On a rare hot summer day, grab a drink and enjoy the shady outdoor terrace at the Duke of Somerset.
The Duke of Somerset is a handsome pub, if a bit shabby around the edges. Tucked away from Aldgate tube station on Little Somerset Street, it comprises a large rectangular room with a carved wooden bar, nice wooden wall panelling, hardwood floors and a good mixture of different seating areas. An open kitchen means you can monitor your food being prepared and be tempted by the incredible smell. Besides the lovely shaded outdoor terrace with slatted wooden tables and chairs, there is a pool table and several games machines to distract you.
Jovial staff seem to enjoy working here, although the music is more appropriate to them (average age mid-twenties) than to the clientele (average age mid-forties). There is plenty of space to spread out, so you aren't going to be smashing elbows with your neighbour as you neck your pint.
You can get a burger and a beer at the Duke of Somerset and still get change from a fiver. It's a value-packed menu with a little bit of everything - sandwiches, grills, burgers and some decent choices for vegetarians. Desserts look like they might induce a diabetic attack, but what a way to go. A nice medley of sharers are great for fighting over with a couple of mates.
What's there to say when an entire bottle of wine can be yours for £6.45? Is it quaffable? That depends entirely on your standards. The wine snob can be satisfied with a bottle of Lindeman's red or white for about a tenner – still a bargain.
The shady outdoor patio at the Duke of Somerset is made for sampling the range of fruit ciders that venture far beyond the realm of apple or pear. Beer drinkers have an ample selection including bottles of Corona, Peroni, Budweiser and Fullers Honey Bee, whilst draught selections include Guinness, Carlsberg, Carling, Stella, Fosters, London Pride and Amstel.
The Last Word
The Duke of Somerset covers all of the basics – a good selection of food, well-priced drinks, room to move and friendly staff.