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Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, Fleet Street

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user reviews of Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, Fleet Street

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

Historic pub and Sam Smith's beer at Sam Smith's prices. No problem with either. Sit in here and pretend to be in a period drama. Say things like "I've had to call the doctor out as Mrs Miggins has got a dose of that pleuresy. She's not looking to clever I tell thee."
terenced - 23 Jan 2017 10:53
A veritable classic.Nice pint of OBB,much more expensive than in Yorkshire but that is to be expected.

Amusing to see the American tourist ask for a pint of Stella then the wifi password.
Humphrey Smith doesnot do free wifi.
oldandmild - 16 Jul 2016 10:14
A must experience london pub - especially on a winter's night, where the roaring fire and dark wood add a certain dickensian feel to the experience.

Lovely dining room to the left of the main entrance - if you can get in. Tiny bar to the right. Large, Downstairs cellar below.

If only it wasn't a Sam Smiths pub - selling their odd beers.
Mappiman - 19 Dec 2014 14:56
cracking boozer; one of the best.
chelsea_greg - 7 Sep 2014 13:20
A rowdy group were just leaving/being ejected when we arrived; if they had remained I doubt if we'd have gone in. Beer was OK but not as nice as the previous place we visited that day; packed with tourists and a private party (of it seemed one couple only) that reduced seating even further. Much more pleasant when there are less people around but then we did visit on a warm Saturday evening so wouldn't have expected it to be quiet.
Mr_ESB_Harry - 7 Sep 2014 11:42
It's been many years since my last visit here. Whilst I knew there were several rooms, I'd forgotten that there were also multiple bars. But we finally got served in the front bar. Old Brewery Bitter was available on handpull. As with the previous reviews, the pint was served with a sparkler and a rather large head. The various rooms are full of character and all were packed. A pub that oozes character. But not necessarily one for the discerning drinker.
blue_scrumpy - 26 Jan 2014 17:42
One of the best pubs in London, and I've been to a few, a genuine old fashioned feel to it. The bitter is not bad and the pork pies are to die for but that isn't really the point. Just enjoy the ambience.
beernotfood - 18 Dec 2013 22:27
An absolute cracking 300 + yrs old this pub is. Nowadays it 's a Samuel Smiths pub with their usual offerings on draught and a full range of bottles on offer.

Old, quaint, beautiful...various other words to sum up how amazing this place is.

Fairly empty on the Thursday evening I visited, the restaurant was also empty.

Both sets of bar staff lacked a little bit of something (couldn't put my finger on it) but a great pub nonetheless.

My first visit but I will return.
lezford - 12 Aug 2013 13:51
Quite busy on a Saturday night. Beer was fine. Couldn't get a seat so sat in the Chop Bar restaurant as it was 10pm and not serving food. However told to move! Toilets dirty and smelly. Left after one drink and went to a proper welcoming pub - the Pride of Spitalfields.
realaleforever - 12 May 2013 09:40
YOCC has terrific character, especially the front bar. The only blemish as far as the building is concerned is the characterless and dark modern back bar. The service has always been consistently good except foreign bar staff often don't understand that pints of beer must be served in a full pint glass. However they will happily top up your glass. The food is good and is good value. The Sam Smiths beer is very cheap but actually not that good as it's not real ale.
StudioM - 12 Apr 2013 12:54
I've been coming to this pub, off and on, for about 40 years. It's a wonderful place. The front bar is just amazing and, credit to Sam Smiths for not wrecking it. Unfortunately, Sam Smith's bitter is not the best, it always tastes a little sharp as though it's about to go off. Also, they dispense it through sparklers in order to give you more head and less beer. Sam Smiths are notorious for this practice.I discussed it with the bar staff (all of whom appear to be students) who told me that the manager (we didn't see any sign of him) "goes mad" if he sees full measures being served. His reasoning is that it is a northern beer and so should be served with a head. My reasoning is equally simple. I'm a southerner drinking in a London pub and I want a full pint. The manager's reasoning is just an excuse to extract more profit from each barrel (the recent Tribunal case involving Sam Smiths proved that it was and remains the brewery's policy). The young barman said that they were however "allowed" to top up pints. I said that was just as well 'cos if I didn't get a full pint I wouldn't pay a full price - and if that wasn't acceptable I would leave!
Having said all this, and provided you get your top up, it's a great pub.
Tewin - 20 Feb 2013 11:06
There are a number of historic pubs on Fleet Street but this is probably the best. I didn't explore all its labyrinths:-the chop bar looked interesting but was only open lunchtimes. I stuck to the cosy main bar, dark and wood panelled but inviting with its real fire. Perfectly acceptable pint of Sam Smiths at less than £3/pint .!!! I am more fond of Victorian and Edwardian pubs with their gin palace opulence and fantastic craftsmanship. But it would be difficult to miss this pub on any serious exploration of London's historic and charactersome pubs. In spite of its tourist magnet attributes ,it still manages to have the unpretentious feel of a traditional pub.
tarkatherotter - 2 Dec 2012 12:13
In the eighteenth century this would have been described as an awful place: that means awe-inspiring in modern parlance, as many have writ below. Nice pints of Samuel Smith’s Old Brewery Bitter and their marvellous stout – prefer it to the former, actually. Go on; try it if you don’t normally drink stout. It is a tad sweeter than Guinness, by my taste-buds. Charles Dickens visited here: he adapted “A far better pub than I have ever been to before.” into a line in one of his novels.
Mona_Growser - 11 Nov 2012 16:02
No valid London pub crawl can omit this gem. A wonderful unspoilt classic in easy walking distance from the architecturally beautiful Blackfriars, the enormous Citte of Yorkke and the tiny Ye Olde Mitre. Add the Princess Louise and the Angel in Holborn and you've a perfect pub crawl!
bighands - 6 Jun 2012 09:33
Obviously this pub has had extensive reviews, but wanted to elave my mark here as well
I believe this is the 3rd visit Ive had to this pub, and yes it is a unique visiting experience, has a top bar that claims it isn't for 'women' but obviously they do drink here.
It then goes downstairs on two other levels, and feels like your drinking in a dungeon area. Serves food, has a range of Sam Smiths unique beer, and although is obviously a bit of a tourist trap, is well worth the visit at not so crowded times (ie Friday evenings straight after work)
the_original_rawnsleys - 13 Apr 2012 14:37
Amazing pub. Cheap and good beers. Highly recommended.
cnf - 9 Apr 2012 18:08
the weirdest layout of a pub...easy to get lost and it seems most of it is underground...very quirky and well worth a visit with a lot of history...

A sam smiths pub, so only their fare...however it's a darn sight cheaper...rounds from other pubs were over 30..this was 23...
d.franks - 25 Mar 2012 17:18
Bounded into the Cheshire Cheese at 10.38 on 02/03/12 with Jens and Benard. A superlative half of Old Brewery Bitter rounded off another fantastic session. Thanks to Jens and Benard, who paid for the drinks all night, and thanks for the invite to Antwerp! Sensational.
Newton_Lad - 4 Mar 2012 18:52
Good value Sam Smiths beers on tap, wonderful atmosphere, although totally rammed with tourists unless you go at odd times.
jfrebrycn - 2 Mar 2012 18:22
I agree with baxterfish, a pub you should have a look at once for the historic angle, but as stated the beer is rubbish, I made the mistake of going there twice.
Picasso09 - 29 Feb 2012 19:00
A unique institution that demands at least one visit. Very dark and very old. Unfortunately the only real ale is the dull Sam Smith's Brewery Bitter, but worth a look just for the pub.
baxterfish - 25 Feb 2012 12:48
Interesting and atmospheric historic pub. When the Old Brewery Bitter ran out in the celler bar, there were no other ales on tap so I ordered a bottle of pale ale. I was charged over 5 - which the barmaid agreed was outrageous! As a Sam Smiths pub you can usually get a cheap pint of btter but it seems they make their money back by ripping people off with their speciality beers.
rb81 - 18 Feb 2012 12:06
Sam Smith's pub, I quite like there branding everything from the ale to the lager to the coke is Sam Smith's which is why it's quite cheap. Busy pub that was apparently extended a few years back in a sympathic manner to the existing pub. Beer was in reasonable nick.
Abteilung - 4 Feb 2012 15:14
Crowded and rather rough looking pub with 2 bars. Sam Smiths beer in better nick than in the Cittie of York. Staff friendly and Ok when prompted for a top up.
Booze_Allen - 4 Feb 2012 14:59
Dropped by here recently after doing a walk around the city and surrounds in a group. Good little Samuel Smiths bar. Well staffed, pleasant friendly with an Aussie bloke who was only too willing to top up our drink. Spit & sawdust in one of the bars. Was told its pretty much one of the oldest pubs in London. Good for history buffs & those wanting a cheap bitter.
dazza68 - 3 Jan 2012 14:47
Very old pub with lots of basic rooms. Great to visit and Sam Smiths beers. Worth visiting for the history
foamy - 30 Dec 2011 18:12
Stopped here with sibling Smudge the week before last and it hasn't changed a jot since my previous visit a few years ago. The Samuel Smith's bitter was excellent and there was a warming coal fire in the grate. Dark wooden bar areas and a labyrinth of stairs and different rooms are part of the package. It wasn't too busy and I have to say I very much enjoyed the visit!
beer_monster_smudge - 5 Dec 2011 15:43
Not just a great place to go to introduce outsiders to a bit of London's heritage but also a decent pub for lunch and a beer.

The staff were in the most part antipodeans (this is London, what do you expect) and very friendly with it.

