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Ye Olde Swiss Cottage, Swiss Cottage

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user reviews of Ye Olde Swiss Cottage, Swiss Cottage

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

Most 'superficia'l pub in London - made to look like a Swiss cottage!
tradervic - 29 Jun 2018 16:48
Wonderful unique pub, slightly old school and a bit worn in places. Obviously not for those who like their pubs superficially tarted up (see below). Old Brewery is always in good condition, even in the hot weather. And, the pub is to be praised for providing a refuge from fat shouty men draped in the flag of St George by not showing the World Cup football.
alebarry - 29 Jun 2018 15:52
5/10 seems about right. Very mediocre, and Sam Smiths could do a lot more with this place, not one of there better pubs in London. But in an area that is a bit of a desert now for pubs it's OK.
mike_s - 21 Feb 2017 13:36
Visited here one Sunday. For me, this is probably one of the most unique pubs in London. It's owned by Samuel Smith's so therefore it's a similar theme to their other pubs if you've ever visited one of them. It's right by Swiss Cottage Underground station and it's easily located from there using exit #3.

The interior is nicely furnished with comfy armchairs and sofas. There's no music so it's a good place to meet up with friends for a chat over a drink. I had a pint of Sovereign ale (£3.16) and pulled pork pie which tasty enough.

This pub is a nice refuge from the hustle and bustle of London outside. I do like Sam Smiths boozers as they retain many traditional features and their food and drink is good value as well. I do recommend a visit if ever you're nearby.
wezmiester - 17 May 2016 19:30
This is a fantastic exterior. I would say iconic. Inside slightly worn interior with some very odd characters drinking there
duskmaiden - 15 Feb 2014 20:04
4.25 for a pint of premier lager - someone is having a laff - and it used to be cheap - no longer, yes, no longer!
maidavale - 28 Apr 2012 21:25
Excellent pub and a superb pint of Samual Smiths Extra Stout(2.93) was quaffed,8/10
fat_beer_badger - 23 Feb 2012 16:00
Popped into this pub again recently. There were a couple of rowdy revellers in attendance... the management swiftly and discreetly handled it and all was once again nice and peaceful.

Miker1234... I think I've posted reviews on here before but it was a bit of a while ago and under a different name which I have since forgotten unfortunately.
Scarecrow - 9 Jan 2012 17:16
How interesting that both the most recent posters for this pub stating how "amazing the staff are" have only ever posted one review on the entire website - both posting the exact same thing too.
Miker1234 - 19 Dec 2011 20:06
I love this pub and everything about it. From the chintzy curtains to the endearingly eccentric locals and regulars. From the lovely (and cheap!) beers to the great pool hall and beer garden. It's a fab, down-to-earth, friendly place to have a drink.

The new management couple are brilliant. They're really welcoming, friendly and really know what they're doing. I have no idea how a previous reviewer could say they are weak and I have never been yelled at by any of the staff! They are all really lovely and happy to have a chat with you.

If a pub shuts at 11pm, it shuts at 11pm. It's up to you to not be a numpty and make sure you get your last order in before the very last few minutes!

