The Jerusalem Tavern

The Jerusalem TavernThe Jerusalem Tavern
The Jerusalem TavernThe Jerusalem Tavern
Bar, Eatery

55 Britton Street
London, England
United Kingdom

+44 (0)20 7490 4281 | map

View: Place Reviews
Reviews: 14 | Ratings: 16 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by TheLongBeachBum:
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TheLongBeachBum from California

3.86/5  rDev -5.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

The 4th stop on a superb Friday evening pub crawl of the City of London. After stops at two previous historic taverns with local BA’s LondonPorter and RichLightWeight, recently bolstered by the addition of another local BA wI0307 at the third stop, we were soon on our way to the Jerusalem Tavern, the home of St. Peter’s Brewery and their fine Suffolk Ales in London.

Staid and rather down beat frontage which has a Georgian feel. Large full size leaded paned windows sit either side of the centrally located entranceway. A pair of wooden Doric columns straddles the exterior frontage, these are painted dark brown, as indeed is the wooden façade they support which spans across the windows and doors. Has the words; ‘The Jerusalem Tavern Anno. 1720’ across the front in gold lettering.

Now I have to say here, that I find the exterior sign to be rather tenuous at best, misleading at worst, and I am sure that is purely intentional. The building itself may date from 1720, but it has only been a Pub since the mid 1990’s; previously it was a dwelling and even had time (pardon the pun) as a watchmakers. There have been other Jerusalem Taverns in the area since the 14th Century, and this establishment carries that torch, but this has not been a Tavern since 1720 as the sign may indirectly promote, though I can understand why some may think that.

That said, once past the small seated area outside and inside, the interior certainly lends a strong feel of times past. Lots of dark unstained woods fill and decorate the cramped interior. Uneven floors and wonky fittings blend well with the diffused lighting and pale pastel walls to lend a feeling of history. The overall décor is almost minimalist in its simplicity. The single main long rectangular room is cleverly divided into a front and back area, with individual booths and annexed areas left to right. The bar is incredibly small, set mid distance as you walk down the interior and to your right; it sits opposite a raised area so standing room is very limited when getting served and it be an elbow fest at times.

Beer range is all St. Peter’s, and includes a mixture of their traditional interpretations of familiar styles interspersed with many of their famously fruity concoctions that would not be amiss in a Body Shop. Five draft beers are served from pseudo storage tanks that do not actually contain any beer it seems, moreover they are dispensed by electric pumps from the cellars via those nifty keg-like flip taps, but it’s all real beer. Sadly during my visit the range was very limited, only a couple of draft beers and even the bottled beers were depleted it seemed. Nevertheless, I managed a Pint of the grapefruit beer and it was a subtle brew that charmed and certainly quenched the thirst as we stood outside along with a thronging mass of fellow imbibers. In fact the beer was so good RichLightWeight got all excited and decided to throw his empty glass on the floor in celebration.

Service seemed actually quite good and very attentive, especially given the time of our visit on a very busy Friday evening. The quality of the beer was also very good. Food is talked up but I never partook of any, being far too busy pub crawling it seems, not that there was any space to sit down anyways.

Overall, this is a lovely Pub, sympathetically created from a seemingly previously unspoilt building that would be a pleasure to return to, at least during quieter times before the Offices kick out the local workers. Clearly this place is a victim of its own success and it can be a squeeze to get in here at times, never mind get served it seems. But it is worth the hassle at busier times just to get to sample the St Peter’s beers.

Last Visit: Friday 23rd June, 2006.

Jul 02, 2006
More User Reviews:
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gr8fulbeerhead from California

4.85/5  rDev +18.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5

This place is great. Lots of beer choices from St. Peters brewing line up. This is a must stop if your a fan of there beer. Ambiance is awesome. Staff is excellent. The beer is outstanding!

Jul 17, 2019
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RedDieselBrewing from Ireland

4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

Lots of St peters on cask. Really nice small pub with a friendly atmosphere.

Nov 29, 2014
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lordberon from Spain

4/5  rDev -2%

Jun 24, 2014
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John_Henry from Japan

3.73/5  rDev -8.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

The Jerusalem Tavern posses as a historic London pub. Whilst it pulls this image and atmosphere off fairly well, it is actually only fairly recently been converted. Basically If you like St Peters then drop in, you'll love it. Also worth popping by if your in the area, as I often do. But if your not a St Peters fan then give it a miss.

May 03, 2013
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BlackHaddock from England

3/5  rDev -26.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3

Visited for the first and probably the last time on a damp Monday lunchtime in July 2008. Maybe the weather, day and time was all wrong, but this bar didn't 'float my boat' at all.

Only two other customers on our arrival, two more couples arrived as I drank a warm pint of bitter.