The food was tasty and at 8 for the Steak and Kidney very reasonable. Incidentally, the Steak and Kidney is a bit of an institution here and they used to take a spoonful out of yesterday's mix and put it in today's puddings and so the same pudding was served for some 200 years. the barman assured me this has now stopped. Am I wrong in being a bit disappointed?

SuperNev - 21 Nov 2011 11:49
Thought I'd been here previously but on reflection I don't think I had. Anyway, maiden visit made on Tuesday, thereby adding mine and my cousin's names to the already illustrious roll-call listed by the last reviewer. He also details much of the historical and decor descriptions accurately and thoroughly, so I shan't rehearse those here. Be assured the YOCC exudes a cavernous slightly dingy yet cosy charm that centuries of patina has given it, and few London pubs have that advantage. As a Sam Smith's outlet things are pared down and simple, but thankfully that works here. Also there is only one cask ale choice, but the OBB is consistent and easy-drinking, and is well-represented here. And at these prices, it makes it probably the cheapest pint in Fleet Street. Service was friendly although - apologies to more tolerant readers - I did have that "alien in my own country" sensation, as not only were all our co-drinkers foreign (mostly American tourists) but so was the barman, who hailed from New Zealand. I realise it's a very cosmopolitan city nowadays, but it's still slightly perturbing to be surrounded by non-local accents. Maybe I'm just too parochial! Still, it would never put me off a return visit.
TWG - 28 Aug 2011 17:50
An historic rambling, low-ceilinged tavern built behind Fleet Street in the wake of the Great Fire in 1666, and still has an historic atmosphere about it helped by the strange lack of natural lighting that adds its own gloomy charm. There are six drinking rooms including a courtyard converted for the purpose in recent times. It was frequented by Dr Johnson, Oliver Goldsmith, Mark Twain, Alfred Tennyson, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Yeats, Wilde, Voltaire and Thackeray. Oh, and by me and my buddy Mike. Charles Dickens, known to use the establishment frequently, referred to it in A Tale of Two Cities. Not a huge range of beers but, at around 2.20 a pint, who's arguing? The food is simple pub grub but well cooked and very reasonably priced. A little gem well worth seeking out especially during the day as it gets packed once the offices start to turn out in the early evening.
BobOs - 5 Aug 2011 14:50
On Friday evening my partner and I took four American friends here for a beer. We ordered four real ales and two pints of Sam Smith lager. However, we were told we couldn't have the lager as they didn't have the 'correct' branded glasses. I said, any pint glass would do but she insisted I could either have a half pint or not at all.

I then spoke to the manager who again refused and confirmed that he would rather lose a sale than serve the beer in an unbranded glass because of getting into trouble with the brewery.

Now I totally understand why a brewery would want to serve their beer in their branded glasses but surely they need a back-up plan if they don't have any! Refusing to dispense the beer in a plain glass just smacks of stupidity - either by the brewery or the manager incorrectly interpreting an instruction.

I will never go back to this pub again. They deserve to go out of business with an atitude like that.


tootingbeer - 24 Jul 2011 19:41
Finally made it to this old pub. Didn't realise just how small and quaint the bar area is and it was perfect!! Wife and I enjoyed the downstairs snug/cellar area.
For a Sam Smiths house the decor has been left alone ie "old stuff" which my wife and I prefer. The Old Cask bitter was fresh.
THX CC!
richardo - 20 Jul 2011 19:44
The building must make this one of the most unique and atmospheric pubs in London. Tucked away down a little alleyway off Fleet Street you enter via the dark ground floor bar. This is split into several rooms with wood panelled walls and bare boarded floors and feels as is nothing much has changed for the last few hundred years.

However the real treat comes if you follow the well hidden narrow staircase downstairs. It feels as if you've entered middle earth as it opens out into a series of vaulted rooms and cubby holes with whitewashed walls. Don't expect luxury, just basic wooden tables and chairs or benches on flagstone floors.

Now here's the downside at least for me. It's a Sam Smith's pub which while it may be cheap means own brand or nothing. I've never had one of their beers or lagers which I'd describe as anything more than passable. I realise it's a matter of personal taste but for me, in common with their other historic pubs in London, it makes it somewhere to have one drink and enjoy the history but not somewhere I want to stay for a session.

On the upside service was efficient and friendly. On a Saturday afternoon the upstairs bar was fairly empty but there was a nice buzz downstairs and I can imagine this only gets better on a weekday evening when there are more people around. Food was unexceptional 'Brake Brothers' out of the freezer/deep fried style but prices very keen for Central London so not a cause for complaint but not something to go out of your way for either.

So in summary I'd highly recommend a visit, whether you stay long probably depends on your opinion of Sam's beers!
lazybeer - 24 Jun 2011 14:36
A very different pub. Well worth a visit. Lots of little places/cubby holes to sit and has quite an atmosphere.
sotondoton - 16 Jun 2011 20:27
Spent a long day (and evening) drinking in the area yesterday and have to admit, this was by far the best pub I have been in for a good few years. Had a bit of trouble finding it but well worth it. Sinister, dark, chilly rooms away from the warm sun and bustling crowds...fantastic.
Had a few pints of Alpine which was in great condition, and was delighted with the price (apparently Sam Smiths pubs are the cheapest in the capital).
Having never been before, cant comment on the previous members of staff, but the guy who served us had only been in the UK for five weeks (from NZ), he was pleasant, chatty and new a great deal about the history of the pub. 10/10 for me.
Scousefire - 4 May 2011 14:34
I disagree with the comments below. I've been coming here for years and with the odd exception, the staff are civil, polite, and a delight to have behind the bar. That odd, charmless, humourless exception to the rule will always be found but as I say, I really do think it is the exception. The landlord and landlady here are also a longstanding joy...
oliverhylton - 22 Feb 2011 13:14
GOOD LOCATION, BAD MANAGEMENT
This is one of the best buildings in London for a few beers. There are several rambling rooms over three floors, and Ive drank in all of them. It's a great thing to move around the place and there is real historic atmosphere.
Why then to Sam Smiths have a policy of only employing rude, scruffy, Ausie students, with long hair and earings, who have never tried a real ale in their short lives? These gormless Australian louts not only lack knowledge of the product they are selling, but also have zero charm or humour. Whats wrong with hiring real barmen who know their trade? Unless of course Smiths want to pay as little as possible to their staff.
expertoppinion - 17 Feb 2011 12:14
A really fascinating place, with difference parts open at different times. The downsides are: poor beer choice and at times far too touristy.
dpaajones - 7 Feb 2011 18:21
went here on a thursday lunch time, for a drink. really nice alpine lager, and another nice fuller flavour lager from same brewery. nice to see a change from the ususal brands. food menu was cheap too, didnt eat, but at those prices, i would come back and try it.

the interior is amazing, wonderfully dark, and the 'crooked house' feel to the layout, just oozes history. 4 small rooms, off a corridor, two bars, the front step is a smooth dip from hundreds of years of punters coming ang going. nice.

love this place. the fact its situated next to fleet street and all the horrible "post-yuppee" types cant be helped. just try to ignore them.

great place.
CHELSEA_on_tour - 18 Nov 2010 13:10
I have written in defence of the CCheshire Cheese before now, but after this evening I don't see it happening again.

A good, convivial evening had a most unpleasant and upsetting ending tonight. As we have a number of times over the last few years a group of friends took one of the upstairs rooms to share good food, drink and company with people getting up to recite a poem or lead in a song. Folk songs and familiar tunes like Hearts of Oak and Hard Times of Old England. Traditional stuff well suited to a place like the Cheese and in the past it has been welcomed by staff. We met as usual, took a drink, tucked into our food, gave toasts and sang as we have in the past.

However, after an hour or so of this the McDonalds reject in charge for the night informed the chap who had booked the room that we were not allowed to sing. The reasons given seemed to change each time he was asked about it. The Law, Sam Smiths new rules and allegedly complaining neighbours were all quoted. To say it soured an otherwise wonderful evening is putting it mildly. It has also soured my memories of a pub I have a great fondness for. We have had good rousing nights in the Cheese before and no trouble has ensued. The singing that goes on is in a private room and can no way be said to be public performance.

We go back, despite the often barely acceptable food, the price of that food, and the sometimes grudging service because the place itself is just so suited to our taste and is the perfect setting for our purposes. I for one wont be going back after tonights nasty little encounter. Nor will I recommend it, as I used to, as a fine example of what English pubs used to be and should be. If a pub of the Cheeses pedigree really has fallen into the hands of bean counters and pencil necks then we really are in trouble.

Once more with feeling.
When you have lost your inns, drown your empty selves, for you will have lost the last of England.
Hilaire Belloc

Davethebadger - 26 Oct 2010 01:19
This is a place not to miss. The Cheshire cheese pie appetizer was perfectly cooked, the stuffed pork roast hearty, lean, and filling, and the sticky pudding warm and tasty. Our waitress was friendly and helpful, answering our questions and making us feel welcome. Most of all, the dark-paneled, coal fire infused atmosphere is like nowhere else I've been--you could feel Dickens sitting near the fireplace, swilling his pint, and grousing about the sorry state of London. I definitely plan to go back.
proflegs10 - 21 Oct 2010 14:40
Had the worst Sunday Roast of my life at this pub. We both had Roast Beef and at over 11 without vegetables, we were expecting something at least "good". We were served a plate of gristle, fat and chewy meat which was rare and slimy. The roast potatoes and yorkshire puddings had clearly come from the freezer - really bad given the meal price. I sent almost all my meat back as I couldn't eat it.

