skip nav  

King Charles I, Kings Cross

back to pub details

user reviews of the King Charles I, Kings Cross

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

Only worth a visit if you are a local or you know the staff. If you don't expect to be asked to leave at some point.

Bad attitude from the owner towards a group of big spenders was disappointing to see.

A good time was being had until the owner turned up and decided that are time was up by aggressively approaching one of our party and without introducing himself accused my friend of being up to no good.

Cant see the pub being open for long if this attitude continues. Very disspointing
Pubexpert2016 - 27 Jun 2016 10:59
Great pub a short walk from the main drag. Got that magic quality that is difficult to create but you know it when you feel it. Decent beer - usually a couple of locals on. If you like pubs you'll like this one.
dryriserinlet - 22 Jun 2016 12:36
Lovely little gem of a boozer. Be prepared for some loud music that is hard to evade on some evenings, but provided you can handle that, it's well worth seeking out.
enfilade - 24 Feb 2016 18:24
Lovely little pub tucked off the side of Caledonian Road. I found it by accident and couldn’t help but pop in for a quick pint. It’s a small yet cosy pub with wooden paneling throughout and some well-chosen posters, taxidermy, and other knickknacks. There was also a roaring fire which proved most welcoming on the cold day of my visit. They had a few ales on the go which were fine and affordable. There was also a well-stocked jukebox. This pubs warrants further investigation and I shall be back for sure.
Richard_ReadingFC - 5 Feb 2016 11:13
A nice selection of beers, including the local N1. I didn't mind the basic no-frills atmosphere but later in the evening the music came on really loudly and spoilt what would otherwise have been an excellent boozer.
16jamesdoc - 28 Oct 2015 12:31
Have to agree with outamyhead. This was my goto pub in KX. Quiet but with atmosphere and nicely laid out.

Todays visit saw three GK beers on, how disappointing. Years ago you would be guaranteed at least one interesting cask on but now as London pubs are embracing craft and real ale this pub takes a step back.

Still a great layout but sort the beer out. The Queens head needs competitors !
juwwi - 31 Oct 2013 18:28
My wife, 3 week old baby daughter and I went to their festival today. Barman saw us come in and settle at an empty table. I went to the bar to order some drinks and barbecue food. My wife took a scarf out of her bag so she could breastfeed our daughter discreetly in the corner. At that point the barman told her indiscreetly from across the room 'Do you think that's appropriate?'. He then told me that they have a no children policy and told us to leave.
We're new parents and I enjoy real ale. I really hope that this old pub can ditch its old fashioned attitude towards women.
dmncf - 6 Jul 2013 18:04
Visited the pub again yesterday and had a very good time. Four real ales on, I had a couple of them both from the BlackBar brewery. Tasty! The place was packed when we arrived but gradually thinned out and we found seats. Great atmosphere and the staff were friendly and chatty. We even got free pieces of pizza! My 5 has been replaced by a 7 and I think the pub ought to be back in the CAMRA GBG. Only downside remains the toilets which are cramped.
outtamehead - 23 Mar 2013 14:12
Others' accounts of a poor reception aren't anything I've encountered - indeed the opposite. The last couple of times I've been there were when some of our number had consumed a few beers already, but we were treated in a friendly way with no grumpiness at all. Brodie's beers and bar billiards (all to rare these days) and a pleasantly dark and intimate interior
Arctium_lappa - 24 Feb 2013 21:56
Re the last review. I have to agree on two counts. Firstly the range of ales was not great. Only two of the three pumps on and one of those available was dispensing Greene King. I had Olde Trip which was ok but I'm not too surprised the pub is not in the 2013 CAMRA GBG.
The second area of agreement concerns the barstaff. I was waiting to be served at the bar when a friend of the barmaid turned up. She pormptly served him and totally ignored me. This wouldn't have been too bad but he wanted a round of three or four drinks and to make things worse she decided to have a chat with him. But for the fact he had to get back to his friends I might still be waiting now! My 7 has dropped to a 5.
outtamehead - 29 Sep 2012 09:37
My last review from June 2009 was a positive one and I've used it regularly since then. However my last two visits have shown a serious decline.

There were three ales on, all from Green King, so average at best. But the pint of IPA poured for me must've been 20 degrees+. It was so warm it had gone rancid. I got a replacement cider instead, which was equally terrible. Moved onto a lager, which tasted of line cleaner...bitter and chemically.

The two female staff are also not really up to the job. Pally with their mates, others don't get the same attention. The younger one seemed grumpy at something or other and took it out on various punters during the evening. The owner is a nice chap, but he needs to get a grip on his staffing choices.

My old '8' rating goes down to a 3. The Queens Head, on the other side of KK is significantly better, both in terms of service and beer, which is where we ended up after no-one could handle the poor drink quality here anymore.

