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Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, London

Posted on 16. May, 2010 by in Pubs

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Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese

Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese is one of the most well known pubs in London. Owned by the Samuel Smith Brewery, it is popular with both tourist and Londoners alike.

Brief History

Located on Fleet Street, a road which connects the City and Westminster and can be recorded as far back as 1002, the Cheese was rebuilt in 1667 after being burned in the Great Fire of London in 1666. The pub that was destroyed by the fire was built in 1538 and prior to that it is believed that the vaulted cellars belonged to a 13th century Carmelite Monastery which once occupied the site.

The Interior

Inside the pub is a warren of dimly lit rooms spread over 5 floors (perhaps 6 or 7 as the cellar is split over separate connecting levels) with the two rooms near the entrance being the oldest.

On the right as you enter is a small bar containing what might be original panelling, simple seating, a large fireplace, a large Victorian bar and sawdust sprinkled on the wooden floor. This bar can be eerily quiet even with people inside. There were half a dozen people in the room when I visited and all you could hear as the clock ticking.

Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese

Outisde the bar is a small serving hatch and a very old looking tap and sink which no longer appears to be in use. Above the door is written ‘Gentlemen only served in this bar’, a rule which no longer applies.

Across the hall is the Chop Room, a panelled eating area which resembles one that the likes of Johnson or Boswell would have frequented in the 18th century.

To the rear of the pub are two more modern bars – one with just a few seats, the other much larger. These are a lot more modern than the rest of the pub and were added in 1992. The upper three floors are in restaurant use and contain wood panelling from the 20th century.

Head down into the cellar (mind your head) and you will find a huge seating area split over three floors and yet another bar.

Many famous people are thought to have visited the Cheese in the past including Oliver Goldsmith, Mark Twain, Alfred Tennyson and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Charles Dickens had been known to use the establishment frequently and the pub is mentioned in a Tale of Two Cities.

The Beer

The pub is operated by Samuel Smith so the usual beers are available. The pub is both popular with tourists and city workers so it’s best to visit when the pub opens or mid-afternoon.

More Photos of Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese

Venue Location

Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese

145 Fleet Street



Tel: 020 7353 6170

(Twitter: @awv)

Beer Taster, Pub Attendee, Photo Taker

Robert Gale likes beer, pubs and beer festivals. He also likes to take photos of beer, pubs and beer festivals. Most weekends of the year you can find him travelling around the UK (and sometimes beyond) photographing and reviewing good quality pubs and beer festivals. He also has a day job in the form of a web developer for Ozum.

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  1. Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, Fleet Street, London | Beer Lens | Photos of beer, pubs and breweries from around the world - May 16, 2010

    […] Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, Fleet Street, London Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese is a very well known pub located on Fleet Street, London. The pub was originally built in 1538, destroyed by the Great Fire of London in 1666 and rebuilt in 1667. The pub is a maze of rooms and bars and the cellar is believed to have belonged to a 13th century Carmelite Monastery which once occupied the site. The pub is dimly lit which makes taking photos without a tripod very difficult hence using an ISO of 3200. You can read a review of the pub and view more photos at Travels with Beer. […]

  2. The Old Bell Tavern, Fleet Street, London | Pub Review | Travels With Beer - May 18, 2010

    […] open Monday – Friday. And if you do visit there are no shortage of pubs in the area including Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, the Black Friar, the Crown and Sugarloaf, the Punch Tavern and the […]

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