But what I was most angry at was the way I was treated once I complained. When I complained about the meat texture I was told that that was the way they served it and the gristle - well, no one else had complained! I said I was only prepared to pay for half but they said no, I could have a free pudding. Given what I had just eaten, I didn't want a pudding so I asked to see the chef but he refused to come and talk to me. In the end we got a free drink but it meant we had still spent over 30 for an awful meal. I really wish I had stood my ground but I just wanted to get out of that awful place. I felt really ripped off, angry and upset. If I'm honest, I thought they were banking on anyone there at the weekend being a tourist - in the week, this pub is usually full of office workers and the food I've had then is much better. However, after the AWFUL food I had at the weekend and more importantly, the way they treated me, I would never eat there again. It's not acceptable to rip people off, just because you think they are tourists. In my eyes, this pub showed it's true colours. And no I'm not the owner of a rival pub.

My advise - DO NOT EAT IN THIS PUB
Sharon.Merritt - 19 Oct 2010 21:51
Service was pretty poor on my visit but the pub itself is wonderfully atmospheric. Recommended, especially with the bargain Sam Smiths prices!
steve_on_tour - 18 Oct 2010 10:53
Was in here last night. More students in the pub than behind the bar. Very rustic looking and has several floors. Service was OK, pub was fairly clean, beer was good. A message to Mr Dartwolf, I think you will find that Sam Smiths Taddy Porter was described by the beer hunter M.Jackson as (and I quote) A British Classic. I had two last night and can report this is still the case. The Alpine lager and Wheat beer are passable and the draft stout is as oakey as ever. In short you are a beer philistine squire. I recommend the pub heartily. But obviously as with most things like this in zone one, go off peak to avoid said tourists and general crowds.
xaventaner - 17 Oct 2010 19:02
I don't agree that this is a tourist trap, though it definitely is a pub that gets a lot of tourists. And why not? We're all tourists somewhere. I like an Old Brewery Bitter when it's on form - something reassuringly old fashioned about the taste. Having said that, the pint I had today was sub-par and the service brusque but efficient.. I have had some great times here though - usually in the depths of winter on a sunday afternoon when it's quiet and the fire's lit
Albert_Campion - 19 Sep 2010 21:10
I was horrified by the service in this previously nice pub. I was in on Friday evening and found the service hostile, embarassing and frankly horrible. I will add that all I did was query whether one pint was or was not off, entirely politely. I appreciate that some customers are out for what they can get, but I do not recall rudeness being part of most bar staff's job description; particularly if the customer is entirely polite to them. I won't be going again
winter22 - 19 Sep 2010 13:27
Not sure why this fantastic pub that is full of character and sells an interesting range of beers at low prices has suddenly slipped down the ratings. I suspect a plot by the landlords of some of the mediocre pubs nearby!
MikeTheMechanic - 18 Aug 2010 18:09
Who in heavens name believes this to be a good pub?
It's a charmless,tourist trap,served by cheap foreign students and travellers.
And there's no proof that Dr Johnson ever used it ever. He used the Mitre in Fleet st; now history.
FARTINGGHOST - 14 Aug 2010 20:15
Reading all the previous reviews, I must admit I'm at a complete loss as to how people are rating pubs.
I can only assume the most of the reviews for the Cheshire Cheese have been submitted by American tourists.

The Cheshire Cheese, is to be honest one giant tourist trap.
The Beer - Sam smiths is vile, although very cheap.
The atmosphere is non existent, it may well be one of the oldest pubs but it's sub-divided that you may as well be sat in a very dark and dingy harvester restaurant.

It's definitely a 'traditional british pub' if you're a tourist, I guess it
fits the stereotype.

But come on?
- No proper real ales - Sam Smith's ales / lagers are bl**dy awful
- No Landlord .... the landlord is the heart and soul of any proper
boozer, just a load of students of varying nationality behind the
bar.

In my mind, if Disney were to open a theme park with a 'traditional British pub' then the Cheshire Cheese would be the result.


dartwolf - 9 Jun 2010 14:28
Nice pub, a bit small, but an interesting curiosity.
jack4pints - 23 May 2010 20:58
Not for the faint hearted, a pub with loads of character, history and dust. Hidden away but a little treasure, good cider snd stout from the Smith's brewery
PaulMerc - 16 May 2010 18:42
Excellent pub with a great history and lots of character. The dark little rooms, real fires, and of course, the sawdust, all make for a pleasing and cosy atmosphere. The staff were cheerful and welcoming, and the beers good. Nice clean loos too!
TheBentElbow - 26 Apr 2010 18:45
Wow! This place reminds me of McSorleys Old Ale House in New York....its very dark, very small with lots of little dark rooms, really cool place - sawdust on the floor........got served immediately - loved the history of the place - went on a lunchtime Friday so upstairs and "restaurant" section were seemingly shut - but very interesting - will def go again.
adamwalsh - 23 Apr 2010 18:47
Great historic inn with plenty of small rooms to explore, upstairs and down.The cellar bar is particularly atmospheric.Only Sam Smiths bitter available but a must see on any pub tour,
covman45 - 12 Mar 2010 17:03
Always worth a visit and again a pleasant one. Great beer and service
keith253 - 9 Mar 2010 18:18
Agree with the previous comments cracking old historic boozer in the heart of London, the words spit and sawdust really are true about this pub there really is sawdust on the floor.
Beer selection isnt the best but very reasonable prices and such character adds to the olde worldy feeling about this pub which makes it so unlike most of the pubs about these days.
superseagulls - 24 Feb 2010 18:54
One of the best historical pubs in town. Beers are pretty good, food pretty average. Well worth a visit though. Mind your head while wandering through..
Mittsy - 16 Feb 2010 22:23
Fantastic pub. Been twice and would definately return. Typical olde worlde pub and if you have a chance head down to the cellar bar.
It's refreshing to see a pub keep it's character and traditions in this age of Gastro pubs and fancy premium lagers on tap.
The real ale and organic wheat beer are my weapons of choice and much prefer them to the gassy, lifeless lagers they could have on tap!

StrictlySteve86 - 6 Feb 2010 15:53
Historic pub , great interior, cheap beer and unfortunatly rubbish beer . I just dont get sam smiths with such a limited choice i wont be hurrying back
Picasso09 - 24 Jan 2010 20:09
What one expectsfrom an English pub;what a pleasure after the disappointment of the Punch.
HarryScarlett - 16 Jan 2010 21:46
Really nice atmosphere.
Redindianpowwow - 16 Jan 2010 00:47
Really can't be faulted on a cold winter's eve, standing besides the open fire warming the wife's supper. Just a shame one can't smoke here still.
Princemonolulu - 10 Jan 2010 19:17
Lots of atmosphere in the older parts of the building. The pub used to have an old Victorian lean-to at the back which unfortunately was replaced by some dire characterless modern construction. The beer is cheap but not very good and don't go near Sam Smiths own brand cola - yuk! Food is good but expensive. The toilets urgently need a make-over: cleaning them would be a good start
StudioM - 24 Dec 2009 11:20
I can't believe its taken me so long to get round to visiting this place - its a London legend really. Split-levelled, historic and totally unique, its a real treat visiting this place for a first time. We grabbed a pew in the basement, which was not as cold in December as you might think, and the place was unsurprisingly busy on a saturday afternoon. The only word of warning I would pass on to newcomers is this though: mind your head!
ChrisP87 - 22 Dec 2009 21:17
This is pub heaven, if you want interesting combined with nooks and crannies and different rooms all over the place. History on the walls. Sam Smiths beers, good bottled selection but only OBB on tap.
Greenie - 22 Dec 2009 19:25
decent place but a question, what is the point of the bizzare paging system for food when most people awaiting bar grub are within site of the main bar?
loveleedshatebates - 18 Nov 2009 10:46
This is a great pub, seems quite popular. the staff were friendly and the beer is good, brewed by Sam Smiths Brewery - no mainstream stuff on sale.
ElChuddy - 29 Oct 2009 21:22
This is a historic pub that is worth a visit at least once and Sam Smiths fans will love it and be glad to find OBB on draught.

The walk to the gents is a little treacherous, damn those short arsed ancestors!
Strongers - 8 Oct 2009 10:47
Unsure why this place is getting a slagging off for being a tourist trap. What do you expect in London? Madness. A lot of bitter people out there. This is one of the best pubs in London - not for beer selection, but I can get over that and enjoy the brilliant atmosphere at night and have a great time with good company. You deserve all you get if you see this as a foody pub - no point. Go to the McDonalds up the road if you want some food. The OBB was tip top as usual and on my last visit, somewhat unusually and a first for me, the downstairs bar was open instead of the Cheshire bar. Absolutely brilliant, staggeringly good in fact - this is an absolute must visit when in London for this bar alone (I visited on a Saturday so it was quite busy, I would imagine that the downstairs bar might not be open during the week, as it is vast).
Sharp - 24 Aug 2009 18:55
Third visit to this pub - went on a Saturday. Too many tourists! And the beer choice isn't great either. My rating has gone down.
dpaajones - 16 Aug 2009 12:02
In days of yore when you went in, and the fire was on and most people had a fag or even a pipe on the go, nothing could be more exhileratingly conducive to ill-health than the dimly lit front bar of the Cheese! Those days are sadly past, but Samuel Smith's can't be beat on price, and this is still a pretty cool old pub. It is my opinion that it is better enjoyed during the day, when creaky quietude rules, rather than in the evenings, when both bankers and barrow boys (and tourists) do their bit to taint the atmosphere. Having said I have had some very memorable evenings in here, and the front room is so cramped that it is almost impossible not to strike up conversation with some random strangers, which is a rarity these days.
crossfield - 15 Jul 2009 11:45
What an interesting pub. Dimly lit, one can imagine Dr Johnson sitting in a corner scribing away. I arrived at about 11.30am and enjoyed a Sam Smiths Stout and a glass of cider, both of which were on form. I liked the way that the barman rejected a fair amount of stout before passing a good glass to my son who was with me to test the place out.

