William IV is now under new management with a new menu. The review below refers to the previous set up - Food and Drink Editors March 2014
The owners of this imposing Georgian pub, set on a corner in the backstreets between City Road and Hoxton, clearly read the ‘How to Make a Gastropub’ handbook from cover to cover before taking over this fine site – from a previous pub-with-food – in the summer of 2010.
Taxidermy, a trio of real ales, a wine list with a mix of New World and Old World, classic pub staples with a retro twist… upright piano, real fire, low-slung sofas and candles in Champagne bottles… they’re all present and correct .
The main bar, brighter and lighter than most with whitewashed, wood-panelled walls, is part dining room and part drawing room with an assortment of tables and chairs, leather loungers and Chesterfields to chill in, small speakers playing Northern Soul as well as board games and broadsheets. On the first floor there are a couple of rooms available for event hire as well as for dining and drinking.
Of the three traditional real ales, the Timothy Taylor Landlord was spot-on but the Black Sheep was a little woolly and not as well kept. The selection of spirits could do with some sprucing up and the range of wines could be a little wider.
The kitchen kicks off at noon serving kippers with bubble and squeak, or a full English. There are lots of things on toast – potted crab, roast field mushrooms and Welsh rarebit. Bar snacks include oysters, whitebait and pork pie, while the main menu is a mainly meaty affair offering burgers, bangers and mash and steak sandwiches which were sizeable, succulent and, for £8, didn’t push their luck on price. For the sweet of tooth, meanwhile, there’s knickerbocker glory.