Planner_21 - 31 Aug 2012 16:18
I only found this pub the other day despite using St. Pancras pretty regularly over the past 2 years. It's tucked away in a side street behind King's X which means it has fewer tourists than some of the pubs on the main road and has a supply of local characters which make the place feel more like a traditional boozer.
It's quite dark inside with an interesting dcor. Lots of African masks, deer heads and an ornate mirror on the wall. That said there is a cosy, friendly feel to the place.
Three real ales on the day I was there. The Yellowhammer went down a treat!

outtamehead - 23 Jun 2012 13:24
Work in Kings Cross and this is my fave - love the Brodies very well kept slightly random choice at times have visited and all 3 on offer over 6% but adds to the charm, lovely barmaids and bar billiards - a character all of its own.
JimmyJazz - 12 Jun 2012 15:52
Always worth a visit when near Kings Cross. Was there on friday night which unfortunately meant incredibly slow service and the staff were doing themselves no favours through being someone miserable and sedate with one of them seeming to disappear for a few minutes after every other pint poured to fetch ice. The IPA was good and the Guinness well kept. A great little pub but expect slow service if there are more than a couple of people in.
Mad123 - 12 Mar 2012 15:03
Popped in again last night (just passing!) and the offer was GK IPA or a 6.6% Brodies! Didn't stay.
cheshirecat - 10 Mar 2012 08:59
Had a few excellent pints of Brodies in here yesterday at quite reasonable prices. 3 Brodies + Courage Best on offer. Not the biggest of pubs but worth seeking.
cheshirecat - 9 Mar 2012 09:10
I visited this pub on a Friday night and it was pretty busy. I had no hassle from the staff and enjoyed a nice pint of Brodie's beer (Bethnal Green Bitter) It is an eclectic sort of place with a bar billiard table which would be hard to play without moving people away from their stools at the bar (I presume it's only used during quieter moments). Anyway, I took some friends there again on the Saturday and we all had a pleasant visit. Brodie's beer seems to feature on a regular basis and the barman was cheery enough so other reviewers must have been there on an off-night!! The Gents bog is compact and bijou to say the least ! This little pub is a handy stop for a pint before the train/tube at Kings Cross St.Pancras and hopefully other drinkers will have a good experience.
mcroyal - 4 Mar 2012 10:47
I forgot to mention in my previous review, and should have taken the hint from the start, when I ordered the first beers I paid with a 20 an got change from a 10, had to ask for my other tenner back. Not the sort of thing you want happening on a busy night.
ThinkingDrinking - 16 Dec 2011 15:07
Could be a great pub as it has good beer and a nicely quirky interior with real fire. However, it is catastrophically spoilt by a stroppy and petulant bar maid she exhibited some quite unbelievably rude and hostile behaviour. Maybe she is a feature? The place lacks atmosphere too as it has a high turnover of boozers given the proximity to Kings Cross. If you want a pleasant experience avoid this place.unless you are a masochist of course!
Swashway - 16 Dec 2011 14:11
We were in this pub last night. The music went on and it was very, very loud, and through perhaps the worst pair of old speakers in London. We asked (politely) three times to have the volume reduced but instead they turned it up and then accused us of being rude to them by not being obsequious when we asked them to turn it down. Needless to say, we left and we wont be going back, and we will post similar reviews in other places. It's a shame as this pub has wonderful beer and in many respects is a great place. It's just such a shame that a place can be let down that badly by one member of staff - the barmaid. We asked the barman if he could turn it down and he said he'd been asked to do so by lots of people but he couldnt do it as it 'was out of his control'. If you want very loud, bad music and very rude staff, this is the place for you. Otherwise, go somewhere where they give you some respect.
ThinkingDrinking - 16 Dec 2011 11:36
We were really disappointed with this pub. My friend and I went yesterday. We were chatting by the bar normally, when the young girl behind the bar interrupted us and said we were talking so loudly that we were giving her a head ache. She asked us to be quiet. She got her wish and we left.

