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Buckingham Arms, Westminster

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user reviews of the Buckingham Arms, Westminster

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

Think I have visited this pub at least once a year since about 1976. Ales always in good condition. Clientele mixture of office workers, police and a few stray tourists.
Aztecgoat - 17 Jan 2015 09:57
Have known this pub for over 40 years and recently visited after a long break. It lacks the atmosphere it used to have before the refurbishment but is still a nice pub. A few tourists ventured in but clientele mainly local office workers and passers by. Youngs Ordinary in good condition and food looked better than it used to be. Will probably visit more often when in London in future as it is handy for Victoria station.
Sussexcrawler - 29 May 2014 11:37
Service was friendly and prompt on my visit. had a Youngs Bitter and a Youngs Special at reasonable prices for this area of the city. Worth a visit if you a passing by but something appeared to be lacking in the atmosphere of the place somehow.
ng10 - 22 Jun 2013 07:16
A lovely old Victorian pub that has brought up to date with a refurbishment.

Bar to the left as you enter, with mirrors behind the bar.

Being a Young’s house they had 5 ales on draught of which 2 were their own and the others were Bombardier, Wandle from Sambrooks and another named Marshmallow from an un-named brewery

Wooden floor and lots of seating area including comfy leather armchairs

A very nice pub that is worth seeking out if in the St James's Park / Victoria area

lezford - 10 Oct 2012 13:42
I think this pub has been in every edition of the Good Beer Guide, real ale not bad, the service was lacking with the staff not really interested in the customers and seemingly unable to operate the till. In front of the Guards barracks and with the odd squaddie necking pints, customers tend to spill out onto the pavement.
Abteilung - 9 Oct 2011 16:25
We really enjoyed this Pub. Bombardier & Wandle were both superb and in very good nick and managed two more that we shouldn't of.

Our lunch was average, but a good average for a Ploughman's. Wouldn't dine in the evenings there would would go back for a pint & lunch.

Very clean pub with very helpful bar staff.

Sebby20
sebby20 - 21 Sep 2011 10:25
Ordinary, Special (£3.40), Bombardier, Wandle and Bath Summer Hare. Special was pretty good. First visit so can't comment on refurb but there are lots of pubs with less character.
GuideDogSaint - 25 Aug 2011 14:42
Reasonable enough Wells/Youngs pub opposite Wellington Barracks. Your average pub though they did have Sambrooks Wandle on as a guest (which was the best ale they had).
Snarling_Mallard - 13 May 2011 21:13
Went in here on a friday night busy not much room to sit. Beer was expensive and the food menu when looked at seemed over priced. Plenty of better pubs in this area.
england86 - 27 Apr 2011 16:46
Visited here on a pub crawl, not bad beer but was itching to clean the mirrors.
Staff friendly and reasonalby priced beer.
servingwench - 29 Nov 2010 16:48
As soon as I walked through the door this pub screamed refurb at me and looking at some of the earlier reviews this indeed took place a year or two ago. I thought this was one of Youngs better efforts in this regard but it would have been interesting to see it a few years back as other reviewers have complained off loss of character.

The seating is comfortable enough - a few armchairs at the front of the pub, high stools along a ledge on the right hand side and more traditional tables and chairs at the rear. There were some high benches at the rear left that looked too high for the tables they were at so Iwould avoid those.

As its Youngs it has their usual collection of beers on pump and bottles and rather like the Adam and Eve it seemed to be mostly office workers.

