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The Monument was built as a memorial to the Great Fire of London and its soaring stone-masonry dominates the skyline. By contrast, the Britannia Pub is just visible above ground. It’s a basement hideaway, but do its charms warrant a closer look?

THE SCENE it’s easy to miss. Staring up at the wonder that is the Monument you could easily walk past the below ground drinking den that is the Britannia. The only clues to its existence are a few tables and chairs dotted around the rather discrete entrance.  Climb down a few flights of stairs and you enter a sparklingly new craft beer and casual dining joint. It’s smartly branded with a nod to Americana; think diner style booths and neon signage.

THE GRUB A mix of pub classics, pizzas and salads. Pudding portions are generous to say the least on a menu dominated by American-influenced sugary treats such as Cookie Cup Explosion and Salted Caramel Bar.  They also do keenly priced breakfasts if you’re planning to take a morning trip up the Monument. The food won’t blow your mind but there’s a lot of variety, it’s not going to break the bank and it all goes well with the impressive beer selection at the bar.

BEHIND THE BAR although it’s part of a chain, the beer selection gives it an independent feel. There’s a good selection on draught ranging from hoppy American pale ales to ink black porters and an additional half dozen in bottles. The cocktail menu offers up the usual suspects such as porn star martinis and mojitos. The real winners are wine drinkers who will be pleasantly surprised by the range and prices; the majority of bottles are under £15.

Bill PLEASE £5-£13 but there are lunch time and combo deals. Puddings are a steal at around £3 and at breakfast you can get a full English for £3.99. Pints of beer are around £3.50-£5 and bottles of wine start at £10.75.

VERDICT: Good prices, fun atmosphere, a welcome addition to an area short on casual drinking and eating options. Another draw is their live music and karaoke nights which makes it perfect for after work parties. Alternatively, go for a stiffener after climbing the Monument next door.

ADDRESS: 20 Monument Street, London, EC3R 8AJ

TUBE: Monument, Bank and London Bridge


By Elizabeth Hotson



The Britannia review
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