Farringdon is full of high quality places to eat and drink but I have always noticed how busy The Well is, even on a weekday evening. So I thought I’d head down to finally see what it is that makes this place so exceedingly popular.
Located on St. John’s Street in Clerkenwell, The Well is an intriguing amalgamation of an intimate gastro pub and a cool subterranean bar. On the ground level you’ve got a light and airy dining area that offers indoor and outdoor seating; decorated tastefully with antique wooden chairs, varnished floors and exposed brickwork giving it a stylish yet classic feel. A venture down the spiral staircase brings a pleasant surprise. A small, basement hideaway delivers quite the juxtaposition from the open pub feel of upstairs. Red leather sofas, a fully-equipped aquarium and a small private bar make it the perfect little spot to hire out for an event or party, relaxing and sombre, it’s two venues in one.
The Atmosphere and Clientele
It’s lively and fun, but in a more adult way. Whilst The Well was indeed busy it never felt overcrowded or too loud, despite the fact that it doubles up so well as both a bar and restaurant. The clientele was clearly made up of people that worked in and around the area, a real local vibe. The restaurant staff (despite having to tend to more than their fair share of tables) were helpful and attentive, answering questions and making good suggestions with a smile. The downstairs bar has a bit more of a party atmosphere, lively and with louder music but still maintaining an air of sophistication.
The Food and Drinks
All of the food served at The Well is locally sourced and incredibly well put together. While the prices might be a bit higher than your average gastro pub (on average around £16 for a main course) it shows in the quality of the food. Our starters of sizzling scallops, chorizo and wild garlic and a fennel, spinach and goats cheese tart were fresh, generous and extremely tasty. The main course of Herdwick mutton chops, crushed Jersey Royals, spring onion, samphire and mint jus tasted and looked as though it was from the restaurant of a Michelin chef, very impressive. Couple this with a great range of beers, wines and classic cocktails and there is plenty to satisfy the taste buds of anyone looking for a nice evening of eating and drinking.
The Well is a stand out pub in the Farringdon area. Marrying great food and a nice atmosphere in a well presented, and well thought out package. A must for those that live or work in the area and certainly worth a visit if you don’t.