It's an ok pub but there are others in the area that are preferable.
murgatroyd - 12 Sep 2009 09:06
Pub refuses entry to serving forces- even if you aren't based in the barracks opposite. Not a very nice way to treat people visiting London, who has done 14yrs for the resident 150 metres up the road.
CRARRV - 26 Aug 2009 21:33
I didn’t think this place to be anything special and some of the other punters left a lot to be desired. It’s a large pub and the staff were nice enough, but the Ordinary and Deuchars were off leaving only Bombardier. Standard and premium lagers are also available, but I think I’ll walk past next time.
Strongers - 26 Mar 2009 09:13
This pub has lost the cosy character it once had. However, the staff were friendly, the beers were in good condition and the atmosphere was relaxing. I enjoyed my visit and so did my friends.
Robin53 - 17 Mar 2009 18:46
Oh dear Youngs what have you done to this once great pub? Have to agree with many comments below.The refurb just hasn't worked has it? A real shame
TonyAle - 4 Feb 2009 12:59
What a disappointment - after two decades the impact of Young's management has turned this from being a great pub into somewhere that may well find it hard to attract new customers.
meurglys_iv - 26 Jan 2009 17:40
Situated along Petty France and a few doors down from the old Passport Office is a rather enticing looking Young’s House called The Buckingham Arms. Clearly a slightly upmarket member of the brewery, I did enjoy my hour-or-so spent within on my recent weekday visit. Inside, chandeliers hang from the ceiling, the flooring is of the pine variety and a genuine sense of grandeur is quite evident. One of the most interesting aspects is the secretive, narrow corridor, which I presume was once an alleyway in a former life. Here is where I decided to hide away and sup my pint. The intimate setting will suit both the solitary drinker and those wishing to partake in the most private of conversations. Background music was pleasing aired at an unobtrusive volume, though was sadly a mix of the usual MOR pap. The clientele present were -as expected – made up of nearby office workers and tourists: overall, the atmosphere was one of content, relaxed enjoyment. On the beer front, the breweries usual offerings were on display – though the Young’s Special sadly had its clip turned. I opted for the reliable Ordinary (£2.75) and although the condition was acceptable, it was perhaps served a little too chilled. Draught Peroni is available for those lager drinkers who like to stray from the more regular options. The staff encountered were friendly and service was both prompt and efficient. So, to conclude: this is a decent enough drinking establishment and although I cannot envisage here being a regular haunt, it does get the prestigious HTM69 seal of approval. Well done!
HTM69 - 20 Jan 2009 19:19
What have the nearby Morpeth, Royal Oak, Buck, the Clock House (Peckham), and the Dulwich Woodhouse got in common (apart from being once five of my favourite pubs in London). I think the current reviews say it all.....
baggydave - 5 Jan 2009 20:48
A once great pub ruined by a pubco (that's all Youngs is now) makeover.

What was an excellent ale house has had all the atmosphere and enjoyment ripped out of it in the name of pale pine modernisation.

Avoid
glennsin - 29 Dec 2008 15:05
I have to take issue with the previous post about beer quality. On my last two visits the Special was rancid.
Glasgowboy - 19 Sep 2008 13:04
Originally called the Black Horse, the pub was renamed when the current building was built in 1901. Today the pub is a Youngs house and noted for being one of the few pubs that has featured in every edition of the Good Beer Guide since its inception. The interior has recently been refurbished and, in my books (and many others looking at the previous posters), the pub has definitely lost some its previous character. The carpets have been ripped up and replaced with a shiny new bare wooden floor, the walls painted a plain cream with numerous quotes from the likes of Oscar Wilde & Samuel Johnson (nothing original in this) and pictures / photos of local London landmarks. At the rear the tables seem to have grown an extra 18 inches in height and attracted some high padded benches to go alongside them. Much of the old pots, pans, tankards, jugs and urns have disappeared which would no doubt please the cleaner. The basic TV has been upgraded to a fancy new flat screen although this isn’t really a TV kind of place. On the plus side, the piped music was pretty sedate on my recent visits and certainly not loud or intrusive. The spacious open bar remains with its wonderful patterned mirror back and the ornate seating in the latticed bay windows are almost stately homish. Most importantly, the beers (Ordinary, Special and Bombardier) are still fine although a bit limited in choice and they seem to have taken an inflation busting leap in price along with the food. The ambience has always been very civilized (despite it being the haunt of many politicians) but the place has been virtually empty on my 2 recent lunchtime visits. The most interesting feature is at least untouched - the hidden corridor that runs behind the bar where some of the more secretive drinkers have shied away from prying eyes over the years. Despite its obvious partial demise, to call it ruined is perhaps going a little too far and I would still recommend it as one of the better pubs in the area, especially if you didn't know it pre-refurb.
RogerB - 12 Sep 2008 12:49
Yes - the last few reviews tell you the story. One of London's great pubs ruined for no obvious reason. The beer, which has in the past been unfailingly excellent, is now too cold; the refurb does nothing for the comfort or aesthetic pleasure of the punters; and worst of all is the appalling 'music'. An earlier reviewer refers to it as 'background music'; last night it was so loud I couldn't hear myself think. All very sad.
earlydrinker - 26 Jun 2008 18:31
I was looking forward to my first visit here in five years or so, but was hugely disappointed in its pub-by-numbers refurb. So many clashing styles (big perching tables - check; random deployment of Regency style chairs - check; yawningly predictable Samuel Johnson quotes scrawled on the walls - check) all competing for attention with what should be its majestic centrepiece, that sexy, curving mirrored bar. Still, there was the consolation of the finest pint of Special I've experienced since the Young's move to Bedford into which to cry my bitter tears.
WebelMC - 20 Jun 2008 20:10
Not too sure on the refurb - on one hand it's lost the traditional look, but on the other it is a nice-enough modern interior if judged on its own merits (even if the back of the bar still seemed to smell of wood glue). Reasonable pint of Bombardier, if served a little on the cold side.
rpadam - 21 May 2008 20:44
Ruined! Nothing more to say.I would have given this a rating of 8 or 9 previously but no longer worthy of it.
Ordinary - 14 May 2008 22:46
What have they done to this pub?Once a traditional pub with a good atmosphere. seems Youngs are trying to appeal to the trendies but as with the Morpeth they have failed.
beercritic - 27 Apr 2008 06:49
I've never worn a suit and I've never felt out of place. Sorry to hear about the background music, though.
earlydrinker - 26 Apr 2008 18:45
If your not wearing a suit then you will feel out of place. Apart from that a pleaant pub with reasonably priced beer which is good quality. The range is mainly Wells and Youngs. Nothing special and it seemed popular but there is no need for the constant background music. Visited at lunchtime and the menu was nothing fancy and not that expensive.
ranger1485 - 26 Apr 2008 06:38
Popped in on a Friday night and enjoyed my visit. Winter Warmer was on good form and got a bit of banter from the barman.

