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A Winter's Night Out in Smithfield

Jane Ryan
Smithfield Market is one of those areas in London which is drenched in history. And at 5am it's an exciting, although bloody, hive of activity. What many don't know is that it's also surrounded by an abundance of great beer bars and restaurants, mostly open Monday to Friday. For a weeknight away from the crowds of central or east London this is a relaxed evening to nestle into the corner of homely venue, drink stout and wax lyrical about the gentrification of Clerkenwell.
  • Start here

    Ask For Janice


    50-52 Long Lane, London, EC1A 9EJ


    Mon-Fri 7.30am-Midnight Sat-Sun CLOSED

    This comfy cafe-styled venue has a wonderful array of gins and beers which pretty much makes it a safe bet to bring all your friends. Arrive between 5 to 7pm and try a flight of draught beers served in 1/3 pint glasses for mere £5. By bottle you've got an exciting choice of British ales, lagers and ciders or get stuck into their impressive selection of gin served with a matching garnish and tonic brand, whether it's Martin Millers with cucumber and Fever Tree or Jenson Old Tom with rosemary, fig and Fentimans. Food here is wonderfully seasonal so a snack before dinner is perfectly acceptable, look under the small section of the menu which has the likes of chorizo, sherry and sourdough. Finish up and walk the short distance to the next venue.

  • Move On

    HIX Oyster & Chop House


    36-37 Greenhill Rents, Cowcross Street, London, EC1M 6BN


    Mon-Tue 11.30am-11pm Wed - Sat 11.30am-Midnight Sun 11.30am-9.30pm

    Arrive at this old-school eatery between 7-9pm. Perch at the bar and delve into the lighter dishes or languish at a table and work your way through the menu, either way you won't be disappointed with a meal here. There is, of course, much more to the food than oysters and chops but they're an excellent starting point. To drink there's an impressive global wine list but we're heading for their choice of beers and ciders, including Hix Oyster Ale, brewed by Palmers of Bridport. It goes wonderfully with the seafood dishes on offer and suits the vibe of venue perfectly.

  • End Here

    Harrild and Sons


    26 Farringdon Street, London, EC4A 4AB


    Mon-Wed Midday-Midnight Thu Midday-1am Fri Midday -2am Sat-Sun CLOSED

    Part of the same group at the Well and Bucket and Exmouth Arms, Harrild and Sons is a truly stunning pub, right down to the gleaming copper bar surface and dark, rich wooden floors. For a night cap we're reaching toward one of their darker stouts or lagers paired with a creamy measure of bourbon to help the food go down. Find a spot at the bar to quiz the staff on their selection - it's seriously impressive - and nestle down for the last drink of the night. Not done yet? There's a cocktail bar hidden in the basement for those who are forever in need of one last drink...


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