The barman didn't want to talk or listen, even though the place was clearly not busy. He poured the beer OK, but wasn't interested in the pleasantries of the day.

Grubby fake walls, pretend aged wood and floors don't do it for me. I prefer the real thing. My wife even questioned why we had made the effort to find the place. She loves St Peters beers and we have visited the brewery and Old Hall many times, this place however didn't live up to its billing.

Jul 09, 2008
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ladnewton from England

4.53/5  rDev +11%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Visited on 5th March with a friend for the first time in 18 months. The beer seems to have improved, even upon the high standards I experienced last time. Mild was exquisite, very dry yet malty, whilst Organic Best Bitter was superb.

Weekdays after 9 are good - we found a seat after 5 mins or so.

This remains a very good pub to include on any Clerkenwell crawl, but not as the final one, due to a strict, hurried closing routine which includes opening the main door fully which allowed the chill of an early March evening into what had been quite a warm pub.

Do visit, beerwise this establisment is fully deserving of its Camra Good Beer Guide (GBG) status, and the prices - £2.60-2.80 are now in the "very reasonable" bracket for this part of London

Apr 17, 2008
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callmemickey from Pennsylvania

4.72/5  rDev +15.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4

This is perhaps the loveliest pub i have had the pleasure of drinking in...

the number one aspect is the atmosphere... Jerusalem Tavern is tiny ... three or four people can sit at the bar which is wedged in to this tiny townhouse... a few tables are scattered in the front and a few in the back... this cramped feel is good... it makes you feel like you are doing something different than the masses who are also cramped, but cramped in a mega pub... part of me feels like i just got back from sailing on the high sees plundering innocent merchants and i've staggered back into this dark seedy hangout... the other part of me is saying politely, "Bartender, I'd like another Suffolk Cyder please" while realizing that i've found the perfect oasis to the hub bub of busy London...

the beer is good and fresh, courtesy of St Peter's Brewery... the selection is lacking in other breweries.. but thats ok when there is such a good range of brews St Peters...

the joy for me and my fiancee though was the Suffolk Cyder... its excellent and i'm dieing to get some sent to me back in the states...

Feb 20, 2008
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rbowser from New Hampshire

4.29/5  rDev +5.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

There are only two places I have visited in London that just will not get out of my head and this is one of them. I am not sure entriely why. It is a great friendly pub, it is housed in a old space and no one seems to care the decor is not updated, it is friendly and feels local, they do have one of my favorite English Breweries products (St. Peters) on tap exclusively, and it also is in my favorite neighborhood - Clerkenwell. All that helps, but like all good bars, this has some blend of positive energy and vibe that is hard to describe and makes you really just want to stay a little longer and have another great St. Peter's beer.

They usually have 2-3 bitters, and a Porter, and a Stout, and a couple of others. I belive it is one of the few places in London to sample St. Peter's beers and certainlyh the only one I found. The service was good given that the place was crowded as it was just after all the office workers hit the pubs.

Take the tube to Farringdon and walk up to the pub. If it very close, maybe 1/2 mile from the tube. If it is nice weather, stand outside, and have a pint. Talk to some locals. In fact, try out the whole St. Peters line. I don't think you will regret it.

Nov 05, 2007
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BeerHonky from New York

3.79/5  rDev -7.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3

This is a great little pub. Extremely cozy and warm environment on the inside. Lots of small groups having calm quiet conversations over a few pints. The staff was extremely helpful and happy to serve my girlfriend and I, even though we walked in aout a half hour before last call. And as mentioned earlier, the only beer you will find here is St. Peter's. They do also have a small selection of liquor if necessary. Its not necessarily a bad thing that the only beer they serve is St. Peter's, because usually they have a wide selection of the brewery's offerings, I'd say 10-15 different brews which are all usually pretty different in style. If I lived in the area of this pub it would certainly become a favorite weekday spot.

Nov 24, 2006
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Xadoor from Texas

4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

This was one of the pubs strongly recommended that I visit while in London by wl0307 and RichLightweight. Its only recently that a couple of the St. Peter's beer have become available over here, so it was awesome to go to a pub that served all of their brews! Bitter, wheat, grape fruit, stout… the list seemed endless and I gave it my best shot. What's not in tap is available in bottle. The bartender was very friendly and took the time to explain and answer any questions about the beers. The taps are on the wall and stick out of old wooden keg tops, but it is real ale that they're pouring. I was a little suspicious of the grape fruit since I'm not a huge fan of the fruit, but it definitely grew on my as I drank. I think it would probably be quite refreshing on a hot day. However, since it was cold and rainy when I was there, I moved on to other beers. I stopped in during the afternoon, which was fortunate since it’s a fairly small place and I would assume it gets quite crowded after work. I didn't have anything to eat, but the bartender was eating something that looked and smelled pretty damn good. I would definitely frequent this place if I lived there.