The interior is quite nice, though I'm not over-keen on the long swoop of the bar without any top-roofing, makes the place look extremely empty...guessing there was one a while ago.

But yes, well worth a visit if you're in the area - I'll be back.
Quinno - 3 Feb 2008 20:28
Now, I'm not the biggest Youngs fan but I used to go here 20 years ago and it was the best real ale pub around.

Not anymore, Thought it was awful.

Avoid.
TheHorsesMouth - 9 Nov 2007 15:04
A lovely looking pub both outside and inside. A Youngs Pub with most of the range. A restaurant offers good quality pub food to the rear of the pub.
A constant GBG entry, one of only 10 that have been in all 35 years of the guide.
Love_good_ale - 14 Oct 2007 02:49
I was in early on Saturday evening and checked on Lovesong's comment re Sat. closing; I was assured that they are OPEN as always on Sat. evenings.
As usual whenever I go into The Buckingham I felt that this is one of the great pubs. Early on a blisteringly hot and humid evening, it was an oasis of cool peace, with people quietly going about their business and, principally, enjoying pints of beer in absolutely 100% excellent condition. I love this pub.
earlydrinker - 26 Aug 2007 11:57
A superb pub. Very good service, and attracts the right sort of punter.

Would very much like to try the food one day.
AshingdonMan - 20 Jul 2007 17:32
This is a traditional youngs pub with a friendly atmosphere but definately a lunchtime pub.CLOSED satuday evening
lovesong - 31 May 2007 18:43
This is a real pub, and going back a few years (say, to the early to mid 70s)it was one of the very few pubs within the lunchtime walking distance of Whitehall where you could get a pint of real ale, so has a special place in the memories of those of us who have been drinking real ale for many years. It is still a great pub.
RexRattus - 12 Jan 2007 00:23
I've visited this pub off and on over the last 20 years. Never seems too busy in the evening which just makes it even nicer. Used to be a regular entrant in CAMRA's Good Beer Guide but I don't know if it still is. Should be on every one's list to visit.
WaitorseBoyz - 7 Dec 2006 09:45
Wow, what a great little find this was. I walked past it a few weeks ago and have been planning to check it out for lunch. And it was very worth the wait, great food, all home cooked in a little kitchen at the back of the pub where you can watch and relax in the knowledge that they don't spit in it. The home made steak and mushroom pie was to die for. And I'm not really a chip fan but these were NICE. We're planning on returning next week to sample the burgers that looked amazing. Simple pub grub, nothing pretentious or fancy. Cheap and cheerful but did the job very nicely thank you.

