|Venue : Ye Olde Cock Tavern, 22 Fleet Street, City of London, EC4Y 1AA|
|Reviewed : February 2013||Telephone : 020 7353 3454|
Brewery : ~
|Pub Website :|
|Facilities : Beer and Food|
At the top of Fleet Street, at the very edge of the western boundary of the city and almost opposite Temple Bar you will find Ye Olde Cock Tavern. Originally dates from around 1550 and was located on the opposite side of the street, the tavern was moved in the mid 1880s when a branch of the Bank of England was erected. One room of the old tavern reconstructed on the fist floor of the new building. Known then as the 'Cock and Bottle' it would have been one door eastward, No. 201 Fleet Street.
Timbs, writing of it in about 1870, says : "It is, perhaps, the most primitive place of its kind in the metropolis : it still possesses a fragment of decoration of the time of James I., and the writer remembers the tavern half a century ago, with considerably more of its original paneling."
But what of the Cock now, well, a recent refurbish has set the scene for a more traditional look. Although the bar area is small, there is plenty of seating to the back and upstairs. The beer was reasonable and the food was typical pub grub. It's a pity that such history more couldn't be done with such a pub, but if it's good enough for British Fantasy Society to have their open nights then it's worth visiting. Although a word of warning, the beer prices are expensive even for a City pub, you pay around £4 a drink.
If you leave the Cock Tavern and head east you will find 37 Fleet street, the premises of Hoare's Bank. I came across an account of life in the bank at the turn of the century - "when he started as a junior clerk in 1907 he was paid £70 p.a. and lived in, with a separate bedroom above the bank, a valet to attend him and a butler/porter to serve his breakfast of cheese and beer or water. Before breakfast he could take a dip in the private swimming bath on the premises", cheese and beer, what a perfect way to start the day.