The Dovetail

Photography by Ewan Munro

Words by Simon Difford on 11-Dec-2015

The Dovetail image 1

Address: 9 Jerusalem Passage, (btwn St. John’s Sq & Aylesbury St), London, EC1V 4JP, United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)20 7490 7321
Website: View bar's website
Hours: Mon-Sat noon-11pm, Sun closed
Door: Open door
Style: Bier Hall
Recommended for: Beer
Price guide: Middling
Food: Full menu


Clerkenwell has a religious past. In 1730 a Carthusian Monastery was founded here. Although it is long gone, some of its buildings remain on Charterhouse Square and are now pensioners' alms-houses. St John's Square, off Clerkenwell Road, is the site of the medieval Priory of The Knights of the Order of St John of Jerusalem. Its gateway, rebuilt in 1504, still stands at the southern end of the square and Jerusalem Passage lies at the opposite side of this square. Hidden up this narrow alley, which was originally paved with stones brought back from the Holy Land, is the Dovetail.

The Dovetail's interior is basic. Its slate floor, wooden tables, gothic chairs and reclaimed pews herald the appropriately monastic beer theme. The 100 strong list of beers is focuses on Belgian: 14 are available on draught. The Dovetail is rightly a place of pilgrimage for Belgian beer lovers, as well as a relaxed local for young media types.