A traditional old English boozer in the heart of London hidden down a back street, with very reasonable prices and a really nice atmosphere. And ahh, it’s a Young’s pub, so the beer was great. We arrived just before 1pm and by the time we left an hour later, we had to fight our way to the door – totally rammed (pardon the Young’s pun :)) and hardly surprising. Methinks I’ll be a frequent visitor. Maybe I really will eat all the pies.

Cleversaz - 1 Dec 2006 17:42
Decent Young's pub, worth seeking out.
rpadam - 20 Nov 2006 23:56
In the Mid 80s They had a dog called "Digby" I admired this Dog as He nightly walked down Petty France crossed over and "Pissed" on the Home Office...a Great Dog, the pub wasnt to bad either.
MadKiwi - 21 Oct 2006 02:05
Pleasant open pub (on the inside). I was in there in the afternoon and it was deathly quiet. Silent. A few people supping on a pint and absolutely no noise. I quite liked it, I don't get that at home!!

Pleasant girl serving who seemed to be aware of what the regulars drink when they entered the pub and was ready to pour by the time they got to the bar. A dashing pint of ordinary, if I may be so bold as to call it so. They had a good range of Young's bottles including Oatmeal Stout and the celebration ltd edition brew thingy that's a bit strong for me.
mitomighty - 26 Sep 2006 13:03
Love this place. First ever time we came here, the ancient, although lovely, Lab was sick on the floor. No-one batted an eyelid whilst the barlady finally wandered over and cleaned it up. Classic. It also has comedy photos of the Queen Mum pulling a pint on the wall. Opposite the Wellington Barracks so can wave at a soldier on the way in (if so inclined). Peppered with characters (once got offered snuff - didn't even know it existed anymore). Wine and beer is good. Barstaff friendly. Often call here on way home - and why not. It's a small town pub in the middle of Westminster.
LooseVixens - 24 Jun 2006 22:46
Had a nice pint of Young's Pilsner which sadly seems 2 be disapearing from other Young's lately.

Didn't eat here but the people next 2 us did and it smelt and looked gr8, cheap 2 4 the location.Nice 2 see it actually prepared in front of you in the corner of the pub!

My Rating 8/10
fat_beer_badger - 11 May 2006 14:38
How can this place have such a low average rating? It's a classic, businesslike, workmanlike London pub. I like the middle aged civil servants -but I mostly like the complete mix of people who always seem to be filling the place when I'm there. I've never had a bad pint there in twenty years, and yes, the Buckingham Burger is probably the best value food in London. Keep it up.
earlydrinker - 24 Apr 2006 23:08
About the most expensive pub in victoria!!

Food is good, although the salsa sauce could do with spicing up a bit. Beer is always good and the service is normally ok. Helps if you are a regular.

Oh, and watch out for the dog that sleeps by the food counter - it's old and doesn't move very far!
blueallover - 15 Mar 2006 12:20
My favourite pub in Westminster. It does tend to be frequented by middle aged civil servants that gives the place an air of old worldly gentlemans club, therefore perhaps not to everyones taste. However, it does have a wonderful friendly and relaxed atmosphere and the Youngs beer is very good. The food is pretty good too.If you're hungry, get yourself a 'Buckingham burger'.

Friendly staff.
grigby - 13 Oct 2005 16:39
Good character. Good beer. Always busy so unlikely to get a seat. Good place to start any pub crawl.
Paul - 5 Nov 2004 12:05
I went to this pub, its full of office staff. i was recomended by camra, but i think they must of went a long long time ago the beer was warm above 12 deg and was very clody, and was told by the landlord that all our beers are like this, i would hate to think what youngs thinks of this, Dont go
Head Brewer - 18 Oct 2004 17:49
Good place. Had to keep girlfriend from ogling the Guards opposite in the barracks! Full of Flying Squad bods so pretty safe. One hopes.
Lawrence - 5 Oct 2004 16:45
Probably the fastest and accurate sercive around. Old style English pub. It also has (shock horror) choices of bitter and Real Ale.
Robin - 8 Feb 2004 13:18
One of a diminishing number of pubs of great character in the area. Youngs Bitter and Special were on excellent form when I visited two weeks ago, and Winter Warmer was good too. Message to the landlord - keep up the good work. You deserve to inherit all those who (used to) drink in the C&G!
lad_newton - 24 Feb 2003 17:36

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