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FRIDAY NIGHT DRINKS? Head To The Fox And Anchor, Smithfield

FRIDAY NIGHT DRINKS? Head To The Fox And Anchor, Smithfield

Specialising in hops and chops, cuvets and duvets, The Fox and Anchor provides everything you could ask for in an old-world London pub – sumptuous food, traditional decor and a cosy bed within crawling distance.

A stone’s throw from Barbican tube station and the iconic Smithfield meat market, the Fox and Anchor has been serving traders for years and had grown a little tired. Now restored to its former glory, the former gin-joint aims to mark the return of The Great British Pub.

Warm, inviting and buzzing with locals, upon arrival it soon became clear that this pub is well-loved by its guests  – and it’s not hard to see why.  Heavy mahogany doors, shiny brass and beautifully decorated glass lend a classic Victorian feel to the space, evoking medieval alehouses favoured by weary travellers. I arrived a rather weary traveller myself, following a heavy day at work – a few drinks, a hearty meal and a soft bed were exactly what I needed – and as any great inn should, the Fox and Anchor catered to my every need.

Welcomed by the lovely Sandro Rupp, my friend and I were shown to one of the 6 boutique bedrooms situated above the pub – it was bliss to stash our bags and take a breather before heading back downstairs for our dinner.  Our Market Suite was the perfect  mix of old and new, with stunning roll-top copper baths, a luxurious rain shower,  spacious living area and private roof terrace. Miller Harris products and two Sky TVs cemented my notion that this hotel would be perfect for a girly night in – ideal for retiring to after a cosy chat in the pub downstairs.

Suitably refreshed, we returned to the din of the pub in search of comfort food. We were shown to a ‘snug’, one of the delightful private booths at the back of the pub situated in ‘The Fox’s Den’ – perfect for an intimate date or catch up with an old friend.

My heart leapt when I discovered tomato and bacon soup with Welsh rarebit soldiers on the menu – exactly what we needed.  I ordered lamb shank with rosemary mash for my main, while my guest opted for the (huge!) lobster burger. The food was nothing short of perfect – the rarebit soldiers crisp and golden, and divine dipped in the oh so smooth soup. My lamb was tender and butter-soft, sliding off the bone with ease, and I’m told the lobster burger was equally tasty, though so large my guest had to admit defeat half way through.

After much protesting, we were convinced to peruse the dessert menu, packed with British favourites impossible to resist. We settled on sharing a decadent sticky toffee pudding, which was pleasingly light and sweet. A couple of drinks later, we headed back to the room – and what a thoroughly pleasurable experience it was to walk a few mere steps to my bed!

Rooms at the hotel are available from £125 of a Friday or Saturday night, an incredibly reasonable price for the boutique quality of the rooms, friendly atmosphere and fabulous location. I’ll be booking the Fox next time I’m in need of a London stopover at the weekend – one of London’s true hidden gems, I’m ecstatic that I’ve found it.

If you’re hankering after a spot of Ye Olde English pub culture, you’ll be hard pressed to find somewhere that does it better than The Fox and Anchor.

Amy @ FashionBite xx


Amy Everett is FashionBite's food and travel editor, she also writes for national newspapers and magazines including the Guardian Travel, Stylist, Shortlist, Red, Cosmopolitan and more.

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