skip nav  
 

Barrowboy and Banker, London Bridge

back to pub details

user reviews of the Barrowboy and Banker, London Bridge

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

Came in for a quick pint after watching football at The Sheaf on a Saturday night.

This is another pub in the LB / Borough area that I haven't been for several years.

Packed at 10.30pm mainly with groups of blokes and to be honest the crowd felt quite hostile.

Full range of Fullers ales on the pumps with a new one for me being Oliver's Island @ 3.8%. A throughally decent beer.

We only stayed for 1 pint, I like this place but on this visit the clientele made it a little intimidating
lezford - 23 Jul 2015 14:34
very nice pub and impressed with the specially crafted cabinet to facilitate 7 handpulls but £4.45 in a Fullers pub for a pint of London Pride seemed a bit steep.
EarlofAle - 18 Apr 2015 10:42
Was going to call in this Pub recently to meet a friend on a visit to London, but a large group of football fans came marching up the street, chanting and cheering and walked straight in here, and to be honest, they were quite intimidating, and there was a volatile atmosphere developing, so we just left, and our friend who lives locally said it was better not going in there on football match days.......
DuncanDisorderly - 21 Dec 2014 21:54
Nice pub, excellent beer only spoiled by the TV screens showing football and the eye-watering prices;- £4.40 for a pint of ESB!!!
Aztecgoat - 7 Dec 2014 09:04
Goldings comments are pretty spot on - massive and impressive bar with a dining area up the grand staircase. Some very elegant (and probably expensive fittings) but why the TVs and screen - totally out of keeping and unnecssary! The guest beer was the very excellent Castle Rock Harvest Pale Ale and it was good - mind you at £4.25 a pint it should be !! Plenty of staff on when we went so we didn't have to wait long for service. Bouncer on the door but no hassle (no entry for football colours) but we had to leave as we had a child with us and we were directed upstairs - but it wasn't suitable for drinking only. Worth a look in as it is a sight to see and perhaps just the one beer?
mcroyal - 12 Apr 2014 12:21
This pub is like show home for Fuller's. I don't remember being in Fuller's pub that was so obviously promoting their beers etc. It's a fairly big old place with a mezzanine floor that seems to be for eating only.

I went for the seasonal Red Fox which was OK, but... £4.15! Maybe the regular ales were cheaper. And Heineken was £4.45. This is not a cheap place to have a drink. It's location is pretty front and centre by the end of London Bridge and opposite the station, so I suppose that explains it. Still, that's pretty expensive for pubs round these parts.

Pretty busy when I was there with quite an interesting range of people from office people to young types in the early 20s.

The weirdest thing was the massive screen showing Valencia v Swansea in the Europa League. Why? No one was watching it. That screen and the other smaller TVs elsewhere in the pub surely completely undermine the Fuller's showcase. Very odd.

