I hope this will start a trend for pub threads based on different areas of London.
So, my trainee haunt was the Butcher’s Hook and Cleaver. Some cohorts preferred the Lord Raglan on St Martin’s le Grand but this has the drawback of not being in any way, shape or form a good pub; its main distinctions in my memory are (1) being host to our official new trainee welcome drinks when I was the babiest if baby lawyers and (2) I once met for a pint there a certain girthsome former ROFer renowned for his wedding dancing and exaggerated boasts of sexual prowess. I had actually driven my then-fiancee’s car in and parked it on Gresham street and had so many, MANY pints that I had to leave it. Unsurprisingly, I didn’t make it in for the crack of dawn to retrieve it the next morning, and incurred a parking fine.
Only the brave trainee went to the Bishop’s Finger, although it is the only pub I’ve ever been to that stocks Oranjeboom. I went to a spectacular ROF drinks there where I met SCT for the first time and accordingly left with surprise horn.
Back when I was a regular drinker in this area I seem to have overlooked the profusion of Proper Beer Pubs in the quiet streets between Weat Smithfield and Aldersgate Street, the best of which is the Hand and Shears, but the Rising Sun and Old Red Cow both meritorious.
Although the much missed Smithfield Tandoori fell into a Crossrail box, just near there on Charterhouse Street at the NE corner of Smithfield Market there has always been a small bar, which now is called Be At One but back in the noughties was vaguely japanese themed and had vintage arcade machines. It was always shit. Fox & Anchor round the corner - great for breakfast but not really a pub is it,
North of here on St. John St, one of the bars up here, I really can’t remember which for reasons which will follow - maybe Trader Vic’s - I once had a Very Bad Night as a trainee which featured me almost getting into fisticuffs with a partner from the litigation dept. I mean quite. youngish fittish relatively hard partner who would probably have chinned me, too. Reader, my career survived.
Happier times, the Hogshead in a hard of Cowcrosa Street just behind where Books Etc used to be is where I watched England win the 2003 Rugby World Cup. Hogshead briefly had another branch nearby on Aldersgate St, which opened at their peak just before they went under.
Opposite on Cowcross St has always been a consistently undistinguished bar, now called the Fence, where an alcoholic former boss used to take me drinking. I’d have a bad pint of Greene King IPA while he nailed two bottles of white. The main advantage of this place is a quite attractive terrace out the back, above the retaining wall of the City Widened Lines to Moorgate.