Thursday17 August 2017

Architects' favourite pubs: The Jerusalem Tavern, Clerkenwell, London

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Stewart Dodd recalls a pub which was once a coffee house he frequented as a student

The Jerusalem Tavern, Clerkenwell

The Jerusalem Tavern, Clerkenwell

The Jerusalem Tavern, 55 Britton St, London, Greater London EC1M 5UQ

Stewart Dodd, Managing Director of Satellite Architects said: “Pubs have never been my thing; I suppose it’s a reaction against my upbringing where I spent my teenage years being thrown out of them for being too young.

“In London there is only one pub where I feel at home, the Jerusalem Tavern. I first visited it with Simon Allford on the way to dinner maybe five years ago but I like it because I’m certain it was a great coffee house when I was a student at the Bartlett many years prior, a time before Starbucks and Pret a Manger, a time when Patisserie Valerie in Soho and the Jerusalem coffee house were cool and the coffee was real.

“Today the Jerusalem Tavern, named somewhat appropriately after the Priory of St. John of Jerusalem, which given it’s location in close proximity to everything St. John is not that surprising, still has all the panache of the coffee house which I used to frequent as a student.

The Jerusalem Tavern, Clerkenwell

The Jerusalem Tavern, Clerkenwell

A tiny space made up of several rooms with a variety of tables, in the front you get your own little enclosed room with a fireplace, in the back it feels like you get to know the barman intimately when he serves you the full variety of beers and ales from the St. Peters Brewery, and crisps galore for the die hard pub-grub aficionados.

The only real question mark is that it can regularly be full of architects, but with Grimshaw at the end of Britton Street and thousands of other architects in locale it’s truly not surprising but still it has a good feel about it.”

To nominate your favourite pub email cate.sthill@ubm.com with a short description and exterior/interior photographs.


Readers' comments (2)

  • James Thomas

    I used to be head waiter at the Jerusalem restaurant/cafe back in 1992/3, to make ends meet, whilst also working as an architectural assistant. It was an extraordinary place owned by an architect, we used to get fabulous home made cakes brought in by a very curious bunch of locals. There were long bench tables and very good natured customers, who didn't mind bunching up.... good memories....

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  • Two architects - myself and a friend were regulars at the Jerusalem for about 10 years. We used to get in as early as possible to nab the table at the head of the stairs.
    We also briefly enjoyed a lock in by staff who were in too much of a hurry too leave. We suddenly found ourselves in complete darkness in the gents. By the light of my friend's Cricket we groped our way through to the kitchen and found a phone (before either of us had a mobile) to explain our predicament to the police. They sent two beat officers who were no use at all as they were too busy pissing themselves laughing at our predicament. We escaped eventually. as a local resident I go in very occasionally as it is too popular for its size now. I go the the Calthorpe in Grays Inn Road which is another very comfy and quiet pub. Use them or lose them - good and pleasant pubs are fast disappearing in the face of cheaper home drinking and, I believe, the rapidly diminishing popularity of ale.

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