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Picture of The Clarence
Image posted by Will Larter
Submitted on Monday, 31st January 2022
With picture contributions to 10554 other pubs
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The Clarence, SW1

53 Whitehall
SW1
SW1A 2HP
Phone: 02079304808
Correct details

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

Will Larter left this review about The Clarence

My 1996 reprint of the book London's Inns & Taverns by John Wittich, whose suggested walks around London pubs I have been following, says that this is an 18th century pub, named after a type of carriage (depicted on the pub sign at the time the book was written in 1978), which in turn was named after the Duke of Clarence, subsequently King William IV. As he was created a duke in 1789 this is a fairly tight schedule, and anyway Camra's WhatPub says it was rebuilt in 1862 (25 years after his death). The modern pub sign seems to depict a number of black bowler hats in the style of some of Magritte's surreal paintings. Setting this debate aside, on entering there appear to be two slightly different pubs, with the right hand side having exposed beams and pillars of uncertain age and rather rough condition, painted white in a deliberately slapdash way. Were these recycled from the original building? The left hand side, meanwhile, is a far more modern, stylish and smart affair, and at the time of my visit shortly after 11am there seemed to be a number of informal business meetings going on. I observed the same beer offering as in the neighbouring Old Shades (Youngs Original and Special, St Austell Proper Job) when I visited the previous day, so I asked for a coffee.

On 4th February 2022 - rating: 5
[User has posted 3081 recommendations about 2897 pubs]


Tris C left this review about The Clarence

This is a mid-19th century building, named after the Duke of Clarence, former Lord High Admiral and currently under the stewardship of Young’s.
If the main bar area had been gastrofied as mentioned, than as BF later points out, it has now been rusticated, with exposed chunky wooden members, limewashed. The floor is rough boarded and the bar array is fairly modern, though there’s vanilla coloured wainscotting to dado height, then plain walls with some areas covered in thousands of postage stamps from around the world; likewise, there are four structural columns, similarly clad. Lampshades over the bar are designed to resemble bowler hats, otherwise lighting comes from recessed LED downlighters to the white ceiling. Décor amounts to a few framed prints and customers are of indeterminate origin, music being loud.
There were three unused pumps, then Winter Warmer, London Original and Proper Job at £2.75 a half and nice.
This pub is better than it sounds, but isn’t as good as its neighbour, the Old Shades, but is head and shoulders above the very poor Silver Cross, a couple of doors up.

On 20th November 2021 - rating: 4
[User has posted 1519 recommendations about 1497 pubs]


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Bucking Fastard left this review about The Clarence

ORIGINAL REVIEW December 2015

This was a brief crawl visit but on entering the modern open plan interior we were asked if we were dining.However it's fine to just drink at the bar,and the stools opposite around a drinking ledge are the seating option ,but the tables are seemingly just for diners.I thought the wooden floored interior a little harsh,the flatscreen was at least turned off yet the green tiling to one side just looked too new and a deliberate design feature rather than something original.However there were 8 handpumps and as many keg taps.The ale options were Inkspot EIPA (this brewer always features here ,and this was in decent nick),Twickenham Naked Ladies,Sharps Atlantic,Youngs Christmas Ale and Bitter,Sambrooks Junction,Truman Runner and Doom Bar.Bottled beer was featuring some craft brewers at frightening prices.
Worth a crawl stop,not sure I would base myself here for a session.

UPDATE

A revisit found a different vibe,Youngs pubco have created more of a boozer although there is now a first floor dining area.It feels more rustic with the gnarled beams at the front exposed and lightly whitewashed showing the buildings age.The arched windows at the far end are a decent feature.My name and mobile were taken on entering and it is clear quite a bit of furniture has been removed to aid social distancing.Just two real ales offered Youngs Original and a decent St Austell Proper Job which saved the visit.
This pub must have been a target for BLM protesters as the two internal pictures of The Duke and Duchess of Clarence were defaced with paint.The Duke was a keen defender of slavery around 1800.Interestingly no attempt has been made to removed the defacements,so maybe the pubco. has some sympathy with this action.One of the better pubs in this heavily tourist area,if only there were more tourists.

On 3rd September 2020 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2355 recommendations about 2355 pubs]


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Pub location see interactive map of local area
Map location corrected by Steve C
London Charing Cross, 0.29 miles, 5 min walk (show)
London Waterloo, 0.98 miles, 18 min walk (show)
London Blackfriars, 1.62 miles, 31 min walk (show)
Latest updates View all updates for The Clarence, SW1
4th Feb 2022, 00:26
Review submitted by Will Larter amended by Will Larter
 
2nd Feb 2022, 21:02
Review submitted by Will Larter

Pub Details

Pub details supplied by members of this site to the best of their knowledge. Please check with pub directly before making a special trip.

  • Accommodation : Yes - Self catering. - last updated 20 November 2021 by Tris C
  • Bar Billiards : No last updated 05 January 2016 by E TA
  • Beer Festivals : No last updated 05 January 2016 by E TA
  • Beer Garden : No last updated 05 January 2016 by E TA
  • CAMRA Discount : No last updated 05 January 2016 by E TA
  • Car Park : No last updated 05 January 2016 by E TA
  • Child Friendly : Yes last updated 17 September 2018 by Pub SignMan
  • Darts : No last updated 17 September 2018 by Pub SignMan
  • Function Room : Yes last updated 17 September 2018 by Pub SignMan
  • Hot Food : Yes last updated 17 September 2018 by Pub SignMan
  • Jukebox : No last updated 17 September 2018 by Pub SignMan
  • Karaoke : No last updated 17 September 2018 by Pub SignMan
  • Live Music : No last updated 20 November 2021 by Tris C
  • Live TV Sports : No last updated 20 November 2021 by Tris C
  • Micropub : No last updated 05 January 2016 by E TA
  • Pinball : No last updated 17 September 2018 by Pub SignMan
  • Pool Table : No last updated 17 September 2018 by Pub SignMan
  • Quiz Night : No last updated 20 November 2021 by Tris C
  • Real Ale : Yes last updated 10 January 2009 by Will Larter
  • Real Cider : No last updated 17 September 2018 by Pub SignMan
  • Wheelchair Access : Yes - Disabled WC. - last updated 20 November 2021 by Tris C
  • WiFi : Yes last updated 05 January 2016 by E TA
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