Pakenham Arms, Gray's Inn Road

Our rating: FAP Rating 4 - Click for an explanation of our ratings      User rating: Community Rating 3 - Click for an explanation of our ratings   (8 reviews)
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FancyaPint?'s review...
FAP Rating 4 - Click for an explanation of our ratings
The Pakenham Arms continues to be a fine pub, with a good selection of well kept, interesting beers on the hand pumps - Doom Bar, Coaster and Broadside amongst the beers on offer when we were last in. There's loads of great cheap pub grub, plenty of screens to watch the sport and a matey, congenial atmosphere. Its proximity to the Mount Pleasant sorting office probably has something to do with this, especially as the pub does breakfasts 9-11:30 and there's a late licence most days - but whatever the reason for the way it is, we like it. A refurb in the last little bit hasn't affected the quality of the place, just tidied it up a bit. Just the way things should be.
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Reviews (4)
01 Aug 2013
Rating 1 - Click for an explanation of our ratings
The decline in this venue over the past two years has been nothing short of shocking.

As a regular visitor, it used to be at the centre of the community, frequented by locals, post office staff and office workers. It had a light airy feel, friendly welcoming staff, great food, and a great atmosphere.

Now it is pretty much abandoned by most of the local drinkers, posties and office workers. It was been transformed into a dark cave with an oppresive atmosphere. The friendly staff have been replaced pretty much, with one manager after another seeming to be doing their best to destroy what was a thriving business.

If you like socializing with an odd crowd who are generally well oiled then this is the place for you, the atmosphere has been destroyed, and the banter between staff and customers non existent - unless you are part of an elite clique. Add to that the problem with the smell, the inconsistent range of beers and wines (which are pretty expensive), the odd bar staff with an equally odd attitude, overpriced drinks and you get the general idea. Positives - they seem to have a chef who cares, the toilet lights have been fixed, and judging by the smell, the problem with rodents has been resolved for the time being.

Its pretty obvious that someone is doing their best to run the place into the ground - a real shame as it showed great potential. Try The Apple Tree, The Calthorpe, The Blue Lion, The Union, or The Exmouth Arms - you'll be made to feel much more welcome, and quite frankly have a better time.
Reviews (4)
01 Aug 2013
Rating 1 - Click for an explanation of our ratings
The decline in this venue over the past two years has been nothing short of shocking.

As a regular visitor, it used to be at the centre of the community, frequented by locals, post office staff and office workers. It had a light airy feel, friendly welcoming staff, great food, and a great atmosphere.

Now it is pretty much abandoned by most of the local drinkers, posties and office workers. It was been transformed into a dark cave with an oppresive atmosphere. The friendly staff have been replaced pretty much, with one manager after another seeming to be doing their best to destroy what was a thriving business.

If you like socializing with an odd crowd who are generally well oiled then this is the place for you, the atmosphere has been destroyed, and the banter between staff and customers non existent - unless you are part of an elite clique. Add to that the problem with the smell, the inconsistent range of beers and wines (which are pretty expensive), the odd bar staff with an equally odd attitude, overpriced drinks and you get the general idea. Positives - they seem to have a chef who cares, the toilet lights have been fixed, and judging by the smell, the problem with rodents has been resolved for the time being.

Its pretty obvious that someone is doing their best to run the place into the ground - a real shame as it showed great potential. Try The Apple Tree, The Calthorpe, The Blue Lion, The Union, or The Exmouth Arms - you'll be made to feel much more welcome, and quite frankly have a better time.
Reviews (4)
08 Jul 2013
Rating 1 - Click for an explanation of our ratings
As a local of the area I have to comment that the decline in this pub over the past 18 months has been nothing short of shocking.

It used to be a light airy venue at the heart of the community, frequented by a great bunch of locals, posties from Mount Pleasant and professionals and office staff. Now it is pretty much abandoned by them all, and attracts an odd clientele - a mix of die hard posties (the rest have vanished to The Apple Tree and The Exmouth Arms), professional drunks, and lost tourists.

