Originally established in 1790, this pub has been central to the Clerkenwell community for generations - and was once especially popular with folk from the Observer offices nearby. Recently restored, it now boasts a menu from chef-restaurateur Henry Harris, of Racine fame.
Harden's survey result
“Downstairs is more noisy”, with a “buzzy” bar at the front, “lovely, glazed-sided restaurant” and a “small terrace garden that’s lovely on a sunny day”; upstairs is more elegant and leisurely at this Clerkenwell three-year-old. Harcourt Inns were credited in the last survey with creating a real “neighbourhood asset” with its opening – let’s hope its “very competent”, “high-class pub-food” survives the departure of chef-director Henry Harris in October 2020.
Under chef-director, ex-Racine chef Henry Harris, Harcourt Inns have created a real “neighbourhood asset” with this year-old venture in Clerkenwell, winning a steady stream of satisfied reports of its “very competent”, “high-class pub-food”: “an interesting menu with unusual items” of a gutsy Gallic nature. “Downstairs is more noisy”, with a “buzzy” bar at the front, “lovely, glazed-sided restaurant” and a “small terrace garden that’s lovely on a sunny day”; upstairs is more elegant and leisurely.
“So good to have Henry Harris back again!” – this “great revamped gastropub in Clerkenwell is under his gastronomic tutelage” (one of four, where he is collaborating with James McCulloch, including The Hero of Maida, The Three Cranes and The Harlot). “The downstairs is still recognisably a pub at the front and has a light and airy dining area at the back, while upstairs is a more formal dining area with lovely original features”. Ultimately there’s the risk he may move on or spread himself too thinly, but for the present “keenly priced French food” – “more fine dining than pub grub” and reminiscent of his Racine days – is the pay-off here (some dishes are “incredible”, not least “knockout roasts”).
For 30 years we've been curating reviews of the UK's most notable restaurant. In a typical year, diners submit over 50,000 reviews to create the most authoritative restaurant guide in the UK. Each year, the guide is re-written from scratch based on this survey (although for the 2021 edition, reviews are little changed from 2020 as no survey could run for that year).
Have you eaten at The Coach?
|Wine per bottle||£19.75|
26-28 Ray Street, London, EC1R 3DJ
|Monday||7:30 am‑11 pm|
|Tuesday||7:30 am‑11 pm|
|Wednesday||7:30 am‑11 pm|
|Thursday||7:30 am‑11 pm|
|Friday||7:30 am‑11 pm|
|Saturday||11 am‑11 pm|
|Sunday||12 pm‑10 pm|