter was bang on the money. Lovely.
elsie_pop - 4 May 2011 11:31
This isn't a review for this pub; it's a request that the World Wildlife Fund lobbies the United Nations to declare Beer in the Evening moderators, and e-mail readers-and-responders an endangered species: there has been no sign of life from them for months, so clearly they are few in numbers, and close to species extinction~that is assuming that they haven't yet gone the way of the dodo.

suggestion_tryAnewBEER - 26 Apr 2011 15:50
This isn't a review for this pub; it's a request that the World Wildlife Fund lobbies the United Nations to declare Beer in the Evening moderators, and e-mail readersr-and-responders an endangered species: there has been no sign of life from them for months, so clearly they are few in numbers, and close to species extinction~that is assuming that they haven't yet gone the way of the dodo.
suggestion_tryAnewBEER - 26 Apr 2011 15:49
Stopping food was the wrong decision. The pub has lost trade and is reportedly running at a loss since the change was made. Surely it makes sense to reinstate the menu and return to making a profit again.
Phucough - 20 Apr 2011 02:18
I like the Wenlock Arms, a lot. 6 (or 8?) beers on, can't actually remember. I do remember that the APA and Hophead were in great condition. Characterful interior, and serviceable toilets. I was there recently from 5PM til close and saw the clientele grow from about 7 to a vibrant buzzing atmosphere by closing time. A triumph.
shand83 - 12 Apr 2011 16:07
Visited the Wenlock last week to discover that they have stopped serving food. A disaster! However, the beer quality is as good as ever.

Apparently, the food was losing money so it was stopped. I am not a businessman, but I think that this is a retrograde step and one that will have an impact on beer sales. The problem, as I see it, is not food pricing, sales or margins, but staffing.

The staff in the Wenlock are lovely, but it's obvious that paying people to sit around doing nothing is not good business. There's no need for two bar staff and a cellar man at all times of the day. One person behind the bar and a cellar man should be sufficient and if this means that people have to wait occasionally for a sandwich then so be it.

An alternative would be to guarantee food between say 12 and 2 p.m and employ a 3rd person between these hours. Food could be served after this, but punters would have to take a chance that there was any left!

Harry_the_Dog - 11 Mar 2011 13:48
Very nice pub, well-kept Gwent-y-draig real cider.
jgurney1 - 28 Jan 2011 20:18
Popped in after the Arsenal v Leeds game. If its closing you can't tell, it was as always.
loveleedshatebates - 24 Jan 2011 13:39
Great beers, brilliant choice. Hats off to the cellar man - never had a bad drink here. Nice customers too - very friendly.Tuesday is the day to go for the old codgers club when the beer tickers meet up and the cellar runs are on. The salt beef doorstep sandwiches are enormous and wonderful.
ofrex - 7 Dec 2010 09:37
A clean pub? Decent toilets? No lowlife customers?
gaypostman - 5 Dec 2010 11:10
Drank here a couple of times in one week. Superb beers. Excellent black pudding doorstop. Warm fire. What more would you want?
samphirehoe - 30 Nov 2010 21:25
Ascot Ales Anastasia's Double Vanilla Stout, sublime! 9.8//10
elsie_pop - 18 Nov 2010 17:10
Having not been to the Wenlock for about 6 years (used to visit about 4/5 times a year) and getting wind of the fact that it was in trouble I went there yesterday afternoon between 3.00 and 3.30
I couldn't believe my eyes when I walked in. There were two customers in the pub and they both left after about 5 mins. That just left the landlord? and the two ladies who are connected with the pub. Every time I used to visit--usually around the same time of day-- there would have been 15/20 people in there and a general hubbub going on.
I had just left the still lively Old Fountain and the difference was staggering. It must have been that way all lunchtime since the landlord made a gallows humour reference to getting off the stool and serving a paying customer. Whilst not filthy as some posters say the place came as a shock to my memory. The bottles and beer clips around the top of the bar were covered in thick dust which could be rectified with just a bit of soap and water. The whole place had the feel of somewhere just waiting for the end to come.
The most important part- the beer- was as good as ever. My pint of Windsor&Eton Guardsman was excellent and I can only assume the others were as good.
I only had the one though as it made me want to cry to be there.
Nostalgia aint what it used to be.
stupac50 - 12 Nov 2010 18:59
really? name some.
tobo - 10 Nov 2010 16:44
The many beer lovers, tickers, locals, tourists and office workers who make up the clientele enjoy this pub. It's not just a 'hard core' real ale drinkers paradise although the beer is the main draw, and is always of a very high quality. The Wenlock is shabby and in need of repair, but it's not dirty.

The pub is on the market as a going concern - apparently the property developers have backed off. It will be interesting to see if it makes the cut for the next GBG when the nominations are counted. After all, there are many pubs under threat and they are not left out of the GBG just in case they close during the year.
chick - 10 Nov 2010 14:50

I had spotted this brilliant pub had been omitted from the GBG but didn't realise until now it was under threat of closure! Why aren't North London CAMRA doing more to save it? As for the Duke of Hamilton in Hampstead perhaps it shouldn't be in the GBG because it's not a very good pub? Poor and predictable ales with dreadful service!

The Wenlock is a brilliant pub one of the very best in the world!

CUSCLB - 10 Nov 2010 12:46
gaypostman, when was the last time you were in the Wenlock? Just curious...
elsie_pop - 9 Nov 2010 20:25
The London Drinker, for what it's worth, appear to remain very much in support of this classic, earthy multi-ale pub, as it is one of the few of its kind that remains in the capital. The latest edition details the current issues regarding the perhaps understandable desire for the licensees of some 16 years to sell up, but can at present only speculate as to whom they may yield to, and fear that it is highly likely that it will be developers rather than publicans, given the fact that the offer made to the owners is reputedly one they would find hard to refuse. In any event, it is hard to imagine it retaining its status as a kingpin free house. Naturally, for all the perceived faults in the way this pub is run, it is a gem in the cask ale crown in London and the local and national CamRA aficionadoes would be devastated to see it fall into the hands of yet more house-builders when it remains such a viable business as it is.

Much to my own chagrin, I've yet to visit the Wenlock, owing to it being a little off the beaten track for me, and as yet having had no obvious opportunities to waylay myself. But it seems I must bring forward my efforts to get there, for it may soon be too late, and if it does come to an end, I'd hate to think I hadn't at least had a couple of beers in its rarefied atmosphere.

You don't miss these things until they are gone!

TWG - 9 Nov 2010 18:21
'the pub is still outstanding in North London'. Chick mate, what are you on? The pub is a SHITHOLE. That is why CAMRA are not supporting it. You, and everyone else who praises this place, clearly haven't got a bleedin' clue.
gaypostman - 7 Nov 2010 20:15
GOOD LITTLE BOOZER WITH VERY GOOD ALE ,YEH OK IT COULD DO WITH A CLEAN UP BUT PUBS LIKE THIS ARE GETTING HARDER AND HARDER TO FIND. I HOPE THE WENLOCK REMAINS OPEN FOR MANY YEARS TO COME ,MR WETHERSPOON AINT OPENING PUBS LIKE THIS LITTLE GEM!
TWOJACKRUSSELLS - 3 Nov 2010 03:50
Bumped into Bearded Steve and Barbour Face in here last Friday.

They'd been shooting in the morning but hadn't bagged so much as a Sparrow.

They must have come straight from the shoot to the pub, judging by the whacky threads they were attired in ... looked like a couple of extras from All Creatures Great and Small.

They proceeded to sup around 15 pints apiece, getting progressively louder and sweatier as they rampaged through dusk towards late evening.

At one point Barbour Face erupted from his stool screaming ... "I can't see properly ... my eyes have gone all weird ... I'M SCARED" Nearly wet my pants laughing.
We managed to calm him slightly when the sobbing stopped. For a while he simply sat hunched over his small sweet Sherry, mumbling something about "mummy being too far away".

When Bearded Steve produced a set of Top Trumps, Superbikes edition from his inside pocket, I made my excuses and left.

Top night in a smashing little pub.


Pat_Bateman - 1 Nov 2010 16:08
Nice one Jim. ;-)
elsie_pop - 16 Oct 2010 15:21
Probably only Chinese Whispers ...
TiaMariaJim - 16 Oct 2010 11:58
I've heard it's goint to be turned into a chinese resturant.
Dimple_mug - 16 Oct 2010 11:30
I never mentioned a conspiracy . I am a longstanding committee member

of another London CAMRA branch who is very well aware of the

procedures and deadlines involved in GBG selection .

The Duke of Hamilton has been under serious threat

for over nine months , this wasn 't just rumour and tittle tattle and only

received a limited reprieve very recently . This pub should not have been

included in GBG 2011 for that reason.

The real threat to the Wenlock has only emerged

recently , well after the deadlines for shortlisting and surveying . If

branches excluded every pub where the licencees were rumoured to

be leaving the GBG would be a very thin volume.

While I'm at it how has North London branch managed

to exclude the superb Southampton Arms in Gospel Oak and The Jolly

Butchers in Stoke Newington while including a raft of very average

pubs in the Euston /Kings Cross area ?
robots1 - 14 Oct 2010 02:52
Decent traditional pub.

Live jazz.

Scruffy.

Cheap.

Friendly (when you make an effort).

Shame theyre selling up.

Go whil you can.
eggyoke - 13 Oct 2010 21:45
People love a conspiracy, but their is no conspiracy here; the reasons are mundane. The rumours that the Wenlock would be closing surfaced a very long time ago, and pre-date the rumours that the DoH might be closing. The date for a branch of CAMRA to submit its draft list of 'Good Beer Guide' entries was before the DoH rumours reached the local branch. It is a draft list, not a full-and-final list, so after submission a reasonably-long period of time passes before the submitting branch has to either confirm its draft list, or make changes to it. Between the date of submission of the draft list, and the date that the branch had to give its final confirmation of its GBG listings Camden Council told the freeholder of the DoH that it is likely to refuse the planning-application, and the freeholder withdrew the application; whereas the state-of-play with regards to the Wenlock has not changed as far as the North London branch of CAMRA is aware.

No conspiracy; no scandal, just a matter of dates when information was passed on.
suggestion_tryAnewBEER - 13 Oct 2010 15:59
If the Wenlock was excluded on that criteria why did North London

CAMRA include the similarly - threatened Duke of Hamilton in

Hampstead ?
robots1 - 13 Oct 2010 11:37
recent misinformation on BITE has already been tackled.
Chick is totally correct on the GBG issue.
If lottieh987 was in North London Camra he/she would know too.
Would be interesting to see who "northman" is. "refuses to serve you" seems a bit unlikely unless you are incredibly irritating or disrespectful. Interesting though small set of reviews to his name, mostly on point. No idea where you got your info about shifts though.
Dimple_mug - 10 Oct 2010 02:07
Visited Friday, all anyone in place could talk about was the the impending clousure. All the staff were young, the beer fine and the jazz ok. What I did find interesting is the number of young ladies in pairs in the place.....a fitting end to a real ale pub that used to have a reputation for muck and being unfriendly has turned into a gay icon...brillient and all power to that elbow.
loveleedshatebates - 9 Oct 2010 08:04
According to Camra's whats brewing? newsletter this pub is under threat of closure as the landlord is selling up, maybe to developers
SGA - 5 Oct 2010 17:26
Never been to this pub but, opposite of recent posts, it IS included in the 2010 CAMRA Good Beer Guide on page 287..."this free house is one of North London's premier real ale pubs."
lesshops - 4 Oct 2010 22:27
@ i never called anyone a moron............and the locals are rude and unfriendly, you must be one of them ;-)

as mentioned, wenlock has great ale, just a shame it's skankola!
northman - 4 Oct 2010 15:06
...and lottieh987, you could possibly add to your complaints those people who only log onto this site on to make one nasty review.

Wenlock didn't make the GBG because there was a strong rumour was it was going to close. In the circumstances N London CAMRA gave the spot to another pub. I would urge anyone wanting to come to a decent old boozer with a good choice of ales to come in. The locals are an eclectic mix and not unfriendly - eccentric maybe - and the beer is great. Oh and by the way the bearded chap, John, was back behind the bar last night northman. More unreliable information.
chick - 3 Oct 2010 19:28
Serious reality check needed here - the Wenlock Arms isn't a good pub. At all. It's even been dropped from CAMRA's Good Beer Guide! Seriously - if even CAMRA people don't rate it anymore, who does?

The only people who should be sad to this close are those unfriendly locals who make everyone else feel unwelcome. But of course we're hearing from the kind of people who like to add their voice to any "campaign" going (in this case, "Save the Wenlock"), who probably never drink there anyway...
lottieh987 - 3 Oct 2010 01:06
So northman, everyone is a moron, rude or an ar**hole, unless they are 'young ladies'. You must be a very discerning man so why do you go in such a dump of a pub that needs demolishing? Yes, go to the Fountain by all means - another good pub - but not at the weekend as it's closed.
chick - 2 Oct 2010 14:27
tuppence: well they'd have to get a new cellerman too as Dave's a**hole too.

integrity? i guess that's the wenlock locals telling non-locas to bugger off?
all good things come to an end.

see you at the fountain.
northman - 1 Oct 2010 15:44
Northmen: so don't save a pub from potential demolition because you don't like the service? A bit extreme. New staff are easy to come by (I agree that young kid is a moron) but the character and history of the wedlock is irreplaceable.

As for the owners selling to the highest bidder regardless of their intentions, what happened to integrity? Money talks and tramples everything else it seems.
tuppence - 30 Sep 2010 18:51
the wenlock has been going down hill for a long time. I don't see any point in saving it.........

it might have some of the best ale in London but it probably has the worst bar service in the city apart from the young ladies who are very nice..........the young boy is a joke, he's only 18 and sits behind the bar swirling his ale like he's in his 50s and fefuses to serve you................and John the bearded chap is perhaps the rudest barmen i've ever ordered from. Though i hear he had his last shift last week. That's a blessing.


northman - 28 Sep 2010 10:43
Yeah...being shoved out of the way is just what you should expect for being so offensive as to proffer your custom. Honestly - a nod would've done. And the place was *rammed*. The excuses people make for outright rudeness in the pub sector in the name of 'character'...
jesusjohn - 27 Sep 2010 16:59
be aware of your surroundings and don't stand in front of fridges that people need access to would be the simple answer.
and that character behind the bar is not the landlord by the way.
Dimple_mug - 27 Sep 2010 16:54
Saturday night. Very busy, people spilling out into the street. Some terrific, Chas & Dave-style music - loud and fun. I'm at the bar - it's seriously noisy - and I hear behind me 'Susie!!'. Naturally, I don't reply. 'Susie!!!' I think someone's calling to a friend. 'Susie!!!' At this point, I'm barged out of the way by the bearded, long-haired bar man (landlord) - 'EXCUSE ME - jesus, are you f***ing deaf?' A tap on the shoulder and an 'Excuse me, please' and I'd have got out of the way instantly. Later, presumably still pissed off at a perceived slight, he opened the fridge door in such a way as to deliberately shove me out of the way (the fridge is outside the bar and the pub was full).

The pub has 'atmosphere' and a classy range of ales but it is mercurial in the extreme. One day you go in and it's sweetness and light - a real propah Lahndon boozer. Next time you go in, the locals look at you like dirt and you're insulted - nay, manhandled, but the staff.

Bizarre place; not inclined to return.
jesusjohn - 27 Sep 2010 10:52
Visited last night, and the beer was as good as ever, but what about the furniture !
All the proper traditional, if slightly tatty pub furniture has been removed to an off site store, and the place entirely re-furnished with the latest trendy stuff.
Most bizzare, though only temporary I am assured.
Somthing to do with London design week, I am told.
500 clocks that dont tell the correct time, and 300 stools that are uncomfortable to sit on, and three legged bar stools that certainly LOOK unsafe for stout persons.
Even the landlord having to sit away from his usual corner, owing to there being no suitable seat.
And as for red and green illuminated plastic pigs on the mantel piece, whatever next !
All very odd! Though it was very busy for mid week, so presumably some enjoy this foolishness.
Have a look for yourself.
mikeholt - 23 Sep 2010 20:47
Very sad, if the place does close.
I understand that the owners wish to sell, that does not HAVE to mean that it will close, a new owner could purchase as a going concern.

Unfortunatly though, the site is probably worth a lot more for redevelopement than as a going concern.

Suppose it sells for 1 million, a new owner has got to sell an awful lot of beer, at a very high price to justify spending that sort of money.
mikeholt - 22 Sep 2010 11:21
...but who would want to take it on. Some much work needs doing, so much needs changing. And not that much money to be made. Doesn't make financial sense for anyone.
Dimple_mug - 14 Sep 2010 12:12
S O L U T I O N!

Will, Steve (and all interested parties).

How about enacting your retirement by LEASING as opposed to selling the venue, thereby deriving an income from it, and keeping an amenity going. There was talk of this idea in the pub on Saturday.

______________________________________________________________

Review: Popped in on Sat 11 Sept for a a few pints, the pub has not gone to rack and ruin as one or two recent reviews suggest, but has the same tatty appearance that it always had! Hophead not bad, Irish stout not bad, and one or two other rather nice beers on. Male piano trio were rather good too, and piano players still queue up after the ProGig to do a spot of ragtime etc. Would have stayed longer if I hadn't been offered a lift home. I cannot believe it only has weeks to go, something has to be done.
Phucough - 14 Sep 2010 02:31
latest estimate is october/november
Dimple_mug - 31 Aug 2010 14:28
Excellent pub - in here for a session about 3 weeks ago and between two of us sampled all of the ales - all were in good condition - many were excellent, apart from one which was changed by the friendly bar staff immediately.
A nice friendly mixed crowd - let's hope it continues.
StatusBaby - 26 Aug 2010 23:21
I read on a pub blog the other day that this place is one of the most over-rated pubs in London? And frankly I agree. What a tip!
Nud - 24 Aug 2010 22:55
Try the salt beef sandwiches. Not easy to find these days
arihall - 12 Aug 2010 19:41
I've really tried to like the Wenlock but I can't. On my last visit a few days ago 1) the beer was too warm 2) there was no bread for sandwiches 3) a rather bad trad jazz band started play at 8.30pm which drove most punters away from the pub and the locals cowering into a far distant corner. This is a pub with potential but at present has lost its mojo. Perhaps new owners can sort things out. For my money the Southampton Arms in Kentish Town does this sort of thing rather better and it is no more expensive either.
simontheeditor - 30 Jul 2010 20:41
Pub that does what it says on the tin. Honest no frills boozer selling a good range of decent ever changing beer. Had a pint of Hophead which wasnt quite as good as the same i had in the Harp earlier but i dont know any where that is. The wenlock remains always worth a visit.
Picasso09 - 28 Jul 2010 21:41
Most enjoyable evening for the pub quiz, Dawkins Pithead Porter on top form.
Caviar to the general, Eddie.
elsie_pop - 23 Jul 2010 10:09
Dusty ramshackle pub with about 8 ales & a Cider on - Dark Star Hophead & Toft brewery Porter were pretty good.
Booze_Allen - 12 Jul 2010 17:32
As I understand, Will wants to retire from the pub and Steve can't afford to buy him out. Hence the pub is for sale. Any lottery winners out there?
ed.spbw - 10 Jul 2010 21:28
R.I.P.
andywalwyn - 8 Jul 2010 21:43
What carpet???
bjbrummiejohn - 7 Jul 2010 12:43
It is time for those in the know to come clean with the real situation about this pub, and end this stream of speculation which cannot be doing it any good.
Phucough - 1 Jul 2010 22:33
all good things come to an end!

some great memories!

wenlock all life!
northman - 1 Jul 2010 17:05
the pub's website is wenlock-arms.co.uk (not wenlockarms.co.uk)
maxbeer - 11 Jun 2010 22:55
Their internet domain name wenlockarms.co.uk is for sale too. Looks

like the rumours are true this time.
robots1 - 11 Jun 2010 12:17
Reading the most recent comment, what should be concerning to all who drink at and love this wonderful insitution, is that the Welock Arms was a limited company and has been dissolved recently - go to the companies house website for the details. I have been drinking at the Wenlock since 1994 and it will be a very sad day if this is the end of not just a good ale pub, but a unique slice of London life - to quote from an old song, "Say It Ain't So", I hope it isn't.


husband - 10 Jun 2010 22:19
Sadly i do know , maybe one of the owners is continuing in the trade but the pub is for sale , an offer of 1.2 million has been made , developers wish to buy the entire site including the industrial units next door . If some of you think this is just a rumour then look for the advert in the London Drinker which you will not find and then ask yourselves why are they not advertising .
mr.toes.5_ - 10 Jun 2010 16:43
I was in the wenlock with Tony one of the regulars just a few days ago and I asked him If theres any truth in these Rumours of it being sold or for sale and theres not. Also theres no Truth in the owners retiring soon as far as he knows. Its probably just Rumours & jealousy put about by local Gasto Pub owners because they cant attract the crowd's or money that the wenlock dose. This Place is what a real Pub should be Good Ales & Real Bar food and a decent crowed yes its a bit tatty but thats character not some made up plastic Pub theres not many decent Pubs left like this so lets hope it keeps going for a long time yet.
Alesonly - 3 Jun 2010 10:07
mr.toes.5_ knows what he is talking about. This pub is very much at risk. Real shame.
cmofish - 3 Jun 2010 09:33
Recent visit a week or two ago, 1st since last year, pub a little frayed round the edges, especially when you've just been down that brand new place in Victoria, but it's still a real PUB and that's what's good here. Dark Star/Mighty Oak always a good choice on the ale front, good sized sandwiches and [revolting] pickled eggs - Ban them!

Jokes aside pub still cracking place, gets full of a Friday night and still going strong, pub can get a little overcrowded, and it's sometimes easier to stop outside to have a conversation.

But all in all, staying good, beers were reasonably good last time and above all, cheap!

