Camden New Journal
Publications by New Journal Enterprises
  Home Archive Competition Jobs Tickets Accommodation Dating Contact us
Published: 14 August 2008
Henry Davies out from behind the scenes in the film world and enjoying a new life behind the bar
Henry Davies out from behind the scenes in the film world and enjoying a new life behind the bar
Henry’s happier in his new role at William IV gastropub

A lunchtime stroll put a disaffected film designer on the road to creating his own gastro-pub. Peter Gruner sampled his fare

FILM set designer Henry Davis was strolling through Shepherdess Walk, near Old Street, in search of a decent pint and a plate of reasonably priced grub when he came across a scruffy, boarded up building that looked like a location for Dickens’ Bleak House.
Suddenly his world was transformed. Fed up with working backstage in an industry where he was just a cog, Henry realised that here was an opportunity for a better life. If he couldn’t find what he was looking for that lunchtime, he would create it himself.
Soon afterwards he turned the “Bleak House” building into his William IV gastro pub. And Henry, no longer the backroom artist, is now the perfect host, able to give full rein to his ebullient personality.
For a start, there is nothing dark or sombre about this pub, just a stone’s throw from Moorfields eye hospital. Henry has leased the building, a former pub outlet, from Punch Taverns, and has provided a bright, white décor with chairs, tables, walls, floors and fittings all of the same pale stripped wood.
The cosy atmosphere is completed with a large and splendid painting of the original William IV (1765-1837), known as the “sailor king” or “silly Billy.”
They do a good pint of Yorkshire-brewed real ale, Black Sheep, and Flowers IPA.
There is also a popular “credit crunch” lunch: you can have three courses for £10 or two for £7.50.
Among the mouth-watering starter dishes are homemade ham hock and parsley terrine with warm potato salad, or carpaccio yellow-fin tuna with a crisp vegetable salad.
The William IV burger with smoked bacon, cheddar and chips (£9.95) is delicious as, according to my colleague, is the Gloucester Old Spot sausage and mash served with red onion gravy (£9.50).
They also do a fresh haddock and chips, beer-battered and served with mushy peas and tartar sauce (£12.50), and pie and mash, meat or vegetarian, served with French beans (£1.50).
You could finish off with sticky toffee pudding with toffee sauce and vanilla pod ice cream (£4.50) or a chocolate brownie served with clotted cream (£4.50).
Henry said: “I’m glad I made the move from the film business when I did because I’m extremely happy in the pub trade now. I’m even negotiating to lease another pub in Pentonville Road.”
He employs 15 staff and is open 12noon-11pm Monday to wednesday, 12noon to 1am Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 12noon-10.30pm Sunday.
“We get everyone from City workers to local residents,” he added. “We do good English style food which is simple but substantial.”

William IV pub, 7 Shepherdess Walk, N1. Tel: 020 3119 3012

Comment on this article.
(You must supply your full name and email address for your comment to be published)





» Book a Table
» A-Z Restaurants
» 50% OFF
» Special Offers
» Help & Support


Theatre Music
Arts & Events Attractions