We enjoyed stumbling across this newish Clerkenwell watering hole recently. Dating back to the 1720s, the Apple Tree is tucked away on Mount Pleasant between Farringdon and King’s Cross, an independently owned joint that is “proud to be non-conformist”.
Basically that means it’s a haven for LGBTQ+ communities and those living what it calls “an alternative lifestyle”.
Step inside and the feel is a bohemian living room, with pleasantly distressed floor, old school desk, chairs and other mismatched bits of furniture, with rainbow bunting strewn around a central pole.
There are on-trend cocktails with home-made infusions and cordials, and a (naturally) vegan-focused menu made up of small plates, although the carnivorous will be pleased to spy meat and dairy options too.
And because the pub is somewhat hidden away (and presumably, being in WC1, miles from where 90% of its customers live), the emphasis is on IRL experiences, from life painting, immersive theatre performances, open mics and drag cabarets to monthly queer clothes swaps.
On our late-ish Tuesday evening visit, none of that appeared to be going on – unless we were missing something – but nonetheless the vibe was low-key and welcoming, with just a handful of customers hiding out after dark.
But still, there’s a definite laidback neighbourhoody appeal here that is quite different from LGBTQ haunts in Soho, east London or Vauxhall. It’s worth seeking out – and, of course, supporting.