Sawdust on the floor and olde worlde charm make it a place to visit again. Yes it is a tourist trap (a party of Japanese tourists arrived and filed upstairs to a dining room whilst I was there) but I would visit again and try the food next time. I went there on a Saturday but I understand that it gets very busy during the week.
Jaguarman - 15 Jul 2009 09:48
Good beer, not bad food, slightly dissapointing puddings (Size not taste). Popped in again last night, and the place was a little busy just after work, but quitened down fast after 8ish. Enjoyed the Old Brewery in the ground floor back bar, though it was a little chilled (icy even). Barstaff were pleasent, service was fast. Nice interesting venue with lots of corners to explore.
Penguinsanity - 29 May 2009 10:03
Tourist trap? 95% of West End pubs must have tourists in them at any given time. Are they all "traps" too?

The Cheshire Cheese gets its fair share of visitors (and why not? we're all tourists somewhere) - Disneyland it definately ain't.
Albert_Campion - 24 May 2009 12:57
One of the (very) few pubs where you can really feel what a pub from before the industrial revolution might have been like. The tourists that get brought in by guides and then sod off whithout so much as a half of shandy are annoying, but they go with the territory, and they leave swiftly. I think the "tourist trap" lable is unfair, the beer is much cheaper than elswhere and the pub is genuinely very old, those that come in search of an "old" English pub get better value here than in many other pubs. Dr Johnson may well not have drunk there, but given its proximity to his house in Gough Sq I'd be surprised if he never darkened its door.
I've had more enjoyable chats with random strangers in the tiny "front" bar than anywhere else in London and the staff are usually pretty friendly too.
Of course there are tourists in here, get over it! The ones that stay for a drink are the ones that appreciate the feel of this very special pub. In a world where the "Wig & pen" is now a Thai restaurant this place is to be treasued.
Davethebadger - 21 May 2009 15:58
A pub that, if anything, overplays its history (the Dr Johnson connection is tenuous at best) - but hey, the current building dates back to 1667 so there's plenty of history to play with! Be warned that this is no bright, modern or open-plan pub the dark wooden interior is a maze of narrow corridors and staircases, leading to numerous bars and dining rooms. Fairly cold inside, so nice to visit in the summer. Sam Smith's beer is the order of the day here, meaning that by Central London standards this is home to that rare creature, a reasonably priced pint.
TheHistoryMan - 19 May 2009 19:10
Still an over rated tourist trap, playing on the Doctor Johnson connection. There's no written or published proof that he ever used the place;it's all built on one comment by a 19th centuryjournalist drinking here; pure rubbish. Howeverthat aside,I had a very pleasant couple old old Ales served by the charming Aussie in the front bar this afternoon. Informed,cheerful and on the ball beer wise. The place was empty, except for 3 Bankers in the corner on fruit juice. This was such a great bar to sit and smoke in once;nowkilled off or left to die by this governments antismoking polcy. How many more pubs will go as a result?
WOTCHACOCK - 30 Apr 2009 08:32
Excellent pub, bar man very informative on it's history. Rooms worth exploring. Good pint of cask Old Brewery as well. Must visit pub.
KeithP - 28 Apr 2009 12:27
deserves its legendary status and populaity...an interesting warren of a building with a great smoky smell. friendly staff and reasonable beer.
mozzzzzz - 20 Apr 2009 13:19
Food isn't great, the beer is Sam Smith's, but I still love this place. It is very atmospheric and is well worth a visit just for all the nooks and crannies. The staff do a good job to be fair.
gomezcat - 4 Apr 2009 15:30

For some reason it is a few years since I visited this pub. I popped in after being overcharged (in my view) for a pint in a nearby pub. Although the beers are all Sam Smiths they are none the worse for that and are inexpensive for the area. The service was polite, quick and friendly. There is a maze of rooms so you can always find somewhere the suit. The only negative is the stairs down to the toilets. They are very low and I am very tall! Recommended.

MikeTheMechanic - 27 Mar 2009 18:38
Mr Gerbil, they most definitely do serve cask ales in this pub - the Old Brewery Bitter.
Albert_Campion - 24 Feb 2009 14:29
Top pint of Sam Smiths.The Old Brewery wasn't as good as my previous trips here nor at the Chandos (how do they do that !)....but, by London standards-its still great pint, to be savoured before the Suits rush in....
EdgarBriggsMI5 - 1 Feb 2009 20:46
The beer is very cheap, but only the keg version of Samuel Smiths is available: there is no cask conditioned ale at all. The atmosphere is one the best anywhere. The pub is a rabbit warren of several bars, function rooms and dining areas. The food is cheapish by Central London standards, and of average quality. Mind your head when you go downstairs, as people were a lot shorter when those 13th century vaults were built! Don't believe the bogus history this pub surrounds itself with. I'll bet anything that 'Dr Johnson's chair' is about as genuine as the Turin Shroud! Also, I can find no evidence that this pub existed before about 1820, despite frequent claims elsewhere of it dating back much further.
MrGerbil - 30 Jan 2009 19:13
i wish i was the chef in this pub . its my dream job.
1honeydew - 18 Jan 2009 19:45
The first Ladies night of the updated FTB format was held at the Ye old Cheshire cheese last Thursday It was good to have the honeymooners present from Australia and be able to introduce them to a very old London drinking establishment with tons of history. The pub was massive with little rooms all over the place however as it was busy this didnt help the seating arrangements as the host neglected to organise a table. This would have been solved had it not been for the poor lighting on the coin toss. Eventually seating was secured and the group enjoyed the 2 pints which were definitely the winner. The beers were local ales and lagers with none of the big brands within sight. Most of the group partook in the alpine lager which was an excellent example though no one progressed to the ales. One slight inconvenience was the stairway down to the toilets that had little overhead clearance and would have been difficult to negotiate had Dave been present. Over all this was a good traditional pub with a cosy atmosphere.
FTB2 - 15 Jan 2009 14:10
Take your parents here when they come to visit you in London. They will be charmed by one of Britain's oldest pubs, tucked away down an alley way near Fleet Street and near the statue of Dr. Johnson's cats. Many levels and it is de rigueur to plunge as low as possible down the rickety stairways to the rather forbidding stone clad rooms, deep in the earth.
BoehmBawerk - 29 Dec 2008 13:35
Unspoilt courtesy of Sam Smith and preservatives.

If you like Sam Smith beer then this is a winner. I am not overly keen but the bitter was decent but this is undoubtedly a charming hostelry with bags of character.
So yeah a honeypot for tourists but not to be discounted on that basis.
terenced - 16 Dec 2008 10:59
Tourist trap.
Lyncroft - 13 Dec 2008 23:38
I was not impressed last night after popping in for a quick pint before closing. They turned the light off behind the bar at 10:58 as I walked in the door, and refused to admit their clock was fast (which it definitely was). NOT good customer service! I suggest you go to one of the many good pubs in the area instead.
john_the_jester - 7 Dec 2008 07:37
Difficult to know how to rate this place. Dropped in last night night to hand over some London Drinkers. Barman denied all knowledge of ever having them. Mind you he reckoned all Sam Smiths have OBB on handpump. Had been here before for functions and gone straight upstars. Had a bit of a poke around last night and hadn't realised how big it was. Must be at least 4 separate bars. It's a must visit but maybe once only.
GuideDogSaint - 27 Nov 2008 23:49
Lovely historic pub. It feels as if you have stepped back in time. I love Sam Smith beers so that is a bonus.

Great for tourists to see


soulfly - 20 Nov 2008 14:00
I was in here last sunday - had three pints of OB in the front bar sat by the fire, taking in the ancient smoke-blackened panelling and decor. Tangible atmosphere of time stood still - You half expect Dr Johnson to walk in. Very friendly staff and punters. Good pub.
Albert_Campion - 11 Nov 2008 11:33
Enjoyed my visit here with friends but wasn't as good as I was hoping. Went on a Saturday night when a few of the other bars were closed for private functions so therefore it got fairly busy. Very oldy-worldy feel to this place and I'm sure there's loads of history associated with it too. Usual, cheap Sam Smiths beer available and the staff seemed quite friendly.

Don't think I'll came back again as it's a case of been there and done it now go somewhere else though that's not to say I wouldn't recommend a visit. If I was to go again it would probably be during the daytime to perhaps fully appreciate it for what it is.

7/10
wezmiester - 2 Nov 2008 19:06
Amazing interior with lots of little rooms on various levels, steep narrow stairs into the downstairs cellar bars (like a dungeon!) very atmospheric. As much as I like Sam Smiths beers, on my visit (Oct 2008) the beer was not very good, and the food costly and not up to much. Whilst there several complained about the food, taking too long to arrive and cold when it did. Wonderful place, but would not visit again. I guess this has just become a tourist trap, which is a shame. Much better beer and food at Sam Smiths Cittie York in High Holborn.

John W Oct 2008
FrostyJW - 22 Oct 2008 11:31
A tourist trap and rotten pub;typical Smiths. Good locations and horrible beer. This place was worth going into in the old days when you were allowed to smoke; the open front bar coal fire is a bigger risk to your lungs than any cigar or cigerette. Worth walking by and heading for the Olde Mitre up the road.
WHOYOULOOKINGATKNUT - 24 Sep 2008 00:41
Possibly becoming a bit touristy? But still excellent atmosphere, beer and a wonderful old interior.
henryharker - 9 Sep 2008 00:12
As good as the hype suggests. Try to go in the week when the labyrinthine downstairs is open.
Carlurmston - 19 Aug 2008 01:11
What a find this pub is! Beer and food all 5 star, thank you for a most enjoyable visit. Highly recommended!
david1972a - 9 Aug 2008 01:42
One of the all time great pubs. Excellent beer at a great price. Recommend going in Winter when the open fire is burning. Pity the big sign actually outside the pub in Fleet Street is missing.
julestrainspotter - 25 Jun 2008 13:44
Popped in again yesterday - seemed to be a better stock and selection of Sam Smiths than previously. Also had the cask ale on too.