Having said that, I sort of quite like this pub's airy feel and I'm partial to the Fuller's beers, but... this place is just too expensive. 5/10
Goldings - 20 Sep 2013 22:30
Midweek, reasonably busy, BUT the prices!!! Over £4 for a pint of summer ale outrageous. Won't return in a hurry!
mjbea1 - 14 Jul 2013 22:35
Called in Tuesday evening, about 6.00pm. Very busy with the usual punters. Managed to grab a table and two stools by the stairs. Sat enjoying a pint of ESB with my wife, when a little mouse ran across the carpet. The mouse darted from under one table to another, back and forth. It's a good job that the female customers did not see the little chap, it could well have been bedlam in there. You would think that at the prices Fullers are charging in their central London pubs, they could sort out a small problem like a mouse!
hail_the_ale - 22 Feb 2013 22:10
Not many in when I visited so could sit and appreciate the interior and it's worth dropping in just for that. I sometimes find the staff at big London pubs a bit indifferent, but here they were very welcoming. Agree with the other posters about the ESB, excellent pint.
Benson_Hedges - 26 Dec 2012 11:15
Nice atmosphere while the Olympics was on but was shocked at paying over 4 for a pint of ESB. There are cheaper places around to get ale or if you want to pay through the nose, The Rake is a better place.
DuchyBoy - 10 Aug 2012 09:42
Not a bad place, 3.90 for a pint of Pride which is about standard for London these days. Really like the interior (waiting for pix to be approved - come on, mods!) and there's a view of London Bridge Station and The Shard. 8/10
zabadak - 14 Jul 2012 11:55
Used this pub for years as you could rely on a decent pint from a Fullers show pub.
Got a shock last Friday when I popped in for a quickie before the train. 4.70 a pint and the two I had were poorly kept (and I had to send the first one back).
Hope my experience was a one off. There are few boozers around London Bridge where you can rely on the beer.
BadShanker - 5 Jun 2012 10:56
Well known boozer on the river at London Bridge. I've drank in here over the years, a lot of business gets done in here both bona fide and others from the leisure & entertainments industry? i'm no Fullers big fan, I can drink it but thats about it (ESB and Chiswick mostly). I watched an irish construction worker charm some piece in a business suit one night - when he walked off with her the penny dropped or rather the cash had been exchanged! Steady boozer, better at weekends when there's no immediate footie about.
Mcloj - 29 Mar 2012 15:21
Stunning place inside, similar to another Fullers pub The Old Bank of England on Fleet Street. Place wasn't too busy, bar area was completely clear which always seems unusual although only seats where near to the toilets which if you didn't know you'd quickly know from the smell. I guess thats why they were the only seats unoccupied!!

Usual choice of Fullers, nice pint of ESB, worth a look in if passing, just sit near the windows or upstairs and not at the back.
phill1110 - 24 Oct 2011 13:34
I would agree - well worth visiting if just to view the interior (although the Fullers beers are pretty good as well).
mcroyal - 10 Aug 2011 18:46
I'm a bit surprised at the comments suggesting the BB&B is a bit run-of-the mill. Perhaps customers' appreciation is a little dulled by the ESB. It's a wonderful building and has some great features - the murals, the upstairs gallery, the sweeping circular bar. Try going early before the suits and alcohol get in the way of enjoying the view! The Porter on draft - my favourite pint in a Fullers - is not avaialble everywhere but is usually on here.
WilkoSE1 - 21 Mar 2011 04:48
A nice pub busy at lunch times.
Beer is very good food is nice. Has friendly and efficient staff
MPython - 17 Mar 2011 14:23
Good Fullers pub which caters quite well for the passing trade - this is not a "local's" pub. Step outside and you will get a great view of the Shard (London's tallest building?) which is going up ever so quickly.
malo66 - 9 Feb 2011 17:19
Have been in a few times over the past 10 years or so, popped in on the 23rd Dec. with the father in law,
Quirky decor and standard Fullers range, London Porter was off so went for the Chiswick which was fine.
Overall, good but nothing worth doing cartwheels over.
6.5
topPINT - 27 Dec 2010 11:01
Been meaning to pop in here for years and finally took the plunge a few weeks back and apart from the nice decor its a Fullers Pub after all so pretty much the same as most of there other pubs, the usual Pride, ESB ect beers on offer, once you have been in 1 Fullers pub you have been in them all.
superseagulls - 20 Dec 2010 17:56
Ultimately, not the best pub in the expansive and diverse Fullers estate, and not the most memorable one could visit, even in the capital itself. On most levels though, it seemed to be universally consistent, and should not be ignored, or denigrated for not being exceptional in any way.

To business:
Drink-wise, naturally being me I only sampled the cask ale range, all of which was found in superb fresh and well-conditioned order. The usual Fullers range can be found, I'm told with the occasional guest but don't necessarily rely on this.
Food-wise, the pub appeared to be doing something of a roaring trade, albeit that myself any my supporting acts were not in need of grub at that stage and so didn't sample it ourselves. Observationally though, and from earlier comments, I doubt one would be entirely disappointed with their offerings.
Interior-wise, the pub had that grandiose, traditional and lavishly architectural feel that suited the building's equally imposing frontage. Presumably a high-profile and costly conversion in its day, it won't promote intimacy, but is a suitable environment for a larger group gathering.
Exterior-wise, this is a pub that won't appeal to those wanting a quiet pint or a back-street local experience; its appearance suggests the B & B is a classic city centre pub aimed at the more urban, corporate customer either on a quick business lunch or a post-work pint-up. But it does what it says on its tin.