We found her incredibly rude and recommend that you avoid this pub like the plague...
ceady - 8 Dec 2011 11:15
Another review from me for this pub, i always find time to visit before catching the train home. Often has brodies beers on. Small, welcoming, great jukebox, bar billiards !!!! one of the top london pubs.
rob372 - 21 Nov 2011 17:47
King Charles the 1st is one surprising Pub! With a good selection of Ale, that they change all the time for the happinness of the customers of trying new Ales.
Nice and cosy, tucked away in a little road, not far from the station (5 minutes walk), the decoration is very ethlectic and surprising, the bar staff warm and friendly, and the people in there are very electric and always up for a good laugh ... made a few friends myself! Highly recommended for anyone thats looking for a nice time without any troubles!!
Poppy23 - 29 Aug 2011 23:22
Still as was... tried the Brodies Summer Ale which was the best of the offerings so far (quite a drinkable 'sherberty' pint).. others tried the 2.8% stout (as they were driving later) it looked a bit sarsparilla-like to me and their reaction seemed to confirm my suspicions. It's still one of the better pubs in the vicinity but having African masques on the wall doesn't necessarily require the tsetse tsetse flies to go with them .
anonymous - 17 Aug 2011 20:27
Definitely not boarded up. Had a couple of pints here last night before heading to The Lexington for a gig. Still the best pub in the area.
DuchyBoy - 3 Aug 2011 11:40
Notes from an attempted visit on March 27th this year:
Our plan was to have a drink and maybe a meal at the King Charles I at Kings Cross before going on to our evening entertainment. When it came to it, we found the pub was boarded up (debatable whether for refurbishment or simple closure). And no clue in the form of a notice on the exterior.
In view of the most recent comments we'll put it down to bad luck and try again some time.
tommo5 - 25 Jul 2011 23:05
Can only agree with the previous comments. Excellent pub with very friendly staff. Especially the lovely welsh lady. Two excellent pints of Brodies. Go there.
TheHorsesMouth - 29 Jun 2011 13:35
Finally got around to visiting this small backstreet Brodies pub on Friday evening. It wasn't quite as busy as we expected. More people were enjoying the sunshine at the outdoor tables to the front, than sitting inside. The small one room pub has a bar billiards table centrally located, making it difficult to get past the players to the one corner of the pub. Nevertheless, the interior is fairly cosy and relaxing. The walls are wood panelled and feature odd-looking masks. Bare floorboards add to the authentic feel. Brodies Mild & Red were on alongside Deuchars IPA. Symonds Founders Reserve is the cider. Agree with the comments about the gents toilets. They are rather small.
blue_scrumpy - 8 May 2011 12:31
This place really is a hidden gem. Well not so much hidden but it is on a quieter side street just far enough away from the station.

Went there 2 days in a row, the night before I got a train up to leads and I liked it so much that we went back the following day when returning to Kings X.

The Ginger Tom, Caladonian Highwayman and Everards Extra were all on top form, the pub has bar billiards, the crowd is friendly and eclectic, the place had a nostalgic feel like it hasnt changed for decade and a nice blond barmaid to boot. What more can you want.

Also I think the pub is unique in so much that I have never been in a smaller pub toilet in my like. You couldnt swing a cat in there, saying that it's hard to even swing your todger in there lol

9/10 (",)
BeerGutt - 18 Apr 2011 13:41
This place really is a hidden gem. Well not so much hidden but it is on a quieter side street just far enough away from the station.

Went there 2 days in a row, the night before I got a train up to leads and I liked it so much that we went back the following day when returning to Kings X.

The Ginger Tom, Caladonian Highwayman and Everards Extra were all on top form, the pub has bar billiards, the crowd is friendly and eclectic, the place had a nostalgic feel like it hasnt changed for decade and a nice blond barmaid to boot. What more can you want.

Also I think the pub is unique in so much that I have never been in a smaller pub toilet in my like. You couldnt swing a cat in there, saying that it's hard to even swing your todger in there lol

9/10 (",)
BeerGutt - 18 Apr 2011 13:41
Don't bother going in on a Saturday, one beer, Theakstons!
Snotty but pretty barmaid!
pwilkins - 12 Apr 2011 10:33
eclectic friendly pub close by kings cross and much better than most other pubs in the area, brodies 12% stout was wonderful, tasted - sitting down of course....
moclips2002 - 10 Feb 2011 21:24
Nice one room pub tucked away in a back street near King's Cross. Had three beers on on Friday including two from Brodies. Didn't dare try the 12.1% stout so had the 6% Polska beer which was very tasty. Worth a visit if in the area as much better than the general dross of King's Cross.

DuchyBoy - 17 Jan 2011 09:01
Fine pub with really top staff. I ordered a half for my driving partner,a pint arrived which they only charged as a half. They also allowed us to eat our own food inside when we were on our way to a gig at King's Place. Tolerance AND understanding - this is very very rare in London, so don't take the piss - just enjoy the lovely beer. Top Brodies Red on the night, a revelation.
pkrp - 8 Nov 2010 21:38
Popped into this pub on Thursday night after a break from the area. Still the same geniality, quality beer and this time an impromptu guitar trio broke out in the corner. After a couple of very clean "Tiger" bitters I ended up in conversation with a diverse group of regulars around the bar; budget cuts, psychotherapy, art history to name a few subjects covered; in and out of depth but a real pleasure. If only I had a local like this in the Old Street area, I wouldn't travel to King's Cross, but I don't, so I do. A true gem of what a pub should be.
BridgeOver - 5 Nov 2010 17:45
A musky kind of one roomed bar that's a pine nut salad's throw from Kings Cross station. Had a pint of Brodie's Special - was okay and a pint of Everard's Tiger which was drinkable. It does seem to have some genuine character which is non-existent in virtually every pub within a mile radius. Populated with real people as opposed to the pretentious and wannabes. Not sure if I'd fit in as a regular though, as the theorising on 'the pre-Raphaelites' had me thinking more of Desmond Dekker. Best pub (and that is pub as opposed to a beer ticking alehead's idea of one) in the Kings Cross/St.Pancras/Euston vicinity.
anonymous - 29 Oct 2010 18:06
Proper tiny old-skool boozer tucked away off Pentonville Road, handy for gigs at The Scala. Good selection of beers (incl Brodies, brewed down the road in Bow), order food in from local takeaways is a novel approach to pub catering and just exemplifies how unpretentious this place is.