Whatever you think of their beer, you've got applaud SS for their upkeep of these historic pubs, and for being able to sell their draught beer so cheaply.
Quinno - 24 Jun 2008 14:12
Beer was good when we visited last Friday, No Alpine on though. Not all bars/rooms open, but they let us have a look around anyway.

Will definitely visit again when in London.

Takes a while for your eyes to adjust to the dark!

Delly_WhoRU - 16 Jun 2008 13:55
The closest pub to my office and would be a regular of mine if it weren't for the crap beer (sorry, just not a Sam Smiths fan). Stunning historical interior and worth a visit notwithstanding the beer selection. Sometimes a bit too tourist heavy though...
CaptainJamesTPint - 23 Apr 2008 15:47
Difficult to find but well worth the hunt. I thought it was closed at first, so dark were the windows from outside. Very Dickensian place, lots of nooks & crannies. Lovely real fire roaring away in the bar. A typical Sam Smiths pub - full of character with decent but very cheap beer.
roderick_alleyn - 15 Apr 2008 12:55
Just started working nearby so met a friend for a drink here and have to say it is a fantastic place. You feel like you've gone to an olde worlde attraction like London Dungeon or something but with the advantage of drinking great, cheap!! beer. I will be back very soon.
charliefarley - 20 Mar 2008 10:42
Lovely old historic pub enjoyed a nice pint of Sam Smiths old brewery sitting by the big open fire.
Womble - 19 Mar 2008 08:48
Unbelievably amazing pub! Good atmosphere, good location, good beer, good food, good history, good..
dpaajones - 12 Mar 2008 00:22
Just recently in London. This Pub is great. A quintessential English pub with surprisingly good food and crisp ales. The "Gentlemen Only" area up front is just what's needed now-a-days.
dcvega - 26 Feb 2008 15:45
Hadn't been here for at least 15 years and then it had been summer and my wife and I had to stand outside in the alley. Glad we visited again earlier this month. Won't be 15 years before our next visit.
Boothers - 15 Feb 2008 11:11
Nice pub for an evening visit. Good beer and friendly. Mixed clientele from business types to students to Japanese tourists. Very interesting architecture/paintings.
GaryB59 - 7 Feb 2008 17:49
This pub epitomizes all that is great about London.The history and the eccentricity is overwhelming and i hope that this will never change. Glad that Samuel Smiths are taking good care of it and not trying to change anything, and they make great beer!
cluck - 15 Jan 2008 11:56
This pub continues to serve good beer. Bar staff friendly, though if you want to eat you should try and book as it is still a big tourist destination for the city walking tours.
hoppy123 - 11 Dec 2007 09:30
This is one of the only Sam Smith's pubs in the capital with hand pumps - makes all the difference in the taste of their ales, which on our last visit were excellent. Service is good and friendly, even when packed. We were in after the Lord Mayor's show and got served instantly despite it being rammed. There's a modern (but tastefullt basic) conversion of the courtyard out the back with a magnificently engineered wooden covering, but the rest of the pub is the reale olde deale. This being a Sam Smith's pub it hasn't been turned into Disneyland. More power to 'em.
Albert_Campion - 26 Nov 2007 14:20
One of the best pubs in London. This is the epitome of an olde worlde pub - wood panelling, nooks and crannies, blazing open fires and strong literary connections. It's Sam Smiths, too, so it's cheap. The bigger bar is closed on Sundays.
Greshon - 18 Nov 2007 23:18
I love this place, very regularly go for a drink there after work. It can fill up with City types a bit after 6, but this goes with the territory. Great atmosphere and decor, mind your head, going down the stairs though. Very good value beer too, which in my opinion is unfairly maligned - the stout is actually very nice. My friend bought scampi and chips which looked lush - I'm told the chips were cooked to perfection. Really, really nice.
patrickjsm - 3 Nov 2007 12:54
This is one of my favourite pubs in London, so I brought my Canadian visitors to check it out last night. It turned out to be a huge disappointment.

It was ever so slightly cool yesterday evening, but they responded by firing up the coal fireplaces. As a result, the front bar resembled a walk-in oven. The Chop Room and the restaurant were fully booked for the entire evening, so we had to go to the cellar bar for food. It took an hour and a half to arrive, and when it did, the food was stone cold.

What was meant to be an introduction to London's great pubs just went on to confirm all the worst stereotypes about Britain: warm beer (warm everything with the fires), crap food, poor service. At least they enjoyed the prices, as their peasant currency doesn't go far here.
topdog_andy - 28 Sep 2007 12:08
Great pub. Crappy beer.
davidb - 24 Sep 2007 11:07
An outstanding, unique and intriguing place to drink. A Sam Smiths establishment, I am not a fan of the beer, the soft drinks or the wine but it is a great place to drink simply because it is so utterly enthralling and captivating. Real open fires, a labyrinthine maze of corridors, rooms, nooks and crannies festooned with antediluvian, ancient tables, chairs and wooden chattels and polite, courteous staff make for a singular, back-in-time atmosphere. You must visit this pub once in your life.
cohenfain - 15 Aug 2007 20:36
Was in London 2 weeks ago and asked our guide to recommend something "real" which is how we ended up at the Chesire. No disappointment-ate in the Chop Room and had Scotch roast beef which was so yummy, esp with the chunky horseradish sauce! Would have loved to revisited to enjoy the cellar atmosphere, but time would not allow. A definite favorite.
Troxell - 5 Aug 2007 16:03
This has to be one of the best pubs in London and one of the cheapest. Please don't change it!
slimboyfat - 10 Jul 2007 16:45
While in London about 10 days ago we went on a ghost walk/pub crawl organised by The Big Bus Company. This was one of the pubs we visited. And it was brilliant! We went to the all wood bar at the very bottom of the building and it was atmospheric, cool and really good fun. There were a great mix of customers, everything from tourists soaking up all that history to a group of lads who were doing a Monopoly pub crawl. I will be going back for a longer stay next time I'm in London. Highly recommended! If I'd tried the food or stayed longer it would probably have earned a score of 10.
Esme - 28 Jun 2007 21:32
historic city pub, claiming to be based on hostelry associated with the Whitefriars. Cellars go down a very long way. Famous literary pub associated with virtual all great writers along the former director of the Dr Johnstone Museum tells me there is no evidence that Dr J actual drank here - although it is close to his house.
kpflude - 20 Jun 2007 11:00
Another brilliant central London, Sam Smith's pub. Sat in one of the two back rooms. Not as atmospheric or traditional as the front rooms, cellar or upper floors, but plenty of room and perfectly pleasant. A couple of very nice pints of OBB, and some food. My friends had sandwiches, which looked pleasant and good value for money...
I had the Steak and Kidney Pie.... EXCELLENT. Meat wonderful, gravey excellent, veg supereb... but best of all, the suet and herb top on the pie. outstanding, I'll be trying to recreate this at home... but might have to visit a few more times first.
The rest of the pub is beautiful, traditional, amazing. Also, the extra menu for the front Chop room, looks good.
So plenty of reasons for me to visit again!
alistair_cross - 28 May 2007 08:23
Yes, I am a tourist... the only thing to ask for is to leave this pub unchanged forever. A pint of Sammy Smith went down good as usual, can't say anything about the food.
Pidley2547 - 21 May 2007 19:20
Been to this pub many times over the years, but had food there for the first time today, for a birthday lunch. We were in the "Chop Room" to the left of the main entrance, and had Bangers & Mash, really tasty. Couple of pints of the draght stout went down very well too. A very successful lunch all round - recommended.
Dave25 - 2 May 2007 16:06
I love this pub, one of my favorites in London.
As Old Brewery Bitter is my favorite beer I am nearly always happy in a Sam Smiths pub, I particularly like the German Beer Hall effect in the very bottom room and the lovely little wooden booths.
The staff are always quick and usually friendly too.

I also like that the menu is designed for hungry people who have had one too many beers before their dinners! onion rings are brilliant and the chips are like the ones my Granny used to make.

Brilliant!
ale_fiend - 18 Apr 2007 10:54
Visit this pub for the history and ambience of a bygone age. This really does look like a pub that has been there, and remained largely unchanged, since just after the Great Fire. A Sam Smith's pub so no surprises regarding beers on offer. A must for inclusion on any tour of London's historic pubs.
RexRattus - 31 Mar 2007 10:08
Go find something more olde English, its great here. Bring your foreign friends or work colleagues and show them another side of the tourist route.

