Jan 12

Old Fountain, Old Street

FT + Pumpkin Publog//5 comments • 524 views

It never looks like this when i'm outside! it's always dark and rainy...One of the pubs unfortunately missed from our ‘tween christmas and new year pub crawl, for to because it was shut, partly due I suspect to lack of passing trade over the festive period, but also to finish off their very nice renovation work, The Old Fountain, tucked away between Silicon Roundabout and Moorfields Eye Hospital, could secretly be one of the best pubs in London. OK, so it’s been in the Good Beer Guide for five years, but I think it’s massively come on even in the last 18 months. East London CAMRA have been praising it for a while, but it barely gets a mention in Hip Guides To London’s Great Pubs.
The beer is, of course, excellent, with usually 6-8 taps on, but they seem to really push the boat out in getting the specials from Darkstar, Brodies, Ascot and others, although occasionally this can lead to hop bomb overload, there’s usually a decent mix. The bar food is also pretty special, the salt beef sandwich (and I realise this may be regarded as heresy) is as good if not better than the Royal Oak’s, and certainly the equal of the erstwhile Wenlock buttie. They do pulled pork buns too, and a couple of other things, but i’ve never managed to order anything that wasn’t the salt beef…
Oh, and did i mention they usually have around FOURTEEN different kernel bottles in the fridge? it’s the biggest range I can think of that doesn’t involve visiting a railway arch…

You can see what they’ve got on the bar at @OldFountainAles


  1. 1
    Chewshabadoo on 26 Jan 2012 #

    Tried to go here once on a Saturday but was FOILED by it’s Mon-Fri only City opening hours. Bah.

  2. 2
    Kat but logged out innit on 26 Jan 2012 #

    Sadly on my only visit to this pub I was harassed on my way in by a group of rowdy dudes milling outside the door. As you might expect I subsequently have no desire to go back there, which is a shame, as once inside the pub seemed perfectly nice.

  3. 3
    DrFidelius on 26 Jan 2012 #

    I’ve been trying to keep this place a secret. The beer’s first-rate, the staff are pleasant and there’s usually room to sit down. What are we going to do if everyone starts going there?

    Mind you, I wasn’t impressed by their food. The fillings in the ‘doorstep’ sandwiches seem awfully stingy to me, but I haven’t been in for a couple of months; perhaps they’ve improved.

    FWIW, I think the Ship in Holborn sets the gold standard for salt beef sandwiches. Very happy to hear of alternatives though.

  4. 4
    Pete on 27 Jan 2012 #

    Kat, try the other door! Its not just a pub after all, its a corridor too!

  5. 5
    Carsmilesteve on 28 Jan 2012 #

    The salt beef doorstep sandwich I had in November was the very opposite of stingy, but, as we know, anecdote isn’t the singular of data so I’m happy to hear more reports.

    I have a bit of a problem with the holborn ship, it’s always rammed when I go…

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