I guess I'll be back then.
jamie.nakin - 25 May 2010 00:54
Rumours that one or other of the co-owners is thinking about retiring have been around for a good few years now.

Although I am not a CAMRA-ite, I can discern no dip in quality standards as far the beer is concerned. My only slight grumble is that some beers from the smaller, newer breweries are not very inspiring. Maybe they are chosen for the beer tickers rather than your average drinker.

In the summer months, the cellarman obviously has to fight to keep the beer at the right temperature, but he certainly knows his stuff.

The place is shabby, but the beer is always well kept. You can't serve good beer if you don't have good hygiene. The kitchen is spotless.

The floor is in a state of disrepair, but most of us will not end up lying on it. It's fine for walking and standing on. The bogs are, well, just bogs. They are fit for the purpose they are intended for.
Harry_the_Dog - 23 May 2010 20:45
Yes, it should give you an Edge.
foghorn - 21 May 2010 08:45
Regarding the posting by mr.toes5 I visited the Wenlock yesterday

and spoke to one of the co -owners . He strongly denied that either

of them had any plans to retire.
robots1 - 20 May 2010 14:02
What the hell has happened to this place? I have to agree with the recent reviews. It is filthy and smelly, and was full of tattooed skinhead types who were shouting at the racing on the TV when I visited on Saturday 15 May in the afternoon. I'm sure I got a flea-bite or something from there. The beer I had was ropey but my mate's was OK, he says.

Hopefully someone who cares about pubs will take it on and get it back up to its former glory. It was always the best pub in the Hoxton area, and open at weekends. Perhaps the Old Fountain will take the opportunity to open on Saturdays and Sundays?
Chief_IDIOT - 16 May 2010 12:09
i always had an idea this pub may be boring, so lets hope it ups its game now.
BestBeerBoffin - 15 May 2010 20:39
As of now this pub is on the market, so all of you that want to change it get your cheque books out. Both of the co owners want to retire so here is a chance for an entrepeneur to make some wonga.
mr.toes.5_ - 15 May 2010 20:31
I agree with you my dear. This place is a tip! Take your girlfriends to The Old Fountain in Old Street . Ten times better and a great choice of beers.
foghorn - 12 May 2010 15:26
sorry folks, but i don't like it in here. it is dirty and smelly. this is not an indication of 'character'. i like most of the beer and have tried to get my wine-drinking girlfriends to try it, but none of my friends will accompany me here.
camrawoman - 12 May 2010 13:03
...not permanently...
Dimple_mug - 4 May 2010 12:04
Paul the highly respected bar / cellarman from the nearby Three

Fountains is now working at the Wenlock.
robots1 - 2 May 2010 16:52
With eight or nine beers to choose from I was spoilt for choice. When I do another pub walk with my mates this will definitely be included.
scotyp - 2 May 2010 12:16
The Wenlock may lack in some ways - yes a bit more time on the hygiene side may help - but at least it is still a real pub with a diversity of clientele. Calling in today late lunchtime ther was a mixture of smart(ish) office types plus the beer drinking types (like me). The people behind the bar were friendly and helpful and the beer range was excellent in both quality and quantity. Maybe I'm biased - I've been coming here 15 years or so - but I prefer this to any Wetherspoon or most faceless managed houses.
ed.spbw - 29 Apr 2010 19:53
I agree with the last two posters,maybe a little frayed around the edges, but the beers good the customers are fine, its a boozer, if your looking for somthing a bit more sterile find a gastropub or drink in a plastic bubble.
Picasso09 - 7 Apr 2010 13:40
Second visit on my birthgay last week, enjoyed the range of ales, thought it less grubby than I remember, the salt beef sarnies still the size of doorstops and the bogs? I have seen worse. Stayed for quiz, atmosphere fine.
loveleedshatebates - 7 Apr 2010 13:15
I notice that it is only regulars and those who turn up mob handed on some Camra binge who come to the defence of this place - yes it serves good beer and I have no problem with rough & ready boozers (was bought up on them), as for 'last bastion of the working class' - in my day working class people were proud, clean folk and that was just not evident on my latest visit. It may be nirvana to many but it's purely and simply a dump, not a pleasant place to while away time however good the beer may be.
Snarling_Mallard - 4 Apr 2010 18:36
This was a busy friendly pub with a good selection of ales. Had the doorstep sandwiches and they were brilliant. 4 beers we hadnt had before so had to chose, so enjoyed 2 well kept beers, Oxfordshire Neck & Neck and Weltons Voters Revenge. Many people spoke to us there and it was a pub I could feel really at home in.
gillhalfpint - 24 Mar 2010 22:09
We have been here several times now and yes, I would say it is the best Ale House in London. It has had a recent clean up by the looks, but it never worried us anyway, we come here for the beer and it is always top notch, a great choice is always available and I've never had one that i didn't like.
It's a great place and we would miss it badly if it was changed.
imdownthepub - 22 Mar 2010 18:00
I think filthy is a bit strong. I'm not a beer expert but I do appreciate a good pint. From my limited understanding, it's nigh on impossible to serve good beer if you don't have a good standard of cellar cleanliness. I have drunk a fair few pints at the Wenlock and I've kept my beady eye on how they clean their lines etc. and I've never seen anything other than top notch cellarmanship. It's possible to peer through the kitchen door and that is spotless too.

The floor is shabby, but I tend to walk on it rather than lie on it.

The last time I went to the Wenlock, the locals were subdued so maybe someone has had a word. However, this isn't a Gastropub, it's the last bastion of the working class so expect a few boots, fluorescent jackets, plasterer's floats and f-words to be scattered about the place.


Harry_the_Dog - 21 Mar 2010 22:17
London's best alehouse ? Someone somewhere is having a serious gee-raffe. I recall dropping in here a couple of years back on a Sunday afternoon when it was like a proper old fashioned, how's yer father, dodge the doodlebugs kind of boozer with locals having a knees up round the old joanna. Todays visit was light years from that. I think some people are looking at this place through rose (or maybe puce) tinted x-ray specs or may be so half cut from dropping in other places to get here that they mistake the lack of cleanliness for character. What struck me on entering was that the place was filthy - the floor appeared as though it hadn't seen a mop in months and the place stank. The beer (a pint of William Roscoe) was okay but nothing exceptional. I think this place has been resting on it's laurels a bit. The whole place needs a Spring clean. Can't say the staff and locals were particularly friendly either. Maybe okay if you turn up with a mob of Camra cronies already half sozzled ready to try out the beers.
Snarling_Mallard - 15 Mar 2010 19:09
Visited for the first time and expected a lot... after all this is one of Londons most famous ale houses....

I guess i was disappointed, wasnt what i expected. The beer was ok, nothing better than that (one redemption beer quite good), but i guess what amazed me was how tired and dirty the place was...dont get me wrong, the beer comes first and foremost, but i have to say its a good while since i was in such a grubby pub, they need to steam clean everything.

Young bar staff on, young chap knew his stuff and was friendly.

I am fairly sure a little tlc could restore this pub to its lofty previous position, but at the moment, dont think it deserves its big reputation
bongobob - 23 Feb 2010 01:36
Theres alot of shananigans going on about the Wenlock.
It does what is says on the tin, old corner boozer, great selection of beer.
They have tidied the place up by scraping up the carpet.
rob372 - 28 Jan 2010 20:41
Visited here on Saturday, January 23rd at 1.00pm with a couple of friends on a London 'area' crawl. Only found out about the Krays connection post visit. Wonder what it was like when they were hanging around the manor?

Two women were running the bar and there were about a dozen locals in. One other visitor was telling us that he always calls in when in London. He was staying to go across the bar, albeit in halves. Probably a good idea, given the generous selection of real ale on offer.

Worth another visit for sure and well worth seeking out for a first time too.
DME - 28 Jan 2010 16:44
Visited last night for a swift late pint. Pub emptier than normal for the time of night, but could put that down to the weather. This was one of the occasions that the beer choice was very good (Dark Star Over The Moon Mild, Critical Mass; Crouch Vale Brewers Gold, Amarillo all on very good form). Steve Barnes and John B were in charge and it was a relaxing, chilled evening. It was my most enjoyable session there for several months. If only it could be like this all the time! Last night's beer range and quality MUST be maintained for the Wenlock to regain its reputation. Firm management is also needed on ALL days the pub is open so the Wenlock experience is once again an enjoyable one for the many, not the few. I can only hope that when Mill House visits the same beer quality and atmosphere will prevail. Hopefully management have read the valid points raised by previous reviewers on other issues such as poor behaviour and begin to act on them so the pub does not deteriorate any further than it has, leaving itself open to further criticism. The nearby Old Fountain is doing well for itself and its competition should not be ignored. Last night was a good start, keep it up!
lad_newton - 11 Jan 2010 11:05
Visited on the wednesday before new year . Got off to a bad start arriving just after 11 to find out it wasnt opening till 12. Once inside i started with a mild if i remember correctly by artbrew. One of my companions had the same the other had a golden bitter i cant rember which. None of us were happy with our choice which is very unusual in the wenlock, but the beers were new to us and i supose you cant like everything. The idea of the days trip was to have two or three pints in three or four of our favorite pubs as opposed to our normal one pint in eight or nine pubs on our regular london pub walks. But looking at the remaining ales available , mostly christmas specials as well as the fact we got started an hour late we decide to move on a little bit disapointed as the wenlock has been and still is one of my top five pubs in london. hopefuly this was a minor blip ill return soon.
Picasso09 - 7 Jan 2010 23:38
Traditional, unpretentious back street local in an area of council blocks and print works within walking distance of Old Street Tube Station.

The pub dates back to 1835 and looks considerably older than many of the surrounding buildings - I gather there was a lot of war time bomb damage in the area.

The pub takes its name from the Wenlock Brewery, which used to be in the same street and brewed up till the early 60's when the brewery was acquired and closed by Bass. No trace of the brewery remains, but inside the pub you can see an old Bass mirror and some framed Wenlock Brewery beer labels.

It's an old fashioned smallish single bar pub with the feel and decor of a different era - drape curtains, half size lace curtains and fixed seating around the edge of the inside wall. One of the entrances has a tiled floor mosaic denoting "Private Bar".

As is well known by now, the Wenlock is one of London's best known real ale free houses and is a real favourite amongst the CAMRA fraternity. It's been a GBG regular in recent years and has won numerous awards from CAMRA.

My first visit to this pub for approx 9 months last Sunday afternoon found 8 real ales and one cider on offer from the 9 handpumps. Of the beers sampled by me, both the Rebellion Mild and the Downton Elderquad tasted a bit flat and uninteresting and the Ironbridge 1779 Bitter was OK ish. Other beers on were from Adnams, Slaters, Dark Star, Spinning Dog and, most notably, a beer called Tryst Brewers Swansong from Scotland with an ABV of 6.9% and a price of 3.40p. Other beers were priced at between 2.80p and 3.00p.

Unfortunately, I also experienced the excessive "industrial language" to which Harry The Dog refers below - this time from several men watching the Man Utd v Leeds game on a small TV high up in one corner of the bar, where the normal oohs! and aahs! of an exciting game were accompanied by regular exhortations to "break his effing leg!" every one an opposition player hoofed the bar away from the goal. I retreated to the far corner of the bar, taking up residence on a stool by the wooden central bar.

I like atmospheric, traditional locals pubs as much as anyone. However, my impression is that the Wenlock has descended into a rather grubby, seedy and run down establishment which shows a lack of lack of respect for the paying customer. Whilst I wouldn't describe it as threatening or intimidating, it's certainly not one of the friendliest and most welcoming pubs around. On my visit, staff appeared somewhat disinterested and sullen, particularly towards non regulars, and appeared to make little, if any, effort to serve people in turn. I do wonder if a degree of complacency has set in amongst the pub management and staff.

I'm reluctant to take such a well known pub like this off my radar on the basis of one poor visit, but I do think that, based on last Sunday's visit, this pub needs to raise its game considerably in virtually all areas. Now if the nearby Old Fountain were to start opening weekends, it could provide the kick up the backside that this pub seems to need.

I'm probably going to get shot down in flames for this review, but, sorry folks, I'm looking for a much better all round experience next time I call in.
JohnBonser - 7 Jan 2010 13:46
I have to agree with the last poster. If Dennis thinks feels he has to look over his shoulder in the Wenlock, then he does need to broaden his horizons.

I've never heard of any trouble in the Wenlock and I've never seen any in my numerous visits. The men on the right who swear a lot are a friendly bunch but I can see why some people might find them offensive.

However, historically, the public house was a place for the 'working class' to enjoy themselves, and as such one should expect some industrial language in the same way that rough language and occasional violence is common at football clubs with a strong working class background.

I think that Dennis might find himself getting into trouble if he feels the need to tell harmless drunks to 'f**k off'. I think I know the man he means. I say hello to him and goodbye when I leave and he's never bothered me except for the occasional long-winded story!!

The bar staff are normally excellent, and I think it's a little unfair to judge them solely by their looks. Occasionally, they chat amongst themselves and one might stand at the bar for a minute, but then one of the rude men that Dennis doesn't like shouts at them and they come over!!

The place is shabby, but I've seen dirtier toilets at the Oxford Union and on the Halfway Line at the Den. The Wenlock isn't the place to take a maiden aunt for a small sherry or a good place to entertain the vicar and the flower arranging committee.

What it does do is serve top beer and good cheap food.

That'll do for me.

Harry_the_Dog - 3 Jan 2010 21:03
My first time in this pub and also my last. My friend and I entered the pub and found two long-haired types standing in front of the bar with pen and paper furiously scribbling the names of all the beers down. Seated at the right side of the bar were several men whose vocabulary consisted mainly of saying 'f*ck'. In front of the bar were bearded types drinking halves of ale. Standing at the corner of the bar near us was a sixty year old man in a tracksuit in an advanced state of inebriation. He swayed back and forth and mouthed gibberish to anyone passing.
There were about eight pumps selling mainly obscure beers with the exception of Dark Star Hophead and Harveys Best. My friend and I had a pint of the Hophead which was well kept.
We were served by a Waynetta Slob lookalike who found it am.using when the aforementioned sixtysomething said 'Goodbye Gentlemen' to us. Being a 'Gentleman' I refrained from telling this piece of garbage to 'F*** off'.
This pub is a strange mixture of beer fanatics and local pondlife, and it's reputation as a 'good pub' is simply not justified. It's a shithole.
If you like nice pubs and don't want to look over your shoulder whilst drinking, stay away from this dump.
I'll give it a 3 for the beer.
dennisleigh - 22 Dec 2009 23:57
I went in for a lunchtime pint the other week when I was in the area for work. This pub used to be a regular haunt of mine about nine years ago and I was sad to see that it had descended below the "shabby chic" it had been known for and was teetering on the edge of being just run-down.

However the saving grace was the beer - a really excellent drop pf Phoenix brewery's "Last Leaf".

I imagine this place is run on a shoestring but I hope that the owners will spend a bit of money on the place as it could end up putting some customers off if the fabric is left to deteriorate any more.
Ordinary - 17 Dec 2009 13:59
Oh come on you real ale idiots. I went to this pub a few weeks back and it was disgusting .Who cares if there ten types of ale when there is urine all over the floor in the mens?
Chav__man - 11 Dec 2009 22:26
Oh come on you real ale idiots. I went to this pub a few weeks back and it was disgusting .Who cares if there ten types of ale when there is piss all over the floor in the mens?
Chav__man - 11 Dec 2009 22:26
Oh come on you real ale idiots. I went to this pub a few weeks back and it was disgusting .Who cares if there ten types of ale when there is piss all over the floor in the mens?
Chav__man - 11 Dec 2009 22:25
Recent visit earlier this month. Beer range up and down (Hophead was best but average). Spotted hole in floor into which cellar visible (ladies in stilletto's watch out). Toilets don't smell quite so bad as before but could still be cleaner. Some punters seemed encouraged to drink untill they fall over, which doesn't give a good impression. This said they have to be doing something right to still be open, and I enjoyed myself in the hour or so I was there. 7 out of 10.
Phucough - 11 Dec 2009 17:49
Thanking all the staff, cellarmen and musicians who made my birthday party last night such a success. Steve's lamb curry was spot on, and exceeded all my expectations, and Dark Star Double Chocolate stout was a favourite, alongside Otley Blackmaninov.


lad_newton - 15 Nov 2009 15:47
Well said bedfont. I sampled 4 different beers on my last visit here and they were all flat and out of condition. There was even a group of east London CAMRA people in but they failed to notice the poor quality of the beers. All the regulars drink lager. Fifteen years into this venture and they still remain staunchly anti real ale. The owners still haven't got the message. On one of my visits a 'regular' was reading Handgun Monthly at the bar.
chinakitty - 3 Nov 2009 18:17
I can see how this ticks the boxes of the fetishisers of CAMRA. Nice old pub with a genuine local clientele and lots of cask conditioned ale.

However that is where misty eyed naivety ends. a pub that serves too many beers for the number of pints served. The 8 beers on tap had 3 or 4 with adcequate condition although none were trouser stainingly good. Most were served with near zero condition as though served on Gravity.

Whilst I'd be perfectly happy if this was my local I would not make the journey to a remote part of London to find again.
ly
I would imagine the local clientele mock the Beer Bores who come along to sample the beer they avoid (anything buit the lager). A puib of some merit but certainly vastly over rated by the CAMRA clique.

Again if you must server cask ales serve 3 good well kept recently tapped ones not 8 mostly mediocre beers.
bedfont - 26 Oct 2009 20:57
HMS Wenlock?? - I got there late on a couple of fridays ago....quite a few of the passengers didn't have their sea legs and bumped into you as you tried to get served....The 3 elderly chaps in the corner hammered out the jazz as the ship slowly sunk in its own beer suds.......Love the place, good natured drunkeness, quality ales and Thatchers cider...bar staff doing their best to keep the alcohol flowing.....It's become a 'must visit' on my jaunts around here....Just don't wear any decent clobber!
EdgarBriggsMI5 - 25 Oct 2009 11:20
Doncaosdelanada, you experienced the 'Dennis Farewell' which occurs on a Tuesday when the Old Fogeys meet. The record time for this taking place is 47 minutes. He's a nice old boy and is a AFC Wimbledon supporter.
TiaMariaJim - 24 Oct 2009 13:51
Great! Typical old style london east end (well almost) drinking hole. Didn't think there were many of these left. I imagine my ancestors drank here! Good range of beers, too many to list. A must if you are anywhere nearby.
Pleasently amuused by the little old man who shook everyone by the hand and said cheerio before heading home. Also please to see copies of the stockport & south Manchester opening times in the rack of beer publications.

doncaosdelanada - 20 Oct 2009 23:33
Wonderful! Fantastic choice of ale, comfy and cosy, a great mix of folk, old and young (a couple of very old dears were in on the Friday night that we went) and the salt beef sandwich was legend. We weren't hurried out at the end of the night, and we pronounced it to be the best pub in the world. Admittedly, we had sampled admirably. But even in the cold light of day, I'm not sure I know of a better pub.
breftastic - 12 Oct 2009 20:44
Against my better judgement, I was persuaded to step over the threshold of this establishment once again. We were presented with an array of eight unknown and unpromising beers. The ale we tried was decidedly average, confirming my suspicion that this has become a ticker's pub.
Seated around the bar were about eight middle-aged men in football shirts whose conversation was liberally peppered with the F-word. And the same pain-in-the-arse bloke who pestered me before was staggering around, pissed out of his head at five o'clock.
The floor remains in the same state of disrepair as on my last visit. Are the owners of this pub so arrogant that they think this doesn't need fixing?
As for the ongoing praise for this pub on BITE, I can only wonder at how many pubs these people have been to!
holbornboy - 4 Oct 2009 17:56
The ale quality is top notch,there is a wide choice including several micro brewery offerings.The pub is an authentic boozer with a central bar and traditional interior fortunately untouched by "improvements".Very mixed clientele attracted by the ale and imbibing solidly creates a good ,lively atmosphere and I was most surprised to read the negative comments of some posters.The gents was clean and functional,chemical fizz drinkers were treated as equals and to quote The Macc Lads from their 1988 classic "My Pub" at least the Wenlock hasnt been improved into a "Fun-pub-disco-wine-bar-bistro-gay-club-poofhouse-cocktail-carvery."
Bucking_Fastard - 28 Sep 2009 10:25
Is there another more commented on pub than this? If there is, i cant find it.

I had a layoff from the Wenlock for a couple of months but returned recently. Still the best, whatever time of day. I'm a bit sorry to read thomas gx1 and Dimple Mug's comments. I think you've both got it wrong. The Wenlock does Real Ale cos it's good for the pub not because of some snooty notion about lager drinkers or some pertentions about being a real ale paradise. They do sell lager, after all.

If anyone was stared at for drinking lager (which i doubt, quite honestly) it unlikely that was meant to be intimidating in any way. Just some sad and lonely geezer with nothing better to do, more like. Don't worry about it - celebrate it! Buy another one! And wear you suit when your doing it!

You have to take the rough with the smoooth in the Wenlock. If you can't it's probably best not to go, but there are not many other pubs where you could see such a cross-section of life over a couple of pints on a saturday afternoon.

Long live the Wenlock.
ZapuTheSnake - 24 Sep 2009 17:31
Answer to thomas gx1..
2) yes, it is a good thing if people get stared at for drinking lager. Especially if they are with people who have tastebuds. No excuse.
Dimple_mug - 6 Sep 2009 10:36
I think that everything that can be said about this popular and highly rated pub has been said so there is not much that I can add except that I had a nice pint of Hophead and that I thought the dartboard was in one of the strangest places I have seen.

I will enjoy returning here.
Strongers - 3 Sep 2009 23:26
Glad thomasgx1 is planning on going back. However, don't expect the toilet to change, it's been like that for 50+ years.
fernebranca - 28 Aug 2009 23:46
ok, i'll give it another shot over the bank holiday weekend, will pop in by myself and see if things change. I'll report back next week.
thomasgx1 - 27 Aug 2009 15:33
Although I am not employed by the Wenlock I will try and answer the points raised by the previous poster to the best of my ability.

