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Halifax Crawl - 21 June 2024 with Tris39 on the Pub Forum

Carpenters Arms, Fitzrovia, W1

68-70 Whitfield Street
Phone: 02075803186

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Pub Type

Castle (Mitchells & Butlers)

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

Will Larter left this review about Carpenters Arms

A corner pub just off Tottenham Court Road dating from just before the war, and almost squeezed out of existence by modern buildings on all sides. Apparently not listed, but its interior features have earned it a place on Camra's inventory of heritage pubs. There are two rooms and I was the only customer at about 4pm on a winter Monday. My half of Timothy Taylor Landlord was ok as far as condition and taste are concerned, but at £6.50/pint it was "welcome to London, sucker". I was in the corner bar, which is mostly standing space and high tables, and I didn't explore the other room, which photos on the Camra website show has some nice wood panelling, or the roof garden upstairs - in fact I'm not sure that was open, what with it being midwinter. The background music was some unknown jazzy stuff, which was ok but not enough to tempt me back for another visit.

Date of visit: 8th January 2024

On 25th February 2024 - rating: 7
[User has posted 3840 recommendations about 3562 pubs]

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Pub SignMan left this review about Carpenters Arms

Practically in the shadow of the BT Tower, this is a simple two bar pub that requires the navigation of various back streets to locate. A corner entrance takes you into the pub’s front bar – a light space with nice floorboards, high stools serving tables along the right-hand wall and ledges under the front windows, and a dark wood bar counter along the left-hand wall with a modern white tile bar back. A large TV screen opposite the bar remained off throughout my stay and there was remarkably little of interest around the rest of the room, beyond perhaps a smart dresser on the back wall. A corridor to the rear right leads you through to the rear bar, which has darker wood flooring and colour matched wall panelling, creating quite a nice traditional feel. A curved servery to the left has a nice counter and the same modern tiled bar back. This room has been decorated with a number of stuffed animal heads, including an enormous boar’s hear near the entrance, whilst another TV screen in this room was also turned off. To the rear left corner, a wallpapered nook contains one large table with several chairs, all under a recessed shelf full of random ornaments. There is a good pavement seating area to the side of the pub, which on my visit had been augmented by an astroturf ‘wall’, erected by the adjacent building site, which gave the space more of a ‘garden’ feel than it might otherwise have had.
Just the one cask ale was available on this visit – Salopian Shropshire Gold (£4.70), with one other handpull left unused. Craft keg options came from local breweries such as Camden and Beavertown. My pint of the Shropshire Gold was in pretty good nick and the staff seemed like a friendly enough bunch.
I quite liked the rear bar in this pub, but thought the front section was pretty bland and uninspiring. The single ale choice was also a bit of a concern, but at least it was drinkable rather than just a token gesture. Overall, I thought this place had a bit of promise but lacked the draw of a number of other pubs hereabouts and would therefore be unlikely to draw me back out this way again.

On 13th November 2019 - rating: 6
[User has posted 3150 recommendations about 3150 pubs]

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

Refurbished in a mixed, upmarket style, but retaining some features of interest including the old Wenlock Ales exterior signage. Pavement seating under green / white striped awnings on both façades. On this visit, I found Doom Bar and Hogs Back TEA (£4.10) from the pair of handpumps in the front bar and the same again plus Old Speckled Hen from the three at the back seating / dining area. Also has a 'L'-shaped lounge (with another, usually unmanned, counter) and partly covered roof terrace upstairs.

On 12th February 2017 - rating: 7
[User has posted 8164 recommendations about 8164 pubs]

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Quinno _ left this review about Carpenters Arms

Wenlock ales branding outside and some fine original old grey tilework too, dating from the late 30s. Pub retains a two room layout. The Howland St entrance brings you into the old public bar with minimal seating, pea green walls and a large Bass mirror. Two ales on here, Doom Bar and Gt Yorks Top of the Hops, served by a disinterested barmaid. Fortunately the beer quality was better than her customer service skills and slipped down nicely. Classic 60s tracks on the stereo. The rear room is much more grand with three quarter length wood panelling and a wallpaperd spur ‘granny annexe’ area. The stuffed and mounted animal heads were inevitably hipsterised with cheap nylon wigs, tiaras and hard hats. A glance at the menu found that the food was expensive though the 2 for £12 offer during the week seemed more reasonable. Upstairs there are rather nice-looking hireable rooms. It's got enough character to warrant a visit, though whether I'd specifically return beyond convenience value is a different point. 6.5

On 2nd April 2016 - rating: 6
[User has posted 5239 recommendations about 5222 pubs]

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Tris C left this review about Carpenters Arms

Established 1776 and rebuilt in 1938, this pub is, according to their website 'Set just a few steps away from the infectious buzz of Tottenham Court Road...' or to put it another way, the intolerable noise and mayhem. The pub features a - ahem - 'granny annex' (their words not mine, and no I didn't ask).

Despite this pub's hyperbole, we found it to be genuinely pleasant with a mix of office workers, tourists and possibly students. It has two separate ground floor bars with a friendly barmaid. Ale: Sharp's Doom Bar, one not noted and the Great Yorkshire Brewery's Top of the Hops Golden Ale which was decent and cost £2.20.

