Last month, Beez took a little group of us to this pub for a quick drink before we moved onto the January Jukebox Jam event being held at Peter Parker’s Rock n’ Roll club just around the corner. The interior was nice, and I did snap a photograph, however I didn’t include this pub on my pubroll at the time because I didn’t pay for my pint of organic cider that came in a fancy bottle (thank you, James!).
Since that evening, I’d wanted to come back to the pub for an “official” 100 Pubs Project visit, and the moment arrived on Saturday, when my friend Aru was showing her friends Popi and Carol around London. I met up with them in Brick Lane, and we relocated back into the center of the city. After eating some dumplings in Chinatown at a place Aru recommended (along with, apparently, Fuchsia Dunlop) and wandering around cutesy shop stalls on Charing Cross Road, Popi told me that she wanted to get a “British pint.” She expressed the need many visitors to London have in needing to visit a pub.
So, I did what needed to be done, and led the Spaniards to The Angel Pub.
I was a bit worried that it would be packed, like it was the last time I went en route to Jukebox Jam. Actually,although it was pretty busy, we got in relatively early enough to not only have a nice little space inside in the room just as you go in, but we even managed to secure three stools at the bar. I think some Spanish magic had to have been at work. The barman I got drinks from was as dour as I remembered him from my last visit, but nonetheless he did produce two pints of cider for me and Aru at £3.02 each. Popi ordered what I had ordered as well, but I told her it was cider, and not the English ale she was after. Too late–another pint of cider appeared. But we kept it, and Popi ordered a pint of the Old Brewery Bitter ale on tap, while the extra cider was later imbibed by Carol, then passed to Aru, who in turn eventually poured some of it into my glass.
Ah, there’s always room for cider. At least between Aru and me.
The Angel has an interior space that is very unusual for contemporary pubs, as there are many areas of the pub that have been divided up. You go in, and there is the bar and a small main room, with a side door that you go out of into the cold indoor/outdoor area–like a hallway–with tables. Then there is another door there that leads you to the small space on the other side of the bar, separated from the main room by a dividing wall. In order to go to the ladies or gents from the starting room, one had to go through the door to the second hall, then through another door into the other room, then through another door leading one behind the bar and either up the stairs (for ladies) or down (for men). It was a little adventure.
Further, there is another space where a dartboard was that was accessible from the street, in which case one had to exit the pub entirely and reenter from the door on the side. I didn’t go into this area on this trip, but it’s good to note it should one be of the mind in playing darts. After walking around since the morning in East London, though, Popi and Carol were a bit tired, so they were content to stay put and enjoy their pints of cider and ale.
The Angel is a Samuel Smith’s pub, meaning the pints tend to be a bit cheaper than other pubs. My cider pint at £3.02 wasn’t a huge savings, although every penny counts, but the pint of bitter Popi bought (and later reordered) was £1.94. That’s quite a deal for people used to paying £3 for a pint or bottle of beer in London. There isn’t any food served up at The Angel, but there are a number of good restaurants a short walk away if you’re after food, and if you just want a few nibblies, they do have packets of peanuts and little cheese crackers (or biscuits). The peanuts in the red bag are highly recommended.
So, the visit to The Angel was a success. Afterwards, we went to Peter Parker’s for the Saturday Blow Up event they were having. Should you fancy a visit, The Angel on St Giles High Street, and is nearest to Tottenham Court Road tube station, and is a short walk from bus stops along a number of buses that service the area, such as the 14, 19, 25, 38, 55, 134, and the infamous 29. It’s also near Centre Point, if that helps you at all with orienting yourself in the city.