A treat compared to some of the horror-shows around Kings X station. Will definitely be back!
CountVonCount - 27 Oct 2010 16:36
A fantastic friendly wee boozer on a quiet Kings Cross street. A complete contrast to the generic pubs that have sprung up in the area over the last couple of years. Good selection of real ales, lagers and ciders, an interesting array of paraphenalia on the walls. The jukebox is varied, and there is bar billiards for 'sporty types'. They dont do gastropub, but are happy for you to order food from local restuarants, from which they have a good collection of menus . An impromptu knees-up is also not unheard of . My favourite pub in the are a by a country mile.
jockanease - 14 Oct 2010 17:34
Blimey, what a find! If what you're after is a trad pub with a twist, this is the pub for you. I'm a lager man myself, but there is a good selection of ales for those of a more CAMRA disposition. And this is most definitely NOT the kind of place that gives you a "Slaughtered Lamb" welcome - you know, the music stops, everyone stares at you as though you're best mates with Gary Glitter etc. Staff and punters alike couldn't be more friendly. You can feel perfectly safe acknowleding your secret love of Chas and Dave and no-one will bat an eyelid. In fact you may even make a few friends. Highly recommended.
Big_Knob - 14 Oct 2010 17:02
A welcoming oasis of strange loveliness in the heart of King's Cross. The ales are superb, the eclectic decor presents a surprise on every side, there is an old bar billiards table, the jukebox rocks and is regularly updated and the barstaff are the personification of friendliness. If the weather is fine, the outdoor seating area is charming, as Northdown Street is quiet and untroubled by traffic on the whole. If you're in King's Cross and looking for something that little bit different and considerably more interesting, try the King Charles 1st and you can't go far wrong. Quite simply my favourite London boozer.
Beardy_Teapot - 14 Oct 2010 16:31
Visited last week for the first time in many months. Seemed friendly enough. Brodies beers now regularly stocked - includes "King Charles I Fine Ale" brewed exclusively for the pub. Brodies Amarilla was very good too.
lad_newton - 7 Sep 2010 03:05
Landlord is a psychopath - challenged me to a fight over a flippant comment. Do not visit - he tried to strangle me
cptrelentless - 16 Jul 2010 01:18
Just to put the record straight visited Saturday 10th July and it is open and well worth a visit. A definite alternative if your waiting for your train.
rabdes - 11 Jul 2010 14:58
This pub is my local and it's a real gem of a pub.
It's pretty small so can often get full.
The pub has recently changed managers and is currently closed every Sunday (although available for hire that day)
jonnytuna - 5 May 2010 14:02
Also closed the previous Saturday, 24th April for "technical" reasons.
rabdes - 2 May 2010 12:30
When I turned up on Saturday at lunchtime the tables outside were over-turned and the pub appeared closed
scotyp - 2 May 2010 12:19
Caught a bus to the Charles I pub as we heard they served Brodies beers, and were pleased to find 3 of their beers new to us. Mild, Californian and West End best. Enjoyed the ales. 4.80 for the 3 halves. It was very busy here with a nice atmosphere. Also had bar billiards, not so often seen these days.
gillhalfpint - 24 Mar 2010 22:23
This was my fourth or fifth visit to this pub and I do like the dark, traditional feel of the place, especially when, as on Saturday, they have big, roaring fire. What I'm less keen on is the beer they sell. I've tried several Brodies beers now and I just can't seem to get enthusiastic about them. On Saturday they had four on the pumps including West End Best, Jamaican Stout and Amarila. I had a pint of the Amarilla which was just okay (and slightly too warm for my liking) while my friend opted for the West End Best. He wasn't able to finish his pint which says it all really. But my biggest gripe was the price of the beer. I was somewhat taken aback when the barman asked for 6.40 for the two pints. Having just paid 2.90 for a superb pint of Hophead in the Charles Lamb I think that charging these prices for what I consider to be very average beer is on the cheeky side. Then again, King's Cross is allegedly an up and coming area, so maybe their rates are high.
7/10 for the pub, 3/10 for the beer.

holbornboy - 17 Mar 2010 22:28
I reviewed the King Charles on my last visit there in Sep 09.
Once again the service was great, the beer (Brodies Amarillo) was great.
Had a game of Bar Billiards, nice thursday afternoon visit.
Next time I'll stay longer and have a curry, as the pub lets you bring in your own food. The cafe over the road was doing a nice littel trade , ferrying over some lunchs.