This pub is fantastic and I hope the new management run it for a good long time! See you in there for a drink soon!
Scarecrow - 11 Nov 2011 12:13
Love this pub, i used to go there a few months ago but was not impressed but i heard that there were new managers now and they are great, i disagree with the earlier comment, they are not weak at all. They are a complete asset to this pub, a lovely couple and run it brilliantly. I went in there tonight for a few drinks and enjoyed it a lot. The beer prices are still quite cheap and it is a lovely place where you are treated nicely. I can only say to the earlier comment, that you should not wait until 10.59pm to get to the bar......
manuel - 11 Nov 2011 01:40
This place could be great. Got so much potential but they have recently got new management in there who appear to be very weak. There is one barstaff guy called Madje with a bald head who makes a great habit of shouting at customers, treating them very poorly & generally making sure he drives all customers out where possible. Worst of all when not working he does the same as a punter almost with management approval it seems as he drinks with them as he is doing it. In addition they ring the bell 5 minutes early & refuse to serve from 10.55 on.Its a great shame as I like the bar but after seeing people treated so poorly I cannot recommend this place. The pity is prices are great, as is the garden & the locals are fun to chat to. Will definitely return if the staff & management get sorted
dazza68 - 10 Nov 2011 23:42
I've been going to this place on and off for about 6 years now. I've never had a problem with it at all. I popped in yesterday with a mate of mine for a catch up pint and got served by the landlord. I think his name is Steve? Anyway, me and my mate are both from Sheffield and so is this chap. We soon got talking about the usual stuff football etc to which he then took us into a room in the pub I never even knew about - theres a massive snooker hall with about 16 tables and a bar area! Unfortunately though he said due to budget cuts he cant open it as much as he would like. 2 pints of Lager for under a fiver, and very nice they were too. Ok so the place is a little tired looking. Theres a lot of older blokes sipping their lagers but at the same time a young group of student girls came in, sat down ordered drinks and food and were having a great time. Yes the location is a pain as its right in the middle of a roundabout but if your after a place which sells good, cheap lagers where you can go with your mates and have a goot chat and a catch up then you cant go wrong with this place. It's a no nonsense type place and you wont find any of your "Im from Camden yah" type idiots here. Give it a go, you might be pleasantly surprised :)
mikeyr1234 - 23 Jul 2011 17:34
my old local, it's got something for everyone. The more middle-class people can go in the lounge bars, while the "rougher" clientele (myself included) would be in the darts tap room and pool room (when they bother to open it!) Sam Smith's booze, dirt cheap, the cider is particularly strong and bowel-afflicting the next morning, but plenty a good night to be had amongst the regulars having a game of darts.
slim1690 - 8 Jul 2011 01:42
tartqueen you place such a good ad,do hope you get lots of free drinks !!!
anonymous - 8 Mar 2011 19:26
What can I say, outstanding pub in area of natural beauty. I have recently moved offices and this is now my local (in fact only pub). I am actually thinking of moving entirely into the area as I am so happy with this hidden gem of a pub. From the regulars to the staff to the decor it is one of the best pubs in London (well close to London). Situated on a quiet roundabout, open the door to the welcoming aroma of home-cooking and toilets. Converse with the knowledgable locals on the variety of fine drinks. Come out with more money than you went in with. If you are a single girl you are guaranteed attention from the many desirable men. I think the owners maybe missing an opportunity for having singles nights.
tartqueen - 8 Mar 2011 14:37
It never was the best of places but it isn't as bad as it's 'halcyon'' drug days (the illicit kind that is). Doesn't seem to have changed interior wise since the 70's... and at 1.99 a pint for Sam Smiths the prces haven't moved too much further. Ouside it actually does look a bit Swiss cuckoo-clock like but once inside all that nonsense is soon dispelled with an interior which just espouses'Younger's Tartan' 1970. It is essentailly on a very bust traffic island which it shares with the local fleapit (fleapit as in local cinema which myself and the missus found out for real as we were both bitten by fleas in the place). The choice is sit inside with with the all the panache and gloom of a 70's funeral parlour or sit outside on one of London's busiest traffic islands (.. busy as in 'Swiss Cottage is the 4th most polluted place in London for air quality). The beer was quite dinkable though actually better than a lot of the museum pieces Sam Smiths own.
anonymous - 8 Jul 2010 20:56
It sells very cheap (sam smiths) beer. That however is all this place has going for it, it is a bit of a dump to be honest. Location not good, staff not good, and clientele let's just say "mixed"
mps77 - 11 Dec 2009 11:28
In a nutshell.........what a dump!!!!!!!!! Dodgy booze, questionable punters, staff - no comment!!! Need i say more.
publover77 - 28 May 2009 02:58
i've been coming here for several years. i wouldn't propose to my girlfriend here though its certainly alright for a few well-kept, well-priced and tasty beers. and you can normally get a table etc.

nice enough staff - if you're a regular, they may speak to you, otherwise, i'm just happy for them to serve me quickly and politely, which they always do...

decor is not lovely but who cares when the beer is this cheap and so easy to get to (about 7 bus routes and a tube station next to it).

smells alright, modern and clean toilets, don't know what the fuss is about.

clientelle range from local drama students to after-work crowd via some quite odd yet totally harmless locals. some rude boys can hang out by the pool hall side of things, i.e. to the left hand side of the big patio as you face the pub. each to their own.

glad some toffs don't like it, more space for normal people to enjoy without hooray henry drama students laughing and snorting away...
offal_cheesecake - 13 May 2009 17:40
Hmm. Surprised by the very negative comments. Agreed about the poor lighting and sullen staff, but at least they were quick and efficient! Great price and perfectly acceptable pint of Sam smiths. Beer garden ok. Pity about the roundabout!
doncaosdelanada - 18 Apr 2009 14:43
I was quite impressed by the energetically negative reviews and thought I owed it to myself not to miss an opportunity to see what I imagined could turn out to be the worst pub in England.

