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The City Arms, Canterbury

7 Butchery Lane

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Reviews (Current Rating Average: 6 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Blue Scrumpy left this review about The City Arms

City centre pub situated up a narrow street and which looks quite promising on approach.

However, this was a major disappointment. Real ales are no longer served, leaving a keg selection of Sharp's Offshore & Atlantic, Madri, Stella Artois, Coors, Asahi, Pravha, Carling, Aspalls, Guinness, Meantime IPA, Peroni, Blue Moon, Staropramen, Grolsh & Carling Black Fruit.

The pub/bar appears to be Thai-owned and there is a small list of Thai snacks you can order.

The interior is dark and walls are decorated with loads of American signs and number plates, along with a working UK pedestrian crossing button. All very strange and not quite what we'd expected.

On 20th January 2022 - rating: 3
[User has posted 1374 recommendations about 1374 pubs]

Just a quick pint, then I'm off left this review about The City Arms

Could be a good pub, but isn't, unfortunately... It must be old, given its location and the low ceilings, but the decor mostly comprises breweriana and old American number-plates. Mix of junk-shop furniture too. The real ale (a concept seemingly unknown to the bar-staff, mostly new students starting the academic year I suspect) seems to have gone, so the Sharp's Atlantic (£4.50) was probably the least worst option from the keg taps on two hooped founts.

On 27th September 2021 - rating: 5
[User has posted 7108 recommendations about 7108 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Ian Mapp left this review about The City Arms

An unusual pub that opens at 10am and isn't a JDW.

Down a delightful narrow mainly pedestrian street, dominated by views of the Cathedral.

Single room, mainly wooden furniture but with one low leather sofa. Quirky decor of old metal advertisements.

Four ales on, two turned the wrong way and both disappointing "chain" ales - Sharp's Atlantic and Hobgoblin.


On 11th March 2019 - rating: 6
[User has posted 989 recommendations about 981 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Real Ale Ray left this review about The City Arms

We quite liked this pub, with its low ceilings, lots of original timberwork and bare boards throughout. The small bar over on the right of entrance, offered a couple of ales from Canterbury Brewery. So we went for the Foundryman's Gold and a Pale Ale, both were good and served by a very pleasant barmaid. The pub also had a large selection of gins, which included ones from Kent. There was a lavish display of hops hanging around the window and from the ceiling beams. The pub had a relaxed atmosphere and I would quite happily spend a bit of time in here.

On 10th November 2016 - rating: 7
[User has posted 3118 recommendations about 3118 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Quinno _ left this review about The City Arms

A small pub up a narrow side street. Quite small and bland inside with light wood flooring and plain wood furniture. Some dangling hops at least added a little character, unlike the flat screen TV that was showing a recording of a fish tank. Food offered but the kitchen whiffs smelt awry to me, burning oil and panicking staff. Piped 60s music. GBG-listed and there were six pumps - two Canterbury ciders, three Canterbury ales and a guest ale from Gadds so presumably the brewery have the lease here. Also Canterbury lager on one of the kegs. When in Rome and all that, so I had a half of the Canterbury Gold which was not very nice and out of condition. Didn’t rate this place and frankly you’d be better off walking the extra few minutes to the Foundry if you want to sample the local brew.

On 22nd May 2014 - rating: 5
[User has posted 4423 recommendations about 4408 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Michael Wright left this review about City Arms

I visited three pubs during my very brief coach stop to Canterbury, and this one is the better one, for me anyway. Pleasant staff, hot food & real ale from Foundry brewery, no need to go anywhere else if time is short

Forgotten what beer I had, but it went down well with my homemade burger & chips

A very pleasant place & as PSM noted below, seems remarkably free of tourists & shoppers, so Ideal for those we fancy a decent pint and "pubby" atmosphere

On 15th April 2014 - rating: 8
[User has posted 526 recommendations about 382 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Pub SignMan left this review about City Arms

Another historic pub on Butchery Lane, the City Arms was first recorded as The Morocco all the way back in 1692 before becoming known as the Angel and Castle, which then changed over time to Angelo's Castle, eventually settling on its present name in 1892. Like much of this side of Butchery Lane, the pub was damaged during bombing raids in WWII, but suffered worse damage when a fire broke out in 2002, putting the place out of action for almost three years. The pub today is a simple, single room affair, with the servery running along the right hand wall and a partly screened seating area at the back of the room breaking the space up a bit. The décor is a bit sparse but this didn't really bother me and I thought the vibe was befitting of a proper drinkers pub.
This is the sister pub to the nearby Foundry Brewpub and so you can normally expect to find a couple of their beers on the bar along with offerings from Kent micros such as Canterbury or Gadds. Unfortunately, I neglected to make a note of the options on my recent visit, but I ended up with a lovely pint of IPA style beer which flew out of the glass.
Although I only managed a flying visit here, I thought this was a calm, peaceful spot in amongst the chaos of tourists and shoppers outside and I would be very keen to make a return and sample more of their beers the next time I'm in town.

On 16th November 2013 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2813 recommendations about 2813 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Old Blue left this review about City Arms

I found this modernised 15th century city centre pub quite relaxing this weekend, aided by its ‘football free zone’ policy. The four ales available from hand pump were all from Canterbury’s foundry brewery, and there were some bottled ales available from Gadds and Hopdaemon and some Belgian ones as well. It serves food from 12-5 every day, with main courses from £6.50 to £9.95 for the steak, though we weren’t ready for food when we visited. The Biggleston’s Brown Ale tasted rather better than I’d expected it to, and I wish we’d had time to stay here and try the rest of the range. I’d be very happy to come here again.

On 23rd January 2012 - rating: 7
[User has posted 271 recommendations about 270 pubs]