1) Nearly every time I go to the Wenlock someone in a suit or smart attire pops in for a sandwich or a pint. They seem to blend in O.K. Maybe you just hit a bad time?

2) I would suggest that the a fairly large proportion of the regulars and some visitors drink lager. The Cellarman would have the exact figures, but I would guess that a good 20% of all beer sales are lager. I've never seen any raised eyebrows when someone orders a pint of fizz.

3) I agree about the floor, but at least the kitchen is spotless from what I've seen when I've peered in through the door.

4) I can't possibly imagine anyone wanting to go to a Hamster pub. Did you see them on the TV last night? Give them a sniff of the barmaid's apron and they'll be running about with their shirts off.

Stick to the Wenlock. Give it another go and you won't regret it.
Harry_the_Dog - 26 Aug 2009 20:15
i'm in two minds about this pub.. i can see what the fuss is about but at the same time there are things which piss me off about it to.
1) I'm a proper drinker.. and I wear a suit, does that mean I should be stared at like a fcuk wit by customers and staff alike?
2) If my mates aren't proper drinkers but I take them to the pub based on all of the good reviews on here (and it being potentially my new local) and they get stared at for drinking lager not ale.. is that a good thing?
3) If its as busy as it looked when I was in there on a random Wednesday evening then ffs put some money together (get the locals to have a whip round for crying out loud!) and sort out both the floor near the entrance and the toilets. I've been in some shitty toilets in pubs across london but to be frank, theres simply no excuse anymore, refurb them and the fancy electronics will keep them clean for you.

4) Should i go back to this pub? I popped in the Royal Star on the way back from work the other day and got a pretty warm reception from the local Hammer fans (suprisingly!) and the barmaid, its got the potential for me to spend alot time in there instead.. maybe I should?
thomasgx1 - 25 Aug 2009 22:14
It's a great trad pub with fantastic range of the most amazing beers I've seen or drunk - they change so fast you often only get one pint of something and you go back for another and the barrel's off - never mind tho' there's another 10 or so to try!! There is an upstairs meeting room you can hire - no frills - like the pub - and a trad jazz band plays in the bar some Tuesday evenings. Give it a try.
daguerrotype - 23 Aug 2009 10:13
Fantastic couple of pints of Amarillo plus a salt beef sandwich big enough to feed a small army.

A proper boozer with the usual eccentric customers.
ericstadd - 21 Aug 2009 19:22
yeah, don't do saturday early evening, Angora. Stick to shopping at the angel.
saturday night and sunday afternoon/evening are the best
Dimple_mug - 12 Aug 2009 19:55
I have been to this pub a few times after work with colleagues and have had some brilliant cider and even more brilliant salt beef sandwiches. However, I went in a couple of Saturdays ago with my boyfriend, after shopping at the Angel, and was horrified. We left after about 20 minutes as there was an ugly group of seemingly "local" men, old enough to know better, screaming vile childish abuse (including sexist) at the top of their voices. I really like this pub generally but will probably only go back weekdays as I haven't experienced these idiots before. Maybe it was a one off. Any ideas?
AngoraLove - 11 Aug 2009 19:09
....... and just what is wrong with traditional decor and clientele 'cptrelentless'? Some of us value pubs like this greatly as precious survivals. This is what pubs are supposed to be: meeting places for locals and purveyors of good beer. The Wenlock is a gem and as far from a bar 'concept' dreamed up by a 'creative team' as you can get. Long may it be so.
goldenlane - 5 Aug 2009 11:15
Wot I'd love to do, is take a whole bunch of interior designers and maketing consultants who are repsonsible for all of those bland, souless gatsro-pubs and lock them in The Wenlock Arms for a week. I wonder if any of them would survive?
bobnessuk - 24 Jul 2009 15:25
Proper down to earth boozer. More real ale than you can shake a goblet at (oops sorry, JUG, not a poncie place at all). The sarnies looked spectacular too. Had a really nice mid-week evening here rubbing shoulders with the very friendly locals. Loved the measuring stick on the wall of the gents loo. Still pondering over the proper usage for it though.
persist_artist - 21 Jul 2009 12:56
Excellent beer, many hand pumps. Also has cider. Slightly "traditional" in decor and clientele.
cptrelentless - 8 Jul 2009 10:40
My all time favourite pub in the whole world, ever.....comments posted below are hilarious!
shortbirdy - 7 Jul 2009 14:47
Been here a few times now and this pub never disappoints. The sheer range of ale available is totally unexpected. The locals always seem a friendly bunch; a mix of working class natives and a steady stream of beer tourists. Ladies behind the bar a good laugh, beer well kept. An essential place to go if you like traditional boozers.
Green_0nions - 4 Jul 2009 11:02
After seeing this place attract positive reviews I took the opportunity to divert whilst cycling the Regents Canal yesterday lunchtime to see what all the fuss was about. And after I eventually found it the initial reaction was, dodgy looking pub, in a dodgy location, with some dodgy characters standing outside having a fag, I wonder what people see in this place ?
And then I walked through the front door to be greeted with the row of nine hand pumps with several from far flung micro breweries. Ah, thatll be it then.
Excellent pint of Mighty Oak Malden Gold , and a shame I didnt have the opportunity to stay to try more.
I can see why people rave about this place, however lucky I was on my tod and not cycling with the misses or I would have got the full Were not bloody well going in there ! and would have missed the experience.

Gann - 29 Jun 2009 18:17
Nice unpretentious pub with loads of real ale and non-aspirational customers. Just about as far from the Islington gastro pubs nearby as you can get.

A backstreet gem. On Sunday evening a jazz trio of three elderly gents entertained us royally.
goldenlane - 11 Jun 2009 21:51
Never mind the quiz - has someone dusted and polished? I didn't realise there were mirrors around the bar. And the toilets....they are cleaner. Feel a bit dizzy, need a drink.
chick - 30 May 2009 10:49
Sad to read Wesley 12 comments, Locals won the question quiz NOT I think using I Phones and the picture quiz was won by a nice crowd of people who corrected me on a question on phobia's thankfully everybody had virtually the same answer so it made no difference.
Ian Won the raffle but picked the wrong envelope with this question in it. "In Greek mythology, who is the Goddess of Youth, the daughter of Hera and Zeus? She was the cup bearer for the Gods and Goddess, of Mount Olympus, serving their Nectar and Ambrosia, until she married Heracles".
fatcontroller - 24 May 2009 08:46
I came here for the pub quiz and was mildly annoyed when such a rated pub had no defence against the c*nts on the iphone. The brigade came in and swept the qus, losers. I hate this new fad that is taking off atm, it's the most retarded thing I've ever seen, I thought quizes were a bit of fun, it pees me off more when you have to pay to enter the dam thing. The pub itself is fine, beer cold and the staff were fine with me anyway, and we had a laugh all round.
wesley12 - 21 May 2009 18:21
A cracking evening last night in the Wenlock Arms, brought to a highly satisfactory conclusion when one of the locals (a rough-looking crowd, to be sure, but perfectly friendly to your correspondent) bought me a pint of Dark Star Hophead. Yet again it proved the value of speaking a foreign language (being a Dutchie, my English was sufficient to converse with the locals, even though I cannot be said to be wholly proficient in the local patois my reference to "going up the apples and pears" was met with some consternation is rhyming slang no longer taught in school?).

With the decline in the value of the pound (will Albion ever join the euro?), my bill for a well-lubricated evening came in at a very reasonable ten pounds and 55 pence, albeit reduced by the afore-mentioned generosity of my newly made friend. I have some comments on the lighting but will make a return journey (to check my facts) before reporting in full. In the meantime, a richly deserved 10/10 (again)! Well done everyone concerned!

jongen_nieuwton - 15 May 2009 13:47
Not my first post regarding this place. On my latest visit a few days ago it was a busy early evening session, a good sixities soundtrack in the background. I had two top-notch pints and the place is as good as ever.
Theres a new 'Wishing well' in the gents.
rob372 - 11 May 2009 10:52
Still one of my favourite London pubs with amazing range of hand drawn ales, milds and ciders. Don't know how they do it at their very fair prices. Probably save money by not employing a cleaner!
Dormouse - 19 Apr 2009 14:06
I recently moved to the area and went to the Wenlock for the first time last night. We got there for the tail end of the jazz band's set, which created a lovely atmosphere. The bar staff were friendly and efficient, and the beer was good. Locals were mostly friendly and chatty, apart from one local yob who took exception to my boyfriend's long hair, and a woman who I was told is the landlord's wife, who got very confrontational with me when I took a wrong turn on the way to the ladies. Other than that it was a pleasant evening.
poisonivy73 - 13 Apr 2009 12:53
Like stepping back in time and we all love the old days. Superb pub with friendly staff and locals alike. Had the ansells mild which was on top form. Best pub i've been in in years.
nickthefish - 10 Apr 2009 07:49
The beer is still as good as ever, the ever changing choice being a bit wasted on me as I only drank the Harveys best.
Very good value by todays standards.
Yes the toilets could be improved, and the decor is bit tatty, but we come for the beer and the basic but good food.
I am not a great music lover, but many visit especialy for the jazz, and they assure that this sounds much better after the manky carpet was removed !

I was very impressed by how helpful the staff and regulars were to a disabled visitor.


mikeholt - 3 Apr 2009 20:24
Still excellent.
Darren_in_the_City - 30 Mar 2009 13:54
The Wenlock Arms Post(s). Still the best read on BitE!

For what it's worth, i love this place and always will.......probably.
ZapuTheSnake - 24 Mar 2009 08:01
Very good old boozer. Exceptional range of ale, with a samuel smith lager, a cider and a perry (i think). Half the drinkers were ale buffs, the locals seemed happy with carling extra cold or something. Friendly enough; only one gurgling drunk stumbling around. I must go again.
Green_0nions - 23 Mar 2009 16:25
Only been here once before and my first impression was what a dump, despite the excellent beer.

Went in Friday night for my first evening visit and what a difference a few people make. Place was nicely full with young and old. Felt like it did when I use to drink a bottle of shandy bass with my dad when I was 11. At least 9 ales on and a band on. toilets are still awful but I have seen worse.

Great atmosphere.
TheHorsesMouth - 16 Mar 2009 17:34
Visited for the first time last thursday. We arrived in the early afternoon hours and easily got a table for the four of us. So I can't comment the "behavior" of the regulars.

Beer choice was very good, so where all the pints we had.

Pub itself certainly (and thankfully) ist definitely not a tourist attraction, but an excellent place for those who look for a good choice and a good quality of the beer.

Last words about the (in)famous loos.... I've seen far worse.....

Pidley2547 - 12 Mar 2009 21:59
Great "cat fight" between two of the female staff yesterday and apparently involving several of the locals. Loads of shouted "why don't you just f**k off and get a proper job" etc. whilst one of the co-owners (I'm told) sat by and let it kick off big style. There was absolutely no need for the piano player as she simply detracted from the real entertainment. Come on, lets have it, I'll take you all on !
nrj746 - 9 Mar 2009 10:55
Was my kinda place. I'm not a local regular, but I've never had anything but acceptance and a friendly response from those who are- all this talk of trouble and stuff doesn't strike me as true. I'll tell you what, though- I go to the Thursday night quiz occasionally, and it's always been a laugh- but recently (and I've seen this elsewhere) I've seen people cheating on their phones to answer the question.. doesn't that defeat the object? I just want to come down for a couple of drinks and to do the quiz without it being some kind of phone advert. Terrible. But the ale? Delicious.
earlhicks - 9 Mar 2009 00:14
I regularly drink here cos I live very close by, I also love real ale. I moved down to London from the North and this is a fantastic place to meet people, and drink, and be jolly. I'm a local and support me local and they support me! It's a community, not a tourist attraction. It just happens to serve great real ale and food and be in the community, all at the same time. I think a lot of the locals can get 'protective', yeah so what, its crazy, it's intimate. Thats the way it is. Come here for the drink and the banter, wipe your feet on the way out, if you don't like the locals , tough.. its a pub. they paid for the furniture, I'd expect the same near you. ciau 4 now
Ilikeyourbeer - 8 Mar 2009 02:13
Father Jack has never much of a fan of the big smoke(too much Youngs and Fullers) but this place is well well worth a visit. It had been about 5 years since I was last in,but not much has changed. The ale was good(was on the way back from Battersea beerfest so the lord alone knows what it was though!!!) and the the sarnies were excellent. I noted a great atmosphere,the people at the next table offered to squash up to let us sit around. There was a friendly and helpful crew behind the bar offering efficient service on a wedged Friday evening. They were latterly joined by a manager looking type who was also well sociable. The khazis were basic but not a pit as possibly previously described. It looks like the negative reviews could be based a little more on jealousy than fact.

Well done to all concerned here.

Ps-the "LAD" was sought out but wasn't in.......
an_ecunemical_matter - 16 Feb 2009 10:01
Fantastic pub with great beer but often ruined by the locals throwing their weight around. Some, not all, seem to take offence that anyone outside their circle can come in and invade their territory. I left early to go somewhere less confrontational but will be back again, hopefully when they are out making someone else's life a misery.
ofrex - 14 Feb 2009 14:36
Wonderful performance by the Frog Island Jazz Band! And beer quality was very good following a recent, brief lull. Dark Star Hophead was great and so was Crouch Vale Amarillo. Pub absolutely heaving on arrival at 2145, only thinning out very slowly through the remainder of the evening.

lad_newton - 1 Feb 2009 15:27
That, plaintalkingdrinker is a quite slanderous accusation.

Have you ever visited the Wenlock or do you simply post your misconceptions under the guise of a 'review'

There are many different ethnic groups represented at the Wenlock. It is also not the first time that a 'black' barmaid has been employed there. There is no 'little Englander' mentality or any racism that I have seen. Some of the most popular regulars as far as I can see (not being a regular myself) are 'black'. There are also Turks, Greeks, Irish, Portuguese etc. etc.

Finally, and this underlies the lack of 'aggro' at the Wenlock is that there more football teams supported than there are beers. There is never any trouble or even a hint thereof.


Harry_the_Dog - 13 Jan 2009 20:30
plaintalkingdrinker I've read a few of your reviews - I wouldn't call your talking plain, unless you missed out 'nonsense'!
Alfnoax - 13 Jan 2009 16:14
Been here a few times and waht an awesomely good pub. Superbly kept ales and a large range to quench even the heartiest of thirsts. Not forgetting, of course, the legendary salt beef sarnies, immensely recommended boozer!
Bong - 12 Jan 2009 09:48
After my second visit to this pub, last weekend, I have to revise my opinion. I loved the run-down but cosy feel, and the music (a mixture of dub reggae instrumentals, Bob Dylan, and some obscure-sounding '70s softish rock) really hit the spot, as did the various ales I drank.

I also liked the way the staff drew the heavy red curtains at 'closing time', recreating the old-time 'lock-in' feel (as far as I'm aware they simply remained open after 10.30, but with the curtains drawn, rather than it being a true 'lock-in').

I'm not so sure I'd have been quite as impressed had it been packed out (which it wasn't on a Sunday night), and thumping live trad jazz was being performed, but that's just personal taste.

All round, a great pub, which I'll be visiting again soon, I hope.
beermann - 9 Jan 2009 18:48
After years of hearing about this place I made a very overdue visit on last Sunday evening. The Wenlock really is a time capsule of boozing before the rise of lager in the 1960s. The pub has a wonderfully scruffy air but to juxtapose this, the ale is kept in good condition and the staff polite, helpful and speedy.

Sure the floor has seen better days, the lavs are rather pongy and some of the locals can be a bit sweary and lairy but there were eight handpumps on the bar serving a delicious selection of bitter, porter, mild and cider. Where else can you get that on a regular basis?

Personally, I don't share the opinion of many that The Wenlock is the best pub in London, it may not even be the best pub in N1, but it is a great pub that celebrates the ancient art of boozing in our wonderful capital.
mrfear - 31 Dec 2008 01:36
One of the best (of few) traditional pubs specialising in real ale, and it has limited competition in North London in particular. Very pleasant drinking experience, though the Rebellion Mild was not the best I've had.
mtaylor40 - 25 Dec 2008 00:07
This review is based upon my experiences at the Wenlock on 20th and 21st December 2008.

On Saturday evening there was a lively crowd enjoying Ches Chesterman and Holly Roberts Trad jazz. At least 8 ales on at all times of which I was able to enjoy three. I tasted two beers which were not to my personal liking. They were not inferior beers, I personally did not like the taste of them, therefore I chose alternatives which I DID like and carried on enjoying the session. There was an interesting session at the piano during which a guy with a FANTASTIC singing voice performed "Georgia" earning himself a fully-deserved lengthy and rapturous applause. There were no "yobs" in the pub of any description.

On Sunday all pumps were in use and there was certainly a beer for "everyone". Blue Monkey Christmas Special was for me the best-tasting of three I sampled. A quieter night naturally than Saturday, however we had the treat of more live jazz up to 11pm. I shared a table with a guy who had travelled up from Chessington to have a drink here, a fact that speaks for itself.

And as it's Christmas, thanks to Will, Steve and everyone working at the Wenlock for everything in 2008, and a prosperous and happy 2009 to follow!

lad_newton - 22 Dec 2008 18:23
Very enjoyable evening. Dark Star "Hophead" on plus Boggarts "Dark Christmas" and an Acorn porter that was beautifully crafted. Locally-brewed Brodies Mild also very quaffable. Never met Alph_River (I was there between 2230 and 0020). Everyone on good form!
lad_newton - 17 Dec 2008 01:59
Beer good Saturday 13th, and pub busy, so why oh why the rubbish music?
pwilkins - 16 Dec 2008 13:41
Not a bad spot if you really like real ale. Me, I would rather gin and tech
vera_shaw - 14 Dec 2008 15:06
I must disagree with holbornboy. I went to the Wenlock last Friday for the first time with a mate. The beers - there was a choice of six including Everards Tiger, Salopian Gold and the obligatory Adnams - were well kept. The bar staff, considering how busy it was, were very efficient. Yes, you do get some weird characters in there, but this is North London after all, and not Cheltenham.
It is one of a dying breed: a good old fashioned boozer that has not been ponced up by the marketing men.
HornchurchJohn - 14 Dec 2008 15:00
Paid this pub another visit yesterday and left with the inescapable conviction that it is living on a reputation it doesn't deserve. My companion and I sampled four of the ales - Adnams Old, Downton Pale Ale, Crouch Vale Brewers Gold and Acorn Crystal Maze - and they were all well below par. Service was below par as well - behind the bar was what looked like a father and son team from the local estate. The older, bearded one looked at me three times as I waited to be served. Only by shouting 'Excuse me' did he seem to come out of his trance. Lastly, I must mention the clientele. There was an aging yob at the bar whose every fifth word was c***. Another aging yob came and sat uninvited beside me and talked gibberish for several minutes. I considered it prudent to nod and smile rather than tell him to get lost. What mystified us was that members of the East London CAMRA were seated at the next table and seemed to be enjoying the beer. Keeth Emerssion was happily chomping on a particularly fatty looking bacon sandwich. Reviewers on this site are looking at this pub through rose tinted spectacles. If people think this is a good pub I hate to think what a bad or rotten pub is like. If it's worth doing, DON'T DO IT AT THE WENLOCK.
holbornboy - 11 Dec 2008 09:53
lovely old style boozer with lovely real ale.
they need to get the khazis fixed though as the aroma escapes into the main room of the pub.
the real ale and the real pub atmosphere easily compensates though.
FinsburyJames - 7 Dec 2008 20:46
Run down on the outside, run down on the inside, and the customers and bar staff are run down too. But what a great place to while away a few hours working through the excellent range of ever-changing real ales. During my last visit they had Mighty Oak Oscar Wilde, Bathams Best, Salopian Hoptwister, Southport Old Shrimper and a couple of others. The real cider was from Wales. The black pudding sandwiches are to die for. Come here for the beers (or cider) and the people-watching. It won't be long before you're engaged in conversation with somebody you've never dreamed of socialising with. Come in here with an open mind and enjoy!
blue_scrumpy - 2 Dec 2008 21:16
It has been a few months since my last confession..... visit to the Wenlock.
Nothing has changed, although I think there was a scabby carpet that has been scraped off the floor.

Anyway, the beers are excellent, the atmoshere is great, especially after 4pm when starts to get busy.
rob372 - 29 Nov 2008 12:53
Lee personally thanks EVERYONE involved in making his birthday just PERFECT last night. Could not have been better. Annette's spread was great and went down quicker than I envisaged; all staff behind the bar were on top form, and Holly's band played marvellously.

Could not have had a better party.

If it's worth doing, it's worth doing at the Wenlock!
lad_newton - 16 Nov 2008 22:16
Not that I want to rain on anyone's parade here, but I visited the Wenlock this afternoon and much to my hge disappointment found it very underwhelming. By about 2.30 it was clearly a local pub for local people and was not a friendly welcome.

The beer range was as always superb but having just moved on from the fountain close by, I found the Wenlock lacked its customary sparkle.

I would love to say I was only there for the beer but it's always nice to be made to feel at home, but today I went home disappointed.

