Roses are red
So is pork
Poems are hard
Never were two truer statements made in such an eloquent stanza. This glorious piece of literature was chalked on the sign outside The Crown Tavern. At the point of arriving at this pub we’d trudged over a mile to try and visit three pubs which all were inexplicably closed and frankly a half quaffed can of special brew found in a phone box would have satisfied my raging thirst for a bevy. Mercifully as well as finding a pub to save me from turning into a demi-tramp I also stumbled into a rather nice pub.
If pubs were poems then this would not be your cryptic Robert Browning with hidden charms waiting to be found. Nor is it a Dr Seuss slapping you around the face with deliberate fun like fruit machines and whimsy. I’d say this pub was a Philip Larkin without a brow too high for the everyman but still with a dry intelligence and wry wit. You’d be welcome here for a family lunch but equally wouldn’t look out of place reading the paper solo (of which there is a wide selection on offer) or indeed walking in wet and slightly exasperated in search of a pint.
Pints, lovely lovely pints. There are lots of pints to choose from here and the staff clearly recognised the look of a man putting great thought into his selection and allowed me to taste before purchasing. These well pondered pints were enjoyed in a leisurely bar which does a fine job of applying a modern touch to a pub with some real heritage. In it’s heyday this used to form part of a music hall venue and there are some delicate hints to this past throughout the pub.
Had it not been such a dreadful day we could have sat outside on Clerkenwell Square in a seating area which looks more Barcelona than Barbican. Instead we perched on stools to watch drizzle; a popular past time in the UK if you’re reading this from abroad. There is additionally a nice decently priced straight forward menu; no ‘crescents of hot oil bathed pommes de terre’ or ‘crecendos of walnut’ and defiantly no ‘homeopathic amount of truffle oil’ (the last one sadly isn’t made up; see The Draft House).
If you crave a tranquil place in which to gently sup a few weekend beers then this is certainly a strong option. If I’m in the area I’ll be back and will be staying for more than one beer from the extensive selection. I will end with an ode to pubs.
Roses are red
Pints are brown
I like pubs