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A Clerkenwell fixture since 1647, this historic tavern was supposedly where Stalin met Lenin in 1905 (an urban myth, say some), and also provided a location for Notes on a Scandal starring Judie Dench. The Crown was relaunched by owners Mitchells & Butlers in 2016; the Dickensian ground-floor bar is now warm, woody and inviting. Its horseshoe bar is stocked with an impressive 20 beers: Long Man’s IPA from Sussex, perhaps, or Yorkshire bitter, Black Sheep. Upstairs, a new bar inhabits the 1960s Edwardian-style Apollo Room (once a music hall). To eat, choose anything from salmon, cream cheese and avocado, or Reuben sandwich with sauerkraut, to mushroom risotto, beef pie or seafood linguine, followed by traditional puds; alternatively, come for Sunday roast (a speciality). Tables on to the quiet, cobbled square – rich in history and high on atmosphere – make The Crown an appealing venue for alfresco drinkers in summer.
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