In summary:
After a few visits over many years, this pub has proved to be consistent and generally worthwhile. It won't amount to your most impactful evening, but for a routine drink or meal it outshines many a similar London boozer which offers the same but in a by-numbers building with an equally anodyne atmosphere.


TWG - 20 Dec 2010 17:15
Not a bad Fullers pub. Decent decor and a great range of beer. Staff were also efficient. I would probably go back if I was passing.
getmeonein - 14 Dec 2010 13:28
Have been in here a few times and though it's on the pricy side the beer is good in both range and quality. It's also laid out well and is a good looking pub in a handy location.

My one fault though comes from the last time I was in here. I'd gone in as part of a group of about 15-16 people at about 3.55 on a Sunday. A fair few of us were hungry and the food being eaten by those around us looked good. So we ordered a few drinks and asked for menus from behind the bar. Sat down made our choices and went back at about 4.10 only to be told the kitchen shut at 4.

Now I've got no problems with the kitchen shutting a bit early on a Sunday and I'm not one of those people that thinks it should re open just because I've come with a largish group who were planning on spending a fair bit of money in afternoon. My problem is why didn't the bar staff warn us that the kitchen was shutting in 5 minutes when we picked up the menus? It wouldn't have taken much and even if they decided they didn't want to fit so many orders in at the last minute they could at least of said this.

Unfortunately this has left a bit of a dent in what otherwise would be a glowing review.
theoneandonlyjoe - 8 Dec 2010 15:47
Dropped in on the day of the Arsenal v Spurs game. Like everywhere round here it was heaving, however staff were very attentitive and drew a very good pint of Chiswick. Food - though tad pricey - looked excellent and will try again next time in the area. (Will also be back to the Wheatsheaf when reopening after the Thameslink building).

Oh and the result of the footie (and rugby after) very much went the right way too! Shame it's not open all night for the Ashes.
Oakman100 - 29 Nov 2010 14:13
Not bad - nice decor. Finally found somewhere that sells Fullers London Porter - worth the wait - lovely stuff! Sit upstairs and you have a nice view of the chandeliers etc. Not too crowded on a Saturday night.
adamwalsh - 3 Oct 2010 20:53
Visited with son, down to watch The Hammers. He had recommended a visit so I tried it. Had a delicious pint of London Porter on draught. Also sampled the 8oz Steak Burger (9.75) as suggested by son. Tell you what, you'll never want to eat another BurgerKing burger again! Absolutely DELICIOUS!!!
stray1948 - 8 Aug 2010 20:33
Was in there on Saturday night and came away pretty happy. A really good selection of beer with a very good London Porter on hand pump.

Reasonably priced and very close to the station if I'm in the area I'll definitely go back.
theoneandonlyjoe - 9 Jun 2010 10:11
A very pleasant experience at the end of a day of sightseeing - Pride 3.40 a pint , seems to carry pretty much the whole range of Fullers. Food very good, most mains 9 , puddings 4, good kids menu. Downstairs was busy but upstairs very relaxed. Bar staff very helpful and friendly - will definitely be going here again next trip near London Bridge. Blurb in the menu said this was the first ever branch of Nat West bank.
scragm - 4 Jun 2010 22:52
Ditto the poster below that this place continues to attract and I also found myself back in The BB&B the other night.
Despite the few negatives referred to, its location is ideal when emerging fromLondon Bridge station for a quick couple before moving off further into Borough for the evening. And despite the prices, the beers are usually top notch and well kept.
Gann - 15 Apr 2010 16:51
I keep going back as the building itself is beautiful and airy, but each time I leave a little deflated, the service is average to poor, the prices high and if you look past all the shiny brass the place is quietly falling apart. But all that said I know I'll give it a go again, just hoping, as the building is so impressive, that everything else improves.
Imabittermanmyself - 9 Apr 2010 22:56
Roger B - This was formerly a Nat West (converted into a trendy Wine Bar - ish). Have used this pub a number of times over the 10 years or so of its existence yet never posted. In short a typical Fullers Pie & Ale House with the usual excellent Fullers Ales and wide ranging menu. Really handy for London Bridge station.

