Some parts of this guide might sound like bad things, but they are meant as the highest praise possible as The Clarendon isn’t a place for the trendy pubgoer. Instead, this is for the reader who really, truly, understands pubs.
The Clarendon smells like cigarettes, a hangover from the bad/good old days when boozers’ atmospheres were very different. On the TV the ponies race. It seems to matter not what time of day it is, there are at all times horses running around a track somewhere in the world. When there’s football, cricket, or other big sports on, the Clarendon is a surefire bet for a decent seat with a decent view and a decent Guinness.
For the active pubgoer, there’s also a pool table and even a slightly funky smell when you go into the gents. With a selection of old-school lagers (think Fosters and Co.), it’s better to keep your drinks order basic — glasses of rosé wine have been served in Stella half-pint glasses.
Good tables out the front often occupied by five aside players might mislead you on the predominant clientele of the Clarendon, because inside are people that know each other, who have helped keep their boozer free from the relentless march of gentrification while so many others have failed.
It’s hard to ignore that writing this could help contribute to this relentless change, so if you go be respectful, spend your money, and appreciate this is something to be cherished and cared for, not changed.