Shame really but even some of the more impersonal Borough boozers seemed a better option today
Norealaleinorpington - 5 Nov 2008 22:29
My daughter had several California friends drop by the Wenlock recently after they were told this was one of the best "locals" anywhere. Apparently they were not disappointed, being made to feel like most welcome by all locals present on a recent evening visit. Thanks.
fernebranca - 2 Nov 2008 06:47
Wouldn't be surprised if this is the best pub in London. It is simply magnificent in every regard.
thomashenry - 28 Oct 2008 17:35
Popped in before heading to the Emiraties...this place shouldn't work, back end of beyond, filthy and not been touched for years, handy empty bottles on shelf should fighting break out and a Saturday afternoon crowd that suggested Royston Vasey...and yet, cosy, loads of real ales to choose from, lovely salt beef sandwich and not an ounce of hassle. Good one to see at least once.
loveleedshatebates - 19 Oct 2008 12:29
best pub in N1
elsiepop - 29 Sep 2008 00:45
Er, no, not you elsie, the poster below. No complaint with your post but if you have a rating to add, it all helps. Cheers Maldenman.
Maldenman - 24 Sep 2008 23:40
I beg to differ. I'm not a troll but a genuine fan of the Wenlock Arms. I've been drinking in there for years and didn't know that you had to leave a rating every time.... you live and you learn
elsiepop - 24 Sep 2008 22:24
Elsiepop he's a troll who's been mixing it across the site with a number of log ins sadly. Not a genuine reviewer.Purely a comment so no pub rating left.
Maldenman - 24 Sep 2008 22:17
Some shock to seethe last posters account has been suspended or deleted....
elsiepop - 24 Sep 2008 22:10
Horrible place! How the Germans missed this place during the war amazes me; surely the RAF should have had a go? What do expect from Hoxton to be honest?
WHOYOULOOKINGATKNUT - 24 Sep 2008 00:48
A real old fashioned pub with great beer worth the walk.
hartlepool - 23 Sep 2008 19:22
The only thing Cigano probabley brews is Tetleys and thats in a cup with hot water.

This Pub is a good Old fasion Boozer not some Gasto Pub its a Proper Old style Pub as Pubs should be whit Good Qulitty Ales and good Old fasion Bar snacks Not some over priced Letuce leaves on a Plate
Alesonly - 17 Sep 2008 10:02
Cigano and brewer in the same sentence? Doubt it really. If he is what he says he is, please, tell us who you brew for... GK perhaps?
elsiepop - 15 Sep 2008 23:20
Strange, Cigano, you don't sound like a brewer.
The detailed description is contrary to my initial inclination that this is pure trolling. I might be right, but in case anyone is taking you seriously...

The beer is certainly not hit and miss in terms of condition. That's simply a bold lie.

I'm not sure what you mean by "make it their own". It IS their own. Pubs are for local communities plus anyone else who wants to travel in. Locals have at least as much claim on it as anyone else. There are locals in on Thursday nights actually, but as I mentioned in my previous post, people who wake up or even start work at 4 or 5am are not likely to be in the pub late on a week night. Quiz starts at 9pm finished near 11pm. Not clever to partake of the quiz if you're working very early, is it? Nothing to do with intelligence or being "thick".

If we look at Cigano's profile, we see a total of two posts on BITE, both containing irrelevant classist comments. It's not on, same way racist comments about clientele is not on. If you dislike people purely on income/background, the Narrow Boat is around the corner, Upper Street is a 7 minute walk. See you later.

In terms of eating, if you really are a brewer, you will already have the 2009 Good Beer Guide, and you will notice that the review of Wenlock salt beef sandwiches has been upgraded from 2008's "should not be underrated" to "legendary". Who should readers listen to then? You, or the most recent GBG?

What exactly a footballer breaking his leg has to do with a review of a pub must baffle us all. My advice is leave irrelevancies and your inherent classism to one side if you aim to be taken seriously.

Update for the rest:
"19 year old skinhead" no longer works there.
Dimple_mug - 13 Sep 2008 16:38
I am not a brewer, so my comments may not carry as much weight as the previous reviewer. However, I am not a 'stupid low life' either,as he so charmingly describes some of the frequenters of this pub.

I don't work for this pub, nor am I associated with them, however I do find the last review grossly unfair. I have never met any 'low lives' in there, there are people from all walks of life, who get on fine. There is never any trouble, surely that is the most important thing.

The toilets are fine, I have seen worse in University Unions and hospitals. The kitchen is spotless, I have eaten there more times than I care to remember, and I have never had a problem.

I suppose they are working out what to do with the floor. I'm not really bothered to be frank, I don't really pay much attention to pub carpets.

Harry_the_Dog - 9 Sep 2008 16:53
Love this place. I don't understand how some people on here seem more concerned with the state of the carpet, the toilets, the fact that they'd like the pub moved three inches to the left or whatever, and overlook the fact that it's always got a great range of beer on, the people who work here are friendly and know what they're talking about, you get to hear Holly Roberts, Jamie and Sally etc, play sh*t-hot music, the customers are an interesting, diverse bucnh and - well I could go on...
It just does exactly what I want a pub to do.
Tom_Goldsmith1 - 6 Sep 2008 17:43
Great comments by Dimple_Mug. I've posted here before, grew up on Shepherdess Walk around the corner from the Wenlock, have great memories of both the Wenlock tap and the brewery (the smells, beer running out of the loading doors on Wenlock Road, hop/malt waste slopping into lorries out of the back chutes etc. My dad worked at the brewery for a while and my Mum and uncle Charley were singers in the Wenlock in the late 50's and early 60's. I now own a pizza restaurent in Sacramento, Ca. (Extreme Pizza, Exposition Blvd. if you are in town), and was inspired to model our beer sales by the Wenlock's beer/ale range and quality. We sell local micro-brews in small kegs, turn them over fast to produce fresh well conditioned beer. It's been a great success this last year with beer making up 8-10% of sales(4 times higher than typical). I was back at the Wenlock the Christmas before last and can't wait to get back again. Recommended Witham Wobbler from the Blue Cow Brewery in South Witham to one of the owners but never saw in on the cellar list. I'm in my mid 60's now and hold tight to my memories of the Wenlock. Posts made here help keep the fading lights bright because, based on my most recent visits, the place retains all the flavour and atmosphere of classic local/neighborhood pubs from the mid 20th. century. Keep the posts coming
fernebranca - 4 Sep 2008 21:16
Dave the cellar man is still there. All days except Monday.

Wenlock is the kind of place, if I get down planning to have a swift one then go, I end up staying pretty late because the company is good.

9 handpumps, one mild, one real cider/perry,
Stout and porter not on often enough for me, but it's summer and they don't sell so well (compare to Hophead - a kilderkin in 5 hours), so fair enough. Mild is usually a good bet, Mighty Oak Oscar Wilde, Dark Star Over the Moon quite regular.
Recently had Oakham's new brew "Beermonster" on. Fantastic. Harvey's "Olympia" was great the other day.
Bateman's Salem Porter is in the cellar, as is a beer from a new brewpub in Leyton (William IV?).
Dave's contacts ensure well-regarded beer, usually take delivery of 4 kilderkins of Dark Star Hophead a week.

Regulars are a good laugh, and are deservedly afforded great respect. Different crowds at different times, the plasterers and painters might leave pretty early on weekdays. Regular quiz crews on for the quiz. Music crowd filters in late on Friday and Saturday and afternoon on Sunday. Local middle-aged men bringing their mas on weekends, great to see. Healthy sprinkling of tourists (both foreign and domestic "life tourists") at all times, some dig it, some don't. Some don't understand why I'm more concerned that a regular gets his mild in the glass he wants than them getting their Carlsberg Export (if you're gonna do the life tourist thing,...etc.). Some don't understand why I'm getting slightly annoyed that they've asked three times whether the empty dusty bottles(decoration purposes) are for sale, and each time got the same answer, "well, I could sell you it, but you won't be able to drink it because there's nothing in it". But there you go...more could be said.

Few things to say about the serving of "poor quality of ales", from Barra (29Aug).
First, might just not be to your taste, or is just a crap brew full stop. Many are, and all casks that come in are hit and miss, you just want a place which is more hit than miss. That is, can you always tell the difference between bad taste and bad condition?
Second, I've tasted several brews and thought they were well off, then gone on and sold a good load of it, and people staying on it the whole night without any problem. If we can, why not, instead of taking it off half full, maybe not even putting another on.
Taste beer before buying, or return for something else, there is always something good on.

But all this is talk. You tell me another public house in Hackney where the working class is drinking real beer and listening to real music, all at very good price for London. Then compare it to the rest of N1. It's incredibly important a place like this succeeds.
Dimple_mug - 4 Sep 2008 13:55
Yep! thats Vince. Often served me recently and certainly knows his stuff! He also is very personable, treats everyone with a good deal of respect and gets to know you fast and has a lot of respect for the regulars. Keep it up. And in respect of recent reviews, the Wenlock is a PUB not a carpet showroom!
lad_newton - 2 Sep 2008 18:23
I'm an irregular visitor to the Wenlock, maybe about once or twice a month. I can't say that I've noticed any decline in beer condition but then maybe I've been lucky. On the other hand, Dave the Cellar man has been absent on my last two visits so maybe some else is looking after the ales.

Bar staff are always fine when I visit, except for the surly Irish one who is O.K. if you're nice to her. A new lad of about 19 with floppy dark hair was serving when I was last in. He knew his beers too, surprising in one so young.
Harry_the_Dog - 1 Sep 2008 23:24
Carpet ought to be replaced, but that's purely a cosmetic thing. Sorry to hear you have had a bad pint here as until recently such a thing's been very rare. While I will choose what ale to drink based on experience with the brewery, etc, I've seen one or two people have their beer chosen for them by the skinhead chappie who's just turned 18 by the looks of it. As I always ask for tasters this hasn't happened to me, but make sure you ask for one in future, your views on the Wenlock will improve forthwith!

Still 10/10 never mind the carpets
Phucough - 1 Sep 2008 14:13
This pub stands alone in an area of industrial units, a survivor from an earlier age. On my previous two visits I had not been impressed with the ales I tried, so it is with relief that I can report that on this occasion the beer was good (Oakham's Beermonster). I agree with the earlier comment that the carpet should be replaced, a tradition that is fast disappearing from pubs. The pub was almost empty on our visit (last Saturday) but it was still quite early so may well have filled up. A band were setting up gear as we left. A fine old school boozer that needs sprucing up a little bit.
holbornboy - 1 Sep 2008 13:58
Oh dear this used to have a decent pint now unfortunately both myself and two work colleagues have been in at different times and been served poor quality ales. What has gone wrong?
Barra - 29 Aug 2008 09:42
1st call since Oct last year, spotted a few changes. Carpet gone, pub a little noisier as a result, still comfortable. Same faces (permanent fixtures by the looks of things) generally punters friendly, new young staff in the bar, one with the long black hair is much friendlier than the shaved-headed guy. Brewers gold was lovely, and good to hear the piano-player (think his name's Tom) correct me if I'm wrong. Still 100 percent worth doing a beeline for this pub when coming to London and Monday was proof of this.

8 out of 10 this time.
jamie.nakin - 26 Aug 2008 19:29
At the Wenlock last night. Can report that the pub is just as shabby as always and the beer just as good. Toilets...I've smelt far worse.
JonW999 - 21 Aug 2008 21:27
For those of you still complaining about the smell of the gents, I'd say you should visit the Eagle. The stench in the gents on Saturday evening put the Wenlock in the ha'penny place. Dear Lord it was gruesome, and they only had Pride on....
elsiepop - 18 Aug 2008 17:18
Quiz last night. Great beer, cracking salt beef sandwiches. What more could you ask for.............. Best pub in N1 by miles!
elsiepop - 8 Aug 2008 15:02
An enthusiasts pub. Easily in London's top ten.No pretention whatsoever, it reminds me of the best pub in Croydon The Claret, in both pubs the Real Ale is centre stage.
slerpy - 4 Aug 2008 16:33
Dropped in last night for a delicious doorstep sandwich made with crusty hand cut bread. Wish all pubs would make the same effort and provide cheap and filling snacks. The beer was top notch. Think the turnover here is so fast it's always in good condition.
ofrex - 3 Aug 2008 15:35
Well, there are a lot of weird people about and they all seem to like this pub! The lingering smell is from the blocked drains next door, (and not the customers) which they are trying to sort out. The beers are lovely though - always well looked after and there's always a decent choice.
chick - 27 Jul 2008 11:51
I'm a bit concerned about the people who claim this is the best pub in London. I can only presume that these people are outpatients from the nearby Moorfields Eye Hospital, unable to see the filth due to their condition. Not to say it's a bad pub, but c'mon, surely the best pub in London shouldn't have a lingering, rotting smell like this place has.

Drinking in this place reminded me of the Titty Twister in From Dusk Til Dawn. Sure, it seemed like a decent enough place on arrival in the early evening, but as the night goes on, the place just gets wierder and wierder, the customers more bizarre, and as midnight approached, looked like it was about to be overtaken by the living dead.

There are a lot of positives about this place. The beer selection is an obvious one, with a fine selection available last night (the Rebellion Overthrow was very good). The live music, while not exactly what I'd sit around the house listening to, was also a positive and added a lot of atmosphere to the place. I was particularly impressed by the way they had an organised band to start, and then allowed patrons to play the piano afterwards.

Overall, it's a decent pub, but best pub in London? Not a chance.
topdog_andy - 26 Jul 2008 16:03
Your mate is not wrong. It is the best pub in London! I hasten to add I don't work for the Wenlock, this is just my own opinion.

The condition of the beers is always excellent. I have never had an off pint there. Once I was asked whether I wanted to taste it first as it was rather 'unusual' (a Pitfield winter ale with cloves if I remember). The bar staff are friendly and know their beers and they make a mean sandwich too.

All in all, a great pub. The area isn't too bad as there is police station about 3 mins from the pub. Never any trouble with the punters, the only problem is stopping yourself staying for another pint.
Harry_the_Dog - 20 Jul 2008 17:17
Sod the carpet! What about the beer?! Excellent selection of beers available including Harveys and sharps amongst others. A good Pub where the welcome is warm. My mate reckons it is the best Pub in london. On this evidence I would say that he may be right
ahscum - 19 Jul 2008 16:04
The state of the Wenlock's carpets and toilets is an incredibly important matter for that not insignificant fraction of the population who cannot strictly maintain an upright posture at all times but instead occasionally slump to fully horizontal.
dpv - 15 Jul 2008 10:55
Why is everyone in the Wenlock obsessed with toilets and carpets? This is getting distinctly unhealthy. Throw some sawdust on the floor and hold your breath while performing your ablutions. You're in Hoxton not Hampstead.
chick - 14 Jul 2008 21:28
The old carpet had served it's purpose, and is no longer, and although that suits everyone, I do hope the owners put a carpet down and don't leave it bare. Without a carpet pubs are noisy.... The Wenlock needs a new carpet.
Disley - 13 Jul 2008 18:26
Well folks, the carpet has GONE. Not certain if it was sold off by the inch but the tiles have been revealed. For some odd reason they have taped an old Walkers Cheese and onion box to the floor instead. Beers still as good as ever so you should be able to reach the bar even quicker now you do not get stuck to the floor.
M.Sticker - 13 Jul 2008 10:39
Given all the carpet comments over the years, this must be the best known flooring in Britain's beer world. It should be sold off by the square inch and the proceeds used for an in-house booze up. Anyway, a sample should be framed and mounted over the fireplace.
fernebranca - 8 Jul 2008 21:56
The end of an era.

No more Wenlock carpet - it is in the process of being removed, and will no longer exist in a day or two at most.
sleepingscooper - 7 Jul 2008 21:52
A great pub if you're after good ale. I won't add to the many words already written about the carpet, however, if you think that's bad, take a look at the state of the bottles over the bar. And I don't care one bit, 'cos it's still a great pub. Lots of little nooks and corners to sit in; it's one of those places that once you're sat in it, you're almost like part of the fixtures and fittings.
Dave_the_Bee - 1 Jul 2008 00:28
I visited for the first time a few days ago and tried all the ales that were available.

I wasn't bothered about the state of the carpet as the beer tasted very good and the prices were reasonable too.

Remember its all about the ale, anyway this place has got real character.

One to check out for sure.
sethbreaker - 18 Jun 2008 15:41
The famous Wenlock Carpet! It's not that bad and it certainly wouldn't put me off going there. As for hygiene, the kitchen is spotless and I have never seen anything that would make me question their practices. They have different mops and buckets for the different areas etc. It all looks pretty good to me and I eat there frequently.

The gents does pong a bit, but nothing out of the ordinary. If people want a little framed inspection chart on the wall they should go to Wetherspoons.
You wouldn't want to eat your salt beef sandwich in there but it is fit for the purpose for which it is intended.

Harry_the_Dog - 9 Jun 2008 16:30
The beers still as good as ever, and by todays standards moderatly priced (2.60/2.80)

The condition of the toilets and the carpet does let it down though.
Still highly recomended, worth putting up with the toilets and carpet for the excellent beer.
mikeholt - 5 Jun 2008 16:50
As I say to folk: the Wen' is 'MECCA'!!!!!!!!

Again - so called ale fans within the Gtr London area with the old "oh its sooooo far" (they happily go 100's of miles to other parts of the country for a good pub mind!) - very few times have I been to the Wen without meeting folk from Hampshire, Lincolnshire - even heard about guys from the US of A! Again: "off the beaten track". NO IT BLOODYWELL ISNT - IT IS LITERALLY 4.75 MINS WALK FROM CITY RD (OLD STREET END)I've just timed it! Transport galore.
Yeah, the carpet is like a skating rink now, not sure why they keep it (anyone who remembers Terry the small grey dulux terrier (R.I.P) well, he was actually white!!! Come onn Steve/Will/etc - get the damn hoover out! Its like the gothic horror show). Loos stink here too from outside! But otherwise - MECCA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
operationmindcrime - 3 Jun 2008 19:00
Stands out as one of the great london boozers. Good beer and inflation-proof sarnies. So what if the bogs niff a bit and the some of the chararcters are a bit obnoxious
ZapuTheSnake - 30 May 2008 17:14
good choice of ales, a few rather obnoxious characters, maybe better to visit week days when there a bigger mix of clientele
moclips2002 - 26 May 2008 12:49
Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind TMJ. It is my favorite pub in London, but the gents is way dirtier than it used to be even a few months ago. It still gets 10/10 for atmosphere, beer quality and choice.
dozysharp - 23 May 2008 14:57
Some cruel comments have been made in these reviews.

Yes, there is dust, the carpet was probably acquired cheap after the Ideal Home Exhibition in 1950, and the Gents leaves a bit to be desired, but let's face it, there's little or no passing trade. The customers either live round there, work round there, or are beer lovers who know exactly what to expect.

Only one other London pub can be interesting good beer-wise, long may the Wenlock continue.
TiaMariaJim - 23 May 2008 13:02
Calm down ladies, it's only a pub dont get your camiknickers in a twist. The simple answer is: if you dont like the place stay away.For myself,this isn't my type of place, however I can see the charm and allure the Wenlock holds for it's many supporters.
I would rate this pub 10/10 for it's determination to not follow the pack and it's attention to detail to the product that it sells and it's unfashionable ethos in the these homogenous and tasteless and characterless days, Keep up the good work. But please remember Lady (I have been there) and gents it's only a pub calm yourself take a drink and stick on some Crosby Stills, Nash and Young.
theregent - 10 May 2008 16:33
Hey 'Prendergast' if you don't like real ale then don't go there...
Try a fizz factory elsewhere, one that doesn't mind your foul language.
Hal90.00 - 7 May 2008 16:34
Pretty much as described - old school, sticky carpets, tatty, great beer. Definitely one for ale drinkers such as myself. Respect to the wasted guy with the high-waisted jeans puffing on a massive spliff outside inbetween pints.

hexenductionhour - 3 May 2008 11:10
dozysharp - you are absolutely right about the lack of hygiene.
Chav__man - 29 Apr 2008 22:01
Great back street real ale lovers paradise with a great selection of ales. Enjoyed two golden beers - Archers and Brewers plus at least one other but don't remember which. Personally I quite like the tatty carpet. Sure I will be back
Tigerdrinker - 29 Apr 2008 18:21
i always big this pub up.
However, i was in there in the daytime last week and not at night,so could see the place does look tatty these days.A lick of paint and a new carpet wouldn't go a miss.Still a great pub though, i wont let that put me off
tottenhamsean - 28 Apr 2008 16:39
Live piano & sax jazz yesterday, followed by very good blues soundtrack. Arrived 17:30, a time when many pubs would experience that Sun pm lull but the place was busy, buzzy, chatty and, of course, beery. Oscar Wilde, Brewers Gold, Archers Golden, Itchen Valley Winchester, Slaters Premium, Brewsters Bathsheba, Adnams, Mighty Oak Buffer (ran out). Obviously a target for ale enthusiasts but also a strong community feel to the place. True, the loos are a bit hanging.
trainman - 28 Apr 2008 11:03
Fenebranca - I love old school boozers - that is no excuse for a lack of basic hygiene!
dozysharp - 28 Apr 2008 10:13
I agree. The toilet could be cleaner and certainly fresher than it is, and the area of carpet in front of the bar as you approach from Wenlock Road ought to be replaced.
lad_newton - 25 Apr 2008 16:32
Toilet comments are just another indication that the Wenlock is an old time boozer. They used to smell bad back in the 50's and 60's and it was a great pub then. Keep up the good work.
fernebranca - 25 Apr 2008 16:24
As I have said before, a great pub. But it is let down by the toilets, which need cleaning everytime I visit the pub, and smell disgusting (probably due to a lack of gradient in the urinal trough).
dozysharp - 24 Apr 2008 09:16
The Wenlock does not pretend to be anything other than it is - a basic no-nonsense boozer. It welcomes a clientele of all age-groups, hosts regular live music and based on the commentary below, there is considerable doubt as to whether the reviewer actually visited the Wenlock Arms.

Well done, by the way, to John the Boat for the highly successful "Wenstock" music session last weekend.
lad_newton - 23 Apr 2008 18:26
Another one of those pretentious Hoxton pubs. You know the sort. We are different therefore we are special.

It needs a bit of a makeover too as it does not seem old in a charming way but old in a craggy and decrepit way. But perhaps that reflects the clientele.