Alternatively go with a mate and end up with several more by the end of the night.
Neutral - 29 Mar 2007 17:42
Have been coming here for years but ate for the first time recently. (Didn't go to the restaurant - this was bar food.) Despite a big food order not long before the kitchen closed it was absolutely spot on - a brilliant steak and kidney pie. Went down brilliantly with a pint of man-in-a-box.
Unfortunately - as I was showing some friends from out of London around - the more atmospheric downstairs bar was closed on a Saturday night, but as the upstairs was hardly busy it's not surprising.
Overall a top pub.
anonymous - 26 Mar 2007 14:44
Met friends here during my recent stay in London...went here due to it's rich past, but could not stay-so smoke-filled..really a shame, the place itself is so lovely
njnkp - 15 Mar 2007 22:51
Great pub IF you stick to the original parts, I was in on Monday 12 March which was a lovely bright sunny day and they had the coal fire in the grate burning with the result that you couldn't stay in there for the heat...........not that I'll let that put me off
mysteryposter - 13 Mar 2007 16:08
well i visited again due to seeing a post made after my last one on the 6/7/06 and i actually tried other things than "stella" which i dont drink as i find it bloodly awful , i know this is a sam smiths pub but with this in mind my local British legion is a sam smiths buyer and the bitter they do is superb , with this in mind a few of the merry wanderers ended up in london (either here or southend) and one of the group wanted to see why we raved about the tipperary across the road , but we came here first and i tried the same lager i tried before and it tasted lovely (think i copped a dodgy pint last time) everyone had something different and we all tried each others the beer we were served was f**kin excellent , this pub had a ten rating from me before because of the excellent service i got , now it has a fully deserved ten .
a historical part of londons drinking history that has been untouched by the glass and neon of a 21st century bussling capital city .
romfordir - 5 Mar 2007 14:40
Very interesting and historic. However only having Samuel Smiths bitter available is not very good.
Paul666 - 27 Feb 2007 15:18
Can't decide if I really like this place, or really hate it...went in on Friday night and the place just felt really disjointed. Really busy, and I didn't realise they served their own version of spirits. Average prices - however I yet again got lost on my way back from the toilet to my table.
hammondshamster - 26 Feb 2007 09:56
With past patrons like Bradshaw and Dickens expectations were high for this oddly named pub.
We went on a Thursday night and the place was comfortably busy. With so many rooms and knocks, it was easy enough to find a spot.
The tap beer was great and the service was friendly and efficient.
The atmosphere reflected the charm and history of the pub, making it popular with tourists and locals.

FTB - 12 Feb 2007 11:49
This place is steeped in history - sup where luminaries like Dickens and Johnson used to while away the hours. Fantastic higgledy-piggledy layout although the furniture and fittings do belie a slight lack of sympathy for the surroundings. In terms of drinks stay clear of the own brand spirits and mixers and (someone else's) wine I tasted had a somewhat eggy nose... This is a beer drinkers pub and the Sammy Smiths bitters and lagers are good news. In Yorkshire Sam Smiths is much maligned for being pish but in London few places know how to pour a proper bitter and Samuel Smiths places usually do.
pieandpint - 8 Feb 2007 15:45
Amazing interior, loads of history and stuff like that. Definitely worth a visit, make sure you have a look round at all the rooms; I could almost believe that it hasn't changed since the alleged 17th century origins...having said that I still have my reservations about Sam Smiths pubs...I can't really put my finger on why, I certainly don't have any complaints about the beer...it's all a nice idea but they never seem to be run with "love".
Muzthing - 20 Jan 2007 02:21
Good beer and atmosphere but really could do with an extra person or two behind the bar at the back of the building on the ground floor. They have enough space for a couple more people. Apart from that a good traditional pub.
imp123 - 17 Jan 2007 11:31
Maybe I'm biased because I'm an American and always appreciate the chance to drink in a pub older than my country. Yeah, it's always going to draw in tourists because of the fact that it was frequented by Samuel Johnson and Charles Dickens- but besides that it has a very cozy atmosphere, excellent fish n' chips and I like Samuel Smiths.
AnotherYankeePoof13 - 7 Jan 2007 03:42
Sitting in the cellar is always a treat for some reason. Like the pub and am warming to Sam Smiths. I went with the Stout.
jorrocks - 28 Dec 2006 03:09
Disagree with the last poster, but horses for courses I guess. I like historic atmospheric pubs and this place ticks all the right boxes.
HLC - 26 Dec 2006 15:56
Yes it's old and has history and character but the most I could handle was the two minutes it took to realise that I shall never go there again. Too small, tiny,tiny bar area and that silly room out the back is a about as inviting as a poke in the eye.
f90x - 23 Dec 2006 13:45
The initial impression is that this is a pub that has got above itself and that what made it appealing has/could led to its downfall; its clear that heritage and decor are attractive for customers but once you go through the original public bar into the 'back' public bar you feel like you are standing in a warehouse. More of a J.SAINSBURY RATHER THAN A C. DICKENS WAREHOUSE i MIGHT ADD. Its too much of contrast. I did not try the restaurant(s) which looked very nice but can't help feeling that the ambience will lead excessively great expectations...
campfreddie - 21 Dec 2006 17:49
Good for the food more than the ale. If you are hungry and want some good, traditional pub grub, a little gussied up, this is the place. I had some excellent bangers and Mash, and the service was nice, albiet a bit posh for a pub. I would rate the bangers and mash a 9/10

Unfortunately, this is just a Samuel Smiths, mediocre cheap ale. Its not bad mind you, but there is so much better out there, like Courage Best (a favourite of mine) I don't recommend going here for drinks, as I have made clear, but then, i have no idea what there wines are like.

Because beer makes the pub, I had to rate this 4/10. And it's a shame, considering the excellent food and cozy atmosphere, fire place and all and pleasant scent.
AlVila - 15 Dec 2006 16:39
The interior is wonderful, so it's a must-stop for that alone.

However it's a Sam Smith's so it's the same old tasteless cack that can't hold you there for more than the one, unless the fridge is stocked.

Hardly any seats and limited floorspace so be prepared to stand. It also gets pretty hot.

Quinno - 13 Dec 2006 21:33
Better places in the area for sure....
hammondshamster - 5 Dec 2006 09:41
Thing is, Sam Smith's being cheap as chips is only an illusion as anything they sell which is drinkable sells at normal prices. Any sh*t in a little box isn't!! Great place though.
mitomighty - 1 Dec 2006 19:13
I love the character this pub has. So nice. And as it is a Sam Smith's pub it is as cheap as chips! I haven't eaten here before but it's a real treasure.
sianajones - 1 Dec 2006 14:00
Enjoyed some stout and porter here last night. It never seems to be too busy owing to the size of the place. I love it here but the staff are appalling even to the extent of pouring slops into people's pints. you'd think they'd get an extended licence too!
mitomighty - 25 Nov 2006 14:32
I've been going into this pub periodically for the last 37 years. I've rated it as 9 stars even though it isn't my favorite pub in London or in Fleet Street. And probably can't be.

What it has done is endured, which is harder than it sounds. It's listed in a late 1800s guide to historical pubs -- and countless others. Historic is a burden. You inevitably attract tourists to go with drinkers. You can't pick your clientele. And Fleet Street itself has morphed in the last 30 years, from the heart of the newspaper industry to a finance industry that huddles in modern blocks hidden behind old facades. Yet the Cheese continues.

A tippler can get a decent measure of whiskey or a pint of ale from staff with typical pub attitudes, reasonably friendly and competent. The atmosphere may be historic, but the worn interior is a comfortable fit. Just relax and enjoy your drink.

I've eaten here several times, but not not in a few years. The food was usually competent to reasonably good for pub food. There are the rate times that the place isn't crowded and that's the time to be there. But probably still not likely to be my steadyy watering hole.
anonymous - 15 Nov 2006 22:44
One of London's most famous pubs but not a particular favourite of mine. The historical importance of the pub is matched by its benooked-and-crannied interior with lots of different rooms, small doorwars and rickety staircases. Very big so generally always some room somewhere, but let down by the poor quality of the beer: whilst the price of Sam Smiths is to be commended, the beer is below average which is a pity as they own three or four of the most impressive pub interiors in central London. As for food, I've eaten the bar food here before, but there are a couple of restaurants which look as though they might be quite decent. Nice bar upstairs as well for private functions.
grecian - 13 Nov 2006 16:30
My second visit to this pub this week, the coal fire was very welcoming!

For history, you can't go wrong here, but if you are looking for a comfortable sit down after a long day you might be disappointed, as hard wooden benches seem to be the order of the day.

As it's a Sam Smiths pub prices are great. I wouldn't hesitate to go back.
ONscotland - 25 Oct 2006 21:10
The Cheese has had sawdust on the floor upstairs since I can remember - at least since 1969, so I suspect it's "tradition" rather than pretention, Stonch.

On another note: I remember being fascinated by the visitors books which used to be kept on the shelf in the downstairs bar. A few years ago the (British) barman asked us one quiet afternoon if we'd like a look. The 1933-36 volume was brought down and we found entries by The Marx Brothers, John Betjeman, and a whole bunch of others.

The visitors books only go back as far as 1667 tho'. The earlier ones were destroyed in the fire of 1666...

The Sam Smiths OBB is certainly cheap for central London - Wetherspoons' prices in a genuine pub.
Alph_river - 18 Oct 2006 09:43
Haven't been here for a couple of years. Despite living within walking distance I don't normally drink in Fleet Street pubs but last night made an exception.

As everyone has commented, this is a Sam Smith's house so expect their beers only. If you don't like them, you'll be disappointed. I can never quite make my mind up - I like their Taddy Porter and Imperial Stout, but as both are invariably served from the fridge they are never as enjoyable as they should be.

The place reeks history, as you would expect, and the cellars are interesting - the final, large cellar bar you come to if you keep travelling downwards always come as a surprise. The capacity must be huge.

First negative is unfriendly and disinterested bar staff - the curse of just about every pub on in the immediate vicinity. Yes, they're Eastern European, but I don't buy into this bigoted nonsense about Eastern European bar staff being by their nature unfriendly (see discussion on page for Old Bank of England). Go to any decently run pub in Czech Republic or Poland and you'll get good service. The problem here is that Sam Smith's many pubs in London have taken on the character of a large PubCo chain, and no doubt they pay sht wages and offer little or no training.

