The site of a pub since the 15th century, the Gray's Inn Coffee Shop was built here in 1695. Coffee was introduced to Britain in the mid 17th century and became the fashionable drink. Many coffee shops were the offshoots of taverns (sound familiar?). They sprang up all over London and sold beer and wine too.
The Coffee Shop was set back from the road, with a garden at the front. This was built upon and after various incarnations and expansions the whole site was redeveloped in the 1920's. What we have today is three distinct bar areas behind a 'Tudor' fašade.
The front bar is panelled, dark and comfortable. The cellar bar forms the brick foundations of a much older building. The bar to the rear is both fascinating and unique. In a great church-like hall, under a high pitched roof, a long bar counter sits below large oak vats. These are dwarfed by massive wine vats near the entrance, said to hold 1000 gallons each.
On the opposite wall is a series of small cubicles, like confessionals, where it's easy to imagine lawyers in confidential conversation with their clients. Another unique feature is an ingenious triangular stove (c.1815) which stands in the centre of the bar. It has no visible chimney, the smoke is ducted away below the floor.
Some of the fabric of the pub is older than its rebuild date and it's thought that much of it was recycled from its predecessor. It is certainly one of London's most extraordinary and unique pubs. Grade II Listed Cittie of Yorke -
A group of us from Sussex were on a coach trip to see the Christmas Lights in the West End, the evening was concluded with a meal at the Cittie of Yorke pub all I can say is the meal was one of the worst I have ever eaten in my life, on complaining to the manager I was told we were the only two of our party that complained out of thirty six. This was not true and the head of our party has made a written complaint.
Cittie of Yorkeedwinc1,
i used to really like this pub, fab food at lunch time and a great atmosphere after work, but about a year and a half ago that all seemed to change,food was no longer home made (all prepacked) and the staff became very sloppy. dont know what spurred it on, perhaps new management??? not impressed at all!!
Cittie of Yorkelovelylondoner,
great atmosphere,excellent food,great pub,good service.
Cittie of Yorkea3558s,
Found this pub by accident when doing a few touristy things and its my favorite pub in London. It was this place that inspired me to come to the area in search of old pubs for my 31st birthday pub crawl. A must visit pub for those that like old pubs.
Cittie of YorkePBollard,
I always go to this pub whenever I'm in London, which isn't as often as I'd like. It's a wonderful place. I love the booths and the Samuel Smith's Pure Brewed Lager is the best!