So what has gone wrong - a light airy venue with a great atmosphere has been into an oppressive cave with dodgy cheap photos filling every possible piece of wall, and a direct contrast to the explosion of flower boxes outside. The friendly entertaining staff have mostly been replaced by a strange bunch who interact with an elite group of their friends and thats about it - when they are actually behind the bar - they seem to spend a lot of time outside smoking.

The drinks choice varies from week to week - sometimes they don't even have any overpriced white wine at all, which would appear to indicate bigger underlying problems. Real Ale fans seem to have abandoned it for some of the other bars in the area. Some days there is an appalling smell, some days not. Sky Sports and a decent sound system is long gone replaced by a selection of music that is quite weird.

Positives - they have a chef who seems inventive and waiting for a chance to shine, the infestation of rodents appears to have been sorted for the time being, and the lights in the toilet have been fixed.

It is really sad that what could be a viable business is being systematically destroyed - it is rumoured to be on the market - hopefully any new owners will breathe life into, and indeed restore this once great centre of the community back to its former status
Reviews (3)
05 Jul 2011
Rating 5 - Click for an explanation of our ratings
Great little pub just off Grays Inn Road, called in for lunch on Friday. Staff very friendly, with a great selection of real ales and beers.

Food wise, had The Pakenham Burger, home made, served with bacon, cheese, onion rings and relish, and wait for it home made chips, partner had the Caesar salad, with fresh chicken, and even home made dressing - gotta be honest, wasn't sure what to expect but this wasn't it, it was fantastic - one of the best pub meals I've had for ages.

Great atmosphere, and made to feel very welcome. Nice buzzy crowd of office workers as well as three very friendly dogs, which were just what the doctor ordered after a really hassly morning in the office

Can't recommend highly enough
Reviews (15)
08 Jun 2011
Rating 5 - Click for an explanation of our ratings
The Pakenham Arms is one of those London Treasures. Its beer is always good, the food excellent and clientele amiable. It is how a pub should be!
We spent a pleasant and comfortable evening there with the televised football match only on the screen in the far side of the bar from us. As a pleasant aside, the loos were clean and hygienic and spacious - always a bonus.
The annual guided tour of the cellars under the pub was a surprise as we were unaware it was scheduled. However, the link to the old Royal Mail underground railway tunnels running through Mount Pleasant, across the road, was a real treat! It was only a shame about the American tourist who seemed to lose her head when shown the covered canal of the old Fleet River and the reptilian life forms therein - still she was warned it was not a trip for the faint hearted!
All in all, an excellent pub!
14 Jun 2010
Not rated yet! - Click for an explanation of our ratings
To all the football fans out there: The Pakenham Arms will be showing all the World Cup Games. Our kitchen will stay open till 9pm every night. We have three plasma TV's (50" & 48") so phone to book a table to avoid disappointment. Looking forward to serve you a refreshing drink. (And England winning of course!!!)
Reviews (2)
28 Feb 2010
Not rated yet! - Click for an explanation of our ratings
Great food , good selection of drinks and friendly staff, make this a venue worth a visit

Contact details
1 Calthorpe Street, Gray's Inn Road, London, WC1X 0LA
020 7837 6933
Opening times
Mon-Weds 09:00-00:00
Thurs-Sat 09:00-01:00
Sun 11:00-23:00
Please check opening times with the pub before making a special journey.
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Overview

Traditional English pub serving 12 real ales, 4 hand pull ciders, 14 whiskies, over 50 bottled beers and ciders from around the world and a selection of wines to fit any taste.

Proper pub grub served 12-3/ 5-9 Monday through to Friday and 12-7 on Saturday and Sunday. All freshly prepared on site including homemade scotch eggs, sausage rolls, Scratching’s and Pork Pies!

Background music is provided by our retro record player, and we encourage all our "pak" members to bring along their own vinyl’s to create a tailored atmosphere.

We also provide a "Book a Brew" service that enables you to (with advance notice) order a Firkin (9 gal) or Pin (4.5 gal) of your favourite ale on your table. Spile, tap, pour and share from your very own table top cask!

Join the Pak at The Pakenham Arms!