Sitting rather quaintly just off the densely populated Farringdon and Clerkenwell Roads is the Hat And Tun, a popular gastro pub in the ETM Group possessing a warm and welcoming atmosphere whether its drinks or food you’re after.
Like many other City boozers, the Hat And Tun is a uniquely shaped vintage building. It still has plenty of the classic pub hallmarks, such as green tiles on the walls and leather bar stools accompanied with a rather regal-looking wooden bar, which dominates the main space in the pub. The venue stands out with its bold black signs teamed with gold writing and even an impressive ‘Hat And Tun’ motif at the very top of the building to guide the way.
There are two entrances on each side paving the way into the first half of the pub, a relatively small dining area and bar, which looks bigger due to high ceilings and large wall-mounted mirrors. One theme throughout the Hat And Tun is taxidermy, and stuffed and mounted badgers, foxes, hogs, fish and deer heads are all kooky embellishments. The back space of the pub serves as a lounge area, with more comfortable leather seating and a cosy ambience.
Typically on weekdays you can expect to be met with a flurry of City workers popping in for a liquid lunch or a quick bite. Evenings are the same, and there’s a real feeling of relief as people wind down, mainly owing to the pub’s location in a busy area of commerce. Low-hanging, dim lighting around the bar matches the relaxing theme. Staff at the pub are friendly and well-presented, looking sophisticated in shirts and trousers. They cater to your needs and the importance of the customer shines through at this venue. This is all part and parcel with the strong feeling of a traditional boozer and events like the Monday night quiz (an eye-watering £100 bar tab is up for grabs) and the stunning upstairs private dining area accentuate this even more.
There’s an extensive menu available at the Hat And Tun and there are various types of food to dig in to. For those searching for a quick and easy bite, there's a handy bar snack menu with treats such as Scotch egg with HP sauce (£4), Black Country pork scratchings (£3) and an ever-changing selection of toasted sandwiches from as little as £3.95. There is also a fine selection of sandwiches and baguettes to get stuck into, the hot salt beef doorstep sandwich worth a look, served with mustard, pickles, crisps and salad. A healthy list of starter options help show off the flexibility of the venue and highlights include the soup of the day served with crusty bread (£6) and the colourful chicory, pear, walnut and blue cheese salad (£7).
Main dishes at the restaurant are certainly value for money and portion sizes are very generous. One of the most popular dishes is the traditional pie and mash (£8.50 or £11.50 with a pint of ale or lager of your choice), and customers can choose from steak and ale, beef sirloin and curried goat, to name a few. You’re even advised to ring ahead with your order so you don’t miss out on your favourite pie. Traditionalism is certainly key, with dishes such as cottage pie (£8.50), the Billingsgate fish pie (£9.50) and ‘The Londoner’ sausage and mash with caramelised red onion gravy (£11.50) complementing the classic pie options.
A host of drinks matches the hearty pub grub, and the draught selection comes in the form of Becks, Guinness, San Miguel, Addlestone, London Pride, Adnams Bitter and Carlsberg, with plenty of guest ales, as with any ETM venue. Wines vary between £17 and £35 a bottle, and there is also a choice of sparkling, Champagne and fortified and sweet wines.
The Last Word
This 18th Century building makes for a refreshingly cosy and traditional watering hole with quirky touches that have helped to build a base of returning customers. Whether it’s by giving you the chance of a hearty, value for money meal or the opportunity to be watched over by a wall-mounted wild boar, The Hat And Tun does a stellar job in putting smiles on faces.