Second negative is the sawdust (no, I'm not kidding) on the floors upstairs - come off it.

All in all, for me this is an interesting place to visit once in a while purely for the curiosity value, but not somewhere that makes me feel like lingering.
anonymous - 14 Sep 2006 11:38
I love Sam Smith's pubs so that was a good start! The beer was great and the place is just as brilliant as I thought it was going to be. Atmosphere, charm and history by the bucketload!!! What an amazing pub, possibly the best in London in my humble opinion. I give it a 10.
belgraviabarons - 13 Sep 2006 08:58
This pub deserves a much better rating than it has. It is a Sam Smiths pub, so it sells Sam Smiths beers. why do some people expect mass produced over priced beers ??. If you want to pay for the advertising of other brands go elsehwere.
We want this pub to remain CHAV FREE !
history100 - 9 Sep 2006 14:43
I first went here on a saturday night in december 1994 and I loved it. We were in the main bar at the front and there was a great atmosphere, busy but not crowded, real fire belting out heat. It felt like an old fashioned village pub yet we were in the middle of London.
I always visit when I'm in London and it never dissapoints. Went last summer on the day of that Live Aid II thing, there was also a huge Gay pride march in the city so London was just hectic and it was a red hot day. What a releif it was to be able to drink a lovely pint of bitter in the cool and serenity of the cellar area. Could have stopped there all day. It's an ever fascinating labyrinth and incredibly cheap.
GeorgeXXIII - 28 Aug 2006 14:48
Fair enough, sounds like you were treated very badly.

But your comment about them not having Guinness is stupid. Surely when you booked this place for the reception, you knew it was a pub owned by Sam Smith's and that SS pubs only sell that brewery's own beer?

Or do you just assume all pubs should sell the international brands you are familiar with?
anonymous - 30 Jul 2006 13:29
Place was hired for a wedding reception. On the stroke of 11, the bar staff kicked us out as if we were like criminals. Spent a fortune in there, not even a thankyou for your custom and goodnight.

Don't go there. They don't have Guinness, or any normal beers. They seem to think that because they are one of the few pubs that open round there on a Saturday night, they can treat people as they see fit.

The barman was ok, but the barwoman who was so obviously desparate to bugger off home as soon her time was up was horrible.

Landlord, if you read this, appreciate your custom. If you can't manage a Saturday, stay shut like all the other pubs around there.
WhoDaresGins - 30 Jul 2006 04:07
Perhaps a rating of 7/10 is harsh, but it is the sort of place which demands the highest standards. On the plus side are the Sam Smith's at knockdown prices and good quality, the incredible building, it's history and ambience, along with it's pivotal location. I was in a way reminded of the beloved "Nellie's" in Beverley. Food (not sampled on my most recent visit) appears better than many places offer. Less welcome was the inability of some staff to be able to hold a short conversation - owing to language problems? Remains a must-repeat place, however. Maybe I should think less and simply wallow.
Goole815 - 12 Jul 2006 08:46
Had to respond to romfordir's comment about lack of a range of drinks in this pub - how can you say that? Admittedly they've only got one real ale, but pretty much all SS pubs serve three types of lager on tap plus keg stout and cider (if you like that kind of thing). You get a trad porter, a brown ale, an imperial stout and several others in bottles. That's a pretty good range.

So what are you talking about? I think I know - what you mean is that the familiar trashy brands of overprices rubbish you prefer to drink aren't available. Honestly, I despair of your kind. If you want a pint of Stella just say so.

Surely true variety is found in different styles of beer, not different advertising slogans.
anonymous - 9 Jul 2006 20:06
finally got round to having a beer in here , had a sam smiths lager , which tasted strange gave it back and got another which also tasted funny , but carried on with this one my friend had a pint of organic lager which was reasonable , nice pub maybe a bit touristy but the range of beers well i say range should be lack of range , but apart from that friendly staff and reasonable prices
romfordir - 9 Jul 2006 18:22
Lose yourself in time in Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese. I love this pub, if you are visiting from abroad and want to experience old fashioned London then give this a go.
fuzzy - 28 Jun 2006 15:03
The very best place in London for a reasonably priced pint 1-80 for Sam Smiths OBB. Soak up the history in the tiny bar, or eat in one of the more spacious resaurant areas. A must-visit pub, especially on a cold Saturday afternoon in January or February when the open fire is roaring away, and you have the place to yourself!
Alph_river - 5 Jun 2006 14:17
An all time classic, one of my two favourite pubs in the world and always a good night out (the atmosphere is friendly and laid back). The drinks are just about acceptable (sam smiths, the dreaded ayingerbrau lager, and very poor wine and soft drinks - we're not far off panda cola here), but the Cheese will be here longer than the beer and will get better at some point. I can't vouch for the food downstairs but like Hugh says, the food in the restaurants is out of this world - Gary Rhodes himself would like the English food served here.
anonymous - 31 May 2006 23:45
The upstairs restaurant (Johnson Room) is wonderful. Oak panelled booths, dark red curtains and old crockery and pictures. It really is like stepping back into the London of Dickens or earlier. The food is superb. Anybody who believes that English food is no good has not eaten here. The rack of lamb is heavenly. The prices were reasonable for central London, and the service has always been friendly and polite when I've visited.
Hugh1971 - 23 May 2006 13:43
A gem. Takes some finding which is a good thing.This is the real deal , a historic pub where you can feel the history. Its not been overdressed; you can imagine the characters who drank there. Only one complaint, an old pub like this should be floating on Real Ale.On the other hand the decent Sam Smiths was only 1.72 a pint!.In central London!!.
tinsoldier - 19 May 2006 22:29
Great Name, Great Beer, Great Building.

A Pub like it should be from Sam Smith's.

My Rating 9/10
fat_beer_badger - 11 May 2006 17:10
nice charcoal smell in there, open fire I think and I was there so it can't be all bad.
mitomighty - 10 Mar 2006 13:13
Fantastic building with lots of different rooms and lots of different bars. However the range of beers for such a big place is crap. They only have one cask ale and although it's drinkable it tastes more like John Smiths smooth. All in all its an interesting building but the range of beers lets it down big time.
anonymous - 3 Mar 2006 22:00
Amazing building for the pub, steeped in history with a load of different areas with a snug little cellar to drink in.
Atmosphere can be hit and miss friday night was too suity (despite some obvious attempts at dress down friday) but at quiter times have found it lovely and intimate.
Sam Smiths beer is great and dirt cheap as well. I love the new 'pure brewed lager' if you want your usual brands then bugger of to a slug and lettuce and leave the rest of us in peace!
maximcondor - 22 Feb 2006 17:10
You see Tweak-Head that is the problem with Sam Smith's. They have taken on some absolutely wonderful historic pubs in London and made them totally unappealing - becuase their beers are crap, and in most places they only do keg bitter rather than real ale.

A shame.
anonymous - 1 Feb 2006 16:40
I work a couple of minutes walk from this place but I hardly ever go, because the beer is so bad. Both bitter and lager. That's a real shame because it's a great old building that has a lovely feel. Go to the Old Bell across the road for a decent pint.
Tweak_Head - 1 Feb 2006 16:32
belive it or not this is on the orignal london sightseeing tour as a point of intrest , i was shocked when driving the tour xmas day i heard about ye olde cheshire cheese and felt compelled to come back and have a try so i did , really nice pub got looked at a little strangely by some of the punters as me and my mate are both 24 and the clientele was slightly older than us , only had one drink as time wasnt on our side , but i like this pub and i will be back when i get a day off
romfordir - 1 Feb 2006 15:45
genuine old pub. bit dead because of the area that it's in, but worth a look for the old feel anyway. not quite as many "suits" as other pubs in the area (but still a lot!)
silverside - 22 Jan 2006 22:23
Visited last Saturday; a few tourists in the front bar and a couple of folks snapping pictures here and there....but it is no suprise that they come...a truly antique and authentic feel to the place. I'm not sure if there is another pub in London that can take you back (way back) in time the way the cheese can. Seemed to be alot of folks eating from a pretty extensive menu. Visit the place and have a bitter; but think of the visit as more of an educational experience than a night out.
chipawayboy - 20 Jan 2006 04:20
All about the building, the staff are so consistently rude across all of Sam Smith's London outlets, I assume it must be a company policy, to give them more of a Yorkshire feel, or something. But at least the beer was drinkable on recent trip, and you can't beat it on price.
swcooper - 18 Jan 2006 01:59
Totally agree with last comment. Sam Smith's beers just aren't up to scratch.
anonymous - 17 Jan 2006 15:48
Fascinating old place which deserves better than what bland old Sam Smith has to offer. To be fair, bitter in good nick (and cheap). One for the tourists, methinks.
Hopsucker - 17 Jan 2006 15:47
Very olde-worldy. Bit too cramped in places, but good otherwise. Good lunchtime fodder.
tom.breaker - 11 Jan 2006 18:47
Avoid the front room and instead explore and allow yourself to get lost. Great bar to find when it's cold and wet outside and you need an ale in front of a coal fire.
pezza132 - 14 Dec 2005 15:10
With it's history and all that you would expect a little more. So for me a bit disappointing. Beers OK, Food is OK but neither anything special. Great nooks and crannies and with a group of you a great place but lacks a bit of real pub atmosphere. Nevertheless a must-visit pub for all visitors to london
writtleman - 22 Nov 2005 16:56
Good for an after work drinking pub but not much soul
anonymous - 18 Nov 2005 13:58
Sam Smiths pub - so cheap but not to everyone's tastes. Incredible interior. It's almost possible to get lost in the warren of different rooms downstairs.

Inevitably, due to its location, it never feels like anybody considers it to be their local but it is usually lively enough.

