The Cittie Of Yorke

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The Cittie Of YorkeThe Cittie Of Yorke
Very Good
17 Ratings
The Cittie Of YorkeThe Cittie Of Yorke

Type: Bar, Eatery

22 High Holborn
London, England, WC1V 6BS
United Kingdom

+44 (0)20 7242 7670 | map

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Added by Dantes

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Ratings: 17 |  Reviews: 15
Reviews by GreenCard:
Photo of GreenCard
3.63/5  rDev -3.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

I've been to this place a couple of times (it was near my former workplace over on Gray's Inn Rd.), but the last time I visited was during the below-mentioned pub crawl with Dukeofearl, led by wl0307.

The ambience/decor is definitely quite unique, especially if you go all the way back to the rear bar area. With one wall lined with Victorian(?) booths and the high cieling, this spacious hang-out feels roomy even when it's crowded. It's a nice place to start an after-work pub crawl.

However, it is true that it is not a haven for real ale. That being said, real ale is not the be-all-end-all type of beer (even for a CAMRA member), so there's plenty of good Samuel Smiths beers on tap and in bottles.

Perhaps not a place to have a serious tasting session, but definitely worth a pop-in for a quick one to wet the appetite.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Beerasaurus
3.9/5  rDev +3.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 3.75

Stopped in after a day of sightseeing to sample a few Samuel Smith brews. As it was midweek after work, the bar was pretty full with workers ending their day, but we got a high top up front. The exterior is pretty straightforward, and the front of the bar is primarily couches, chairs, low tables, a couple of high tops with the typical wood paneling and dim lighting. Cozy. But moving back you enter the main bar area which is a dramatic contrast, with a vaulted beam ceiling that seemed Gothic. A long bar is on the left and several semi private booths are on the right. You order both food and beer at the bar. Bartenders were friendly. Minimal number of taps but was able to sample the Extra Stout and Old Bitter on cask. Food was decent bar food. Crowd slimmed down after 8p and we moved into the main bar area into a semi private booth. worth a visit if you're in the neighborhood. Cheers!

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Photo of RickyHolden
3.43/5  rDev -8.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 3.25

Shame the company won't put more of their excellent beers into cask.

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Photo of 322wingedfoot
4.75/5  rDev +26.3%

Photo of LoriS17
4.56/5  rDev +21.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4

What a beautiful place. The atmosphere is really terrific here - went on a Tuesday afternoon when it was pretty slow. The bar was quiet and we had time to chat with the very knowledgeable bartender. Seating includes semi-private booths which are really nice. All the beer is Sam Smiths, but there were a number of ones on tap that I hadn't tried in the US. The price was incredibly good for a pint anywhere, but especially London!

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Photo of dougnboston
3.71/5  rDev -1.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 2.5

If I ever build a bar I may copy this one. Upstairs there are two bars. The main bar is BIG and open. As I entered for the first time a local patron leaving asked me “first time?”, I replied “yes”, he said “look up when you go in”. I did and I was impressed. The ceiling is really the roof peaked high above. Large wood casks sit above the main bar. The woodwork is beautiful. Cozy booths line the wall opposite the bar. A smaller seating area is up a step at the rear of the main area. The main bar is so long and on my visit had four bartenders it lends itself to quick service and gives you plenty of space to find your spot.

Moving forward towards the street front, there is a second bar. More intimate it has several tables and a smaller bar.

Downstairs was a, typical of the era, painted brick arched old cellar bar. Filled with a younger crowd it was buzzing with energy. Restrooms were down there … duck your head.

Great Sam Smiths beers ... I just wish there was more selection.

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Photo of bark
3.19/5  rDev -15.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3

The Good Beer Guide recommended this place, mostly for the unique rear bar and the cheap Sam Smith OBB.

And… I’ll guess they are right. You don’t go there for the beers primarily: All of them Samuel Smith; OBB on cask, some porter and lagers on tap and a handful of bottled beers. The liquors and wine are from Samuel Smith, too.

The interior is hard to describe. The ceiling height is enormous; the long and narrow room is entirely made of black wood. There are lots of Samuel Smith stuff gathered on the walls and shelves. The bar is very long, there are some tables at the other side of the room, but most of the patrons are expected to have their drinks standing.

During my visit, it felt that only the electrical lightning had changed since the turn of the 19th century. Well worth the visit, if only for that experience.