Imagine my disappointment then on visiting the pub this last weekend to find a rather gloomy and poorly lit Sam Smiths of cavernous proportions but otherwise with no really serious objectionable aspects.

- No pervasive urine odour (and the gents' loos themselves are spacious, with hot water and, unusually, soap filled dispensers and hand driers that worked - only crit.: the sign on the outside of the gents' door needs repairing ).
- Usual range of the competitively priced SS beers, lagers etc, and those tried appeared well kept.
- Friendly and informative local at the bar, pub well patronised in the evening and nothing out of the ordinary customer-wise.
- Bar staff not obviously sullen or otherwise off, service was prompt enough.

No food available and the upstairs was I think closed so no comment on that.

I did watch out for the reported hand fondling the upper portions of the glass but nothing seen on that account when I was there - tho' if I had, I would have objected, as I did in another (non-SS) establishment when the barman refilled a customer's glass from the handpump.

This place is, as regards appearance, idiosyncratic in a genuinely unattractive, kitsch kind of way, but I reckon it still merits at least a 5 because the quality and price of the drinks and absence of serious downside otherwise more than cancel that out. In fact, I think it has tremendous *potential*, but the sombre internal decorations really need improving by redecorating or installing suitable lighting. (It may have a Grade II listing which could limit what they can do with it). Likewise not much can be done about its location on the roundabout - in Swiss Cottage it seems Car is King.
_grobag_ - 23 Mar 2009 20:54
Horrid, simply horrid. The place smelt like a urinal. I worked in a bar and my landlord told me that I should only ever touch the bottom third of a glass. Stay well away from the bit that touches the punters lips. The guy that served my pint held it so near the rim he got head on his fingers. The beer was sour and undrinkable. I knew it wasn't the sort of place you even bother to complain so I went to watch a terrible Tom Criuse film next door cursing under my breath. There are loads of lovely Sam Smith pubs in London, this ain't one of them.
ben21 - 6 Feb 2009 14:15
This is a big pub of sprawling dank that offers no discernable reason to visit.

Sullen staff, moody manager and the usual Sam Smiths range puts this place in the blue square league of pubs. The pub and its large paved beer garden are in the middle of one of the busiest roundabouts in the country and you have to brave a 4 lane road or getting mugged in the subway to get to it.

Very poor show.
Strongers - 28 Oct 2008 15:50
A dingy and cheerless place with a series of dull, plum coloured rooms. At lunchtime it feels like the run-down clubhouse of a golf club, that even if you played the game, you would never, ever want to be a member of. Why's it called 'Ye Olde'; it has two of ye olde fruit machines, a ye olde Gaggia coffee machine and it proudly advertises (ye olde) 'organic over ice' behind the bar. I hate this place; please turn it into a traffic calming measure.
Dave_the_Bee - 23 Aug 2008 00:31
The worst food I've experienced in London. Midweek evening and my order consisting of nachos described as 'Corn chips, cheddar, guacamole, salsa and sour cream' and ale pie, veg + chips to which I wondered how difficult that would be.

The nachos arrived as cornchip with melted cheese, and then about 30-40 pitted pickled green olives from a jar, with a couple of random pieces of pickled baby corn. Ale pie wasn't fit for a dog to eat, and the vegs appeared to have lived in some pot for the better part of the year. Chips tasted like deep fried sand. No offer of refund when I objected.

