Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese

SquareMeal Review of Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese

Stooping to pass through the black wooden doorway of this Fleet Street legend means following in the wake of drinkers & hungry folk who have made their way here over the last five centuries. Inside, there’s a deep scent of oak, of ale & of history. A hostelry has stood on this spot since 1538, although the original was destroyed & rebuilt in 1666 after the Great Fire of London. Dr Johnson & Charles Dickens were regulars in the Cheese’s higgledy-piggledy, low-lit rooms, but now you’re more likely to rub shoulders with American tourists & local businessmen supping pints of bargain-priced Sam Smith’s beers. Many famous names have also frequented the Chop House restaurant, which dishes up old faithfuls such as steak & kidney pud, braised pheasant with bacon & celery or spotted dick with custard.

Good to know

Cosy, Quiet conversation, Traditional
Food Hygiene Rating

Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese is featured in


145 Fleet Street, Blackfriars, London, EC4A 2BU

020 7353 6170 020 7353 6170


Opening Times

Mon-Sat 11.30am-11pm Sun 12N-5pm


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3 Reviews 

Sharon M

19 October 2010  
Food & Drink 2.5
Service 0.5
Atmosphere 3.5
Value 0.5
Had the worst Sunday Roast of my life at this pub. We both had Roast Beef and at over £11 without vegetables, we were expecting something at least “good”. We were served a plate of gristle, fat and chewy meat which was rare and slimy. The roast potatoes and yorkshire puddings had clearly come from the freezer – really bad given the meal price. I sent almost all my meat back as I couldn't eat it. But what I was most angry at was the way I was treated once I complained. When I complained about the meat texture I was told that that was the way they served it! When I complained about the cut of the meat and the amount of gristle I was told that no one else had complained! I said I was only prepared to pay for half but they said no, I could have a free pudding. Given what I had just eaten, I didn't want a pudding so I asked to see the chef but he refused to come and talk to me. In the end we got a free drink but it meant we had still spent over £30 for an awful meal. I really wish I had stood my ground but I just wanted to get out of that awful place. I felt really ripped off, angry and upset. My advise – DO NOT EAT IN THIS PUB

Neil H

19 October 2009  
Food & Drink 4
Service 4
Atmosphere 5
Value 4.5
Another wonderfully preserved, cavernous, and multi-roomed old world pub, which is a joy to visit. It really is a beautiful building, and you can almost sense the ghosts of London's heroes and legends wandering through the place.. The food, drink, and service were not perfect, but still good, and the pub itself makes up for any little flaws.

Andrew B

07 August 2009  
Food & Drink 3.5
Service 3.5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5
As a rule in my universe of prejudice, if a pub is full of tourists, it is invariably disqualified from any further consideration as a drinking or eating venue. This rule is no longer valid, because Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese manages to accommodate all comers, and has done so for a very very long time. It's a relatively simple formula – take one enormous 17th century building, situate it down an alleyway, throw away the spirit level, ignore any ideas of allowing natural light to penetrate, line it with dark oak, heat it with sulphurous sea coal, ensure that innumerable literary luminaries ruin their livers on the premises, serve cheap, good quality beer, allow for any number of gradual increments in service and comfort, ranging from a pint of beer on a stool in a wine cellar to a slow-cooked shank of lamb in a booth with a waiter, simmer gently in port, tobacco and sawdust for around three centuries. I have to admit a degree of bias on this one, because I'm professionally obsessed with history and personally drawn to beer and darkened rooms. This viewpoint forces me to defend the name of the establishment, given that it is a genuinely old pub and is therefore allowed to spell “the” with a Y – it is not their fault that everyone else wants to be old and characterful, nor are they responsible for being good enough to draw the attention of international visitors. Despite the insanely low price of beer, there never seems to be any trouble. Perhaps its a result of the palpable age and atmosphere of the building, as if Dr Johnson is watching you, as if you're drinking with a venerable and somewhat disapproving uncle, as if there have been too many important words exchanged to add too many of yours too loudly. Perhaps its just that those who seek and have found the Cheese are of a certain temperament. Perhaps it's the lack of music, TV, Stella and sofas. That might be it- the Cheshire Cheese is a sort of anti-pub, that has found a good thing and has refused on principle to change it since… about 1800. You just don't mess with that.
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