Clerkenwell gastropub where the food and rooms are a cut above the norm.
Once The Coach was just an old-fashioned Clerkenwell pub, among other things the favourite watering-hole of journos from the Guardian, whose offices used to be around the corner until they moved to fancy new premises in Kings Cross. Like most pubs, the food it served was basic, sometimes non-existent, but the welcome was always as warm as the beer and it didn't need to try much harder to attract its thirsty clientele. How times have changed! Gastropubs two-a-penny. But not all resurgent old boozers are equal, and if we're honest very few are a match for The Coach, which serves great food and has four very comfortable rooms upstairs for those wanting to stay the night. And why wouldn't you? It's in a brilliant location, on the fringes of Clerkenwell and Holborn, the rooms are spacious, peaceful and very stylish, and the Modern European food (curated by top chef Henry Harris) is as good as anything served in this part of London – quite a claim in an area where places to eat are thick on the ground.

Designed by Liana Braune (former curator of the Museum of Everything), the bedrooms are much more than rooms above a pub. Each one is different but they all boast classic 20th-century furnishings, flatscreen TVs with Freeview, air-conditioning and good wi-fi, king-size comfy beds with good quality linen and en-suite bathrooms divided from the main part of the room by glass screens. Downstairs the restaurant, pub and - in summer - the beer garden await, and you're just a five-minute walk from Farringdon tube.  Who needs faceless chain hotels when there are places like this to stay in central London? Who knows, you may even find you've saved yourself some money!

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