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Photo of JohnW
3.63/5  rDev -3.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 4

The rear large room has to be seen to be appreciated, fascinating with the pew like snugs, high vaulted ceiling and centre stove. As others have said, only Samual Smiths beers on tap (plus the usual lagers and cider) so not a huge choice, but Sam Smiths beer always worth having. Can be very busy at lunchtimes with local office workers, but with good reason as the food is good and fairly priced for London. I always make an effort to visit this pub when in London, as it just an interesting place to see, as well as having a pint of Sam Smiths.

Update March 2008 - possibly the cheapest pint of beer in London, as Sam Smiths keeps the prices of OBB down. Food good value and well presented. Can be busy mid-day especially nearer the weekend, though a downstairs cellar bar is open too.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
3.56/5  rDev -5.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3

This is a place to take tourists if ever there is. It is a lovelly pub. The dark walled room on the left as you walk in should be looked into, but not used, instead carry on into the main bar.

On the lefthand side is a long bar with huge barrels sat above, on the right are little booths with enough room for two people on each bench. There is a central radiator and brown tiles toilets. It is like stepping back in time.

The only cask beer is Sam Smith's Old Brewery Bitter which is a shame, but there are all the other Sam Smith beers and spirits to choose from too.

I love drinking in here and often use it as a meeting place when organising London days out with friends.


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Photo of JohnfromDublin
3.79/5  rDev +0.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3

Visited this pub during the day and evening of a Thursday in April 2007. Located close to Chancery Lane tube station. As others have said in their reviews this place has a very nice exterior and interior. Very quiet during the day, but gets busy later on in the evening. It is a fairly large Sam Smiths pub, so limited selection but reasonably priced especially when compared to other places in the area. Nice dark wood interior with cosy booths along the right hand side. Good service. Very nice choice; go in for a pint if in the area.

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Photo of texashammer
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 4

packed after work, clearly a local hangout. only a few casks (seven maybe?) but good ones. a samuel smith bar. wonderful atmosphere, in this very old building. individual booths almost completely closed to the restaurant are in high demand. the big triangular coal stove has some serious history attached to it, and is very warm besides. I was surprised to see people putting their beers on it though! decorated with huge casks. our server was in training and it may have been her first hour on the job, she was so confused -- but very nice and tried hard. the man who brought our food was pleasant too. food was pub style; I had some good fish and chips, my dad had a chicken, ham and leek pie. perfectly good.

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Photo of wl0307
3.63/5  rDev -3.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

As with other reviewers' comments, one should come to this pub expecting great atmosphere, not real ale"s".

Only one real ale is available on the handpump, the OBB(Old Brewery Bitter), which still undergoes second fermentation in the old-fashioned oak-wood casks, just like in the old days. And in London you don't get many Samuel Smith's pubs serving it on the pumps rather than the taps. But their house beers in bottle are all chilled in the fridge and too cold for immediate consumption. Take my recent trip there (with Dukeofearl+Alice, Greencard, and my GF), me and my GF shared a bottle of Pale Ale and it was just too cold and no flavour could possibly survive that torment.

Great atmosphere is the key. The interior hasn't changed since the end of second world war, and is listed as one of "CAMRA buildings with interiors of historic interest"(or something like that). Although it has a medieval touch to it, as it looks really like a grand hall or the sort, it actually was built in b/w the two World Wars, though there is rumour that on the same site there had been a medieval knights hall hundreds of years ago... The huge casks installed on top of the bar are said to have been there for decades, while the lone bar is also said to be the longest one in London/Britain(?), though, ironically, only one beer (OBB) is served on the totally four handpumps along with many taps of other SS beers and licence-brewed Ayinger range. The secluded side-booths are said to be very old and once popular in the north(?), and only two or three pubs in the whole Britain still have these unaltered: this being one, another (more magnificent) in Belfast (N. Ireland) which I've been to but forgot its name.

Avoid going there after 6pm, or you'll find yourself overwhelmed by waves of lawyers, solicitors, etc., except for those BAs who need one, though. Oh, and if you walk down the main street towards the city centre (westbound), right past the Holborn Station on your left hand side you'll get to another Listed II building also owned by the SS now, the Princess of Louise, which offers totally different atmosphere/interior like a Victorian Gin Palace. And just as remarkable.

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Photo of Dukeofearl
3.65/5  rDev -2.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3

Stop 2 on a walking pub crawl hosted by fellow BA wl0307 during our recent vacation to England, this place has incredible atmosphere, and is worth a visit for that reason alone. A front room (we passed by), a downstairs cellar room (never looked), and an incredible main room. This room has a gorgeous huge bar, a high overhead hewn wood ceiling (at least it looks like that, since I live near Disneyland, one must always be a little suspicious!), and very interesting-looking private booths along the wall opposite the bar. A great location for a beer.