The best pub within a few mins of Kings Cross/St P.
rob372 - 28 Jan 2010 20:38
Excelent little pub tucked away behind Kings Cross selling local real ale (Brodies)
asprilla69 - 2 Jan 2010 14:24
In last night - had three Brodie's ales on, all were very good. Nice atmosphere in this place had a good chin wag with the very entertaining bar man. Great to have such a nice place so close to Kings Cross.
Alfnoax - 29 Nov 2009 14:17
i went here last night as a place to go before a gig at scala. it doesn't take many people before there is nowhere to sit. all in all not bad tho. nice choice of ales and olde-worlde pub games give it a pleasant touch.
Tescoid - 6 Nov 2009 12:13
One of my favourite London pubs, which may be tucked away but is really handy for Kings X/St Pancras and Euston. We poped in early Saturday evening to a warm welcome and a lovely couple of pints of Brodie's - for me a local brew. It's got a really old fashioned unreconstructed feel that is miles away from the pretnetiousness that is sadly all too common these days. And if the toilets are - how can I put it - a little timeworn, this is more than compensated for by the very impressive jukebox,
Shippers50 - 3 Nov 2009 08:15
Called in yesterday after work, good friendly pub, busy atmosphere and friendly staff, took it on the recommend from here and didnt feel out of place, good range of beers at sensible prices.
psychonaut_one - 15 Oct 2009 19:36
The Brodies 'Caledonian' was totally legendary. If you go to the King's Place venue and want a post-gig sup, this is 3 streets away. Lovely, lively and friendly boozer. On a good night they might have pork-pies and scotch eggs in stock - proper pub snacks.
paulio1966 - 14 Oct 2009 21:27
Ok so I was the last one to review the King Charles but as I was in the area and the beer was brilliant heres another few words. Brodies 'Special' 4.5 was excellent but on the bar and out of the barrell was Brodies Superior London Porter 7.8%, blimey it nearly made my hair curl. It was very busy due to the nearby 'Scala' hosting a sold out gig. There was just the one barman, he coped superbly with often 4 or 5 people waiting to be served, he did it all with a smile and please and thank you's. Something that a moppy haired herbert at the Bree Louise could learn to do. Good music , good crowd, up a point for me.
rob372 - 15 Sep 2009 08:18
Another re-visit, worth it for trying the Brodies beers, 'Wit' on this occassion. Any pub with bar billards and ale gets an 8. Just 10 mins walk once you step of the train at St Pancras.
rob372 - 4 Aug 2009 07:49
great little pub (and it is little) just off the busy road. good atmosphere.

Great place to spend an evening.

only downside is that it closes at 11... so start earlier!
mralistair - 2 Aug 2009 17:00
I love this place. Brodies ales are pretty good (brewed over in Leyton) and homemade picked eggs. Small, dark and cosy interior. Tiny loos.

Kings Cross has more good pubs than you'd imagine.
Planner_21 - 3 Jun 2009 01:41
I acknowledge the positive reviews of trusted Biters but, from last night's visit I am unable to concur. Brodie's Bitter & Deuchars went in the pulling of our round leaving only Mild on offer from handpump. True, the barman was apologetic that it was too late in the evening to change the barrel but where were the other choices mentioned below? Poor.
trainman - 31 May 2009 07:52
Interesting litle boozer. Brodie's ales were excellent, nice chatty staff and clientel. Nice to have a half decent pub so close to Kings Cross.
Alfnoax - 19 May 2009 22:28
Like this place. Small , full on wooden interior, quirky decor, good beers, stinky small loo. Apart from the beer the other great attraction to this place is the Bar Billiards table - fantastic ! Tables outside as well, nice chatty boozer .
rob372 - 13 May 2009 07:38
A great little pub - four Brodies ales on, and a sizable list of quality bottled beers. Friendly staff and an interesting jukebox (in my opinion, obviously differing from Disley's opinion stated below). Nice decor especially the wood panelling. Toilets are tiny and dire, and it can be a challenge getting to them if drinkers are congregated in that area (not hard at all, since the place is so small).
dpv - 27 Apr 2009 10:56
What a great little place and only 3 minutes walk from the office. Nice choice of ales, especially those from Brodie's. If this place doesn't make the Good Beer Guide this year then something is wrong with their system. Gets crowded, so best get in early.
mally - 31 Mar 2009 21:54
The Charles is a hidden gem of a pub, tucked away in a side street off The Caledonian Road. The interior is wooden, floor, walls and furniture whilst the entertainment is the bar billiards table, juke box and the paper rack. African/Asian masks adorn the walls along with the most ornate mirror over a roaring fire. The bar has a great selection of beers with the usual selection of lager, 17 bottled beers and a choice of 5 guest ales that change from week to week.
To get around the fact that the pub has no kitchen there's a novel arrangement with the local takeaways where food can be ordered and then delivered to the pub. If food is ordered from the cafe opposite, the barman even takes the plates back!
The pub is let down by it's poor, small and smelly toilets and the fact that it's one room doesn't take much to get crowded and noisy.
All in all, an old pub with good beer, charm and friendly staff which is more than can be said for the majority of the other pubs in the area.
tequilaboy - 30 Mar 2009 14:23
What a good pub with character. Several bitters on tap and a robust Porter at 7% along with standard lagers. Went here for a friend's surprise birthday and was probably as delighted as he was with his surprise to find a quirky, charming pub in maybe somewhat less salubrious surroundings. One of those places where you think "If I ever come back round here, I'd pop back for a pint".
rd_se3 - 15 Mar 2009 00:33
Excellent little boozer, with the before unknown Brodies ales. My colleague had the stout which was served out of the barrel at the back of the bar. He thought it was excellent, but at 7% I thought it a bit dangerous. Pub let down by the toilets.
KTh - 13 Mar 2009 11:53
i was on vacation from 1-3 thru 8-3. based on reviews, i stopped here a few times. it was an easy walk from the holiday inn kings cross. pub was homey, with an inviting fire in the fireplace. one evening, a jack russel terrier was running around visiting patrons. the staff were very knowledgeble and friendly, especially to a visitor from the united states. met one gent who worked for brodies and he turned me on to brodies mild. also tried brodies british and one called sunshine. i definitely recommend thispub, and please support all pubs because they really need help.
GreyhoundGuy - 9 Mar 2009 21:21
Decent selection of ales on St Austell Tribute; Everards Beacon; Brodies Mild and a cask on the bar containing Brodies Stout. There was also a fourth handpump with the clip turned round, and judging from recent comments it was probably another of the Brodies range. There also looked to be a large range of bottled beers on offer, advertised on a chalkboard. I had the Tribute (3 a pint), which was in excellent form. The only food (at lunchtime anyway) were pickled eggs, scotch eggs and pork pies. Nothing wrong with that and they are happy for you to pop over the road to the sandwich bar to bring something back to eat. The service was friendly and helpful.

