Deservedly protected by landmark status, this 1904 Art Nouveau masterpiece, a short walk from St Paul’s, is as jolly as the fat friars that bedeck it in bronze, wood, and glass. Once it was snuggled down a few dark alleys, but urban change liberated it and now it’s blessed with a noisy outdoor patio and once light-hungry walls of windows are now bathed in afternoon sunshine from over the Thames. The back Saloon was intended for the upper classes, hence its exceptionally overbaked interior in marble and bronze, and the undulating front bar, where pop music plays and pub crawls frequently pass through to sign the guest book, is extraordinarily well-stocked with a range of cask ales and cider. Pricey food (£13 burgers, many meat pies) is shuttled from the upstairs kitchen via a hand-cranked dumb waiter.
The Black Friar
174 Queen Victoria St., EC4
Our Rating Neighborhood In & Around the City Hours Mon–Sat 10am–11pm, Sun noon–10:30pm Transportation Tube: Blackfriars Phone 020/7236-5474 Cuisine Type Pub Web site The Black Friar
Map174 Queen Victoria St., EC4 London
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