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A giant copper monk presides over the entrance to the Black Friar, & looks out disapprovingly at the building works over the road. Fortunately, this ancient hostelry is no stranger to
disturbances – Henry VIII’s court apparently convened here to discuss the dissolution of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon. Inside, remarkable art-nouveau reliefs depict monks getting up to all
sorts of mischief, while intricate mosaics & cavernous hidey-holes add to the intrigue. The pub also stocks an impressive collection of curiously titled ales to baffle passing tourists &
attract CAMRA connoisseurs – Brain’s Milkwood & Sharp’s Doom Bar are among the names scrawled on the blackboard. As for food, pub favourites such as fish & chips, sausage & mash or
gammon & eggs would tempt any fasting monk away from his regime.
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27 June 2010
I've been going to this pub for several years and have been doing so because it is steeped in history, sells good beer at reasonable prices and food likewise.
However, today (Sun 21st June) when 2 friends and I went the pub was closed – it was supposed to open at noon. Eventually at about 10 mins after noon the doors did open but the welcome was far from warm nevertheless the young man said we could be served drinks (much to the seemingly annoyance of his lady assistant) but that we would have to wait before we could order food. This wasn't a problem for us – it was clear that they were not really ready for opening.
The beer and food were both good but the lady serving us (and others outside on the “patio”) never expressed a smile no matter how hard people tried to encourage her – one felt that she saw us as an inconvenience!
Anyway we agreed that we would return again on the sundays we are in London and hope that the welcome is more acceptable.
13 October 2008
Amazing pub, steeped in history, food simple but very tasty and filling. Excellent beer really good pint of London Pride, worth taking time to take in the quotes and admire the decoration.
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