This is a small one-room pub. The walls are covered with what looks like some pretty ancient wood panelling; theres plenty of solid wood furniture; and some large African and Asian (Indian, or possibly Thai, I think) masks on the wall. Theres even a bar billiards next to the door. The pub is small enough that I imagine it would get crowded pretty quickly, but it wasnt too busy on a Friday lunchtime. This is the sort of pub that I would be very happy to sit in for a couple of hours with a few pints over a long lunch. Ill be back.
RexRattus - 8 Mar 2009 14:51
Went in for a couple of pints earlier this week (on the strength of the reviews here). Didn't disappoint.

Nice little pub, friendly barman, cosy fire. A few people were in, despite it being a Monday - I got the impression they were locals, but I certainly felt welcome in there.

Had Brodie's English Best, which I'd never heard of before, but which was a very decent pint. Our lass had the mild, which she rated too. Icing on the cake - they do homemade pickled eggs, which were spot on! Extra point for that...

If I had one criticism it would be that it was perhaps a little bit too dark for me - but I'm being picky.

Will definitely be back.

Galbo - 3 Mar 2009 22:53
Seems to be going from strenghth to strength and on my recent visit the place was busier than I have encountered for some time although service was still prompt and we still (just ) managed to grab a table. The Bar Billiards table has now made a welcome return in place of the pinball (albeit it is a bit awkwardly positioned in front of the bar) and the lighting is a bit brighter than I recall from my last winter visit. The big plus is the addition of 2 more hand pumps with an ever interesting assortment of ales, currently Deuchars & Batemans Jester supplemented by 2 of the new Brodies beers from Leyton (Special & IPA) as well the bonus of an extra cask on the bar with Brodies Stout which unfortunately had run out by the time I got round to try it. There appears to be more nick nacks and old posters dotted about for those who like a bit of clutter in their pubs. The Charley 1 has always been an old favourite of mine and it has become even better since my last trip!
RogerB - 17 Feb 2009 13:48
Popped in the other day on the strength of other BITE reviews and was very impressed with what I found.

Situated up a side-street off Pentonville Road, this feels like a long way away from the bustle of Kings Cross.

On entering, you find a deceptively un-spacious, ramshackle interior which is a little on the dark side, giving the African tribal masks on the far wall a bit more of a scare factor.

There's a bar billiards table (with house rules) as well as a small selection of literature. A real fire was lit and there was background music over the general hubbub of conversation.

4 ales on (the two Brodies mentioned plus two others) - my Brodies Bitter and Red were both quite enjoyable, especially the red.

Service behind the bar was good - when I nipped into the gents and found it was swathed in darkness due to a broken bulb the barman had it fixed within a minute, so well done them.

It's also dead near the Scala so this is a clever place to get a couple of decent beers beforehand, without being squished in the pre-gig crowd on the main road.

