I work near the City of London, otherwise known as the "Square Mile", the financial enclave smack bang in the middle of London. Working near there has its perks ,as there are countless bars, restaurants, and grand buildings many with a rich history. One of the downsides however is the people working inside these buildings. City workers are generally acknowledged by the public and the press as being trumped up, braying wankers. From what I can tell whenever I have the misfortune to venture into a City bar, that is completely true. A city bar is usually a miserable experience of being surrounded by people more interested in their iPhones than their peers, necking back expensive pints of Peroni or Budvar (the new Stella and Carling) and a sweaty air of desperation, sexism and misogyny about the whole sorry affair.
Last Friday I was due to meet up with some ex-colleagues in St Paul's which is smack bang in the middle of the city. I was preparing for the worse. But something miraculous happened - I found a pub in the city that wasn't full of twunks. The Paternoster is just behind St Pauls, with Merrill Lynch, Bank of America, and other bastions of twatness nearby. As it was a balmy summer evening I was expecting the worse, the streets overflowing with pinstriped moneybots, bleating about their latest swindling of the British public while eyeing up passing "totty" with their piggy eyes. As I walked past each soulless city pub on my way to the Paternoster the clientele were certainly living up to the stereotype.
But the Paternosrer, my ultimate destination, was a bit different. This Young's pub wasn't too busy, and the people who were there seemed fairly normal. Fairly young, not a pinstripe in sight, no braying, just a good mixed crowd. Hooray! Looks like this is the place the decent people in the City go to - which probably explains why it was only half full on a pleasant Friday night. A full selection of Young's beer were on offer. I'm not a fan so I avoided most of them, but I did try the Hummingbird, purely because I'd never had it before. Turns out I wasn't missing much. Despite promising tropical notes this was a fairly bog standard pale ale and one pint was enough. I spent the rest of the evening sticking to the guest ale, Sambrooks Wandle, which was in good form with some great crisp bitter notes coming through.
A standard pub menu was available and we sampled a sausage platter and plougmans platter, both of them meeting the requirements of being tasty yet horrifically bad for you. A bowl of "sharing" chips was a bit of a piss take priced at £9.95, but they were good quality chips at least. Prices were standard for the City - £4.14 for my pint of Hummingbird, which would of made any passing Northerner pass out in shock. But it was so refreshing to find a halfway decent pub in the City (that isn't tiny or smells a bit funny) that I could put up with the prices. Worth a visit.
My next update will definitely be on Sunday - I promise.