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Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese (Bar)

Picture of Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese in City of London, London

Wine Office Court, 145 Fleet Street, City of London, London, EC4A 2BU
Cuisine: Eclectic
Tel: 020 7353 6170 | Email to Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese | Transport: Blackfriars | Write review

Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese Review

The phrase ‘Ye Olde’ prefixing a business name in England usually indicates a less savoury kind of cheesiness, designed to pull in U.S. tourists before presenting them with an ersatz mockery of the past, the worst manifestation of theme park Britain. This pub, however, can be forgiven its slightly tacky moniker. Once you’ve entered via the easily missed alleyway, you won’t encounter any plastic fakery.

An old pub is not morally superior to a new one, as some drinkers seem to believe. And it could be argued that to only frequent old pubs, you are hiding from the present, living in a museum, acting like a conservative reactionary, avoiding the realities of contemporary, multi-cultural Britain, etc. etc.

But this is a boozer which transcends such debates, a place whose doors, opening with a swish, whisper of the great historical figures (not to mention pissed journalists) that have passed through them over the centuries. Whose tiled floors could tell of beer and blood spilt, cigars ground out underfoot by people who made the capital what it is today.

Despite its subsequent tourist appeal, Ye Olde Chesire Cheese isn’t dominated by gaudily clothed sightseers, in fact it throngs with local workers. Samuel Johnson lived around the corner (you can visit his house), and though he doesn’t ever mention drinking in here, it seems unlikely that, as an alehouse frequenter, he would have neglected his local. Other literary quaffers of the past include Boswell, Thackeray and Dickens.

There is a selection of bars, each with a different character, and a restaurant upstairs. Watch your head whilst going down to the cellar bar, which used to be part of a monastery. We found the ground floor back bar the most congenial and lapped up the cheap Samuel Smith’s beer, though some of my friends say it gives them a real head-banger the next morning. Which leads me to a general criticism of this rather eccentric brewery chain. It only sells its own beers, and has an annoyingly restrictive policy on what brands of spirits are stocked. As for wines, the choice is meagre: one red and one white. An inexplicably perverse, one might even say sexist, policy, as the kind of drinks women tend to go for are the worst represented.

Still, if you can put up with such aggravations, you can while away a thoroughly enjoyable evening in this famous old inn.
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Customer Reviews for Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese

Average (based on 4 votes): 4 Atmosphere: Value: Quality:

The following customer reviews are not endorsed by Fluid London and are simply those of users who wish to publish their independent experiences of Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese.

“My god old boy, what a pub. I have been working in London for some time now and this has got to be one of my favorite pubs, i'm a big ale drinker and i cant get enough of it in the cheese "Its Great" and as for atmosphere, well there is one word - GREAT!”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Gary Mchuffrey, London (11 years 5 months 2 days ago)

“This is a fantastic pub full of character. When we come to London we end up in this pub in the front little room with the fire. It is marvellous how everyone just starts chatting and then go on their way. We love it.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Christine Dalton, Birmingham (11 years 8 months ago)

“I've been to this pub a few times, due to the fact that it's convenient for a friend, but it has never disappointed. The food and drinks menu is what you can expect from a 'ye olde' pub nothing spectacular but very decent. The dark interior makes me think it might be a hide out for highway men but the atmosphere is far from it, it's laid back. I find it an excellent place to meet up with people to have a drink and relax. ”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Braininabucket [Hannah Phung], London (14 years 4 months 5 days ago)

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LauraJ, [ Unknown ] (16 years 3 months 12 days ago)

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Additional Information

  • Cuisine Type: Eclectic
  • Dress Code: Not Specified
  • Group: (Unknown)

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Venue ID: 2014

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"Extremely RUDE staff Joanna who is GROSS and Uneducated and very unprofessional!! She is jealous of white customers and refuses to serve them. This Rude Joanna is disgraceful and mental!! She is NOT FIT..." Which venue is this?

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"Extremely RUDE staff Joanna who is GROSS and Uneducated and very unprofessional!! She is jealous of white customers and refuses to serve them. This Rude Joanna is disgraceful and mental!! She is NOT FIT..." Which venue is this?

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