All in all, a really good find and my new favourite pub for the area - go check it out.
Quinno - 15 Feb 2009 13:57
Good small pub in a prime location. Four beers on draught, can't recall what they were but it looked like an independent selection from Brodie's with guests rather than a chain's range. Bar billiards and wooden floors, no loud music or Monday night football coverage. Named after our beheaded king, it has an internal decor of huge African head masks. I felt like I was having a pleasant liquid picnic on Easter Island for half an hour. Yes, I know that isn't in Africa. Links in with a City Road crawl taking in the bizarre Lexington (see 'Clockwork') on Penton Street.
BitterShurn - 13 Jan 2009 14:35
Very well-kept Brodie's IPA last night. Only time to stop for one though!
lad_newton - 13 Nov 2008 13:08
Kings Cross's best kept secret.

This is a true hidden gem. I called at the King Charles last night for the first time on a friends recommendation. The door swung open to reveal a small, cosy, intimate pub with a friendly welcoming landlord at the bar.

The pub is woodpanelled throughout, and subdued lighting affords a warm atmosphere. This is a REAL pub, totally unpretentious and something of a timewarp.

Four ales were available on handpump when I visited; I enjoyed a pint of Brodies Red, 4.3%, 3.00.

The King Charles opens late on Fridays and Saturdays (until 2am); closing time through the rest of the week is 11pm (10:30pm Sun).

An innovative and unusual food scheme is in operation at this pub: one or two local restaurants provide and serve food here, with the local Thai establishment recommended by the landlord. Food is brought into the pub complete with plate and cutlery which the catering establishment concerned collects at the end of the meal. The scheme is reported to work well and is a fine example of how a pub can provide business to its local community.

In the current climate of pub closures almost on a daily basis, last nights discovery was a very exciting one. Regular return visits WILL be made!

lad_newton - 11 Nov 2008 10:36
Suffering from a rather lengthy bout of the rum fits and having to walk to t'other end of Old Street to visit an ageing architect I decided to waltz into the Charles on a Wednesday evening - the barman was in excellent form, he eyed me straightaway as a fellow sufferer on the Damascene road to enlightenment through self loathing and intoxication, poured me an excellent pint of ale before hopping outside for a word with the weather and a cigarello ... the bar was perfectly lit, something amiss from the general pub trade in these sorry toping times ... to the point I cancelled my apoitment with the draughtsman and spent the remainder of the night locked in a furious dialectic with furthermost beer pump and the Times Cryptic ...

Once again, a gem of a hostelry ...
Tope_John_Paul_II - 3 Nov 2008 15:24
In my regular perambulations throught the nether world of our nations dismal metropolis I have often found myself musing profoundly upon the dire lack of a decent hostelry in the environs of Kings Cross. One often veers that way after a few hours discoursing on Kant's cant in Marylebone, or after a solo flight, recreating the atmosphere of 1950's Fritzovia through the medium of ales, spirits and speaking in tonges brought on by rapid bursts of amyll nitrate. By god I've propped up the bar in some terrible excuses for public houses around the area, all of them leaving me utterly, utterly dispirited ... one, I was only slightly vexed after a prolonged period of debauchery left me alone in The Dolphin after hours talking arrow's with the slovenly landlord ... I admit to being in the King Charles I in it's previous incarnation, the inconcievably ill monickered 'Craic House', and whilst the interior was rather welcoming, and the raggle taggle conglomerate of aging rakes and fiddler-de-dees somewhat amusing ... the 'proprietor' and staff were simply not up to par. So it was with a mighty sense of relief that I walked into this miniscule microcosm of all that should be right in a pub sevral months ago. I'd taken a furious beating at the hands of Samuel Smith's Alpine Lager whilst undertaking a lone expedition up the north face of Bloomsbury's sadly declining inns and sought refuge amogst the lost and lonely of the Cross. The pub was dark but with that subtle infusion of light that draws immediate and ever lasting sympathy from those often suffering from the rum fits. On entering a gap toothed local was sat at the bar, resembling a Staus Quo roadie falen on hard times. The barman was a tremendous beast of a man whose complexion, general demeanour and pupil capacity informed me of his fondess for 'sporting life'. I was intrigued and gladdened by the array of beer on sale, and already being several stages into a lager bent, sampled the bottle ware. I stayed for two hours, tucked away in a corner drinking Baltika and watching various 'music types'pour cions into the jukebox and then stand around discussing said tunes in impossibly daft voices. I didn't want to leave but I was hard pressed to lay my hands on any more cash after my earlier largesse. I have revisited this great and good pub on several occasions since and it's always been a beacon in an otherwise barren nebula of worthwhile toping spots.

Well done to all involved.
Tope_John_Paul_II - 10 Oct 2008 15:06
Decent pub, and that's about it. Good beer.
bitter_n_twisted - 2 Oct 2008 23:16
Just got here from Texas and went to KC to see if it could live up to the rating. I must say YES. 4 pulls all well kept and a friendly/helpful landlord. Likely a locals pub but I was able to easily have good conversation with those around me. I'll return before I get to York.
mrdruse - 2 Oct 2008 18:12
Visited it yesterday and can't see anything going for it. Just a plain old pub in a seedy area.
SUSSEXSAXON - 27 Sep 2008 06:34
Can't see the attraction myself? You'd need to be pissed to live and work around here.
Very Ronseal - it's a pub. Nothing more and nothing less - and all the better for it. Good beers, a jukebox and a good atmosphere.

