Located just off City Road, The Harlequin is a historical pub that’s perfect for a pre-theatre pint.
The Harlequin is a quaint little pub situated just off the ever-busy City Road, near Sadler’s Wells Theatre. It’s easy to miss; Arlington Way is one of those small roads without much through traffic, yet venture down there and you’ll find a plethora of boutique shops, and this charming pub.
Looking at The Harlequin is like stepping back into the Dickensian era. The pub is steeped in history; it dates as far back as 1848; and the tiled, teal-green exterior still exists from when it was first installed in 1894. Step inside and the time-travelling illusion is further reinforced with its low ceilings, small bar in the centre of the room, and creaky wooden floors. To the rear there’s a small patio garden with a few small tables and chairs.
This friendly pub has a local feel about it, with many punters coming from the surrounding area. It’s not just your typical back street boozer though - the pub holds live music nights several times over the course of the year, which could be anything from a folk band to a jazz singer. There’s also a weekly quiz night held on Mondays (£1 entry), and a piano which you’re welcome to tinkle away on (providing you can hold a tune!). There’s no TV here, so don’t plan on watching your team play on Saturdays. However, if your idea of a good afternoon is playing some board games, reading the paper and supping on a cold pint, this is the place for you. It’s also a great place to stop for a drink if you’re going to the theatre, and want to avoid the crowds.
The Harlequin does not offer a food menu, but has some tasty bar snacks on offer, including their all day British cheese board: three types of cheese with oatcakes and homemade chutney (£6.50). If you fancy something lighter to nibble on there’s all the usual crisps and peanuts.
The Harlequin offers two real ales on draught – Timothy Taylor’s Landlord (£3.85 a pint) and Old Speckled Hen (£3.65). They also have a range of lagers including Heineken, Kronenbourg and Amstel (£3.75). There’s an extensive wine list on offer and a bottle of the house red or white will set you back £14.95. They even have bubbly. The Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte NV is recommended. All the usual spirits and mixers are on offer, along with their delectable range of 11 malt whiskies.
The Last Word
A charming little pub just off the beaten track, The Harlequin is well worth a visit.