I had to go for a dump and there was no toilet paper. I then asked the barstaff for some and they gave me serviettes instead!
Chav__man - 23 Apr 2008 14:14
i think i'll shall start my St Georges day celebrations here.
A good London local because.......it is, not because it's pretending to be.
It's good to see that something of the old east end is still alive......despite being given a north London postcode ;)
tottenhamsean - 22 Apr 2008 10:38
Another great evening here.Great range of ales and great jazz music.The dogs enjoyed it too, especially the sausages!
Miles007 - 22 Apr 2008 09:44
I wish that this pub was my local - decent beer, friendly atmosphere, no London gastropub bulls**t or hideous pubco makeover...
rpadam - 16 Apr 2008 23:24
This is a nice old Pub and its still as it was even in the early seventies. I grew up not far from here just off the Balls Pond Road and its nice just to go back over here when I get the chance as theres not many old style boozers left like this now days. Lets just hope the suits dont ever change it into another faceless crap gastro Pub like they have done with so many others. Pubs like this need and deserve all our support.
half_tuppence - 5 Apr 2008 12:32
excellent free house with a wide choice of real ales. nice mix of people and the salt beef sarnies are a winner also.
lodger - 2 Apr 2008 15:42
Thebman should realise that this is a pub not a wine bar
If you don't like it ,,,,,,,,,,, feck off
Get a sense of humour or go to Pitcher & Piano.........
elsiepop - 31 Mar 2008 00:29
As ever, the combination of a range of well kept ales and friendly locals makes the Wenlock a real pleasure to visit.
ed.spbw - 24 Mar 2008 20:39
This place had 8? ales on, people singing along with the girl playing piano, friendly harmless drunks, locals, folks with maps, kriek on tap, dogs, and when some locals arrived the others would sing their name, etc.
YoYo - 16 Mar 2008 18:11
I was in there from 3-5.30 in the afternoon on saturday the 8th if that helps.
Thebman - 12 Mar 2008 08:33
Not sure what time of day Thebman was in the pub so hard to identify who served him. The Wenlock's best times for atmosphere and friendliness all round are Saturday and Sunday evenings - the latter being the quieter.

However I did bring a friend from Brighton in the Wenlock on Friday eve (7th) and stayed from 7pm-1am. Although not absolutely 100% the best beer I've ever drunk there, we slowly worked through the range and there were some really good brews on offer including two stouts.

Again, the need is felt to quell speculation of an impending demise - Will and Steve aren't going anywhere in any great hurry!


lad_newton - 12 Mar 2008 01:11
I had been looking forward to coming to this pub for a long time. I'm really sad to say that it was a terrible disappointment. The beer was ok, good selection but nothing particularly great, although this is probably due to bad luck on my part as I have heard of many better beers being sold here. However, the barmaid was inexcusably rude. When I intially ordered my first round she huffed, slammed the drinks on the bar, took the money that was that. Then when I ordered a couple of sandwiches she once again huffed muttered 'oh for f**ks sake' took my money. I was in complete shock and bewilderment, what I had done to offend this woman I do not know. I really hope this was just an off day of sorts.
Thebman - 9 Mar 2008 15:39
What can I say that hasn't already been said before about this magnificent pub. Not been here for a while so a bit concerned to see parts of the pub infiltrated by small factions of Hoxton trendies. At least they're drinking and supporting real ale. One wonders how much longer the Wenlock can survive in it's current set-up when looking at the building work going on around it and the likely inhabitants that will move in. Still one of my favourite London pubs and cracking ska CD being played on my recent visit.
davewat - 7 Mar 2008 12:08
I am not local. Wandsworth SW18 infact - but make the journey to this pub on a regular basis. It's a temple to real ale, amd ranks in my top 3 pubs for this reason alone. Beers are always well kept, they support micro's and they always have a mild on. Yes, the decor could be improved! but what the hell. Its generally friendly and welcoming to non-regulars.
miscat - 1 Mar 2008 21:48
Looked in whilst in working in the area, what a crashed out old place. You can see the locals love it and the pub loves them right back.
Mind you the pubs of old like this prided themselves on being clean and shipshape, even if beaten around the edges. Perhaps its the only way to keep the Hoxton new lot out? Doing well to stay put with all thats going on around it.
gonetolunch - 27 Feb 2008 10:35
proper pub - well worth searching for in the middle of nowhere, even if you're not a real ale drinker
mozzzzzz - 8 Feb 2008 13:06
The Wenlock is in my top three London real ale pubs. As I don't live nearby I cannot call it my local, but in a sense it is. It may be miles away from my house geographically, but I'm always made welcome. As a real ale pub with a great mix of punters it can't be beaten.

I have encountered the 'surly' barmaid mentioned in some reviews, but she isn't typical of the bar staff. I have found them to be polite and knowledgeable. The Wenlock also boasts a top quality cellar man which may explain why I have never had a bad pint.

Don't worry about the 'rough' estates. If you walk from Old Street tube you can miss all the dodgy bits.

The carpet is held together with gaffer tape, the net curtains haven't been washed since VJ night, but it's still a top pub.
Harry_the_Dog - 8 Feb 2008 09:23
Still a genius beer pub, but I think it really is time for a new carpet, a good clean and maybe just a little less sarcasm from behind the bar.


Quinno - 3 Feb 2008 21:07
Some pretty good beers, by the Fat Cat brewery in Norwich, are now available. Tried two of them last night (stout and mild) both very flavoursome.
lad_newton - 31 Jan 2008 12:19
Great beer but didn't like the aggressive professional cockney who insisted on lighting up in the bar on his way outside and always came back in with a lungful of smoke to realease in the bar. A regular thing according to the bloke I was talking to.Nice vibe apart from that. Good beer, pleasant people, could have done without the smoker making his protest though.
ofrex - 28 Jan 2008 10:21
An excellent backstreet local that looks unpromising with its curtains which haven't been washed since the 1940s. It is also surrounded by forbidding estates a world away from the excesses of main street Shoreditch half a mile to the south west.

The draw is the ale selection which is probably as good as any in the capital. A relaxing and traditional place to spend an evening.


BoehmBawerk - 25 Jan 2008 17:10
Little Les's birthday beer was top class........
As was everything else.
elsiepop - 20 Jan 2008 10:32
had a wonderful meal here last night, pan fried sword fish served on a bed or puy lentils with a rocket and parmasan salad, washed down with a splendid bottle of chilean malbec.
No hang on a minute that was the night before, somewhere else, last night i drank 12 pints of strong ale, fell asleep in the corner and woke op on a night bus around 3 am somewhere near acton.
Needless to say I will be returning to this wonderous drinking establishment... Tonight.
bubblegumbob - 17 Jan 2008 00:28
A real good Ale house with good Staff & frendlly locals wish I lived nearer to here so I could go more often well worth a vist.
half_tuppence - 10 Jan 2008 11:23
Well done Jamie and Sally! Excellent New Year's Eve session, brilliant music, beer so-so and mostly very friendly clientele. Good to hear Craig Carter's singing voice for the first time. Wishing all at the Wenlock a happy, healthy and prosperous 2008.
lad_newton - 1 Jan 2008 18:29
good range of beer, reasonably served, but spolit by the scowling swearing barmaid
littlecon - 17 Dec 2007 12:29
A proper London pub with fantastic beer, the only disadvantage is proper London locals and barstaff which don't exactly make the casual visitor feel welcome. If you go for the beer and not the smiles then you'll find this pub well worth a visit.
Schooner - 14 Dec 2007 18:03
This is a hidden gem. You'd never expect to find a pub with so many great ales hidden away in a tatty estate but that's what you have. Beer was well-kept on a recent visit and the locals friendly. The shabby chic is fine. I'd rather have decent beer and reasonable company that overpriced beer and braying tossers on Upper Street or the grimness of the Angel (where I ended up after here to meet people although I much would rather have stayed). Keep up the good work.
DuchyBoy - 10 Dec 2007 11:41
went here yesterday and its a great little local boozer. a bit too serious on the beery front. i'd been told a lot about it the beer selection was good but some of the quality not quite so. i gather it must have been an off day from what people were saying. i'll go back though.
roosterdrewster - 7 Dec 2007 13:47
The Wenlock's reputation usually means a trip is a disappointment - both my most recent visits have been. The shabby chic is all very well but the carpet is a deathtrap, and I do wonder whether the feeling of regulars-only is an increasing deterrent to casual visitors. The beer range remains excellent for cast-conditioned, although the loss of some foreign beer is a disappointment. However, I am beginning to understand why people who have never been here before find the fuss incomprehensible...
meurglys_iv - 3 Dec 2007 15:44
First visit on Friday night and there was a great choice of ales, particularly enjoyed the Rebellion.


kenincamden - 26 Nov 2007 15:57
Another excellent evening in the Wenlock! Great beers as usual.
Miles007 - 22 Nov 2007 13:32
Following a very successful birthday at the Wenlock, I would like to personally - and publicly - thank Will, Annette, John Bratley, Burnley Dave, Fishy Bill and Holly Roberts for their part in facilitating such a wonderful evening.

The "Honky-Tonk" 4.2% was just perfect. The range was made all the better by the inclusion of Dark Star "Over The Moon" and Grand Union "One Hop". Great latin jazz including a sax!

I have celebrated my birthday at the Wenlock several times but this one really was the best. Thanks to you all.


lad_newton - 12 Nov 2007 00:45
Listen ya`ll- im new to this beer thing. For years I was used to my Stella, Carling and xxxx, then a fella i met suggested this little back street boozer -try "something new, try something with a little extra taste" etc. I may not have a beard, i may not have a pudding bowl hair cut, i may not have a big belly.. I like cheesy disco music and i now luurrrve the taste of utter fab real ales like john smiths extra smooth and green king pale ales, thats why i love this little pubby. If only they played "I will survive" more often on the pa me and my chummies would be down here much much more often. I would also like a choice of cocktails..
FlorenceAle - 6 Nov 2007 11:17
I went in here on Tuesday for a few Beers Excellent Pub still serving Excellent Real Ales with a real good changing selection. Its just such a pity I live at Muswell Hill so cant get the time to get over here more often.

I Just hope one day that someone with more business sense than Money makes one of the terrible restaurant style Pubs where I live in Muswell Hill back into a Tradition style Ale House Pub like the Wenlock. Well done keep up the good work.

CAMRA Life Member
Alesonly - 1 Nov 2007 22:48
Apart from the fine and regularly changing range of real ales, the Wenlock is proud to welcome in all sections of society - be they black, white, straight, gay, religious or atheist - the list could continue.

Readers of this site need to know that this remains the case. The pub has NOT been "taken over" by any particular group to the expense or detriment of others and there is no reasonn for anyone visiting this pub not to feel welcome, comfortable and part of the community.

The anonymous review, posted earlier today, should be read in isolation and disregarded as should the posting left on 25th October. To re-iterate, this is first and foremost a beer-oriented real ale pub, with live music, a varied and eclectic clientele and a staunchly loyal following - and long may that continue.
lad_newton - 1 Nov 2007 18:07
Still excellent.
dozysharp - 29 Oct 2007 13:47
Another excellent beer festival with a good selection of South Yorkshire ales in the upstairs room. The usual selection downstairs is almost a beer fest in itself. Never mind the location, if you enjoy good beer, come here.
ed.spbw - 27 Oct 2007 21:59
Have been here many times, especially for Thursday quiz with the Fat Controller.

Visited tonight for te beer festival and excellent as always. OK if you are being picky you could say it is a shabby back street boozer. But if not you could say it is just about the best pub in London. If you are a real ale drinker get here ASAP.
GuideDogSaint - 27 Oct 2007 01:41
My first visit to the Wenlock last night as part of a pub crawl involving Artillery Arms, The Eagle and Jerusalem Tavern. Had a pint of Nelson's Victory, which I'm sure was fine but recovering from tonsilitis does nothing to add to beer tasting ability, so will have to return to sample beers properly. A really lovely, homely pub with a great feel to it that reminds me very much of Deptford's Dog and Bell.
JonW999 - 25 Oct 2007 10:50
Crackin nite last Sat (6th). Challis & his band on good form - new trombone player, doing some funky stuff and Holly (at least think it was her) playing Bass Guitar - she was good and threw in 1 or 2 solo's. Great stuff.

With that, and the dark star hop head - and the Oscar Wild Mild, the Wenlock seemed to me to be a very, very good place to be!
jamie.nakin - 7 Oct 2007 21:30
As someone who learned to drink at the Wenlock in my early teens in the late 1950's and early 1960's, it is gratifying to read the continuous flow of warm comments on this great London pub. It is one of the few places in London that is much as it was in my youth except then it had only a men's toilet and a corner piano with an array of great pub singers Friday-Sunday. On Sunday, when the winkle man came by with his white sheet draped barrow, most patrons bought almost all of his shellfish and it was spread out along the counter. Jack and Elsie, the barkeeps, provided bread and butter and everyone had a great feast before staggering home for Sunday roast beef and fixings. While the specifics have changed, the Wenlock still retains that old style boozer atmosphere. Unfortunately, I rarely get back because of distance but I hope I die before it disappears because I don't want to go through the anguish of losing this great memory of many years ago.
fernebranca - 2 Oct 2007 07:00
I think the most fitting tribute I can pay this amazing establishment is that when you use mere mortal boozers you always wish you were in the Wenlock.

Not so much a pub as a way of life.
mr_goatboy - 1 Oct 2007 12:26
Superb evening on Sat 29/09/07 - John Martin (John the Boat) celebrated his birthday here and the whole pub participated in proceedings.

Jamie Rowan's rock & roll/boogiewoogie line-up was supplemented perfectly by a DJ playing 50s/60s rock & roll vinyl singles on a deck with valved amplification.

The sausage sandwiches went down a treat, and a typically great beer selection kept all the cogs well-lubricated.

Well done to all involved!
lad_newton - 1 Oct 2007 00:57
In a nutshell - this pub is MECCA - at least in London anyway! Even though I've given 9/10 as its only failing is the loo's (have to be told about the ladies)& the dirt(inch thick on the tv etc. Having said that, its part the the charm in an odd sort of way. Who agrees?). Been in here & spoken with folk who have come from Wales for a day just to be here. Only just found out that the wee fella who keeps his 1000 racing bike inside is Irish. Could never understand him! Someone in my branch who is one of these been into ale since the 1700's (b.c.)will think nothing of training it up to Newcastle and beyond for fantastic ale pubs, and I can imagine they are great, but she's never been to the Wen', untill I dragged her along last November! Even then she aint been back. Couldn't believe they've 9 handpumps, but I have told her umpteen times! Always a real cider too! There a sort of 'air' of familiarity here that never leaves the place, even after an absence of 12 months. As if its been like this since 1920! 'Special'!
operationmindcrime - 25 Sep 2007 19:46
Deservedly so. "Smiff"'s review of 20/9/07 should be disregarded as he has posted random spiteful comments on three pubs (the Wenlock, the Hole in the Wall Southsea and the Basketmakers Arms Brighton), all of which are fine hostelries. All reviews were posted on the same day. His actions are rather unfortunate, and do not represent what this site was created for.

Meanwhile at the Wenlock, I visited twice in the past week to enjoy Blackwater Mild, Slaters Top Totty and the delicious Grand Union Simcoe. Even though the Wenlock isn't exactly an operating theatre, who would want to drink in one?
lad_newton - 25 Sep 2007 10:23
On further investigation, strokes chin meaningfully whilst smoking pipe, The Wenlock should disregard the previous 2 comments as our pub has been hit by these two spoilers also. Anonymous posted on our page at 2.24 and then on yours at 2.26 talking about Totty ???. Two pubs in the top five being hit by the same two posters!!!! Conspiracy, come on BITE do something about the spoilers, it ruins this website.

BTW have rated your Pub as Don't Know as have never been there but keep up the good work as you're not one of the top pubs for nothing.
THEALMIGHTYLALA - 21 Sep 2007 00:48
tryed the mild was sick only had 12 pints.the staff like serving but not the cleaning up.
smiff - 20 Sep 2007 15:48
some totty but not top totty not the place for a rampant sex fiend like myself
anonymous - 20 Sep 2007 14:26

We have noticed that this pub is now "Number 1" in the BITE "Top 40", and deservedly so!

Great beer, great food, wonderful staff, unpretentious, nice customers.

Spot on!

Carry on the good work!
pubinspectors - 14 Sep 2007 19:48
Not being a regular at any pub, the wenlock is the nearest thing i've got to a local. My last couple of visits have been disappointing, because the beer range was not to my liking, so i was beginning to lose faith. Yesterday, though, was probably the best afternoon i've ever had in there (or anywhere). Beer excellent, as was the black pudding sarnie. Truly a great boozer. How did i ever begin to doubt it? Long live The Wenlock!!!!!
ZapuTheSnake - 9 Sep 2007 13:48
On the advice of one of the BITE correspondts, I decided to give this pub a second go, I admit that i'm more of a bar person then a pubman I have to say that it is not my scene, however I can wholeheartedly see why this place attracts such a loyal following, the selection of beers and ales has to be one of the biggest on offer and the staff are clued up about their wares, always a good sign. On my last posting regarding the Wenlock, I seemed to have over reacted to the ambience of this place, I concur that it is not scary and as Chick said their is a real mix of folk, and as Robert Palmer once sang 'It takes every kind of people' looking at this place with a more positve attitude I would have to say that this place deserves it's high ranking status, Im sure pubs like the Wenlock are a dying breed and this place needs to be cherished for what it is. Next time I have visitors over from the States I will certainly treat them to a afternoon at The Wenlock.
theregent - 8 Sep 2007 22:26
Always have a Mild - can't beat it for the first pint of the night. Hopefully Hobson's Mild winning Champion Beer of Britain will encourage more pubs to start stocking them. Great Salt Beef Sandwiches (when they have bread). Tom makes the best ones even though he hates doing it!
ChucklingBuddha - 6 Sep 2007 16:44
Big, big fan of this pub and often go out of my way to call in. Bit hacked off last night though when we got there well in time for food, (8.45) but they refused to take any more orders, although they must have still had the kitchen open as my mate had just ordered sandwiches, which didn't appear for another 20 minutes. So - fantastic pub in general, great atmosphere, brilliant beer, mixed staff - can be great, can be surly - and don't count on getting food
Mike_Wade - 1 Sep 2007 16:11
Another of those unplannable nights on Sunday. On top of the full range of ales, Barnesy treated us to delicious, freshly-cooked sausages at the bar. My friend Michael and I could not get enough of them! All this coupled with great musical CD selections by Will Junior, it was a perfect evening.

The Wenlock remains fully deserving of its 10/10 rating.
lad_newton - 28 Aug 2007 10:49
Another happy afternoon exploring the excellent range of beers in this unpretentious pub. Why don't other London pubs have such a wide and genuine range of ales? Breweries such as Triple fff, York, Pitfield, Mighty Oak, Downton on show, all different styles too. Long may Will and Steve keep it up.
ed.spbw - 27 Aug 2007 19:55
Excellent real Ale in a real old style boozer its a pity theres not more like it in North London.
There seems to be too many Plastic gastro restaurant types of Pub that try to be a Pub but end up like a restaurant just selling bad beer.

Lets hope that a Few Landlords/Licensee's read these reviews for this Pub Maybe there realise whats missing from there Own Pubs.
Alesonly - 19 Aug 2007 17:11
Saturday night with mad Italians and Finns and 10 month old tally ho what more could a man ask for except a taxi home............ had to take a 341 instead but you can't blame that on the Wenlock.......
elsiepop - 17 Aug 2007 00:04
Following all the good reviews, I've been meaning to visit this place for a good while. Finally got there this Friday early evening and, while the place was pretty much as described, I couldn't help but be a bit disappointed. There were plenty of good ales available and the "Armadillo" I drank was in very good order. But it's very small (only 1 room it appeared?) and there didn't seem to be much else to entertain me.

The Wenlock must be so far up the list because membership of this site is London-biased and maybe there aren't many pubs like this in London. Don't get me wrong, this is a great pub and I'm giving it 8/10, but maybe it isn't as great as its lofty position in the top 40 would suggest.

My regular in Birmingham is The Anchor in Digbeth and would knock The Wenlock into a cocked hat. It's got the same good range of ales but better decor (original Victorian), female bar staff, a choice of rooms and a pool table.
thegiant - 12 Aug 2007 19:01
I have visited twice in the last few days, and found the usuall high standards. Although very busy, the staff did their best to serve everyone promptly. Few, if any, free houses have such a range of real ales all in good condition. Many pubs boast of a larger range but often only have two or three available. Other free houses have beer in very doubtful condition as a result of slow turnover. (once a cask has been started the contents should be used in only a few days or it spoils)
The choice of snacks is basic but very good value.
mikeholt - 12 Aug 2007 14:50
Calm down theregent,you're frightening everyone. I know the pub's a bit tatty but it's not scarey or full of misfits. There might be one or two harmless burbling people at times but they won't hurt you. Usually there's a good cross section of ages, sexes and types. The clientele are mostly interesting and chatty and if you like beer there's no better pub. Why not give it another go and next time bring your mum for backup.
chick - 6 Aug 2007 10:06
Simply the best. Very few pubs are as good as this. Proper boozer with a great range of perfectly kept real ales. Not the place for lovers of All Bar One style bars or anything pretentious - beware. 10/10 every time.
Disley - 1 Aug 2007 01:01
As I left the comment its only fair to respond to the critics. First off, the beer is indeed good as Steve is some kind of expert. Second, The price is very good. Third, I never set out to rubbish the pub but will stick to my side as to the atitude of the locals. The postie and the caretaker are a pair of you know whats. However, you must remember, I have been in there since the days when a certain Hollywood star drank in there. I was also there when a mini was parked inside the pub.
anonymous - 1 Aug 2007 00:12
I think that theregent doesn't like going to pubs, judging by his/her other postings on BITE...
Get a nice glass of dry white wine and stay at home......
elsiepop - 30 Jul 2007 22:10
the creepiest pub I have ever attended, the clientele scare the life out of me, this is a real depressing experience this is the pub where the marginlised of society drink a misfits paradise.
theregent - 30 Jul 2007 14:36
I visited the wenlock again on sunday, the beer was as good as ever, and only 2-50 a pint.
There are indeed a few slightly mad customers, one may be a postman, one definatly is a plasterer ! several fat persons also, one of whom might be a caretaker, but so what!
if you want a bland standardised pub, full of bland standardised customers then i recomend a wetherspoons, otherwise enjoy the Wenlock.

