Jerusalem Tavern

55 Britton Street London EC1M 5UQ

The Jerusalem Tavern is named for the Priory of St John of Jerusalem, founded in 1140, whose only surviving relic is the nearby St John’s Gate. The tavern itself can be traced back to the fourteenth century; it occupied various sites in the area and settled in its current location from 1720. The building has been a merchant’s house and a clock workshop; the current shop front was added in 1810.

Samuel Johnson, William Hogarth and even a young Handel were customers here and its popularity shows no sign of ending soon. Sure, it can be hard to get a seat amid the cramped rabbit warren of alcoves and old wooden furniture, especially on a Friday night, but come early and when you do get a place to sit, stay and soak up the atmosphere. The only London pub run by Suffolk's St Peter’s Brewery, it specialises in real ales, with no alcopops in sight. There are always six St Peter’s cask ales available – the gluten-free ale is much better than expected – as well as great coffee and hearty pub meals.

(Interior photo: (c) Anne Clements)

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