This place is an utter dump and should be destroyed.
lt7 - 19 Feb 2008 21:14
This pub is the place where Hitler would spend purgatory.....apart from that its great.
TS77 - 6 Feb 2008 13:26
hi the swiss is my local and now is the subject to fame as it has a myspace site dedicated to it with all the going ons and they even have a canners league and pics of local its brilliant.
ally316 - 20 Aug 2007 11:26
Samuel Smiths pubs are usually pretty good, Ye Olde Swiss Cottage, however is something of an enigma. Resoundingly 'local', it is dimly lit and the overpowering stench of cheap tobacco throughout gives it a decidedly unfriendly buzz. Maybe it's because of its isolated location in the middle of two main roads or its comparative distance from the hub of activity that is the O2 centre, but it feels out of touch and looks poorly maintained. Great potential, but needs a lot of TLC.
DrinKing - 21 May 2007 12:10
You find a bag of shite in a desert. Do you eat it?
stearns - 25 Apr 2007 23:10
this is my local a is a great pub. it has so much potential i.e music and sky sports if they would bring these ideas in then the money would come pouring in.
ally316 - 28 Feb 2007 12:43
Easily the best pub on the roundabout!
RoloSocosy - 1 Dec 2006 12:29
Funny that "I've driven past the place on numerous occasions and always made a mental note to go in one day." - i rate ya! Yeah its a bit like the start of that film Falling Down with Douglas,..stuck in traffic sweating,..you may as well have a neon sign over the top of this baby, flashing "Pint,...Pint",..big arrow underneath pointing at the juicer.

Come on,..ditch the chinkycento at the lights and get yourself in this baby.
RoloSocosy - 1 Dec 2006 12:26
What a disappointment. I've driven past the place on numerous occasions and always made a mental note to go in one day. I wished I hadn't. The staff are rude and unhelpful unless you're a local, the volume of cigarette smoke in there borders on lethal and the food was horrible. One word- avoid.
Katef - 30 Nov 2006 10:21
i've always found this pub to be more than adequate for a good-value post-cinematic pint after frequenting the Odeon next door. convenient location (if not the best spot for a pub with balconies), and the food is, in my experience, very tasty. beer is as good as one would expect of Sam Smiths. Best boozer in an area not overflowing with alternatives...
gcc24 - 10 Nov 2006 19:56
We are a long time user's of this pub and now that my wife has become wheelchair bound it is not very accessable to the toilets as there is no DISABLE TOILET access for wheelchairs.

bob bev
bobbev51 - 28 Sep 2006 20:32
I remember being in Las Vegas and overhearing a yank bird descibe the Venetian hotel as "Exactly like" Venice,..Italy. We'll along these lines,..this place is "Exactly like", a Swiss Cottage,......I've never been to Switzerland,..and i doubt that young Mary-Lou-Porky-Sue even owned a passport...

This is just a Sam Smiths boozer on a roundabout.
kmcs - 21 Aug 2006 12:30
Miserable and cliquey.
anonymous - 27 Jul 2006 16:02
It's been most interesting reading comments on this pub, I did my Pub Management training there back in the sixties. It had 8 or 9 differently themed bars then. It was owned by Chef & Brewer and was very, very popular indeed. Seems like there's been a change or two since then ;-)
sixtiesgirl - 20 Jul 2006 17:23
gill and steve are from the glass house stores in soho and all there food is cooked (9 out 10) fresh, if you can try the Thai chilli its the dogs bits.....
fatmatt - 3 Jun 2005 21:09
I have just got to share this with you all!!
I have just in my lunch hour taken my client out on a business lunch to this establishment and must rave to you all how fantastic the food is i give them 10 out of 10 the food is home cooked just the way i like it.
I must admit the decore is nothing to go on but I was advised while i was there that there is to be a referb next month.
So i definatly recomed this pub for great business lunches.
anonymous - 7 Apr 2005 14:27
in my last few visits to the public house, i have seen a substanshall difference in the running and especially in the catering side, the food has improved 100%, as it is now all home made, as i believe by the lanlady herself. i believe the new managements determination and abilities are deffinate to succeed, and make it one of the finest public houses in london.
anonymous - 7 Apr 2005 11:35
ye old swiss cottage!!!!!!!!!
yes old is the word, last year this pub was not a nice
venue but since january 2005 it has been taken over by a yorkshire couple who are working extreamly hard to turn this around!
the quality of the food is fantastic and now all home made ( I Strongly recomend you try it to belive it)
The couple are nice and friendly and always have time to chat to there customers. I really recomed going in for a meal or just a friendly drink!!
renaultbird123 - 7 Apr 2005 11:23
A real taste of Switzerland. In case you've never been, Switzerland is notorious for its cheap beer, smokey interiors, love of chintz and hunting imagery and its population of drama students, alcoholic old ladies who go nuts if you sit in their chairs and other down-and-outs. There are 'better' pubs in the area, but they're not worth paying twice as much per pint for now, are they?
Gerontay - 24 Jan 2005 15:28
I can't really put it much better than Muff really. It's not terrible, but I don't recommend sitting outside. I feels like you're having a pint in the slow lane of the M25.
Slipperduke - 25 Oct 2004 17:06
London pubs are normally pretty smokey, but this one takes the cake - a misty pea-souper that makes your eyes water!