A couple of downsides

- a bit pricey (but it is located in a central area)
- gets very busy at 5pm with City types (like me). Not a problem but be prepared
- occasionally gets overrun by tourists not used to British beer - too warm, too dark, too flat etc. etc
- staff - high on turnover, low on personality

Don't let that put you off though. The pubs in Borough Market and beyond are better but I'll be back - so should you
twineyboy - 23 Jan 2010 14:14
A very decent Fulllers pub, very busy on both my visits. The food exceeded my expectations. Interesting to see Franzikaner wheat beer on draft. The Fullers Chiswick was tip-top. Loved the painting of the "Charge of the Scots Grey's" by Lady Butler above the bar! Another great bank conversion pub.
pcummings - 30 Nov 2009 13:09
Full of 'barrow (type) boys, us included, and bankery types - so an appropriately named pub. Full up on a Friday night and a great noise it was too! This place is the epitome of big city location public house and one welcomes the space to get lost in and watch the world go by. Opposite London Bridge so an incredibly busy area,Good beers and wines. Expensive nuts. Actually quite a good menu too, with steak and ale pie as the stalwart and game, brandy and redcurrant on there for city blokes meeting their country uncles.
If visiting make sure you visit Southwark cathedral 2 minutes away beside Borough market. A gracious place.
gonetolunch - 21 Nov 2009 09:29
The banker and barrow boy is a great place to go after work or for a cheeky one before running for the train home.

A big stage feel as the mezzanine overlooks the bar, which is shaped like the bend in the Thames we are so close to.

Drinks are London zone 1 prices and the location is great for the local city workers. Its a great vibe as its the classic work drinkers crowd, no youths trying to get served, no oaps wasting their pensions and no tourists trying to experience a London pint.

I love it there and anytime Im in the area, or close enough, I get there for a quick one.

87blackcats - 31 Oct 2009 15:33
We've become Christopher West fans, who dresses up like Charles Dickens and does his Talk (where we saw him) at the Barrow Boy. He's doing his Twist with Dickens quiz on the 15th, so we're looking forward to it. We saw him in another one and had a a brilliant time. We know the
beer and pies will be good- so cheers for a good evening.
leninbooks - 10 Sep 2009 18:10
This large, spacious and fairly grand Fullers pub is certainly a place that would appeal more to Bankers than Barrowboys. Situated at the southern approach to London Bridge, it was presumably an old Bank / Building Society in days gone by and with its high ceilings, ornate pillars, portraits, murals, open staircase and sweeping curved bar, the the place does have a fairly opulent feel. Sadly the beer prices match the rather decadent surroundings although they do usually have pretty much the whole Fullers range available to choose from. A balcony provides additional seating and the place does get very busy so expect a spell of vertical drinking if you call at peak times. There always seems to be a decent mix of customers and is generally a hassle free place with decent enough service and a couple of TVs for sporting occasions. The area is blessed with decent pubs and the B&B is a good choice for starting (or ending) a crawl given its proximity to London Bridge station but be warned, it doesnt open at weekends.
RogerB - 30 Jul 2009 14:14
Good beer and atmosphere but food VERY POOR value for money. grab a burger before getting there!
willybn1 - 30 Jul 2009 07:40
Thank you we had wonderful time at your lovely pub. The drinks were nice and the atmosphere fantastic. Staff were so kind to us. We saw Charles Dickens show and learned so much about Victoria, London and Dickens with his life. Best thing in London.
Hajek - 24 Jul 2009 17:37
We went there because of their Charles Dickens talk (which was brilliant) and stayed for a meal afterwards. We loved the 'grandness' of the place and the lovely location between Southwark Cathedral and London Bridge. The pies and trimmings were very tasty, promptly served by friendly, helpful staff. The beer was excellent, and the bill was reasonable, particularly considering the location. Our thanks for a most enjoyable visit.
leninbooks - 19 Jul 2009 11:26
Extremely busy at around 6.30PM, this is a solid if unspectacular Fullers' Ale & Pie House that served a good pint of Discovery at the right temperature (i.e. not chilled like lager, like some establishments serve it). It has a pleasant and atmospheric feel and I think it is highly likely I'll return at some point. Would be nice if they got the odd guest on though.
ChrisP87 - 15 Jul 2009 21:53
Great position, large and airy and spot on Fullers' ales. Spoilt though by usually being full of braying imbeciles in suits.
flashharry1965 - 22 May 2009 14:13
Pleasent fullers pub and a spot on pint of pride was quaffed to start my st georges day crawl!, 8/10
fat_beer_badger - 14 May 2009 23:06
This place is like a grand hotel lobby with a sweeping staircase leading to some upstairs seating. The full Fullers range was available including the brain-tonking 8.3% Golden Pride. Standard lagers were also available alongside Peroni.