Overall, a real gem of a pub.
gjs34 - 31 Oct 2005 15:21
Roger B sums it up nicely. A touristy enough place but it still is a treat. Sam Smiths is far from my favorite but still worth a go.
jorrocks - 26 Oct 2005 01:52
One of the most famous and historic pubs in London. Owned by Sam Smiths which means cheap prices but acquired tastes in the beers. From the outside, the pub appears nothing special and you could easily walk straight past. The entrance is down a narrow alleyway and the front door opens into a small corridor. The main bar is to the right and is a real treat - like stepping back 200 years, all musty and dimly lit. You almost expect your beer to be served up in a pewter tankard by some busty wench of a barmaid but you will probably get it from a young Aussie on a working holiday! There is a more recently added drinking area towards the back but this does not detract from the pubs atmosphere. The other side of the narrow corridor is the restaurant overlooked by the stuffed remains of the original Polly the parrot, a pub pet so well known that it filled the obitury columns on both sides of the Atlantic when she died (helped by the fact that the pub was in the heart of Fleet Street and would have been frequented by journalists by the dozen). Downstairs is a warren of underground rooms and tunnels that seem to be never ending. It is fair to say that it can be a bit touristy but whenever I visited, there has been a good mix of office workers as well. A definate must for anyone in the area and well worth making a special journey (there are 4 or 5 excellent pubs along Fleet Street/Strand so the "Cheese" makes an excellent addition to a pub crawl if you don't fancy an evening on Sam Smiths beers.
RogerB - 24 Oct 2005 15:27
only been in here the once but when i'm up fleet street again will visit with the other half,i bet this place is haunted?
nomadman - 16 Oct 2005 20:34
This is a cool pub. Lots of bits to explore. And more than a few scrubbers the night we were there.
anonymous - 6 Oct 2005 15:53
I've known this pub for years. It is more of a winter pub than a summer one. There is a real fire in the front bar in winter.

when it comes to ale, only Sam Smith's is sold, plus lagers etc of course. Speaking in 2005 the price of a pint here, at 1.70, must be the cheapest in Greater London and probably a good few miles beyond!

Excellent drinking atmosphere....beware of one leading to another!
CliffordAlls - 29 Sep 2005 15:08
This pub is so old
It could burn down in seconds.
Take care with matches.
Haiku_Dave - 18 Aug 2005 15:02
Was this open at weekends? If so, visit it.
zagreb - 14 Aug 2005 14:44
Cheapest pint I found in London at 1.70 Make sure you venture to the cellar bar and visit all the different areas of this pub. Sam Smith's beers were excellent.
ale_brewer - 14 Aug 2005 14:28
This is a fantastic little (big) pub. Lots of nooks and crannies to explore. Although I banged by head in the dungeon area. Watch out for the parrot. I was also delighted to discover that they are one of the few places in London with bottled IVC. Can't get enough of that Nordic pilsnerfest - Brings out the Viking in anyone!

Sam Smith's rock!!


Chumpalumpa - 14 Jul 2005 19:09
Yeah there's a lot of Americans wandering in here, London guidebooks in hand, yacking away about how "cool" and "awesome" this place is...just like I did. But it's true, this pub is really neat. I can see why the locals wouldn't frequent it as much, being that the Cheese has become a popular city attraction.
jaykoivu - 26 May 2005 05:21
An amazing pub, well hidden away and most probably still holds the charms from when it was first opened all those centuries ago. amazing place to drink and brilliant beers!
VaVaVoom14 - 22 May 2005 16:00
A wonderful gem of a pub. Sam Smith ales :-) excellent dingy Victorian ambience. Best pub I've found in London.
DanielJudeCook - 5 May 2005 23:51
I have to agree with all the superlatives published below. I have visited a few times and having lived in London for six years there are few pubs that I feel compelled to drag visiting friends to in this great city, but Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese is certainly one of them (as is Lamb & Flag in Covent Garden and perhaps Waxy O'Connors near Leicester Square, midweek only), purely for the historical factor and quintessential english pub experience. Definitely worth seeking out. Not open sundays though I believe.
Paladino - 23 Mar 2005 00:06
A great experience, like stepping back in time! There are several bars on several levels, providing a truly traditional service, I went with my father after he had told me of the delights he had experienced after spending a good days drinking there when he was a 'youth'. I highly recommend the lager and the pub in general! Its a must visit; make the effort, truly great!
cannon1882 - 22 Feb 2005 12:35
My favourite London pub....But has to be visited at the right time....ie when the suits have departed for the weekend.....Saturdays are great...but watch out for the opening hours.....Sam Smiths is superb ale,but it wasn`t upto its usual standards on my latest 2 trips.....A saturday in winter,when the fires on in the front bar,just can`t be beaten for atmosphere.....Drink the Taddy Porter (at room temp) if the beers not top notch.
kierandinan - 12 Feb 2005 18:31
My favourite pub in London. A genuine atmosphere. Stepping through the doors is like going back to Victorian Britain. Can't complain about the tasty beer and prices either! Great one to kick off a pub crawl.
Ali_Brent - 17 Jan 2005 12:41
Really great pub to go to on a cold winetr's day/night. Real ale, Real fires, good pub food - choice of 4 different pies with mash, chips or salad for a 5 is a good deal. The lager on tap is good (especially the white beer) and I'd also recommend the bottled ales Old ale, Nut Brown and Porter.
pnorton - 13 Jan 2005 11:53
Excellent, friendly pub (well it is on a saturday night!). Usual good booze & cheap prices. Sit where Dickens or Pepys passed wind and if you dont examine electrical fittings too closely you could think you were transported back in time a century or three. If its quiet, ask the barstaff about ghosts, not folklore but alleged sightings. Well worth a visit.
Bob Pickering - 6 Nov 2004 20:33
love it!!!
marita - 6 Nov 2004 02:14
This pub is awful ... full of Americans ! If they did decent beer i'd be in there all the time !
Ben Newton - bnewton@dac.co.uk - 15 Oct 2004 16:49
Wonderful place to have lunch or just a pint. Great food and friendly staff. Best of all, seeing a beautiful old building where famous authors used to spend their time (Dickens and Hardy, to name a couple). Don't miss it!
Diana Garcia - 29 Aug 2004 02:09
a treasure - wonderful old inn, good beer, good staff and good, reasonably priced trad English food.
Phil Kirkley - 22 Aug 2004 10:40
A bit out of the way unless you work in the City, but inside it is wonderful - smokey, dark, cavernous, laberinthine. Feels like it is unchanged since the 1650s.
Sam - 23 Jun 2004 17:55
Agree with all recent comments. Wonderful building, feels like the ideal place to conspire. Wish it was in private hands. Sam Smith's may be cheap but variety is the spice of life.
Oliver - 19 Jun 2004 16:36
his is now my favourite pub in London after visiting today. The room on the right when you walk in is like something out of Dickens - lovely smell of old wood, beer and smoke. Its dark and atmospheric - the ideal spot for a drink with Tom Waits.
steve - 28 Apr 2004 15:43
Jason summed up my comments exactly! Very impressive old building. It even smells old... in a good way! Staff is very polite and can actully speak "beer". Nice to see people know about what they pour.
beerbum63 - 24 Apr 2004 05:02
Best pub ever! So much character! You can easily get lost in the maze of catacomb like rooms if you're not familiar with the place. It's down an alley off Fleet Street. Keep your eyes open for the black boxed sign next to the King & Keys.
jason - 5 Apr 2004 23:19
The only thing, and I really do mean ONLY thing that is wrong with this pub is that if like me you have a poor sense of direction and a liking for the great beer on tap, you can quite easily lose people if you wander off in search of toilets. My favourite pub in London, bar none
Paul - 22 Mar 2004 17:05
Excellent pub with great cheap beer. It has been a second home to me for over thirty years. There are so many bars it is possible to have a pub crawl without leaving the building!
ian watson - 12 Mar 2004 16:17
Visited on our last Monopoly crawl (2002) and bumped into another group who were meeting there, only then starting at midday, already behind schedule! It's a good choice for Fleet Street but beware of the limited weekend opening times.
drinker - 6 Mar 2004 06:32
Wandered into this place as a tourist looking for a quiet spot to have a snack and rest my feet. Ended up in the 13th century cellar, enjoying one of the freshest pints ever, then chatting for an hour with the bartender in the front room. Loved it. Wish it was my local.
Fawn - 11 Feb 2004 21:34
Jeez, this is an exceptionally cool spot!
Jeff - 8 Oct 2003 00:43
Lovely place.
anonymous - 27 Sep 2003 12:09
cheapest beer in london, and despite the tourist, it is the real thing, smoked blackened oak beams, wooden settles, hidden snugs, and just about everything a 17th century city pub should have......check out the painting in room as you go in to the right ..its the waiter dating from i believe 1824
anonymous - 16 Jul 2003 22:58
Fantastic ales and atmosphere. Lovely old building. Fortunately not too many tourists either.
Deborah - 15 Apr 2003 10:31
Rebuilt 1666. Seies of small snugs connected by winding stairwells.Touristy but worth a visit for anyone interested in vvisiting a genuine survivor of London's past. Regards to the incomperable Nick, guardian of the chop room.
Bob F. - 18 Mar 2003 19:12
Lovely old pub around the corner from Dr Johnson's house. Situated on Fleet Street. Great cellar bars and interesting nooks and crannies probably part of the Carmelite Monastery once on this site. The pub was rebuilt after the Great Fire (1666) destroyed the original. Good beer/food. Novel bleeper system when your food is ready. Best pub in London.
Tony Marsh - 12 Nov 2002 13:36

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