So not one for asthmatics, the virilant anti-smoking lobby, or anyone who wants to maximise their life expectancy.

The fumes outside are likely the healthier option.
Adam - 12 Aug 2004 11:08
i live nearby and often go for a few drinks. its beer isn't swiss as col (22 mar 2004) might have thought. it does serve german weiss (wheat beer) beer which my friends rate as being ok, though i'm not a big fan of it. doesn't mean its not good, though...

Its right next to the tube (Swiss cottage, jubilee line) and the cinema (odeon swiss cottage) and thus its good as a meeting point.

In better weather, you can sit in the large beer "garden" as long as you don't mind sitting metres away from the delightful vortex of traffic fumes that is the swiss cottage one-way-roundabout-traffic-system-thing. The hedges do a good job of masking the noise and fumes, so unless you're super fussy or with special friends, etc, its fine.

If you want quaint pubs, go to hampstead.

However, if you want something laid back and cheap where you get 3 pints of decent beer and change out of a fiver, then this is for you.

The spirits and mixers can be expensive and "unusually flavoured".

If you're on a first date, i'd recommend elsewhere (again, hampstead).

The staff are ok. Not an exciting pub, but its ok. Often gets a quite young crowd (au pairs, cinema goers and young people who like cheap places, but some of the skankier locals also like cheap places!)....

Overall, its a good local.
muff - 6 Apr 2004 17:25
Nice pub, good to know you can get a nice pint of swiss beer in london, pity no swiss food too.
col - 22 Mar 2004 13:17
Visited here a few times when living locally 99/00. Actually had our post-wedding drinks in the back room where all the sofas are. Might sound sad, but the pub is easy to find and the room out the back is handy for 40-50 friends (relaxing and well laid out). Do agree with most other comments though (staff, beer, location, clientele) - it has potential and could do with an owner with imagination.
Paladino - 23 Jan 2004 20:35
Grim. I expected a choice of good value real ales in fine condition.

There were none.

For the first time in my life I had a cup of coffee in a pub, and left to go to work two hours early.


Malcolm - 2 Dec 2003 19:57
This pub is a jike. Besides the ridiculous prices - 3.90 for a bourbon and coke, there isn't even any brand alchol, only a very cheap and unpleasant tasting equivalent. The staff are pretty moody, and it wasn't at all clean. ALso, I waited for almost an hour for a toasted cheese sandwich. hhhmmmm!
anonymous - 23 Oct 2003 00:07
Typical low prices of Samuel Smith's pubs. Interesting collection of au pair types around the place - some of whom are female! Can escape the tv screen in a seperate bar.
mikem - 11 Sep 2003 10:09
Nice pub if you want to die early through intoxicating fumes.
Barry armstrong - 4 Sep 2003 17:39
They tell me location, location, location. Well, don't expect alpine slopes or rolling glades. Potentially the most harmful pubs in the country if you sit in the garden due to it's position on the Swiss Cottage Roundabout.
The actual design of the exterior is fascinating and I really think they could have/should have extended on the theme inside. The beers are your usual fare for a Samuel Smiths, very well priced and very unique and tasty. The service is temperamental due to the high number of staff. The food, well in my opinion was rather surreal, it reminded me of - in fact I don't know, just that there wasn't something quite right, I don't know why and the pricing was a little radical too, with the nacho's being a similar price to the meat dishes.
Doofer - 6 Aug 2003 16:12
Crackin' old boozer despite it's M1 Service Station status... cheap lager, friendly (if not local/one-eyed bar-flys) beer garden (no grass, plenty of concrete though) personality and character in abundance... well worth a visit
Craig - 24 Jul 2003 23:22
great for having a pint , then going to the movies
ryry - 22 May 2003 07:41
This pub has comfy seats and a nice interior but the lager tastes like piss!!!

also the german barmaid looks like a baboons arse!!
dxbn fgfgfdg - 28 Jan 2003 10:03
I'm with techno, even if he has got a stupid name
keith - 18 Dec 2002 13:23
A nice Sam Smith's? Inconceivable!
Techno - 9 Dec 2002 15:14

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