Jun 29, 2006
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GreenCard from Maryland

3.45/5  rDev -15.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 4

This pub is near where I currently work, but I haven't tried it until recently, a pub-outing with some of my coworkers after work. We had planned to stay there all evening, so three of us headed over at 4:45 in the afternoon so we could secure a table. As others have mentioned, the place gets really crowded after about 5:30, even on a Wednesday. Got ourselves the big table in the back and a pint each of the scrumptious cask Organic Best Bitter. Two more of our coworkers arrived. Things were looking good. Then one of the bar staff came over to tell us "Sorry this table has just been reserved for 5:30". This was after we had given up a smaller table at the front so that we could have the bigger one. So, apparently a table can be reserved out from under you by someone calling in. Why they permit people to book a table that is already occupied, I don't know, but it was not cool. We called the remaining two coworkers to let them know we were changing the "venue", finished our beers, and got up to leave. As we were leaving, the people who had reserved the table told us we could keep it because they had ended up getting a table at the front that they liked. A little late for that. We didn't feel like handing over our money to a pub that had ousted us like that. It's a shame because they have great beer, which they serve at the perfect temperature and freshness. The ambience is cozy and the music not loud (if there is any). I imagine I'll probably go back at some point, despite the above experience, but I'll definitely ask them about the table reservation policy because why make the effort to go early to secure a table when you can just as easily call in to reserve it?

Apr 09, 2006
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wl0307 from England

4.16/5  rDev +2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5

The visit took place on a quiet afternoon, so it wasn't crowded as it could get during the lunchtime or after 5:30pm. Pushing open the semi-dysfunctional front door of the pub, the view is more like a chic tea-room to me. The bright front room has primitive/simplistic wall-paints and some old wooden tables+wooden benches attached to the walls. A genuine, old fireplace works well to warm the customers, literally and metaphorically.

The inner room, where the bar is, is dimmer, and has several semi-detached sitting areas plus a small and interesting "indoor balcony" facing the bar. The bar serves St. Peter's usual range, all five of them, on draught, but not from the handpumps~~ Instead, several intriguing barrel-shaped containers fitted horizontally in the wall behind the bar serve the beers on tap, making one feel the beers are freshly poured by gravity on stillage as in some countryside pubs~~ But actually, after enquiry, they're merely decorations, and the casks downstairs in the cellar pump out the beer through a special pressure system~~ Yet the special design gives the pub a smart feature as well as larger space by the bar. BTW, all the beers are on form, fresh and nice, and you don't get St. Peter's beers on draught that often, mind you...

The clientele is basically local office-workers and some tourists like me, but the service is indiscriminately friendly and efficient. The barman knows his house beers, and offers good recommendations as well as generous tasting to curious punters. All in all, I like this pub, it's got characters and quality, but you can't enjoy yourself fully during the rush hours--it gets horribly smoky and crowded...

Apr 06, 2006
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jvdineen from Massachusetts

3.93/5  rDev -3.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

"The St. Peter's" pub in London. They have the whole line of St. Peter's on cask as well as the whole line of Plymouth gin as well.

This is a little bit of a walk from the Farringdon stop on the tube.The Circle, Hammersmith, and Central lines get you there. The Jerusalem is situatued halfway down a non-residential street in a very non-residential neighborhood.

Extremely small but I guess people were a lot smaller back in 1721.

Sept (2005) their lager/pilsner of choice was Radeberger.

Worth the little bit of a jaunt out there. I wished they were serving dinner. They're a lunch only place.

Feb 06, 2006
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willgro from Texas

4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

this place is really cool. I would definitely go back. aside from the typical brits that can be a bit rude, i had a great time. it is in the middle of noowhere and can be a bit hard to find, but is well worth it. the people inside are warm and the beers here are great examples of british and european brews. my friend jeremy and i drank here and had a blast. they have MGD on tap, which is usually a bad sign, but in this case, ignore it. the beers in the bottle are great and so are the people. A must visit

Dec 26, 2005
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Clembo1957 from England

4/5  rDev -2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

Tucked away in a side street not far from Farringdon Station The Jerusalem is well worth a visit. The pub is tiny and it's difficult to find somewhere to stand let alone a table to sit during busy evenings. The pub carries the range of St Peter's Beers with up to 6 being served via gravity dispense. The clientele varies depending on the time of day you visit with lunchtimes and late afternoon being popular with business men (and business women). The pub has a good range of bottled beers. Beer quality is normally good but can be variable at times.

Apr 26, 2004
The Jerusalem Tavern in London, GB2, United Kingdom
Place rating: 4.08 out of 5 with 16 ratings