When i arrived the beer choice was less than usual, but this was rectified in minutes by the cellarman.

Holly and another pianist played from 15-00 onwards and were well received.

if you have not visited before, remember that the address is wenlock ROAD and not wenlock street, which is nearby. Cab drivers have a tendency to take you to wenlock street.
mikeholt - 30 Jul 2007 14:16
The anonymous commentator speaks in isolation. The Wenlock is a pub that is enjoyed by the many - not the few - is managed with enthusiasm and love by Will, Steve and the team. Whilst no pub can claim to cater for 100% of the drinking population 100% of the time, the Wenlock in my experience has never failed to satisfy anyone in search of:

a) a proper, decent pint from a wide range
b) real cider
c) live jazz and blues music
d) real unpretentious people of all ages
e) a convivial pub atmosphere promoting friendship

I was last there yesterday afternoon and could not fault the beer range and people's friendliness. I met three friends there from north London who thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Superb!
lad_newton - 30 Jul 2007 10:20
Plenty of mad people but none of them are postmen. No fat caretaker either.
sleepingscooper - 30 Jul 2007 10:08
"a proper dive withe regulars thinking they own the place"
Has never struck me as that.
Even if that is the case, if you look around at what has happened to all the other old school local pubs in both Hoxton and near by Shoreditch, it is maybe just a little understandable if they are a bit protective.That said, doubtful i was there when you was were, so i cant really comment(i only use the pub when passing.
Regards)
tottenhamsean - 29 Jul 2007 09:10
A proper dive with regulars thinking they own the place. This place contains a daft postman, a fat caretaker and a few nutters from the local council estate. However, the music is good for the people who like jazz and the pub grub is basic but cheap. This place has great landlords who cannot be responsible for the locals - as they don't have to foot the bills. The music crowd are great and if you nod in the right direction may even get a late one. The two business partners in this pub have certainly by now passed the test of time and I don't belive that anyone else could do a better job than they do. For this reason I am rating it ten out of ten. Wills, you must get around to finishing off your Jensen. As for you Steve - get your haircut!
anonymous - 25 Jul 2007 23:55
Last visit saw Pitfield Stout, Nethergate Mild, Great Oakley uuumm, one of the great oakley beers anyway plus others.
The beer is as varied as the punters. Come and see the dust on top of the dust on the top of the bar.
You get more than just a great pint here !
Just stay as you are Wenlock Arms.
rob372 - 18 Jul 2007 19:17
Holly played excellently last night. It was well worth leaving Cambridge early so as not to miss the gig. Her guest drummer proved to be an asset to the trio.

A great evening with Steve managing operations due to Will's eye operation. Along with all other Wenlock regulars, I wish Will a speedy recovery.
lad_newton - 15 Jul 2007 13:04
great choice of beer, allways well kept. cheap by london standards with several ales at only 2-50.
note that the beer choice varies daily,dont assume that a beer mentioned in a previos review is still available.
can get very crowded especialy at the end of week.
needs air conditioning as was unbearably hot last summer.
mikeholt - 11 Jul 2007 15:01
Pub full to the rafters last sat. evening for John Challis Blues gig. Great nite too for lovers of Dark Starr brews and the no-smoking ban hasn't stopped anyone coming
jamie.nakin - 9 Jul 2007 23:12
Thanks Canastajim. I grew up around the corner from the Wenlock and when I became a drinking adult at 13 years of age in the late 1950's, it was my local. My mum sang there. I get back when I can and it has all the flavor I remember 50 years ago. That's why the Wenlock remains special for me. For me, it's the only part of my London from the 50's and early 60's that's still like it was. However the beer's a damn sight better and the toilets don't smell like they used to. Hoping to get back soon.

fernebranca - 3 Jul 2007 23:50
In reply to fernebranca, breweries who will brew a one-off special, normally a mix of existing beers or done with extra or different hops. This weekend featured beers from Dark Star, Nethergate and Boggart Hole Clough. My own birthday beer last February was by Mighty Oak. Thank Burnley Dave for having excellent relations with these breweries.
canastajim - 3 Jul 2007 09:12
For an ignoramus who lives abroad, what are "breweries of a bespoke brewing service". Thanks in antcipation of you expanding my horizons.
fernebranca - 3 Jul 2007 03:51
Several interesting beers over the weekend that were brewed specially for people's birthdays. One was a Dark Star (seems to be everyone's favourite at the moment, and mine); and a Nethergate brew called Nosmo-King, for the July 1st smoking restrictions. Was never aware of the arrangement between the Wenlock and breweries of a bespoke brewing service - great news
Phucough - 2 Jul 2007 19:15
Very smooth transition to the smoking ban. Indeed the pub seemed busier last night than on recent Sundays. Smokers seemed to have adjusted to nipping outside for "fag breaks" without any problems whatsoever, and the consensus last night amongst friends was that there were no losers in this equation.
lad_newton - 2 Jul 2007 19:05
Easily the best pub for Real Ale in London. A constantly changing selection of beers with at least one mild always on offer and they are always well kept. Great salt beef sandwiches and the occasional 'interesting' local. Have always felt comfortable on my many visits here - could happily make this place my second home!
The_Greene_King - 25 Jun 2007 11:57
Best pub in London by far. In my opinion the only other pub that gives me the same satisfaction upon leaving is The Square and Compass in Worth Matravers, Dorset
marlet - 22 Jun 2007 13:23
What were we drinking? I can't remember but it tasted great. Excellent real ale and cider weren't the healthiest preperation for the London to Brighton cycle ride but definitely the most enjoyable.
The band were very good, knocking out a few tunes.
A pub full of happy boozers.
londinieres - 18 Jun 2007 22:56
Currently, I have 67 pubs on my BITE list, and The Wenlock is the only one that I rate at the full ten out of ten. [Even the splendid Pembury Tavern only gets nine, though that will surely change when they get their new licence...]

I wont bother to go into all the reasons why I think a pub with such iffy toilets, dodgy decor, scruffy punters and general overcrowding is such a good place to be.
If you get it, theres no need to explain, and if you dont, you dont , and possibly never will...

Cheers.


M.O.G. - 17 Jun 2007 01:19
Very enjoyable visit yesterday evening - inadvertently coinciding with the pub quiz. The Slaters Queen Bee went down very well as did the dark mild from Moorhouses. This is a fine backstreet boozer for lovers of traditional beer and traditional unspoilt pubs.

If this pub is a dive , then I'm the Queen of Sheba
JohnBonser - 15 Jun 2007 13:56
I don't know about 'dive', though it's certainly shabby, and I can't see any reason why this should stop it being a great backstreet boozer. Whether or not it is I don't feel qualified to say yet; this was my first visit to the Wenlock. The beer range is terrific, and the one I sampled was in excellent nick.The atmosphere's relaxed and friendly, the clientele pleasantly mixed. If I lived nearer I'd certainly be back soon; as it is, I'll have to suspend a more substantive judgment till I can make it to the area again. But all the omens look good; a 'real pub' it certainly is.
earlydrinker - 14 Jun 2007 18:55
This just goes to show that we all have different criteria for what makes a great pub. One person's "shabby dive" is another person's "great backstreet boozer". When I see see that someone has rated a pub (bar) very highly because "the security staff is dead sexy, dey make wikid cocktails and you have a bril time cos they lets ya dance on da tables" I tend to think that never in a million years would I go in such a place. If you don't appreciate the Wenlock's qualities then it is not the sort of pub for you, and best if you find somewhere else more to your liking.
RexRattus - 13 Jun 2007 17:40
MOG has hit the nail bang on the head here. The Wenlock is a "real pub" in the traditional sense, frequented by real people (of all age-groups) who enjoy the constantly-changing range of ales, the liive jazz and blues sessions and the friendly bar staff.

To the reviewer referring to the lack of "eye candy" in the Wenlock - bring your own - problem solved!
lad_newton - 13 Jun 2007 17:10
It's a proper drinkers pub for proper drinkers. In an age of increasing homogenity and blandness it stands out like a beacon. I have always found it very friendly and welcoming - a true local.

And one last point - Mr Chav Man ( do you not think incidentally a better pen name might be in order ?),if I wanted eye-candy, I'd go to the Pitcher and Piano, All Bar One etc

Cheers
JohnBonser - 13 Jun 2007 14:47
I give this pub a very high rating, mainly because I really enjoy the interesting range of very well-kept ales, and just find it a very enjoyable place to spend an evening in the company of others who also seem to be drawn in by the drink selection.

At the same time I find myself mostly agreeing with TheHorsesMouth -- it's a dive. If the Wenlock had an ordinary range of ales I don't think I'd ever visit.
dpv - 12 Jun 2007 11:28
A little unfair M.O.G. Chav_man is entitled to his opinion.

In my opinion if it wasnt for the fine ale selection most of the people who rave about this pub would be calling it a dive.

Yes the beer is good but that is it to me. A fantastic pub to me has more than just fine ales. They have to have something more.

Using a modern term, a fantastic pub must have x factor. I dont think The Wenlock does although I do like it. Are you going to say im not entitled to this opinion either MOG ?
TheHorsesMouth - 11 Jun 2007 13:01
Why does the pub get such good reviews. I just don't understand how it is different from most other average pubs?
Chav_man - 8 Jun 2007 09:40
My favourite pub in London. Brilliant beer, great live music and an interesting crowd.
Tom_G - 8 Jun 2007 09:29
Was here again last night enjoyed the Mompessons Gold from Oakham and a superb Saffron Gold from Mighty Oak also enjoyed the lovely Pitfield Porter,mmmmmm.It was my birthday and had a lovely evening although didn't do too well in the quiz!
Miles007 - 25 May 2007 11:04
A proper pub for proper drinkers - recommended
JohnBonser - 24 May 2007 16:21
Quite possibly my favourite pub . Why ?
Well the most important reason, theres always a great selection of well kept beers. Also big lovely sarnies.
Great music, recent visits I've heard The La's / Black rebel motorcycle club / Trojan records mix / The Who. Very eclectic. Theres always a good bunch of locals and beer hunters present. A proper corner boozer, may it stay that way forever.
rob372 - 23 May 2007 08:06
Marvelous place! Ask the folks behind the bar to go easy on the mustard on the salt beef sandwiches though, last one I had made my eyes water. Not good to be seen alone in a pub in Hoxton crying...
zippyzoe - 21 May 2007 14:54
Went back in for the first time in years on Saturday - excellent. Beer was on top form as you'd expect and a superb black pudding sandwich for 2 - it doesn't get much better!
Alfnoax - 21 May 2007 13:49
A very fine pub. Welcoming, a good selection of well-kept ales, a good selection of less well-kept customers. Worth a visit.
CJG - 11 May 2007 14:51
After seeing the high praise for this pub on this site and after a successful lunch time visit to the Pembury Tavern i decided to visit the Wenlock on my lunch break from the City.
I was greeted with a range of at least eight ales and the few I tried were all excellent. The pub is basic so not one for you All Bar One crowd. I suggest its time for the carpet to be replaced. If you are willing to put up with the lack of decor for the sake of your ales then this is your kind of place. I liked it but probably not as much as the Pembury Tavern. A big 9/10 for the beers alone.
Must say though the sandwiches look good and were possibly the biggest I have seen for a while.
TheHorsesMouth - 11 May 2007 12:48
As one of those old blokes, I have to admit that actually, you do occasionally see one or two "Hoxton Types" in The Wenlock, but there's a good reason for that. It's in Hoxton.

That aside, it's still the best pub I know, and I know quite a few...
M.O.G. - 9 May 2007 15:27
I haven't seen many "Hoxton types" either. Happy that beer sells out; it is replaced by something equally good before too long! One of my favorite pubs ever.
kchef - 8 May 2007 16:28
chav man you don't get many people like that in here, it's mainly old blokes
anonymous - 8 May 2007 14:46
too many beers go away too quickly get some kilderkins in!!!
please %-)

Sorry, I should have been more careful with the punctuation, but it was in the wee small hours...

" Too many beers go away too quickly, get some kilderkins in!! "

firkin = 9 gallons
kilderkin = 18 gallons
barrel = 36 gallons
hogshead = 54 gallons

never enough = always as far as good beer is concerned!!
elsiepop - 28 Apr 2007 22:16
Great beer quality and good service.
jerry2 - 25 Apr 2007 11:20
Many thanks for these comments chaps. One lives and learns - I confess I did not know what a kilderkin was. Just goes to show that a bit of grammar and punctuation can help understanding. Whenever I go to a pub like the Wenlock (and there aren't many like the Wenlock!) I just drink the beer they have on and go home happy. I'm just a simple soul! regards.
RexRattus - 25 Apr 2007 00:15
Elsiepop is referring to fast beer turnover. The pub is often full to bursting particularly on a Friday or Saturday evening. I have seen beers put on at 1800 gone by 2200 but swiftly replaced by an equally pleasant beer. Seldom is there a beer on that fails to satisfy most tastes, and of course the most popular ales (such as Dark Star, Mighty Oak, etc) sell out very quickly. Actually this is a good thing as the beer does not get the chance to deteriorate!
lad_newton - 24 Apr 2007 18:32
It's all about barrel size (a kilderkin is a big barrel.) Obviously the bigger the barrel the more beer it contains and it lasts longer.

Problem is barrels are expensive and a lot of the smaller breweries find this a big ongoing cost. a lot of the smaller lines don't accomodate the larger size of barrel and they also cost more to put in the distribution network. The costs all add up for a small brewer.

Just be thankful that places like the Wenlock exist and if your favourite beer runs out, you'll just have to either go more often or get there a bit earlier.

(mind you it's not as if there won't be another equally nice brew in its place!)

Norealaleinorpington - 24 Apr 2007 14:50
Im not sure Im qualified to comment ob what elsiepops posting means because Im rarely able to get to the Wenlock. However, I believe it refers to a rapid turnover rate some of the large range of beers/ales sold at the Wenlock. So, while there are many beers sold, many of them are available for only a very short time. As the Wenlocks web site notes, some beers many only be available for a few hours and customers are advised to call if they have questions about whats on tonight. Regardless, the cellaring/sales program at the Wenlock has consistently produced top notch quality as is testified by the consistently positive comments about their beers/ales over many years.
fernebranca - 23 Apr 2007 15:43
Does anyone understand Elsiepop's posting? I must be missing something. Certainly the phrase "too many beers" means nothing to me. Anyway, it is undoubtedly one of the best pubs around, and I hope it never changes.
RexRattus - 22 Apr 2007 18:13
too many beers go away too quickly get some kilderkins in!!!
please %-)
elsiepop - 22 Apr 2007 01:06
Quite why it's been so long since my last visit I don't know, as this pub is (sort of) on my way home from work. It's definitely worth the slight diversion. Anyway last night it was as good as ever, if not better. An excellent varied choice of beer and a superb cheese sandwedge. The staff were frendly and seemed genuinely pleased you are there. This shouldn't need commenting on, but in so many pubs these days it is not the case.
southdown12jack - 20 Apr 2007 15:49
Can this pub do no wrong? Every time we visit, it just gets better and better. It is no exaggeration to say that the Wenlock Arms makes my life better whenever I drop by.

The previous reviewer saying the pub is in the middle of a new housing estate is exaggerating. There is some new housing nearby but much of the development is offices, most of which still seem vacant two years after construction (in stark contrast with the ever-full Wenlock across the street). The new development appears so far not to have affected the charm and charisma of this great pub one iota.
Surrealale - 19 Apr 2007 21:08
amazing selection of real ale the elvedon stout was superb as was the old bb, steve always manages to order great beers. the enchanting holly smiles sweetly behind the bar ,what more could you ask for.
mr.toes.5_ - 19 Apr 2007 18:24
Excellent beers to be had here. Would have liked to try a beef "sandwedge" but they stopped serving food earlier than planned - bit annoying. Ah well, they do have very good pork scratchings.
Top music & overall a great pub. Not the nicest area (one of our group had the wheel of his bike nicked outside) but other than that excellent.
dyyony - 30 Mar 2007 14:22
This is a superb pub, great beers, it mustn't be allowed to disappear
tophatter64 - 26 Mar 2007 13:44
Of course it ain't so. The other co-owner is 51. Property developers are sniffing around, as they always do, but so what!

Another wedged out session last night, with the usual great beers and music, plus an added bonus of superb Irish stew.
sleepingscooper - 18 Mar 2007 01:12
The Wenlock is definitely a national treasure! Indeed we have had several visitors from the US (and of course elsewhere in the world) making repeat visits to the pub.

I am of insufficient knowledge to know what the long term future (say the 'twenties) holds but as stated by the penultimate reviewer this pub now, like it or not, stands alone in the middle of a burgeoning new housing estate and the chief owner is in his sixties.

However I think the "yuppies" referred to are mainly from elsewhere and are equally welcome in the pub as the mature generation, seeing as I have formed acquaintanceships with many of them, **all** of whom would be beside themselves if we were to lose this pub. Actually, if you are looking for an accurate description of the clientele you need look no further than Sleeping Scooper's comments of 1st March beneath mine!
lad_newton - 13 Mar 2007 21:58
Say it ain't so. THe Wenlock being bought out! I managed to travel from California twice last year to visit my old local from the 1960's when Jack and Elsie ran the place. This was where my mum and uncle Charlie sang every Friday and Saturday nights. God, this place should be a national treasure. Say it ain't so.

Fred Munday
Formerly of 57 Shepherdess Walk

fernebranca - 13 Mar 2007 07:03
As usual, the best pub to end a N.London pub crawl due to late licencing. Top range beers - as per usual, and the pick & mix selection of eccentrics and oddballs provided entertaining drinking company.

The new housing project over the road seems to have attracted some yuppie types to the Wenlock but all seem keen on real ale, jazz music and the general time-warp back to the middle decades of last century. If this pub is (as some guy told me) under offer from local land owners then they should take it down brick by brick and rebuild a replica somewhere else in Hoxton/Islington
jamie.nakin - 12 Mar 2007 22:35
you'll either love it or hate it. (if the latter you'd have to be very unlucky to stumble on by chance as its so far off the beaten track) Real ale heaven in slightly tatty surroundings, populated by all manner of serious ale imbibers and locals. Well worth a trip.
moclips2002 - 4 Mar 2007 07:42
The range last night was amongst the best this year with a selection catering for everyone:

Dark Star "Over The Moon" 3.8%
Cottage "IK Brunel Ale" 4.4%
Adnams Bitter 3.7%
Nelson "Loose Cannon" 4.4%
Wentworth "Black Zac" 4.6%
Mighty Oak "Maldon Gold" 3.7%
Mighty Oak "TMJ" 3.7% **
Fenland "Doctor's Orders" 5%

** Dry-hopped Oscar Wilde Mild, bespoke ale in celebration of the birthday of "Tia Maria Jim"

The Dark Star OTM was bursting at the seams with flavour for its strength, and both Mighty Oak beers were exquisite. Wentworth Black Zac was nearing the end of the barrel, nevertheless was still drinkable - the strongest of three black beers on last night! To end the night Steve pulled us a taster of the Fenland. A strong honey-sweetness hits the palate initially, followed by a vicious bitter bite combined with a superb smokiness. Great to finish a session!
lad_newton - 1 Mar 2007 21:22
... ah, yes, the locals
Skip drivers, architects, painters&decorators, bankers, builders, unemployed, priests, police officers, doctors, caretakers, teachers, hotel workers, chefs, publicans, brewers, administrators, retired ...
men, women
gay, straight
asian, black, white
young, middle-aged, old ...

absolutely typical
sleepingscooper - 1 Mar 2007 10:01
Well, yes - strip away the beer, music, quiz, food, cricket, football and the fact that I live there and I wouldn't set foot in it either.
sleepingscooper - 1 Mar 2007 09:51
Why would anyone want to 'strip away the real ales'? This is a scruffy dive whose net curtains should probably be incinerated in the interests of public decency, but they are doing exactly what they set out to do, namely putting and keeping a big, silly smile on the face of the ale lover and a nice, warm feeling of content in her/his heart. (To the best of my, admittedly limited, recollection the cider was pretty good, too.) They were friendly and obliging and produced a splendid pasty. I'm sorry about the view formed by nickdavies, but if he wants an establishment to contrast with the Wenlock he could read what I am about to post about Smithy's Wine Bar, Kings Cross.
joegreen - 26 Feb 2007 15:20
Rather unfortunate that the previous reviewer's experience was not to his liking. The atmosphere was excellent last night. Jamie and Sally's multi-style gig brought in clientele of all ages, classes and creeds, and in contradiction to the idea of there being thousands of Wenlocks around, this is quite simply not true. This is why our pub wins one award after another and is packed to the rafters on evenings and weekends.
lad_newton - 25 Feb 2007 16:36
There's a touch of the 'emporers clothes' going on here. Would it attract such rave reviews without the wondrous beer selection or its proximity to the City? There as still thousands of identical locals to the Wenlock around, most of which you wouldn't give a second look to unless you lived in the area. Truth be told it's pretty grotty and the locals..well the kind of locals who usually inhabit such boozers.

