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Calthorpe Arms, Bloomsbury, WC1

252 Grays Inn Road

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

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Ian Mapp left this review about Calthorpe Arms

Lovely old school boozer in the heart of Bloomsbury. Young's Special was in good condition.

Outside seating area, where unbelievably for the area, an elderly couple had come for a drive and were having a pint in their classic Citreon DS. I found this quite cute.

Worth hunting out for a classic pub experience.

Visit blogged at

On 9th August 2017 - rating: 7
[User has posted 276 recommendations about 275 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

hondo . left this review about Calthorpe Arms

Young's pub with quite a dark interior. 4 real ales and food served.

On 20th October 2016 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 2448 recommendations about 2395 pubs]

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Pub SignMan left this review about Calthorpe Arms

Situated in a slightly off-the-beaten-track part of the city, this is a simple, single room traditional boozer. A corner door leads into the main, carpeted bar with a dark wood servery along the right hand wall boasting an original looking counter and a slightly clunky bar back. Youngs branded windows run along the front and left hand sides of the room, behind nice red drapes with comfy button backed banquettes underneath, serving round tables with standard chairs and low stools in support. Some wood-effect wallpaper and a lincrusta ceiling add to the place's traditional feel whilst also hinting at the inevitable creep of modernisation which all Young's pubs must fear. At the far end there is a large mirror on the wall and a TV screen showing muted rolling news coverage. A few bits of admittedly interesting Young's breweriana, including some nice black and white photos, dotted the walls and offer the only real form of décor. Stairs to the rear lead up to Wren's Room - a dining area and function room - with the menu detailed on a large board at the far end of the bar. In keeping with the pub's traditional feel, there was no music playing - making this pub a notable exception on a long Friday evening crawl around the area.
This is a Young's pub, so Ordinary and Special were available alongside a guest of St Austell Tribute and Weston's Old Rosie cider with two pumps unused. A friendly, old school landlord served me a good pint of Tribute which I very much enjoyed drinking whilst taking in some of the pub's character and charm.
It's always nice to stumble across an old survivor such as this place when on a crawl around the city. It offers a good contrast to the gentrified pubs that are two-a-penny in this area and whilst it's not perhaps the most exciting of venues with the most extensive of ale ranges, it provides a friendly and comfortable environment in which to relax and that's a combination that people will always seek out.

On 23rd May 2016 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2135 recommendations about 2135 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Tris C left this review about Calthorpe Arms

Much as described below. This is a traditional old geezers' pub in a none-too-fashionable area. There's a TV, fruit machine, carpets...Food, somewhat incongruously, constitutes homemade hummus and marinated olives - I wonder how this goes down with the hoary old Marxist philosopher in the corner.

Beers: Truman's Blindside, Twickenham's Redhead and Young's Bitter only (this is a Young's pub?) at £1.75 which was ok.

With the lack of punters and resultant lack of atmosphere, this is one for the tickers and locals only. I won't be returning, but I wish it all the best.

On 3rd March 2016 - rating: 3
[User has posted 832 recommendations about 819 pubs]

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Quinno _ left this review about Calthorpe Arms

Traditional Youngs pub that seems untouched since the early 80s. A long, straight room which is carpeted, with bottle green button back banquettes, dark wood bar/panelling and heavy red curtains making for a homely feel. Single mute TV tuned to horse racing. A friendly, community atmosphere within and a tranquil oasis given the surroundings. Six pumps but only three ales on; Youngs Special, Ordinary, Winter Warmer plus Westons Old Rosie cider (the Twickenham Naked Ladies clip was turned). The WW felt like it was fag-end of the barrel (and was spluttering as it came out). When I mentioned this I was told “oh that’s the dodgy pump we only use for specials”. Why not get the bloody thing fixed then, rather than serving sub-standard beer? John Young would be spinning in his grave at that slack attitude (which perhaps sums up large parts of the Youngs estate now). Could and should have scored more than a 7.

On 1st December 2015 - rating: 7
[User has posted 3643 recommendations about 3631 pubs]

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Real Ale Ray left this review about The Calthorpe Arms

Still a Young's house, with a choice of two of their beers on this visit. This is a traditional corner carpeted and curtains pub, which still holds a certain charm, but is facing fierce competition from the likes of the Queens Head only a short walk away.

On 13th February 2015 - rating: 6
[User has posted 2510 recommendations about 2510 pubs]

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

A proper, old-fashioned Youngs house - full of locals and a proper pub atmosphere. Smallish but comfortable bar with traditional furniture and decor. Wren's Room upstairs (never visited). Ordinary, Special and Charles Wells DNA (£3.80) available on handpump during my latest visit.

On 26th September 2013 - rating: 8
[User has posted 4932 recommendations about 4932 pubs]

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Danny O'Revey left this review about The Calthorpe Arms

Small, rather ordinary Youngs house in slightly run down area and on main road. Bars against one wall and seating opposite on pub carpet floor. There is some seating on the street, but not as nice as most London street drinking areas.

3 Youngs beers of ok quality

On 18th September 2011 - rating: 5
[User has posted 1096 recommendations about 1073 pubs]

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Steve C left this review about The Calthorpe Arms

This is a proper boozer with four hand pumps, three of which were dispensing Youngs beers and the other Tribute during my recent visit. There is also a standard draught selection alongside what looked like the full youngs bottled ale selection.

There is a TV up in the corner that was showing the snooker on BBC which was muted and I do not recall any music being played.

This is a local’s pub without an attitude towards strangers and although I probably wouldn’t stay here all night it is perfect for a couple of quiet pints.

On 11th February 2010 - rating: 7
[User has posted 3336 recommendations about 3316 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Malden man left this review about The Calthorpe Arms

A proper old traditional street corner boozer, thankfully not messed around. A little strange to find what is clearly a long standing Youngs house this far north of the river but the windows have the Ram lower etched portion.
Now a single room with the bar along the back wall but still visible is the old centre access now covered by an exterior bench and interior radiator in between the upholstered bench seats. This tells the tale of the once multiple room layout.
The bar is attractive if functional with some carving and a brass footrail. Carpeted, traditional seating with cast iron wooden topped tables and stools/banquettes. A sign directs upstairs to a dining room but I didn't look in and doubt it is used much, very quiet Fri afternoon.
Youngs Bitter, Special, Winter Warmer and nice to see, guest St Austell Tribute. Brim full pint, no request for a top up needed here, great old pub that reminded me of pubs of times now gone. TV in the corner and one fruit machine but not intrusive. Hopefully the brewery will leave this place as it is.

On 3rd February 2010 - rating: 8
[User has posted 1656 recommendations about 1635 pubs]

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