There was plenty of staff who all seemed pleasant enough and there was a reasonable atmosphere for such a large pub. I liked it in here and would go back again if in the area.
Strongers - 15 Apr 2009 09:51
Typical Fullers Ale & Pie house. Discovery, Pride, Chiswick (ok) and ESB. No seasonals or bottles of any note I could see.

Not bad but there are better Fullers pubs around.
GuideDogSaint - 29 Mar 2009 21:26
I haven't been here in a few years, it was nice to see the pub was still as nice as I remembered. The ESB was excellent and the staff was great. The food was awfull ! My steak and ale pie was full of uneatable fatty meat in a microwave pastry bowl. For around 9pnds I expected more. I assume it's Fuller's themselves to blame for the meal, not the pub. Come on Fuller's stop cutting corners, your Ale & PIe House are becoming a joke
awcrounse - 28 Jan 2009 05:55
went here last night,lovely pub,.good food.
flipper75 - 27 Jun 2008 12:04
Decent pint of Chiswick and cheap at 2.85.
Rather grand former bank interior, but as with most places like this which have been converted into pubs, lacks some atmosphere and even in the early afternoon with a splattering of customers, had an unpleasantly loud echo.

mrse1 - 7 May 2008 10:51
Last Friday (Sept 7th) was my first visit to The Barrow Boy and Banker in a good few years. It was a pub I very occasionally frequented when working in the area and always having the feeling it was rather god, was looking forward to return visit. It didnt disappoint. Upon entering, the grandness of the building and the glorious interior is immediately striking. With cubbyholes to hide away in and open spaces too, its a pub to please both large groups and the solitary drinker. The usual array of Fullers ales were on offer (London Pride 2.90) and were served in decent condition. Downstairs, the clientele was predominantly made up of suited office workers, yet upstairs was a little more varied. An elderly group were happily dining opposite me. (This is a Fullers pub very much geared towards eating). The only real drawback was the air conditioning. I sat in several spots (one for moving around!) and found it difficult to escape the chilled breeze. All in all however, this is a wonderful establishment worth checking out. It was actually quiet enough for a Friday evening too.
HTM69 - 9 Sep 2007 16:56
In most other areas this would be a very good pub, but with the Globe, Market Porter, Wheatsheaf, George Inn etc. so close it's only a 6/10
mps77 - 17 Aug 2007 15:43
Again, better places around, staff pretty good , but lacks atmosphere.
kenincamden - 7 Aug 2007 10:35
Big, busy, and little sense of character about the place. Efficient bar staff, though, and a nice pint of Discovery.
rpadam - 9 May 2007 22:49
Although it was busy, when I went in they had plenty of bar staff on so the turn around was quite quick and smooth. Still busy and stanging room only.

Generally though, a rather middle of the road Fullers pub. The season ale wasn't on (not sure if it would have matched Jack Frost or not) so stuck with Discovery, which is light and drinkable, although not a patch on Honeydew, sadly only dispensed from keg meaning it has lost much of its taste in the process.

