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The Sekforde, Clerkenwell, EC1

34 Sekforde Street
Phone: 02072533251

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

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Rex Rattus left this review about The Sekforde

This was my first visit since its refurbishment, and I have to sat that I preferred it the way it was - mainly because there are now so few of the traditional unspoilt locals that this was, anywhere near central London. My guess is that I'm probably in the minority in this respect. But it's still a good pub, and although some features have been lost as mentioned by the previous reviewer, it has retained the fluted panelling on the bar counter and walls, and a nice tiled and walnut wood framed fireplace sits between the two rooms. It's bare-boarded of course, with the carpet consigned to memory, but it is furnished with normal tables and chairs. It also got a "highly commended" in the refurbishment category of CAMRA's pub design awards.

There were a couple of ales on - Windsor and Eton Corker, and Long Man Best Bitter (£2 a half) - so the beer choice has certainly improved since Tris' visit last year. This is still decent pub

On 31st July 2019 - rating: 6
[User has posted 2606 recommendations about 2520 pubs]

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Tris C left this review about The Sekforde

Situated in a tranquil street occupied by celebs such as Gillian X Files, this Georgian pub was built in 1829 on land once owned by Thomas Seckford (original spelling), 16th century lawyer and one of Queen Elizabeth I’s Masters in Ordinary of the Court of Requests. It was a Young’s house until it closed on 4th August 2015 and reopened on 15th December 2017 as a private venture, refurbished by a local barrister who lives upstairs.
The pub incorporates the most up-to-date environmentally friendly technology, including under-floor heating and a ban on plastics on the premises. Profits will be ploughed back into the local community to benefit the young and underprivileged; so far, so good.
Unfortunately, the fine 1930s’ Charrington’s tiles, including yet another Toby plaque, have been ripped off and replaced with a grained wooden shop front-style entrance with some bare brick; the Charrington's leaded lights have been removed too. Internally no part of the original pub remains which may or may not be a bad thing. It’s brand new with much brown wood in the form of part wood panelling, a wooden panelled bar with pot shelf, a bare boarded floor, cream coloured walls and ceiling and fairly contemporary furniture. Modern lavs are downstairs where there is an enticing cellar room. There are paper menus on the tables displaying restrained but refined fayre; not gastro but certainly not posh burgers or the like either.
In all it’s rather tasteful and will probably improve with age though unfortunately there’s no décor, the end result being that it's not that cosy.
Now onto the ale: premium lagers, craft and the like and in the seven-odd days since ROB Camra’s review, real ale has appeared and at just £4.00 a pint. Unfortunately, it’s the egregious Sharp’s Doom Bar Amber and served Carling cold – clearly the cellar was spared the under-floor heating then. Why, given that the Hammerton brewery is a stone’s throw from here could not their wares be stocked, such as the universally liked N1?
This pub is a good example of a modern conversion in a very pleasant locale with many other good pubs in close proximity. Its charitable aims are commendable, but the choice of this ale (or something similar like London Pride), served freezing cold, are reasons enough not to tempt me to rush back.

On 20th January 2018 - rating: 5
[User has posted 2009 recommendations about 1975 pubs]

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ROB Camra left this review about The Sekforde

Reopened after a long closure, but the real ale has disappeared.

Shame, I used to call in here regularly when working in London.

On 2nd January 2018 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 3225 recommendations about 3136 pubs]

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Pub SignMan left this review about Sekforde Arms

Built in the 1830’s, this is an impressive street corner pub, especially when viewed from the intersection of Sekforde and Woodbridge streets where you can best admire the fine tiled exterior and colourful hanging baskets. The proprietors claim that Lenin and Karl Marx both drank in the pub when they were working on a newspaper in nearby Clerkenwell Green and Dickens is also supposed to have been a frequent visitor, although much of this appears to be supposition. More credibly, Pink Floyd owned a recording studio at the end of the street back in the 1970’s and were regular patrons of the pub. Today we find a traditional back street pub with a two room layout. Both entrances lead into the main bar which has a battered wooden floor draped with a few old rugs, half panelled walls and textured wallpaper above and on the ceiling. The bar is on the rear wall, to the left side of the room and has a display of pump clips running above the counter. Some comfortable padded benches run along the opposite wall, accompanied by a few low stools, with one other table on the right hand wall in front of a smart tiled fireplace. Two large archways lead into a second room with similar decor to the main bar, more of the padded bench seating and a discretely positioned dartboard. Some stairs lead up to another seating area, which I didn’t get round to exploring.
The pub is run by Young’s, with Ordinary and Special on the bar alongside York Terrier (£3.70) and Bath Summer Hare. The Terrier was very drinkable and the price, whilst expensive, is probably the norm for a guest in a Young’s house. Despite visiting not long after the offices empty out, the pub was notably quiet, with just a small gathering around the bar and one couple in the side room.
It was nice to find a traditional boozer of this sort so close to the city and I enjoyed relaxing over my pint and the paper. It would’ve been nice to catch the place when it was a bit livelier, but that’s a minor quibble and I would be more than happy to call in again.

