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Picture of The Shakespeares Head
Image posted by peter ashworth
Submitted on Sunday, 21st August 2016
With picture contributions to 23903 other pubs
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The Shakespeares Head, EC1

1 Arlington Way
EC1
EC1R 1XA
Correct details

Served areas

Reviews of The Shakespeares Head (Average Rating: of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Just a quick pint, then I'm off left this review about Shakespeares Head

Whether you call it basic or unspoilt is probably a matter of personal preference, but there aren't many back-street boozers like this left in central London (especially of the 1960s variety). It features a traditionally furnished 'L'-shaped bar (originally two rooms, I suspect), and being located directly behind the Sadler's Wells Theatre there are plenty of pictures of old thespians about the walls. There are also a small front patio and a larger rear patio beer garden. Two real ales on handpump: Courage Best and Abbot (£4.10, and sadly indifferent, but with the heat probably not helping).

On 3rd August 2018 - rating: 6
[User has posted 5406 recommendations about 5406 pubs]


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Rex Rattus left this review about Shakespeares Head

The previous poster pretty much says it all. It dates from 1960, and is an ex-Courage pub; you can see the trademark cockerel on the windows on the right hand side of the building. The only real change is the loss of the wall that separated the public and saloon bars. The wood panelling is original; and the brick built counter in the left hand room is an unusual feature. There's nothing elaborate about this pub, as plain, simple and cheap seems to be the 1960s pub fitter's modus operandi. Nothing wrong with that - I'm cheap and simple so felt quite at home in here.

I was surprised to find such a traditional locals' pub in this part of the world. Apart from myself plus chums the only customers in were obvious locals. My guess is that any tourists who stumbled across this place by accident would turn tail immediately.

There were a couple of ales on - Abbot and Courage Best, and it has to be said that the Best wasn't in particularly good shape, falling in the just about drinkable category. This was a friendly and comfortable pub - shame about the beer, but maybe I was just unlucky. Certainly worth a visit if you fancy stepping back in time by about 50 years or so.

On 17th April 2018 - rating: 5
[User has posted 2477 recommendations about 2398 pubs]


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Tris C left this review about Shakespeares Head

A pub of this name has existed here since at least the mid-19th century with this Courage/Barclay incarnation being rebuilt in the mid/late '50s.
A first in here the other night and the style of pub is an indication as to the client base; no Clerkenwell hipsters here.
Situated directly to the rear of Sadler's Wells, the interior is very well maintained and I doubt anything has been done to it since it was built. Carpeted, with very traditional furniture which is probably original, simple décor and a little bare brick. The walls are attractively clad in wood, possibly ply. There's also an interesting pot shelf, again probably original, with grooves for sliding wine glasses in and out.
This is very much a community local and customers are typically at the older end of the spectrum - I suspect they've been coming here all their lives. This is very much a pub where you get the impression that everyone is known to all and are on first name terms with the landlord.
I didn't see any sport on the TV as such, but horseracing was showing during daylight, even though it was dark outside; a games machine flashed in the corner.
Service was friendly and served up a choice of premium lagers as well as Courage Best (suitably retro) as well as Abbot's Ale which was as good as it gets though was £1.90 a half.
This place is light years different from the Pearl & Feather up the road and long may it continue, but I doubt I'd fit in here so can't envisage a return visit.

On 5th November 2017 - rating: 5
[User has posted 873 recommendations about 859 pubs]

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Pub location see interactive map of local area
Map location corrected by Tris C
Farringdon (London), 0.77 miles, 14 min walk (show)
London Kings Cross, 0.93 miles, 17 min walk (show)
Old Street, 1.08 miles, 20 min walk (show)
Latest updates View all updates for The Shakespeares Head, EC1
10th Sep 2018, 22:41
Picture submitted by Just a quick pint, then I'm off approved
 
10th Sep 2018, 22:41
Picture submitted by Just a quick pint, then I'm off approved

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 : No last updated 05 November 2017 by Tris C
  • Bar Billiards : No last updated 05 November 2017 by Tris C
  • Beer Festivals : No last updated 05 November 2017 by Tris C
  • Beer Garden : Yes - Front patio and rear garden. - last updated 05 November 2017 by Tris C
  • Car Park : No last updated 05 November 2017 by Tris C
  • Child Friendly : Yes last updated 05 November 2017 by Tris C
  • Darts : No last updated 05 November 2017 by Tris C
  • Jukebox : Yes last updated 05 November 2017 by Tris C
  • Live Music : Yes - Irish folk. - last updated 31 July 2018 by Tris C
  • Live TV Sports : Yes last updated 05 November 2017 by Tris C
  • Micropub : No last updated 05 November 2017 by Tris C
  • Pinball : No last updated 05 November 2017 by Tris C
  • Pool Table : No last updated 05 November 2017 by Tris C
  • Real Ale : Yes last updated 05 November 2017 by Tris C
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