A tun of fun

Pub 33. The One Tun, 7th March 2012.

Saffron Hill used to be main north  / south thorough-fare round here before the wonderous Fleet was wickedly covered over, and the Farringdon Road was created. It was a very dodgy area by all accounts, so I'm sure many an interesting character has had many an interesting time in The One Tun in its long history.  But I must admit from the outside it does a bit plain, smart but plain. I was expecting a comfy, modernised identi-kit central London pub, like so many more. Bar-staff in smart black shirts and name-badges, and not really wanting to be there. Beer battered fish, and 'famous' pies, Greene King IPA and all that. Not bad things, but very common. So in I went ... and oh! What a lovely surprise.
What a lovely, cosy, airy, unpretentious boozer. They had music on - but it was very quiet and it was the Top 100 soft-love-ballads on VH1 or something like that. Not at all intrusive, so we'll let them off there. The furnishings were how I like it, soft chairs & banquettes, proper pub tables of the sort that are designed for socialising rather eating. Carpet! Wallpaper! AND wood panels! A trendy-design-advocate would probably have a heart-attack, but this is exactly what is required from a pub. Pubs should never be trendy. Trendy is an awful thing. Short-sighted. Daft. Trends by definition don't last. This pub is real. It should last.

Bar puzzling

So to the bar, and some important drinking of fine ale - which is what a pub like this is all about. The bar area is wonderfully cluttered with souviners and knick-knacks, giving a nice personal touch. And above is a beautiful illuminated pub sign. I like that font! The choice was good - four ales to choose from... I forget which tho. They all looked good if I remember rightly. I went for a glass of  Cumberland Ale at 4% for £1.65. Very decent it was. By the door to a very secluded beer garden (or should they be 'smoking' gardens now?) there is a corner dedicated to photos of locals and punters and general good pub times. A good sign of a good pub that values its customers - and knows what a pub is about.

Pub people
Round the corner

On the wall opposite the bar they had lists of all the Prime Ministers since the pub opened, and also our Monarchs. But most interestingly they'd also put up a list of all the publicans that had been there. Fascinating stuff! I did notice that the current tenants are by far the longest serving - 20 years this year. I think the landlady spotted me looking at it, so I asked her about it. She was very proud of the list - a rightly so! It took them 2 years to research. She was also rightly proud that they were the longest serving. I asked them if they were going to have a celebration on their 20th anniversary - "Every night is a celebration in here!" chuckled the very affable landlord. What lovely people.

The guv'nors, new & old. 
The guv'nors, new & old!

It was very quiet, being around 3 or 4o'clock, just a couple of lads sat round the corner. Two more men came, and mentioned they were on a pub crawl. They were retired and seemed to spend their time travelling round the country visiting football grounds, guided by a Good Beer Guide. It's a hard life! They'd already been to all 92 league grounds at least twice, and were off to White Hart Lane that evening. So while we talked football, pubs & beer I got another drink. A 1/2 of Harvey's Best for £1.60.
This was my first visit here, although I'd walked past many times I'd never been tempted in before. I think maybe because the frontage looks a bit intimidating? I don't know. But I think now it will be my pub of choice when I'm round Farringdon way. A wonderful, friendly, no-nonsense boozer - no doubt all thanks to Caroline & David, happy 20th! Committed landlord make a good pub. And may you reign long. See you soon.

A-top a top pub.

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