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REVIEW: The Well, Clerkenwell

REVIEW: The Well, Clerkenwell

the well clerkenwell

Everyone needs a good local boozer, and living in Angel, I’m spoilt for choice. You’ve got The Old Queen’s Head for when you want to take a stab at looking cool, (look out for the chandeliers – if I could fit one in my handbag my bedroom would now look like a scene from The Lion, the Witch and The Wardrobe), The Blacksmith and Toffeemaker with its brilliant range of craft beers, The Pig & Butcher for excellent roasts and House of Wolf for, well, pretty much all of the above.

But wander towards the cobbled streets of Clerkenwell, down St John Street and you’ll soon come to The Well, a nondescript pub perched on the corner. Step inside and the atmosphere is immediately pleasant; creaky wooden chairs, squeaky blackboards showing off the specials, old friends catching up with elbows propped on candlelit tables. Not spit-and-sawdust, but not so modern any rough edges have been sanded smooth.

Peddling pints of prawns and proper fish and chips, traditionalists are well catered to – but a wider menu of decidedly posher options rounds this place off nicely. Choose from the likes of Maldon rock oysters, Devon dressed crab with aioli, roast King scallops and confit Yorkshire hare to start (we went with a pint of perfectly fresh prawns at £9.95, perfect for sharing, paired with a nice bottle of wine).

Mains are varied, comprising revamped versions of proper pub classics – steaming plates of red meat and flaky white fish continually sail past, making your decision more difficult. We eventually settled on one of each: clam, garlic and chilli linguine (laced with potent chilli oil) and roast wild Suffolk fallow deer haunch, served with dreamy garlic and cheese mashed potatoes, kale and blackberry jus. Warm and comforting, this food tastes like home, so the pub feels like it too.

Our waiter insisted we try the famed Banoffee Pie, and though good, we couldn’t say it was mind-blowing. This being the only negative thing we could say about The Well, the walk home was full of talk of returning very soon. For a Friday night wind-down at your neighbourhood local, you couldn’t ask for better.

*The Pickle Jar, The Well’s current pop up, is now open. Dressed up with wooden crates and vintage vinyl, for a limited time only it’s a cosy cubblyhole dedicated to vinegar-based cocktails with Buffalo Trace bourbon – get down there for a classic Brooklyn Pickleback before they’re all gone.

Amy @FashionBite xx

Address: 180 St John Street, Clerkenwell, London EC1V 4JY

Reservations: 020 7251 9363

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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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