This pub is much better than expected and certainly better than The Hope Fitzrovia around the corner - worth a visit if on a crawl of the area.

On 30th March 2016 - rating: 6
[User has posted 2033 recommendations about 1998 pubs]

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Real Ale Ray left this review about Carpenters Arms

A disappointing Saturday afternoon visit with only Sharps Doom Bar on handpump. The 1930's exterior wall tiling and Wenlock Ales signage adds a welcoming interest. We entered the corner lounge, where we found a small bar counter and comfortable seating. The main part of the pub was nicely refurbished and the staff were very welcoming and friendly.

On 4th August 2015 - rating: 7
[User has posted 3416 recommendations about 3416 pubs]

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Moby Duck left this review about Carpenters Arms

A pleasant pub leaning slightly more to the food end of the spectrum than beer , however four cask beers were available on my visit and these were Doom Bar,Firebrand Big Hop Little Beer,Moorhouse White Witch and Itchen Valley Russian Winter, these were backed up by a selection of Craft Beer offerings I failed to note.Two bars downstairs with another seating area upstairs along with a roof terrace.Not a bad little pub and worth a visit.

On 30th December 2014 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1919 recommendations about 1892 pubs]

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Rex Rattus left this review about Carpenters Arms

The Wenlock Ales sign is just about still there, and the Truman’s style external beige tiling has not been interfered with either. Inside it still has a two bar format, although they are connected which of course makes perfect sense on a rainy day. The smaller room off Howland St is fairly basic and Spartan, although it does have a couple of sofas in the corner as well as a couple of tall tables/tall stools and a normal table and chairs. The room at the back is the nicer of the two with only normal tables and chairs as well as a chintzy corner niche at the back behind the bar counter with sofas and armchairs. Apart from the corner niche which has light coloured wallpaper, the walls in this room have dark wood panelling from an inter-war firring by the look of it. The back room had a few gastropub touches about it such as the large jars of nuts on the counter, as well as daily printed menus onn the tables. Other points of note are the fact that it has a disabled lavatory, and a couple of stuffed animal heads on the walls. One of of the heads looks a bit like a wolf, but it is hard to be sure as it was disguised by wearing a Cossack hat and tie; and the other by wearing a blond wig, sunglasses and a pearl necklace. I bit bizarre I suppose, but strangely not too out of place.
The front bar had two handpumps clipped with Purity UBU and Doom Bar, and the back bar with pumps clipped for the UBU and Sambrook’s Wandle, with a third handpump unused. A half of the UBU was £1.85, so at the top end of the pricing range. The main courses on offer ranged from £8.50 to £16 for the 10oz ribeye, and sandwiches were from £5.25 to £7.50. When I was in on Wednesday lunchtime there was also a fixed price menu with main courses at £7, two courses at £10 and three courses at £13. The food in here looked OK, but I didn’t try it.
The clientele appeared to be youngish office workers and other professionals, but at one point a group of half a dozen Americans wandered in – tourists presumably – and stayed. This pub surprised me a bit by being a bit more cosy and comfortable than I expected. Against all the odds I quite liked this place, and wouldn’t mind dropping in here again.

On 27th October 2011 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2606 recommendations about 2520 pubs]

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John Bonser left this review about Carpenters Arms

Situated in what is something of a relatively unknown area of London from this particular pub goer's perspective, is The Carpenters Arms, a reasonably traditional street corner pub.

The first thing one immediately notices on approaching the pub is the fine tiled exterior advertising the wares of "Wenlock Ales and Stout", indicative of former ownership in days before I became of pub going age. Disappointingly, there is no brewery memorabilia inside, apart from a rather forlorn looking Bass mirror in one of the two bars.

The interior consists of two interconnecting rooms, joined by a narrowish corridor, which feature much wood panelling and, most notably, in one form, an attractive looking cosy corner with floral wallpaper and a few plates bearing photographs of the Queen Mother.

There's an upstairs bar - not open on my visit and - up yet another flight of stairs after that, are the gents toilets. The pub website mentions a roof terrace, also. The nicely air conditioned interior throughout was very welcome on a rather unpleasantly muggy and sticky late afternoon.

The drinks menu is presented in an old style record sleeve, which, I suppose is indicative of the fact that we are in media territory. There's an emphasis on foreign beers and I suspect that real ale trade is not great.

Beers on were Dark Star Hophead, Wadworths 6X and, in the bar on the right, London Pride and Daleside Summer Delight. The Hophead - £ 2.85p - was reasonable.

This isn't a pub worth going out of your way to visit, but I might just decide to call in again if passing by.

On 7th October 2010 - rating: 6
[User has posted 560 recommendations about 560 pubs]

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Strongers . left this review about Carpenters Arms

This place is ok with the main clientele being of student age and there was a private party going on upstairs. I only spotted Greene King IPA and Pride available along with some premium lagers.

I probably won't bother with here again as there are better to found in the area.

On 15th December 2008 - rating: 5
[User has posted 5329 recommendations about 5297 pubs]