Pub #9: College Arms, Bloomsbury

The College Arms in Bloomsbury is conveniently located within a short walking distance to SOAS.  Although many students prefer to knock back drinks at the SOAS bar in the basement, some folks prefer to do their drinking in a proper pub.

Having dropped Japanese Modernity II in favour of my Anthropology of Space, Place & Architecture course, I’ve met my former coursemates from Japanese Modernity at the College Arms a couple of times this term for some pints.  The most recent meet-up last Monday I met up with them after work and a quick visit to the SOAS library.  They had all just finished up class for the evening, and had already settled into their pints by the time I had arrived.

Despite its name, the College Arms shouldn’t give any sort of frat boy connotation to the North American reader.  It is a nice little pub with a selection of ales sure to please any fan of good beer.  My ex-coursemate Ravi recommended the Broadside ale, which I can affirm is amazingly good.  A pint will set you back £3.20, which is more than what a pint of beer costs at the SOAS or IoE bars, but you can’t get Broadside ale in either of those places, if I’m not mistaken.

And some of that £3.20 is atmosphere, I’m sure.

This most recent visit, I also ordered a bowl of soup, which that day was the pea soup.  It was a sizable bowl at £3.75, complete with four slices of delicious bread, however I felt the soup could have done with a little bit of salt–it was a bit bland.  But then again, pea soup may be bland by nature for all I know.  Ravi had ordered a meal as well, and forgive me for not remember what he ordered–but he said it was good!  Apparently he had heard the pies at the College Arms are supposed to be really good, so I think I may try that next time.

Located on Store Street, the College Arms is between Gower Street and Tottenham Court Road nestled near a few cafes and Hanna Supermarket, a nice Korean shop where I’ve bought some kimchee among other purchases of an East Asian ilk.  The two times I’ve been, the place has had its share of the more mature post-graduate students as opposed to the undergraduates.  Since both of the times I’ve been in have been Mondays, the place wasn’t particularly busy, although I’m sure the clientele can be quite numerous as the week progresses.


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