Wenlock Arms, City Road

Our rating: FAP Rating 4 - Click for an explanation of our ratings      User rating: Community Rating 5 - Click for an explanation of our ratings   (6 reviews)
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FancyaPint?'s review...
FAP Rating 4 - Click for an explanation of our ratings
LATEST NEWS: The story of the Wenlock’s future is a strange rollercoaster ride, with Hackney Council actually emerging as the heroes (for the moment, at least). Having been under threat of demolition for a long time now, at the end of 2011, the planning application was miraculously rejected on a number of strong grounds. Shortly afterwards, despite this ruling the owners placed a statutory notice in their window stating that they were going to demolish the pub. In return Hackney extended the nearby Regent’s Canal Conservation area to include the pub, stymieing the demolition. Good on them. With the pub knocked down, it would’ve been harder to resist an appeal by the owners against the original planning application. It seems perverse that the owners of such a loved pub are so keen to demolish it, but it would appear the lure of the filthy lucre is too much for them to resist – we understand a number of offers have been rejected. The saga continues.

On paper this pub could be awful: hidden off the City Road and hard to find, its in an area filled with factories, warehouses and a council estate. Once part of the Wenlock Brewery Co., which used to be situated in this road, the décor doesn't appear to have been updated since the brewery was closed by Bass in 1962. Once you've found it, however, it's a gem. Boasting the largest selection of real ales in North London, you'll easily find quirkily-named, rare brews from obscure companies. The turnover is pretty high, so the selection could well entirely change between visits - even in the same week. And a special mention must go to the salt beef sandwiches. On our recent, Friday lunchtime visit, the barmaid simply assumed (correctly, with the exception of the one vegetarian in our party) that it was the local speciality all round. Weekend nights are especially popular, with a trio of elderly gents usually in residence playing some fine jazz, while the Thursday quiz night attracts the crowds to an already very busy pub. The locals create a genuinely friendly atmosphere, just like a real pub should, but it also comfortably caters for younger, newer N1 residents and a regular stream of CAMRA members. Highly recommended, with one minor reservation; there's a rather pervasive smell of the bogs everywhere in the pub. It's something we've noticed in one or two other real ale emporia, why is this? It's almost a case for bringing back smoking. Nevertheless, it's probably worth it to try some interesting brews you won't find in many other pubs. Oh, and don't flash your 2,000 quid laptop around on the way there.

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Reviews (1)
04 Apr 2012
Rating 5 - Click for an explanation of our ratings
Farewell to the Wenlock then!
Great night last Saturday, we'll really miss the place...but wtf was with the egg bombs???
Reviews (2)
02 Dec 2011
Rating 5 - Click for an explanation of our ratings
Sadly the salt beef sandwiches are no more.
Reviews (20)
15 Sep 2011
Rating 4 - Click for an explanation of our ratings
Never had a bad time, or a bad pint, in the Wenlock! Always an interesting selection of beers (real ales, 'proper' lagers and Belgian bottled specialities), including at least one mild, generally in excellent condition. The juxtapostion of locals and 'beer tourists' makes for an atmosphere which is unusual, but never unwelcoming.
Reviews (1)
23 Oct 2009
Not rated yet! - Click for an explanation of our ratings
Good review - but you didn't mention the food! Big doorstep sandwiches at lunchtime make this a favourite spot for a quick lunch or a quiet afternoon listening to the cricket on the radio.
Reviews (4)
16 Aug 2008
Not rated yet! - Click for an explanation of our ratings
Yes, it's a wonderful pub. I'd have awarded it five pints myself.

Contact details
26 Wenlock Road, City Road, London, N1 7TA
020 7608 3406

Quiz night - quiz night Thursday


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