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Beer of the Week (w/e 29th November 2020) with trainman on the Pub Forum

The Clarence, SW1

53 Whitehall
Phone: 02079304808

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

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Quinno _ left this review about The Clarence

Corner pub in Whitehall with an attractive frontage (leaded and arched windows, pillars) that sadly is unmatched by the internal architecture. Refurbished in mid-2009, the place used to be a bit dark and (fake) olde worlde; now it looks like a classic ‘point at the pub interior you want from a catalogue’ job, with duck egg coloured paint, raised tables, bare floorboards with the odd garish feature thrown in, which doesn’t do the long narrow bar area many favours. Prices have gone up heftily too. Eight pumps on my visit with seven operational and a different ale on each. A couple of interesting ones on, my Twickenham Naked Ladies was in fair condition. Could be better.

On 5th April 2013 - rating: 5
[User has posted 3997 recommendations about 3985 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Roger Button left this review about The Clarence

I have always found the Clarence to be one of the more accommodating pubs in an area that is generally tourist orientated Dating from 1862, the pub has a lovely Victorian frontage that’s all arches, pillars and panel windows. Internally it has undergone a recent refurbishment and the changes are obvious but and whilst not untasteful, the grey paint, bare floored, stripped furnishings and raised tables do seem to have been adopted from what has become an all too common template. The fake pillars and beams that once complimented the old world style now look a bit cheap and plastic whilst some of the wall coverings are interesting to say the least.

The beer selection and quality are thankfully still as they have always been with 4 constantly changing Ales, the latest offerings being Doom Bar, Adnams, Cornish Coaster and Wandle. This is a pub that does occasionally throw up an unusual beer and whilst prices may seem a bit high, they are prices are about par for the area. The first floor contains a separate ornately decorated dining room known as the Pol Roger.

The pub has always had a reasonably pleasant atmosphere and I have always found the staff efficient. One major plus is that it never seems to be as rammed as some of its neighbours and even during the recent World Cup, I could walk in and bag a seat to watch matches on the sole flat screen.

The stairs to the Gents are a bit hazardous after a few pints and the toilets themselves used to be pretty awful although my amazing powers of beer retention meant that I didn’t need them on my recent visit. I have had several decent if somewhat sporadic evenings here (the pub that is, not the toilets) and it is usually a safe bet to fall back on when I’m in the area although it has certainly lost some of its previous charm.

On 1st September 2010 - rating: 6
[User has posted 1238 recommendations about 1232 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Steve of N21 left this review about The Clarence

This place underwent a major refurb in October this year and Ye Old pub feel referred to in a previous review has now gone. This was my first visit to the Clarence the other evening, so I cannot compare and contrast the new décor. But if the old decor was a good as it looks in some of the the photo's I have seen of the previous interior, then I am struggling to see how this is progress.
I guess from looking at what the've done to the place they are now aiming to be more of a bistro restaurant for the tourists rather than a pub.
Cannot fault the beer though, as these included Sharp Ales and Sambrooks Wandel from the Battersea Micro brewer, and the Wandel I tried was perfectly fine. Although the price levels did appear to be on a higher level than the Shades up the road.
But as for the décor, sorry but I am a traditionalist, and if you are lucky enough to have large wooden beams, even if they are not original, don't coat them in Dulux duck egg blue, or what ever that colour is.

On 21st December 2009 - rating: 5
[User has posted 1712 recommendations about 1661 pubs]

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Philip Carter left this review about The Clarence

Ok kind of place. Has an upstairs bar. Real ale on sale, Pride, Bombadier, Old Speckled Hen & GK IPA. Food served all day. Only other thing I remember is an old oak beam across the ceiling.

On 10th January 2009 - rating: 6
[User has posted 753 recommendations about 716 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Steve C left this review about The Clarence

This is a pretty standard Central London pub, which isn't a bad thing in my opinion. The barmaid was very friendly and the selection of drinks available included Old Speckled Hen, Bombadier (which was well served), Adnams, Pride, Leffe, Hoegarden, Staropramen and a few bog standard lagers.

There are four small tables on the pavement outside the pub, but it obviously gets busy with pedestrians and vehicles being on Whitehall. Good for people watching though, if you are that way inclined.

The toilets were a disgrace with a soaking wet floor interspersed with bog roll and green towel. Funnily enough the toilet door was propped open with a “CAUTION CLEANING IN PROGRESS” sign. One of the staff obviously has a sense of humour!

In my opinion, this is not a bad pub but there are better in the area.

On 23rd June 2008 - rating: 6
[User has posted 3586 recommendations about 3565 pubs]

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