Strip away the real ales and you'd cross the road to avoid it.
nickdavies - 25 Feb 2007 16:07
Another supberb beer festival from the greatest pub in the land. Where do they get there info from and why can't every pub be this good. Great bar staff who actually drink the stuff so that means they know what they're talking about.
superbingocaller - 20 Feb 2007 14:17
Called in this afternoon to find there was a mini beer festival with some very obscure brews from new breweries, all in superb condition. As usual a friendly and relaxed atmosphere, as you would expect from a pub full of dedicated ale drinkers.
ed.spbw - 17 Feb 2007 19:34
This is a real locals pub apart from the fact it isn't a clique & everyone is always friendly even that bloke with the dodgy haircut that's always in there, They always have a mild on draught as well as real cider, oh & they do great salt beef sandwiches
lovesong - 16 Feb 2007 15:47
A fantastic session last night! Visited with two friends on 07/02/07. Not only was the Grand Union "One Hop Challenger" very good but the Nethergate "Lounge Lizard" was absolutely mouthwatering in its combination of dry bitterness and hoppiness, making it one of the best beers in general that I have drunk at the Wenlock for several months and, indeed, the best Nethergate beer I have ever drunk anywhere.

Steve/Will - Please order another barrel!
lad_newton - 8 Feb 2007 18:27
Enjoyed our visit there on Sat 20th after we'd been wandering round pubs in town - beers on top form as ever. Great conversations with "tired and emotional" regulars, including former punk "legend" Jez.

Great jazz beig played - not normally my cup of tea but suited the mood.

Just a shame it's not on my way home from work....
eddierowles - 25 Jan 2007 13:20
Amazingly busy for a Sunday afternoon, which means they must be doing something right. Packed full of all sorts of people, mostly slightly odd people but I don't mean that in a bad way. Excellent bit of piano entertainment happening when I was there. Bewildering array of beers, I opted for a pint of Dark Gold Mild, which was marvellous.
Muzthing - 21 Jan 2007 21:09
Visited Thursday and Saturday (11th and 13th Jan). Thursday night's quiz was followed by a good hour of Enio Morricone's film music which made a refreshing change, noteworthy beer on Thursday - Dark Star Hophead.

On Saturday Holly's Trio was augmented by "Dragon" - an accomplished jazz trumpeter alongside an equally accomplished saxophonist, and there were even a few VOCALS thrown in for good measure. Given that the brass was unrehearsed, the standard of playing was superb. I stayed on Oscar Wilde Mild and Harvey's Hadlow Bitter all night, but finished with half of someone's unwanted pint of something ink-black and rather strong! A great night!
lad_newton - 14 Jan 2007 14:49
The Wenlock was my local 40-50 years ago. After I moved out of the country in 1965, I did not get back until April of 2006 and then over Christmas in 2006/7. The pub essentially has the same character I remember although now there is one bar instead of the 3 I remember (Tony, still a local, says there were 6). Look for the wood plugs around the counter's edge that reveal where the old wood/glass partitions were). There are now two toilets instead of the one men's toilet (women used the toilet in long gone Sturt Arms across the street). The only other big difference is that my mum and uncle Charlie don't sing there any more (both dead). If you don't go every day, a beer you liked yesterday might not be there today. Fortunately, there is always a good selection of 6-7 new ones and remind beer fans of what beer and beer tasting should be like. The owners, Steve and Will know the beers they sell and share that information. Don't forget to ask the bar help for a taste before buying. If there is a "hoppy" beer, try it. For some, the place is hard to find. Take the bus (214, 43) west from Old Street or east from the Angel and get off at the plague pit at Windsor Terrace. Head north along Windsor Terrace then Wenlock Road to the best pub in London, probably the country and possibly the world. On two occassions, I took cabs and both cabbies knew the Wenlock without the address. If you want, go by my old home around the corner at 57 Shepherdess Walk. Unfortunately, it doesn't have a blue historical marker. For another good local, try the Bricklayer's Arms ar 32 Waterman Street, Putney. Good local flavor but not the same beer quality. The bar manager's husband knew the Wenlock and spoke highly of it.
fernebranca - 4 Jan 2007 01:00
The Wenlock makes me laugh, it really does. Was in here at about 12.30 on Saturday. I thought we might be the first customers - clearly I've learned nothing from my many visits here. If anything, it was hard to get a seat. The sound of one of those dreadful radio quiz shows full of lame "intellectual" banter coming from the stereo behind the bar competed fiercely with football on the telly in the corner. Some harmless old boy with a Liefmans Kriek, unceremoniously served in a normal English half-pint glass, was quietly boring a group of regulars sat in the corner to tears. He stood nervously apart from where they were sitting, as if he knew one of them might suddenly lose patience and bite his nose off he came closer. After a while I think he realised he'd exhausted their capacity to listen to shite and sloped off. As always, I was glowered at by that fella with the basin cut, beard and shorts, who apparently lives on a canal boat and always drinks out of the obligatory handle mug.

The beer selection was cracking as always, enjoyed a nice pint of mild and some kind of winter warmer. Salt beer sandwiches set us up for the rest of the day.

There can't be too many places in London, of whatever kind, that are as unique as the Wenlock. Granted, it's a bit strange, particularly on your first couple of visits - the folks who feel truly at home here are a bizarre species. But for the rest of the human race, I think the slightly surreal feeling is half the appeal - the other half being the beer. 10/10 as always.

A friend has set this up for me - Stonch's Beer Blog at stonch.blogspot.com. If you enjoy this site and don't loathe my contributions to it, you might take a look.


anonymous - 3 Jan 2007 16:33
had a wonderful sunday evening at the wenlock in mid-november w/three friends. we started at the market porter and had to hoof-it to the wenlock as the northern line was down for repair. i have visited the wenlock a few times before and thought i knew the way...but we got lost roaming the side streets adjacent to wenlock rd (is there also a wenlock street as well?...that may have been the problem). anyway, met up w/several locals who guided us to the real ale mecca. place was quiet w/just the local guvner and his crew. played a few hands of cribbage and sipped an adnams broadside...then a harvey's brew. at one point, one of the locals fell asleep leaning back in his barstool...and subsequently crashed to the floor...luckily he was ok. ended up speaking w/a few of the locals and closed the place: real friendly and very interested in talking about the wenlock, its history, and plight to remain viable. while i love the character of the place, one can't help but hope they can repair the rug (duct tape holding it together right in the middle of the place), and make other desperatly needed basic repairs. the place is a gem. btw: i love MOGs previous post describing the place as the "student union bar at the university of life". that is classic. have upgraded my rating to a 10. just wish it was my local.
chipawayboy - 31 Dec 2006 04:40
This pub should be visited by all lovers of genuine pubs as well as beer lovers. I can't understand the point of going to a faceless, charmless chain pub when there are gems like this around. A superb and genuine beer range (always a mild), friendly staff and management, locals are fairly tame. I love this place.
ed.spbw - 23 Dec 2006 20:37
One of the finest pubs in London. Ever-changing range of interesting ales, decent punters and good atmosphere. Great jazz too.
Note to site moderator: please change location to Hoxton!
stevet37 - 10 Dec 2006 19:15
At the bar last night, drinking pint after pint of superb Brewers Gold, listening to the excellent Holly Roberts trio, sitting in front of eight handpumps of ale, a row of lager and Guinness taps, and a cold shelf stuffed with interesting bottles, I overheard the following, delivered in one of those whining nasal American female voices that make your ears itch:
"I'll have a red wine: that's my last choice. I really wanted a beer, but they don't have any Corona, they don't have any Stella, they don't have any Kronenbourg..."

Didn't know whether to laugh or cry.
Had another pint.
Decided to laugh.
M.O.G. - 26 Nov 2006 17:13
Just back from beer festival. In fact the pub is a decent enough beer festival on a normal day, but a few extra ales on cider to make it even better than usual. Here you get a genuine range of beers from a mild through session and premium beers and dark ales. Plus friendly people behind the bar. No serious drinker should miss out.
ed.spbw - 28 Oct 2006 23:33
Still London's finest in my opinion especially if you like traditional pubs with an ever changing range of real ales. Had a range of mainly unkown beers on last night with loads more to follow this weekend as there is a beer festival on upstairs and downstairs, 5 or 6 proper ciders too, none of that highly advertised stuff whose name escapes me.

Simon Fyffe
Simonf - 27 Oct 2006 15:42
Superb pub. Great selection of ales and always a real cider for those who fancy one.
nrj746 - 22 Oct 2006 18:54
A fantastic pub with a fine selection of well kept beers.

It was busy the Friday evening that we visited but both staff and patrons were very friendly. One guy at the bar confessed to travelling all the way from Essex to drink here - high praise indeed.

Well worth checking out.
Jesus_drinks_Broadside - 2 Oct 2006 13:44
This pub is one of the best, if not the best, in london. Always a mild, always a cider, and always around 6 impeccably kept ales. A good mix of people, friendly, knowledgeable staff, and regular live jazz. A bit out of the way but well worth seeking out.
Borrowed_Ale - 27 Sep 2006 10:08
Not too sure about the last commentary as I (Lee) am one of the pianists referred to and I certainly was not on holiday. Nor was John Challis (blues pianist). Will (co-landlord of the Wenlock) IS on holiday so right guess - wrong people Jamie. Both myself and John Challis apporoached Steve Barnes (second co-landlord) regarding the arrangement we have with Will to play for short periods on a Friday or Saturday night after the end of the band session.

Surprisingly, however, not having been informed by Will of such an arrangement, Steve found himself unable to allow us to play - a decision he is, respectfully, quite entitled to make. The Wenlock remains one of the best pubs in London, both for the music and the beer.

I can inform BITE readers that Will is only away for a fortnight, and have no reason at present to believe that this arrangement between all the gentlemen involved, including myself, having been "established" in 1998 should fail to resume.

I know I have been quite long-winded tonight but hope this explains everything to those who have commented below. I take the opportunity finally to wish Will and his companions from the Wenlock a safe sailing holiday.
lad_newton - 18 Sep 2006 19:42
Relief management in last Sat. Jazz band great, but music stopped early (no piano players!) All on holiday at the same time? Please say that's a 1-off!
jn
jamie.nakin - 18 Sep 2006 19:10
A wonderful pub in a frankly odd location (must've been the only bit the Luftwaffe didn't hit judging by the less-than salubrious surroundings you need to trudge through to get here).

A vast selection of well-kept ales from a variety of Indies, a mixed clientele and a great atmosphere inside must make this one of the best pubs in London (certainly THE best that I have tried so far by a long way).

Exquisite, and an absolute MUST-VISIT!
Quinno - 12 Sep 2006 20:10
Dare I say it....The Best pub in London.
Fantastic and totally unpretentious to boot. 10/10
anonymous - 12 Sep 2006 01:51
Exquisite Dark Star double-chocolate stout last night! I had three pints of the ink-black nectar whilst enjoying the Holly Roberts Trio!
lad_newton - 10 Sep 2006 21:24
great pub, a hidden treasure, almost reluctant to review it..

last time i was there, the bar man criticised my choice of adnams as "a safe choice sir"

I think they only have one lager on tap, and no one appears to drink it
marty21 - 10 Sep 2006 02:08
My favourite pub, full stop. There is nothing I'd change about the Wenlock, for an ale lover (who's married to a kriek and cider lover!) it is paradise - 10/10.
mannyowar - 4 Sep 2006 16:38
I cannot express how much I love this pub. Great beer. Nice friendly people. Ever-present mild. Excellent.
thereminwar - 31 Aug 2006 13:03
Perhpas it's wrongly described to keep the chavs out!

(Or as a protectionist tactic by the CAMRA posse.)
Norealaleinorpington - 30 Aug 2006 14:04
Agreed. Hoxton is the correct location, I think, though even that isn't terribly helpful locating it, thanks to its position between City Road and the canal.
anonymous - 30 Aug 2006 13:34
A lovely pub. Could we not get he description changed though? The pub is not in Wenlock, (well it is I suppose as that's the name of the road!) It is in London (sort of Shoreditch/Hoxton way.)

This would make it easier to find on searches.
anonymous - 30 Aug 2006 13:30
Visited last night, last thing. Absolutely exquisite Mighty Oak 3.7% bitter on. Could not ask for anything more.
lad_newton - 24 Aug 2006 16:55
Excellent pint of Adnams Bitter and friendly chat in welcoming bar, after a brisk walk along Regent's Canal from Limehouse.
zorrodp - 22 Aug 2006 16:01
The Students' Union Bar At The University Of Life.
Still my favourite pub in the whole world, after god-knows how long. OK, so it's true, some of the regulars are a bit weird [all right, very weird], but Life is weird, and there's no better place to contemplate it than sitting on one of Will and Steve's ricketty barstools getting your elbows wet. There's live Jazz and Blues at the weekends to oil the wheels of your inspiration. The beer's bloody good too, that goes without saying. Go there: and if you get there before I do, please save me a seat.
M.O.G. - 18 Aug 2006 15:05
Admittedly, the Wenlock Arms is not in the most glamourous area of London, but this gem of a pub is well worth seeking out - For the real ale enthusiast, I guarantee you will not be disapponted!
shepwayblade - 16 Aug 2006 19:49
I can add nothing to the reviews already here but suffice to say I have long regarded the Wenlock as London's best and am pleased to see that BITE reviewers share that view.
grecian - 16 Aug 2006 15:11
10/10
anonymous - 12 Aug 2006 21:13
I found this pub on the pure off chance after picking up some floor tiles from Tower Cermaics just around the corner in Wenlock Road. WHAT A PUB! I can honestly say that I've never been in a central london boozer quite like it. I'd obviously seen the reviews on BITE.com but nothing could prepare me for the genuine welcome and quality of pint that I got here. Make no mistake, it's in the middle of what could be considered to be a "tasty estate" but it's an absolute gem of a place. Go there and be surprised that genuine pubs like this still exist.
Mr_Local - 10 Aug 2006 16:46
Earthen Death Pig was nothing more than a dry hopped version of Nethergate IPA (DHNETHERGATEIPA).
M.Sticker - 8 Aug 2006 15:22
I had a pint of it too - the name is an anagram...
mym - 8 Aug 2006 12:28
Ladnewton - Google has no results for "Earthen Death Pig" except this page ... whatever it was you were drinking it must have been a lot more than 3.6%!
Tweak_Head - 8 Aug 2006 00:06
I actually had a dream about this place the other night, even though I've only been there once. Obviously this is a message from up-above to visit soon, and to stay there until I lose count of the number of pints and pickled eggs in my paunch.
LordRadlington - 5 Aug 2006 04:19
Nice location. A shame about the new buildings opposite. The pub must remain! Very sweet jazz band on Friday nights.
Maja - 4 Aug 2006 23:09
First came here in about '95 and it's timeless and perfect. It's the quintessential community local but in an area where most of the community's passion for beer is quenched by six cans of Stella for a fiver from Costcutter. It may be N1 but it's the Hackney part rather than the Islington part.

Those of the community who do make it in are treated to a fantastic range of real ales, salt beef sarnies, pasties, Jazz at the weekend, the legendary pub quiz on the Thursday night and jovial banter at all times that I've been there.

Pubtastic.


Mickyosan - 2 Aug 2006 13:54
Visited twice last week.

Excellent "special beer" named "Earthen Death Pig" 3.6%.

Beautiful jazz on Saturday. 99% of the punters on fine jovial form too, clearly mixing and enjoying themselves and each other's company.


lad_newton - 31 Jul 2006 19:05
Paid a visit to this pub on the strength of recent reviews. The nearer I got to the pub the more I felt I must have taken a wrong turning, it's not in the nicest of areas, but upon entering and taking a first glance at the bar, it all became a apparent. A delightful selction af real ales. Eight to choose from in all and I must say I let myself down in going for the one I knew I could trust; Deuchers IPA which it has to be said was top notch and cheap at only 2.30 a pint.
Don't be put off by first impressions; The slightly rough looking group of locals didn't pay me second glance, were more interested in giving some friendly abuse to the landlady, this is well worth a visit.
giantelf - 10 Jul 2006 21:04
Out there in the big bad world of commercialdom, it's easy to forget that oases like these exist, are vibrant and viable and are really giving the people what they want. A world away from the plastic and predictable, the Wenlock is a bit of a legend, a reminder that not all backstreet pubs are filthy, lazy, bigoted places where you're as likely to get your head split open for looking at the wrong chair on the wrong night.

Cracking ales from a constantly-revolving selection and a load more besides. I reached this place with a friend at the end of a good crawl and availed myself of some splendid mild (always available) and a porter.
It's a fair walk from Old Street tube in a bit of a crappy area but don't let that put you off. Go find it and enjoy. Beware live jazz too but you can't have everything!
BeerHeaven06 - 7 Jul 2006 19:30
This was the third stop on a crawl we undertook in late January. Walking in, the bar is in front of you and there was musical gear in the corner. I felt right at home and we ordered some real ales (again, what a nice selection!) that were in great condition. Will definitely be making a trip here the next time I'm in England
surfadelic23 - 6 Jul 2006 18:36
I love the Wenlock.

Friendly, real atomosphere and great real ale. The selection isn't as wide as the Market Porter, but they get some great seldom seen beers in here like stronger Dark Stars and Crouch Vale Brewers Gold Extra (in season). The food isn't anything fancy but it's wholesome and well done.

One problem with it is that it's a bit of a walk from Old Street, and the area isn't the best. That's all that stops it getting a perfect 10 from me. 9/10
Gueuzefan - 22 Jun 2006 00:49
i read about this so went along and loved it. places like this are a yardstick knowwharamean
anonymous - 22 Jun 2006 00:31
On the face of it a typical and slightly scruffy early Victorian backstreet local. What sets it apart is the range and quality of real ales - 8 on handpump including a mild and a porter, plus a real cider. I tried four different ales, all of which were in excellent condition despite the hot weather, plus a pint of cider.

Clientele during my early afternoon visit was mostly middle-aged locals. Atmosphere seemed very friendly and a collection of instruments and sound equipment stashed away in a corner suggests a lively evening scene. An absolute must-visit for any real ale enthusiasts remotely in the vicinity.
Rich66 - 13 Jun 2006 22:44
Our London MILD trail culminated in a brilliant night at the Wenlock with several pints of Dark Star MILD for May. Having started out at the Head of Steam with Batemans Dark MILD we found no ther MILD in between.

The live band at the Wenlock, FUBS (Fabulous Unrehearsed Brothers) created a brilliant atmosphere. The barstaff were unbelievably helpful and friendly. Had a pleasant chat with the Landlord and we were later joined by Annette who came across as a very pleasant person.

We had been warned that Londoners were very hostile towards strangers but we found none of this here or even in any of the other pubs we had walked into and straight out again when we found they had no MILD.

Would have loved to have stayed untill kicking out time and tried Mollys Chocolate Stout from the College Green Brewery but had to leave just before 11pm to get some food. A great end to our two pub London MILD trail.
Stus.search.4.mild - 12 Jun 2006 02:32
Was it just hype?
We had heard much about this pub and so a degree of healthy scepticism was in order. So we were pleasantly surprised when after the long, drink free trek from the Head of Steam via Clerkenwell, the MLF (Stus.search.4.mild and myself) weary, thirsty and with blistered feet arrived at this spot-on classic boozer.

So we spent the rest of the evening here enjoying the Dark Star MILD for May. Plenty of atmosphere with proper folks and no trendies or lager swilling chavs to spoil the evening and a good jazz blues band to round things off.

Friendly bar staff who took the trouble to answer any questions we had about beer, directions or whatever. When the landlord came down later in the evening he joined us for a chat and please note; do not be put off by others who have commented on Annette. Shes a nice lady who if you treat with respect reciprocates.

All in all the Wenlock probably deserves its rating as a top ten pub and for the MLF we take some pleasing.

Tomorrow (Sunday) the MLF heads for the Lower Red Lion in St Albans on our way back North to the MILD territories, intelligence reports advise that a cache of MILD is to be found in the cellar.

nomild_walkout_mac - 5 Jun 2006 19:36
Top boozer!
Denbigh_Dog - 24 May 2006 20:06
gr8 grand union beers last weekend. Keep 'em regular.
jamie.nakin - 24 May 2006 13:00
Yeah I got balls deep in the festival on saturday, great atmosphere. Cor that barmaid with the wicked hair is a pretty girl ain't she.

At first I wasn't sure I liked this place. An old boy in the Jerusalem told me I should persevere though, and persevere I have. The friendliness of the place is not immediately apparent but it grows on you.

Dark Star Festival Mild was simply gorgeous.
anonymous - 22 May 2006 15:09
I spent a lovely wet Sunday afternoon here yesterday with a friend and had a really good time.Some great beers in their festival and I wished I hadn't brought the bicycle or would have tried the lot! Will be back to hear some more music from the great lady playing the piano.Didn't want to leave,but will be back! 10/10
Miles007 - 22 May 2006 13:43
***************** F E S T I V A L *******************

************** STARTS FRIDAY ********************
lad_newton - 17 May 2006 17:11
Oh what, did I miss out on the stout night too? Can't believe it. A good 10 per cent stout is something that everyone should experience at least once in their lives. The Wenlock is an amazing, unique, hilarious pub alright. 10 / 10
anonymous - 26 Apr 2006 13:29
Gutted that I missed the stout. Assume it is all gone? I knew they had it in the cellar.
anonymous - 25 Apr 2006 20:22
Last Saturday was another of those "perfect" nights in the Wenlock. Everyone both sides of the bar was in a pleasant relaxed mood after Jamie & Sally's gig - guess the 10% imperial stout had a lot to do with it! You can never plan nights like that - they just happen!
lad_newton - 25 Apr 2006 20:16
Fantastic pub, great beer, good quiz on a thursday. Despite other comments on here, i've always found this place very friendly. Hope it NEVER changes.
dudeks_left_hand - 31 Mar 2006 16:00
In many ways this pub is amazing. It is unique, its hilarious, it different, all that stuff.

But in many ways its exactly what is wrong with CAMRA-style places - doesn't try to be friendly to outsiders - beer is just a touch too warm and flat - despite being a beer lovers mecca, tends to just serve weak bitters and milds (never has ANYTHING at 5% ABV or more) - never experiments with rare, quality foreign beers...
Grinerine - 29 Mar 2006 17:08
Regaled with a Guinness and Tia Maria from the Paper Moon it was a pleasure to arrive here on a Friday night with loads of real ales available and a jazz trio playing. Recommended establishment any day of the week.
canastajim - 17 Mar 2006 23:58
The Wenlock is a one-off. Live jazz (or blues), a great range of beer, an eclectic mixture of drinkers (a few of them certifiable). It's relaxed, unpretentious and unpredictable. The only problem is that I always end up staying too long and drinking too much.


