Pakenham Arms, WC1X 0LA
- 1 Pakenham Street, WC1X 0LA
Note: The Pakenham Arms was sold in Autumn 2013. It reopened under new management in November of that year. We haven't visited since the change of management, so some of the details below may be out of date.
This pub, serving real ales, has plenty of space for tables, with an additional area up a few steps to the left of the bar (showing sports on a big screen, though there's also a dart board and a quiz machine). There are a few tables on the street for smokers.
The pub's proximity to the huge Mount Pleasant Royal Mail Sorting Office means that a lot of the regulars are posties, but the bar is also happy to reserve areas for groups. Its location also explains the long opening hours (licensed from 9am), which the website ascribes to catering for postal workers on shift work.
We've visited here a few times now. On Ewan and Kat's February 2008 visit the threee regular real ales were off, but there were three guests; Cornish Coaster, an excellent Doom Bar (at £2.50/pint), and Adnams. On a May 2009 visit by Kake et al., all six handpumps were on, offering Sharp's Doom Bar, Eden, and Cornish Coaster (£1.40/half), plus TEA, London Pride, and Broadside. There is also a small wine list on a chalkboard behind the bar.
On our May 2009 visit, music was playing (reggae, something Eric Clapton-ish, various '80s stuff, Finley Quaye) but not overly loud. A flatscreen was showing sport with the sound off.
In May 2009, Kake tried the pollock goujons (£3.50) photo from the "snacks and starters" menu; they came in a very generous portion, but unfortunately they'd been fried in too-cool oil and so were quite greasy. Kat had the Pakenham burger (£8), which was truly enormous and came with skin-on chips. Sarah had the home-made pie of the day (£8), which was a true pie with pastry all the way around, served with good mash and a decent portion of vegetables (broccoli and carrots).