Ye Olde Mitre, Barnet.
This is a delightful survivor of the coaching inns that used to line the St-Albans-London road. Not much is known about the origins of this pub, originally three inns that eventually merged together, although there are records of a brewing licence dated from 1554. This date is questioned as there are 14th and 15th century timbers within the building structure, but the jury is out as to whether or not this is bespoke to the structure, or recycled shipping timbers. Either way, the authenticity of the building is beyond dispute.
Nowadays, it is a classic example of a traditional pub with a network of seating areas, speaking of innumerable restructurings as the building consolidated, complete with eighteenth and nineteenth century internal fixings, replete with plaques of various aspects of the local history.
We visited as part of our Beer and Battlefield trip to poke about the north of Barnet for any clues as to the location and realities of that battle. Ye Olde Mitre has won the local CAMRA Pub of the Year award several times, and the range on our visit was varied and interesting. The session favourite was Tring Brewery’s Ridgeway Bitter, rather apt, considering the way the ridgeway here would dictate the battle in 1471. Craft beer fans will be happy with the intelligent selection of 22 bottled beers kept behind the bar. Old Rosie cider and Addlestones were the cider selections.
Food was a pretty standard list of pub classics, such as pies and fish and chips. Pricing was middle of the road too, averaging about £10 a main meal. The staff were polite and friendly. The SCAdians enjoyed it, and we probably drank more than we were planning. All in all, a good day out, and worth dropping in if you find yourself in Barnet.
Ye Olde Mitre Inn
58 High Street, Barnet
London EN5 5SJ