Indistinct, yet broadly inoffensive.
AleKing - 23 Jan 2007 12:11
I havent been to the Barrowboy & Banker for quite some time, but have been sufficiently impressed on the couple of visits I have made. The building is indeed rather grand and of course this pub is also usefully near the train and tube station. The downside is of course how busy it can get. My visits were after work and it was a struggle to get a seat. Its been so bad in fact that Ive walked out once or twice because of it. It does quiet down after a while though, so patience is perhaps an idea or getting there a little later. I cant remember too much regarding prices, but its certainly a more tolerable option here than somewhere bland, like the All Bar One nearby. Recommended.
HTM69 - 11 Jan 2007 11:12
Beer and location are okay but on my first visit, there was the smell of Dettol which made me leave before I made it to the door and on my second visit, it was smoky and full of loud people in suits. There are much better places in the area so I won't rush back.
DuchyBoy - 11 Dec 2006 18:09
Popped in for a pint on a Thursday night, 3 bar staff tried to serve me... awesome!
drunkmarv - 10 Nov 2006 10:56
Very well done makeover of an old bank I believe. Had the ESB, Chiswick, Discovery, and Pride on cask. Tried them all and were in great condition. Also had pretty good food as well. Very nice experience.
surfadelic23 - 6 Nov 2006 16:42
Nice enough pub, great for meeting up with friends as it is in a great position.
ONscotland - 26 Oct 2006 17:45
A grand building nicely converted by Fuller's in their Ale & Pie style of a Wetherspoon; located just by London Bridge. Film fans would be interested to know that the steps about 100 yards to the right of the pub are Nancy's Steps which featured in the opening sequence of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. Pub is clean and tidy and is mostly used by well off trendies and bankers. Beer is in good condition.
SilkTork - 17 Jul 2006 15:08
Have visited a couple of times. Beers are usually decent, and it has and interesting layout and decor, but it's nothing to get excited about.
burnsy - 18 May 2006 15:39
This Fullers pub has highly elaborate/interesting interior decor, and it's large enough for you to find a corner to sit in at lunch (not always an easy thing in such a busy location). The sandwiches I had there were nice. Pretty good atmosphere.

Slightly above average selection of beers, such as Discovery and ESB, totaling around 4 or 5 beers in all. Condition is ok, not great.

Handy if you're working nearby, but it's not worth going out of the way for.
spacedz - 9 Mar 2006 16:44
I've only managed to make it into this pub a couple of times when visiting London - it always seems to be closed at times I'd expect it to be open (Saturday early-evening for example). Last summer I had a fine pint of "Discovery" at ouchy-London-prices. I rather liked the glass but I was too chicken to pocket it!
AngeK - 31 Jan 2006 17:18
Well kept Fullers beers, has on the seasonal 'Jack Frost' at the moment. Prompt service at the bar,didn't have to wait too long for our food which was surprising as it was a Friday lunchtime.
The upstairs part of the pub is for reservations.
snowdog2112 - 3 Dec 2005 12:03
Not bad

Full of banking/ besuited types of an evening which can make it seem like theres no space but usually tables are available at the back
anonymous - 14 Nov 2005 14:54
Lavish spacious upmarket Fullers pub, right on London Bridge. If you're in the area, worth a visit for the architecture alone. Well kept ales, expensive but not outrageously so - seasonal ales at 2.60, ESB at 2.70. A range of pies at 7-8. When I visited in the late afternoon, the atmosphere was quiet and pleasant.
foxski - 30 Apr 2005 17:58
Good place to meet friends for a beer on the way home from work. London Pride kept well and, as always, the first one slips down a treat.
Bar staff lack any personality (seem to be mostly antipodeans - so probably not long term staff) however, they are kept busy so allownaces must be made. Nice pub.
colinc - 15 Jan 2005 18:29
Suprisingly pleasant if you know when to avoid the bankers.
Guy - 25 May 2004 13:10
On a Saturday it was possible to get into this pub whilst the Market Porter, eg, was utterly packed. Sadly whilst the Fullers beers seemed in fair condition the food was very indifferent and the pub lacked a pleasant atmosphere.
tim - 21 Dec 2003 18:02
used as a last stop off by the serious drinkers on route to london bridge, be a regular and the bar staff take time out to know your name and order
peter sellers - 21 Mar 2003 14:12

got anything to say about this pub?

Please read our reviews policy before posting.
Only registered users can post reviews. Please log in. If you don't have an account yet, register here.