Tom_G - 17 Mar 2006 19:39
A wonderful night last Saturday - very relaxing and the pub not overly crowded. Brewers Gold on top form, and Holly Roberts' Trio were superb.
lad_newton - 13 Mar 2006 19:15
apa, not strictly speaking an estate pub as although it is situated on an estate it draws a very varied cleintele due to getting such a large amount of airtime in CAMRA publications (justified IMO because of the range of beers).
anonymous - 2 Mar 2006 13:41
Basic boozers pub that is locked in time. On the edge of the delightful Wenlock estate it boasts 6-8 real ales and doorstep sanwiches. Didn't hear any swearing on my visit but imagine this could go on. This pub is a real old estate pub that should not change. Best to accept it for what it is.
apa - 2 Mar 2006 13:17
Irrespective of which part of the world the last writer comes from - it has to be faced that Annette has used foul language on at least one occasion as far as I can remember.

I agree the pub is one of London's greatest and visit this pub at least once a month myself. I would give it 10/10, but having been insulted once myself (and kept it to myself to protect the pub's otherwise good reputation) feel I have to agree with the penultimate writer.

Don't let that stop anyone going to the Wenlock, and long may it survive, but the point raised on 26.02.06 needs addressing
lad_newton - 28 Feb 2006 18:17
The use of the terms "sidewalk" and "restrooms" really give you away and makes your strange and indubitably unjustified comments about a great pub all the less credible.
anonymous - 27 Feb 2006 10:18
Lovely sing-along by Jamie R & Co, followed by 2 or 3 pianists after the gig, including a new guy playing Gershwin who I havent heard before (who gave the other 2 a good run for their money).

All this was going along fine and we were all finishing our drinks and making for the door when a foul-mouthed Irishwoman, reportedly the girlfriend of the land lord started shouting and swearing at people to "F-off". About 45 minutes beforehand she was quite unjustifyingly rude to the new pianist. I sneaked out the door but could hear her voice from the sidewalk on Wenlock Road.

Usually theres no problem leaving the pub as the land lord (assumed the guy in late 50s who sits by the restrooms and serves at the bar every now and then comes round and says to us when the bar's closing and when he wants to shut the pub. I did not like the atmosphere when I left.
Phucough - 26 Feb 2006 22:12
Hard to find but worth it..great beer, and a very 'London' atmosphere. Can get smoky.
Uncle_Dunkel - 24 Feb 2006 17:09
One of the best pubs in London: good mixed clientele; real cider on tap; live music on Saturdays; great black pudding sandwiches; and a regular quiz night.
tharg - 28 Jan 2006 14:43
Went in here last night. The beer (Crouch Vale bitter) was fine, the interior was pleasant and there was a jazz band playing. There was nothing really to criticise except it all felt a little insular to me.
beermann - 22 Jan 2006 16:58
Place has a great vibe. Visited last Friday night; place was packed...and serving great ales...and w/a lovely 3 piece band (the trumpet player saved the poor panjo player all night...but is sounded nice). Some scary folks in the place to make it interesting: one tall geeky kid looked alot like spud from Trainspotting....he had a little toy tiger that he sat on the bar in front of him...strange indeed. Along w/Market Porter: best real ale selection in London.
chipawayboy - 21 Jan 2006 01:20
Easily the best traditional public house in North London. Real Ale. Real Music (Fri/sat/sun) Real People.
Phucough - 10 Jan 2006 01:52
8.2% Xmas ale on at the weekend. Johnny Parker's Original Band with three blowers up front and a guest guitarist and great drummer (not "Pete" but a plump looking guy who's done a few gigs here before)doing new orleans and trad.

Great stuff.
jamie.nakin - 20 Dec 2005 18:29
I first visited in 1998 and did'nt return for 6 months. Agree that some of the regulars can be scary (Annette!) but after awhile you know who to avoid and where to stand. Stick with it, you won't be disappointed.
anonymous - 19 Dec 2005 16:17
Make most of the 1 and only decent pub in this part of north London. Rumors floating about that it's for sale in a year or two. Be a shame to lose a pub like this.
jamie.nakin - 17 Dec 2005 19:48
One of The Great London Pub of which there are not many left.
Well worth a VISIT.

Geegeestables
GeeGeeStables - 17 Dec 2005 11:53
Obviously if you want to sample some beers not sold elsewhere in London, you have to come here. However there is no point in denying that the location is immensely off putting and there isn't a friendly atmosphere if like me you are a younger real ale fan. I have been twice and only stayed for one pint each time. I remain to be convinced but will probably go again and again in the hope of being proven wrong!
anonymous - 15 Dec 2005 10:37
I would like to personally thank Will, Annette, Jackie, Tom, David and everyone else who contributed to making my birthday party at the pub a great success last Saturday. The food was excellent and great value, and I was really thrilled with how it all went. Great stuff guys.

Lee
lad_newton - 15 Nov 2005 09:42
The last stop on our Regent's Canal Pub crawl from Limehouse to Wenlock. The pub was packed with people and we had to stand outside in surroundings that are not the best. But of course this is among the best pub in London for real ales. I try to come earlier next time.
rune - 15 Nov 2005 07:21
it would seem the best way to served here promptly is to be on of the "locals" otherwise you just twiddle your thumbs looking stupid - great beer though when the staff finally feel like noticing you, will not be back in a hurry..
anonymous - 14 Nov 2005 21:02
Excellent selection of real ales and a real ale atmosphere. Go for the drink not the place. 7/10.
Real_Al - 3 Nov 2005 20:52
What a shame annoymous didn't contact the management this sort of thing leaves a nasty taste. The Wenlock is a great pub but like all establishments things go wrong.

Fat Controller
fatcontroller - 3 Nov 2005 15:15
Unfortunatley unlike the other comments below, I cannot say that this is a fine establishment at all. Irate bar staff who were nothing but confrontational, so much so that it made my girlfriend cry. Sadly never got to experience the fine ales, and because of the interjection with the staff I will never go back. I hope this isnt true of every night.
anonymous - 30 Oct 2005 17:26
Although the area is not particularly inspiring the pub itself is. A real pub, no stripped pine or chrome to be seen here. Always a good range of real ales normally including a mild, also a real cider. If you are one of the beer geeks mentioned earlier you'll probably recognize someone drinking here when you visit. Definitely worth the effort of finding this establishment.
canastajim - 26 Oct 2005 13:49
LEE'S 40TH AT THE WENLOCK:

SAT 12/11/05

2100-> CLOSING

HOLLY SHOULD BE PLAYING.
lad_newton - 19 Oct 2005 20:15
I disagree about the condition of the EKG as it were the best pint on last weekend. But only 'cos brewers gold weren't on that I had to go for it. Still worthwhile making the journey for all the other beers. Another thing not mentioned previously: the wenlock appears to have its own cricket team - I have seen stumps in the pub - and they play against other good real-ale pubs like the evening star (brighton) and oakdale arms(north london).

After last visit still 10/10 tho.
jamie.nakin - 12 Oct 2005 01:29
Lovely little pub, good beer, great staff and an eclectic mix of punters...The only criticism would be that the food is not that varied, but who cares, the beer is great.
3scoopsman - 10 Oct 2005 13:32
A down to earth single room pub with an island bar that hits you as soon as you enter with a regular six different cask ales. The character of the place is its back street, scruffy, fogotten air, and the old codgers, and the trad jazz band, and the afters, and the door step sandwiches and that decent selection of beers. It's laid back and friendly and I've had many a great long evening here and a good few lunchtime sessions as well. Main drawbacks are that it is a bit off the beaten track in a rather boring area, that the food is very limited, that the house beer - Pitfields EKG - is nearly always in bad condition, that the decor is dull, and that unless you are a beer geek you will wonder what the fuss is about. I'm a beer geek. I've always had fun here.
SilkTork - 29 Sep 2005 17:26
Great beer, good prices and pickled eggs!!!!
Medicrob1 - 28 Sep 2005 09:50
Great pub. Great beers. Fantastic atmosphere. I highly recommend going on a Friday night when the trad jazz band plays. One of the best pubs in London! Not to miss.
alexdelarge - 23 Sep 2005 18:26
what a real pub should be !
moclips2002 - 18 Sep 2005 13:10
John Challis played on just about the best form he (and the band) have been on. Keep it up! Top guitar playing aswell.
jamie.nakin - 4 Sep 2005 14:07
Top 'REAL' pub....Good well kept beer,great beery atmosphere traditional boozer with no pompous gits around!
EdgarBriggsMI5 - 20 Aug 2005 14:13
fantastic place. No theme just good beer and good chat. Go visit it and remind yourself what pubs are meant to be like.
mrsjones - 9 Aug 2005 12:55
Trad with good reviews brings the problem of an enthousiast's hot spot with more spread than lean among the clientelle, and an unnatural preponderence of visitors and beeries.
All pubs should manage to keep two ales in good condition, here they do rather better.
Chat is skewed toward beer topics which makes it no substitute for a luvvie pub.
Easy and smokey, beerie and drab, I am one of the displaced from the closeby Rosemary Branch, which has had a daft change around and naff seating.
MilkTheImp - 3 Aug 2005 22:11
And now: The Wenlock is maybe the only pub in London with its very own shoe-shining machine. Go there and see for yourselves - have a pint while you're there!
jamie.nakin - 17 Jul 2005 23:38
After initial euphoria I'm somewhat less keen on the Wenlock Arms. Over recent months I've often found relatively little choice in the medium strength range. On at least two occasions there were no guest ales on tap between 4.0 and 4.7 whereas I think there should always be at least two. And when trying out unfamiliar ales, I've had very inconsistent experiences at the Wenlock i.e. some ales not terribly well made in the first place. When the beer at the Wenlock is great, it's unbelievably great, but when it's not, well... I've even had to leave a near-full glass on the bar. I've reached the view that the far less atmospheric Head of Steam is a much safer bet for a delicious pint. Rating reduced to 8/10.
foxski - 5 Jul 2005 19:05
GREAT jazz last Friday (01/07/05) - nice to have a double bass - a real one - together with the piano and trumpet. While the usual banjo player is very good at playing his instrument, the bass sound really brought out the best in the pianist, by the simple fact he plays in an octave below the piano thus not conflicting musically with it. So: lovely to hear the trio play so beautifully.

AND: What was that VERY bitter Yorks beer on the handpump furthest away from the band area (the one on the extreme left as you come in?) Have more of that one definitely!!

A well deserved 10/10!
jamie.nakin - 5 Jul 2005 17:15
'Best Real Ale pub in London' ? Would'nt disagree but i suspect the Fat Controller is a little biased (He does the quizzes). Great selection of beers and changes every day. Well worth a visit.
anonymous - 20 Jun 2005 15:27
Initial reaction to my mid week mid afternoon visit is that this is a gem, a really great find. Hidden amongst a housing estate and building site, you would normally find a run down pub with a selection of crap lagers, but the Wenlock is different. They have 6 different real ales, a cider, a trappist lager and a quality lager. While it has to be said that anot a lot has been spent on decoration, this adds to its charm. On my visit there was a friendly bunch of locals and I considered it quite crowded for the strange time slot of my visit. Go and support this real ale, live jazz/blues, friendly pub.
graley - 16 Jun 2005 07:49
Without doubt the best Real Ale pub in London, 6 ever changing different beers plus a mild and Real cider. Fantastic Doorstep sandwiches. A Real Fire in the winter. Quiz on Thursday evening and Jazz or blues Friday Saturday and Sunday.
fatcontroller - 11 Jun 2005 15:27
Excellent back street boozer between Old St and Angel tube stations. There is a mild on nearly al the time and there is usually a beer from the nearby Pitfield brewery among the plethora of handpumps. It's fairly busy most of the time and can get packed especially when there is music on.
anonymous - 9 May 2005 20:30
Excellent selection of cask ales here and at a very good price. The pub quiz on thursday nights is usually good fun and the specil events, such as the Welsh beer festival on St. David's Day, are worth the visit alone.
kyle473 - 15 Apr 2005 16:03
BIG beer selection...good atmosphere-you feel like part of the pub scene-even when you`re only planning your next pub stop!...Also its a cracking linking pub for starting from Angel & going via various pubs (including the Duke of Cambridge & the Island Queen) to the delights of Hoxton & Spitalfields
kierandinan - 31 Mar 2005 22:54
This is what it should be like: spot-on beer,varied choice,nice staff who put a lot of effort into making this the sort of pub that everybody would love to have as their local. Salt beef sandwich makes a fine beer companion.
mally - 25 Mar 2005 12:59
Even if you are not into real ale you might still like this pub for it being a very traditional, no-frills back street locals' boozer. For those who care about their beer this is probably the best pub in London for both the choice and quality of the ales. A mild is always on offer as are proper foreign lagers and a real cider.
thequaffer - 17 Mar 2005 12:32
For me, this is the best pub in London. The real ales here are a revelation - if you love ale, this pub is worth a pilgrimage. The atmosphere is fun, warm and lively. The customers are a right bunch of characters, and the staff even more so. The pub itself is tiny, crowded and very old-fashioned. On Friday nights there's live jazz played by charming elderly gents. Absolutely brilliant.
foxski - 12 Mar 2005 10:39
a thursday evening generated some marvellous anticipation for my first visit here and I wasn't disappointed, with at least half a dozen ales on tap, the local workers, the local nutters and footy on the tv (quiet I must add)... Go here, nuff said.
mikegray - 11 Mar 2005 09:30
Came back on Friday night and have never seen the place so busy which is heartening. A really fun atmosphere and an unparallelled selection of beers. The Adnams was a little ropey but there were some delicious alternatives. Is there a hint of good taste entering the pub going mainstream? N1 All Bar One has closed. Viva La Wenlock.
beer - 2 Mar 2005 11:35
What a superb pub - decent range of real ale in prime condition, continental bottles, unspoilt and ungimmicky, and the bacon sandwiches were very nice on Saturday lunctime. Well worth seeking out.
SJC - 11 Feb 2005 21:59
Good beer! Lots of good beer! Including beer from the local pitfield brewery (and very nice it is too). Definitely worth a visit or six. Place seems nice enough to sit in too, check it out.
spleen978 - 4 Feb 2005 11:40
One of the best
anonymous - 19 Jan 2005 20:19
Quirky Pub......Loads of Real Ale.....Like going back in time.....Long may this Pub stand unaltered....Mitch
lordhicks - 16 Jan 2005 20:46
a good pub still, one or 2 punters are a bit odd. a few days ago seen short-haired guy shout at bar staff over "wrong pint" tho nothing wrong with it. this is "our" pub & its gr8 & still wotrh going 2, the beer's good & the music is gr8 @ wknds. Nice staff, & 99% of the regulars are friendly.
andywalwyn - 7 Jan 2005 13:05
Still one of the all time best, every time I go it just gets better. Piano sun afternoons
robertjones - 30 Dec 2004 14:38
one of the great pubs. the beer and atmosphere are top notch. i go there whenever i am in london. Lee Newton if you see this please email me.


paulieb00 - 2 Dec 2004 21:28
What a great pub, good beer, good company and great atmosphere. 9.0/10.00
Fred Cooper - 17 Nov 2004 14:27
This is one of the best pubs in London with a good seletions of beers and real ciders. They also usually have a perry available.
beb - 10 Nov 2004 16:33
LEE'S BIRTHDAY IS AT THIS PUB, SAT 13/11/04 FROM 9PM
lad_newton - 8 Nov 2004 17:43
I moved into Hoxton earlier this year and was amazed the first time I went into The Wenlock. So many beers of a consistantly good quality. I wish I could spend more time there.
Sam - 30 Sep 2004 12:44
Regarding Andy's comments of June 2004 the beer is currently on the best form it has been for a long time, and the pub remains well worthy of the Cask Marque and other awards it has won.

Go and see (taste) for yourselves! The pub still gets 10/10!
lad_newton - 29 Aug 2004 20:56
You have to admire the effort which goes into selecting and keeping the many fine ales, and what a great friendly crowd of people that cozy up to each other on those heady Jazz evenings - curiously low rating
Ian - 20 Jul 2004 17:23
Quite probably the best pub in London. Not much I can say about this that others haven't. Other than go there. This instant. Drop whatever you're doing.
A.B.R. - 15 Jul 2004 15:35
I agree with all the other comments - possibly the best pub for miles and miles...
Dave - 14 Jul 2004 10:11
i love this pub more than life.
randy alexander - 14 Jun 2004 14:13
What has happened to the beer? I have visited this pub a number of times recently and enjoyed a good pint, but on Sunday I came in for a couple at about 9 and left again dead on 10:30 after a cloudy pint of EKG (hope I got the name right) was too shy (not well known enough) to take it back to the bar but saw a coloured chap with a long-haired companion take pints back to the bar, and noted how unusual it was to see people fussing about the beer here it's usually so good.

I would like to be reassured that the beers are back to how good they used to be (I will be back sometime).
anonymous - 9 Jun 2004 19:11
Great ales, exceptional salt beef, ropey decor, indifferent service, unbelievably unattractive clientele.

All in all, a fantastic pub, probably the best in London.

Better at lunchtime than evenings, in my opinion.

frank - 22 Apr 2004 15:57
This is possibly the best pub in the area. A real pub - 9 real ale taps with Mild, Bitter, Porters, Stouts, IPS and a proper scrumpy cider. Not to mention Belgian Trappist and German pilsners.
david - 14 Mar 2004 17:16
Went to the wenlock last night for the first time, after a friend recommended it to me.

Great Beer, locals are friendly and make you feel welcome. The old Jazz players gave us a few good tunes as well.

Well worth the visit, a old traditional london pub which is sadly a dieing breed.
Will head back some time.
David - 13 Mar 2004 13:27
The Wenlock has just hired the horniest barman in North London. (DAVE from SA)
Go there!

The pub deserves 10/10 aswell for great beer, great atmosphere & friendly staff. Recommended!
anonymous - 1 Mar 2004 17:20
BEEN TO THE WENLOCK LAST WEEK THERE'S GREAT BEER AND ALSO JAZ MUSIC ON SOME EVENINGS THERE & IT ATTRACTS NOT ONLY LOCALS EITHER, IT IS ONE OF LONDONS BES TPUBS I GIVE IT 10 OUT OF 10 COS IT' S NOW ONE OF MY FAVOURITE S.
anonymous - 23 Feb 2004 19:41
The decor and regulars make it feel like going back in time to the 1950's and the beer, milds, biter and pale ale, helped the feeling.

Bit of a regulars gaff but there's nothing wrong with that, everyone was friendly enough and it's out in the middle of nowhere but most of the beers were good (the Orange wheat beer was a bit dodgy).
MrScott - 23 Feb 2004 11:49
A superb New Year's Eve. Well done to Will & Steve!
lad_newton - 2 Jan 2004 19:06
This pub deserves all the praise that's heaped upon it. Few can equal the range and variety of beers on offer.
Jim - 18 Dec 2003 03:23
GREAT place! Only slite gripe is the beers are kept at 14 degrees instead of 12 which just takes the edge off them a little,otherweise its amongst Londons top pubs.
DaveHarley - 13 Dec 2003 18:50
Great !! All a pub should be and more ....
Monty - 5 Dec 2003 13:00
They don't make them like this anymore. Truly outstanding. Peerless in fact.
ck - 2 Dec 2003 13:47
fantastic pub w/super range of real ales on tap. went to a camra fest there last weekend as part of a 2 day pub crawl...met some great folks in the upstairs hall serving yorkshire brews...the two pints in the main pub were also wonderful...great lively local crowd...beatles playing softly in the background...pickled eggs behind the bar...amazing. seek out this pub.
scott - 1 Nov 2003 03:13
Superb: Upon entering you will find a fantastic range of ever changing well kept ales including a mild. Lots of other great great things too....read other comments....then go and visit and you will love it.
Ben - 9 Aug 2003 14:30
A really good real ale pub and if you didnt know it by reputation you would realise it as soon as you walked in. A large, well kept range of ales including a mild and real cider. The food looks appetising and guaranteed to keep your thirst going. There is loads going on in this pub and the best thing I can say is give it a visit. Thanks to Lee for pointing me towards this place.
Millay - 9 Aug 2003 10:26
One of the very best in every respect. Great for the choice of well kept ales - always including a mild, live jazz or good converstion and so on.......
rob jones - robertollyjones@hotmail.com - 23 Jun 2003 10:51
This pub is like putting on favourite pair of shoes - warm and comfortable as soon as you're inside... An absolute gem. and long may it and the staff remain...The Salt Beef Sandwedges ( yes - wedges ! ) are legendary.
Dave - 20 Jun 2003 17:07
How pubs used to be - a dying breed in London nowadays. One of London's best pubs for good quality, reasonablty priced real ales. Often sells beers from the closeby, Pitfield micro brewery in a converted shop in Pitfield Street. I am informed there is a cask of Pitfield Imperial Russion Stout 9.2% in the cellar and this should come on in July sometime.
Simonf - 11 Jun 2003 12:44
excellent pub a fine pint of mild to be had, darts and jazz, quiz on thursdays and enormous sandwiches.
mole - 3 Apr 2003 17:58
A genuine freehouse behind City Road halfway between Old Street and Angel tube stations. Mild ale always available and up to eight beers from regional and small breweries on handpump. Jazz on Friday and Saturday nights with varied piano music on Suday lunchtimes and occasional evening sessions. I live in Highgate but treat it as a local - it's well worth the effort of finding, and it may now be unique in London!
Lee Newton - lee.a.newton@jobcentreplus.gov.uk - 21 Feb 2003 17:06

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