Off the beaten Old Street track, this surreal and spellbinding pub has obviously won a loyal following within months of opening. The friendly management are keen to emphasise that this is not a posh gastropub, but 'a proper local pub, with big screen sport upstairs and plenty of lager'. But with a very good menu and a rather nice upstairs dining room filled with geographical bits and bobs, we're going to label it a gastro anyway. Sorry, but the food is too good for a plain old boozer.
Originality is hard to come by in London's already well-catered pub scene, but the William IV is properly different. The most striking feature of the place is its all-white decor, with chairs, tables, walls, floors and fittings all in the same pale stripped wood. The only colour comes from a Union Jack hanging proudly behind the bar and a beat-up old piano in the corner that needs tuning. We loved the weird, white vibe, and it was a very hot day, so we elected to eat downstairs by the huge, open doors onto the street. A pub cat wandered in and out among the tables as we ate a sizable feast.
With a fantastic, handy setting, wonderful staff, a proper pubby ambiance and some top quality British grub, the William IV deserves to prosper. The pub encapsulates everything that's good about our drinking culture and food and beer lovers should definitely pay it a visit.
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Today (Wednesday) William IV closes at 23.00
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