This is Samuel Smith's place, and that's what you find. I understand they have small quantities of other beers as well, but I never saw them. They had two beers on tap, the Nut Brown and one other (I lost my notes). They had all the remainder of Samuel Smith's in Bottle. I was really disappointed, because I like Samuel Smith, but I can get all those in bottle at home. I wish they had more (much more) on draft. Having said all that, the beer is quite good.

Food is available, but I didn't see a menu or try anything.

Go here, and check it out, but don't expect Real Ale heaven.

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Photo of Mark
3.45/5  rDev -8.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 2.5

Large sectioned pub with distinct different areas. The rear bar is the most impressive with a beamed roof, wood stove, and cool snugs for private drinking. There is also a bar in the cellar. Did not try the food, but the place had plenty of people eating. The beauty of this pub is you can try Sam Smith's cask ale. Lots of atmosphere in a different way, not so much in the traditional feel. I liked the place but the meagre selection (the rest is lager and such) would keep it from becoming a place i would seek out regularly. However don't be mislead, It's worth a visit

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Photo of ybnorml
3.86/5  rDev +2.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

As part of my planning of my trip to England I made two demands. One was to be able to do a brewery tour at Samuel Smiths Brewery in Tadcaster.The second was to stop in to The Cittie of York. The interior of this place has a brewery feel about it. No the beer is not brewed here but they want you to feel like you are in a pub next to the brewery. Everyone in my party loved the private booths in the bar area. The service was quick, polite, informativeand cheerful. Although there was a new fellow who was confused about the label on one tap that stated it was an "oak cask" he was quickly corrected by the veteran barman. Yes it was indeed an oak cask. This is one of the few places in the world that you can get a Samuel Smiths beer on draft and even rarer still "beer from the wood" , Samuel Smiths being one of the few brewerys in the world that still uses an oak cask for one of it's cask ales. I really felt comforatable sitting there drinking fresh Samuel Smiths cask ales. We were there too early for dinner so I didn't get to try the food but the menu I saw looked interesting. This was one of the highlights of my trip.

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Photo of Clembo1957
3.7/5  rDev -1.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

Don't be fooled by the medieval style banqueting room look of the main bar - the current building only dates from the 1920's. Having said that its very impressive. The main bar is magnificent a long, long bar, high vaultsd ceiling with 'mock tudor' beams, quiet alcoves for sitting and large vats mounted on the walls. As you enter the pub there's a wood panelled front bar, a cellar bar (only open evenings) and a long corridor leading to the superb main bar.

Oh yeah - the beer! Samuel Smith (one of Yorkshires finest proclaims the sign outside) is the main beer, i had Old Brewery Bitter (OBB) 4.0%. The lunchtime meals looked good though i didn't try the food due to keeping plenty of room available for beer!

The Cittie of Yorke is situated on High Holborn between holborn and Chancery Lane underground stations. Not to be missed if only to see the bar.

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Photo of Dantes
4.06/5  rDev +8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

This is a great pub for a number of reasons. First, it’s practically a “beer shrine,” with its lovely interior. Second, it’s very well situated for a visit during your sightseeing travels; being located between the British Museum and the Hall of Records (home of the Domesday Book) in Chancery Lane. Finally, it serves a great array of Sam Smith’s beer.

Atmosphere: Reputed to have the longest bar in England, this is one of the nicest pub interiors in London. With its burnished copper escutcheon above the entrance, beautifully restored Tudor interior and high ceilings, huge hogsheads above the bar, and capacious back room; it’s worth a visit just for the interior. Plus, there’s a lot of history: there’s been a pub on this site since the 1400’s! The crowd is a mix of tourists and locals, many of them lawyers from nearby Gray’s Inn, who utilize the cozy booths for private conversations.

Selection: The main reason to come here is for the Sam Smith’s. While they don’t offer much in the line of “real ale,” this place does have the full array of Sam Smith’s in bottles and draught. Don’t miss the Old Brewery Bitter! There are other options as well including a nice selection of wines.

Quality: Likely one of the best sources for fresh Sammy’s. This is the place to come if you like their range (as I do), or just want to find out what they’re like at their best.

Service: Can get packed during lunchtime (lots of solicitors, barristers, and business people) and some tourists, but the service is rarely flustered and can guide you through the range of offerings.

Food: I haven’t eaten here.

Backwash: Although not the best source for “real ale” in London, I’d say it’s worth a visit for the history and architecture alone. Order a pint of Old Brewery and have a look around.

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The Cittie Of Yorke in London, GB2, United Kingdom
Place rating: 3.76 out of 5 with 17 ratings
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