Pakenham Arms

Bars and pubs St Pancras
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Occupying a quiet corner of Clerkenwell behind Mount Pleasant sorting depot, with red postal vans regularly passing its sun-catching front terrace, the Pakenham is simply a thoroughly decent, and decent-sized, corner boozer.

Atop a long bar counter, taps of Greene King, Sambrook’s Wandle, Sharp’s Doom Bar and Sagres lager draw in a blokey clientele of posties and ale fans, some scarfing down a homemade pie of the day or a notable Pakenham burger topped with cheese, bacon and onion rings. Look out for the twofer meal deal for under a tenner on weekday lunchtimes.

Flatscreen TVs in diagonal corners of the expansive main saloon provide entertainment for sports fans but the Pakenham is best enjoyed by day, providing the epitome of the quiet pint beneath tasteful black-and-white shots of vintage London.


Venue name: Pakenham Arms
Address: 1 Pakenham Street
Opening hours: Open 10.30am-midnight Mon-Wed; 10.30am-1am Thur-Sat; 11am-11pm Sun. Food served noon-3pm, 5-9pm Mon-Fri; noon-7pm Sat, Sun
Transport: Tube: Russell Square tube
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3 / 5

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The decline in this venue over the past two years has been nothing short of shocking. As a regular visitor, it used to be at the centre of the community, frequented by locals, post office staff and office workers. It had a light airy feel, friendly welcoming staff, great food, and a great atmosphere. Now it is pretty much abandoned by most of the local drinkers, posties and office workers. It was been transformed into a dark cave with an oppresive atmosphere. The friendly staff have been replaced pretty much, with one manager after another seeming to be doing their best to destroy what was a thriving business. If you like socializing with an odd crowd who are generally well oiled then this is the place for you, the atmosphere has been destroyed, and the banter between staff and customers non existent - unless you are part of an elite clique. Add to that the problem with the smell, the inconsistent range of beers and wines (which are pretty expensive), the odd bar staff with an equally odd attitude, overpriced drinks and you get the general idea. Positives - they seem to have a chef who cares, the toilet lights have been fixed, and judging by the smell, the problem with rodents has been resolved for the time being. Its pretty obvious that someone is doing their best to run the place into the ground - a real shame as it showed great potential. Try The Apple Tree, The Calthorpe, The Blue Lion, The Union, or The Exmouth Arms - you'll be made to feel much more welcome, and quite frankly have a better time.