On 4th June 2013 - rating: 7
[User has posted 3126 recommendations about 3126 pubs]

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Danny O'Revey left this review about Sekforde Arms

Nice looking building from the outside with its rounded frontage, it continues inside with the character of a Victorian lounge perhaps, not overly comfortable but with a bag of character to provide a fine drinking experience.

Nice wooden floor that London pubs do so well. Its a Youngs pub, with Bitter, Special, Bomb and also a St Austell Tribute direct from a barrel on the bar. The Youngs bitter, not one of my favourite breweries, was excellent and tasty.

Good pub

On 31st January 2012 - rating: 8
[User has posted 1456 recommendations about 1434 pubs]

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Quinno _ left this review about Sekforde Arms

The exterior of this backstreet Youngs house is quite appealing, with an attractive curved end with sleek tiling and leaded windows, topped off by a lovingly-maintained flower display. It also has an enviable location, on the apex of two pretty Georgian town house streets. The interior is a fairly basic old-fashioned affair – carpeted (a little worn though) floor, banquette seating and a coal fire, with a function room upstairs. Four ales – a decent choice of Youngs Ordinary, Special, Wells Bombardier and St Austell Tribute. My Tribute was £3.50 and came out well. The ladies behind the bar were friendly and welcoming to our group of wandering scruffs. We sat outside and felt a hundred miles away from the nearby bustle of Clerkenwell.

As mentioned elsewhere, whilst this place won’t necessarily knock your socks off, it’s the simplicity and care afforded to the place that makes it a worthwhile stop as the epitome of what a London backstreet local should be.

On 8th August 2011 - rating: 8
[User has posted 5185 recommendations about 5168 pubs]

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

Called in along a walk between Farringdon and Angel, and very glad I did. Quite a plain exterior covered with light brown tiling at ground floor level. Compact bar in a modest wedge-shaped room with another small seating area beyond (and some signage indicating an upstairs room). Sparsely decorated, with dark floorboards and just a hint of threadbare carpet. Four real ales on, with Ordinary and Special plus Deuchars IPA and the seasonal Mauldons Broomstick Bitter (quality, if a bit pricey at £3.45) as guest ales. Let's hope that the Youngs corporate makeover team steer clear of this fine old-fashioned boozer.

On 6th November 2010 - rating: 8
[User has posted 8159 recommendations about 8159 pubs]

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Rex Rattus left this review about Sekforde Arms

This is a Young’s pub with the usual ales on, but they did have an excellent guest ale in Butcombe Bitter. Like previous reviewers, I quickly realised that this was an unpretentious backstreet pub that has somehow survived in its current form so close to the centre of town. Inside it’s very traditional – carpeted floor, metal framed round tables, banquettes, and small stools. Food is served at lunchtime, and in the evenings. The menu looks pretty basic, with staples like fish and chips coming in at £5.95. There’s nothing really special about this pub, with its simplicity being part of the appeal, for me at least. I’ve been here several times before, and will undoubtedly visit again.

On 26th August 2010 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2606 recommendations about 2520 pubs]

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Steve of N21 left this review about Sekforde Arms

Yes , will concur, the Sekforde Arms is a traditional street-corner local hidden away in the Georgian back street of Clerkenwell a short hop from the Clerkenwell Road. Apparently it’s named after Thomas Sekforde, a distinguished lawyer who patronised the area and the pub were built around 1840.
It’s very welcoming on approach, being tastefully decked out with hanging baskets in summer, and is equally inviting inside with a traditional décor as well described by the reviewer below.
The beers on during my visit were Youngs Bitter and London Gold and the guest was CW Waggledance. The London Gold was a well kept pint.
This is a fine back street local and long may it stay this way. I will definitely be back when in the area again.

On 30th July 2010 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2147 recommendations about 2019 pubs]

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Chris 87 left this review about Sekforde Arms

Enviously occupying a position in a set of Georgian terraces, this pub gets good vibes off here for one very good reason; It is a totally unmodernised Youngs pub in an area you'd least expect it. An unspoilt, locals sort of pub, I enjoyed my short stay in there without being totally knocked for six. Bombardier, Special, Bitter and London Gold were available, the latter in solid nick. On a saturday afternoon it was pretty empty, and I overheard the barmaid saying that was usually the case which is a shame because I imagine it is one of the few traditional boozers left in the area - which does beg the question, how long will it last in its current form?

On 21st March 2010 - rating: 8
[User has posted 179 recommendations about 179 pubs]

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