Kings Cross is a strange old mix at the moment of the new bars trying to cater to the gentrification crowd of the new offices and flats and the old scuzzy dives associated with the area of old.

The King Charles would be a great little pub for any area - the fact that it's in the middle of this competition makes it even better.
The_Exile - 3 Sep 2008 17:11
Great jukebox, friendly place, good beer. Food can be ordered from local takeaways and eaten in the pub. One of very few places to have bar billiards available. Easily the best pub in Kings Cross. It would be a 10, but the barman's hair is too long.
Lollipophead - 3 Sep 2008 15:59
Great little pub, best in Kings Cross by a long stretch. Run by two very friendly young chaps. Great jukebox, good selection of bottled lagers along with the excellent Westons Cider. 4 ale taps which are rotated constantly. Wish it were open earlier than 5 on weekends.
bxw - 28 Jul 2008 13:18
Look, its fine to have a small dark pub with only students in and its even ok not to open till 5 on a Saturday....but its a basic to have at least one beer on and not run out of everything by 6.30pm!!!!!
loveleedshatebates - 27 Jul 2008 07:24
This has to be one of the most pleasant pubs to visit in the Kings Cross area. Good ale (Bateman's, Courage and Adnams were available last night), pleasant 'local' atmosphere and interesting decor.
Definitely worth a visit.
roderick_alleyn - 17 Jul 2008 11:52
Got to be the best pub in the Kings Cross area.
Not pretentious, not a gastro-pub/restaurant (thankfully) just a simple local, the sort of place that should be kept.
Food is bring your own, or order deliveries to the pub.
Beers on this evening where 'London Pride' & 'Wadworths Henrys IPA' both in good order, the Deuchers IPA was ready Just wanted pulling through.

Hal90.00 - 11 Jun 2008 00:53
Erm, my mates seem to love this boozer. Its not a personal favourite because its too small, never enough chairs and even on a cold night, it reaks of BO and body faust. That said, the decor is fab and great range of drinks.

Just remember: Its a resedential area so keep the noise down, yeah?
supervixen6 - 13 May 2008 16:45
What a great boozer - truly excellent. The kind of place you, at the same time, want people to use so it doesn't die but also don't want overran with fosters spillers.

2 excellent real ales on, someone had their their meal delivered from a local Thai round the corner, bar billiards, jukey and an open fire. All in the middle of kings x and even more extraordinary just round the corner from the Scotsman!!

Will be back.
anonymous - 4 Mar 2008 12:28
I must admit that I wasn't expecting to find a place like this on a side street off the dodgy part of Pentonville Road near Kings Cross station. Inside, a small, old fashioned pub bar with wood everywhere and a friendly atmosphere. Nice pint of Brains SA, and they obvouly take a genuine interest in their beer here. Bar billiards table too.
rpadam - 15 Feb 2008 21:45
A fantastic find just a few hundred yards from King's Cross station and all the other soulless, identikit bars in the area. Small, friendly and with a decent range of drinks, this is the best place I know to while away time waiting for a train, or indeed, just to while away time. They don't serve food, but you can order from any one of the many nearby takeaways, or buy a sandwich from the Tesco Metro round the corner and they are more than happy for you to eat it in there. Well worth a visit!
Dannysigma - 15 Jan 2008 10:43
I often find myself in Kings Cross area waiting for a train and have been looking for this sort of pub for years in the area.

OK so its not exactly untouched but its relaxed, friendly and has a couple of Real Ales on as well as a large selection of bottled beers.

I am glad I stumbled across this place and will be visiting again
juwwi - 22 Nov 2007 14:24
Closed on a Sunday lunchtime
oftenscore6 - 20 Nov 2007 23:56
Friendly lively local pub. However, the only real ale on on Wed evening was Deuchars. There's also about twenty bottled beers.
clissold345 - 1 Nov 2007 01:10
A pub worth finding. Just a few mins from St Pan/KC. Two good beers at the moment (Deuchars /Spitfire at time of visit). The landlord (nice fella) is looking to add 1 or 2 more beers.Great jukebox. Nice mix of clientele.Support this kind of boozer there isn't many left.

rob372 - 25 Jul 2007 09:09
After years and years of looking, the impossible has been achieved - a decent pub in Kings Cross exists! And as far as I'm concerned, it's one of the best in London. Ales, superb jukebox, pinball machine, proper pub decor, and the chinese takeaway around the corner will deliver food for you (on a plate and all).

If you're really lucky, the landlord will personally entertain you with a story or two. Top fella, had us in stitches.
travis - 6 Jun 2007 19:07
This place was just called the plain old Charles I when I started working in the area but it then went through an Irish makeover (not unlike pretty much every pub around here) and became the Craic House for a few years. Now it has thankfully reverted to its original regal title albeit in slightly extended format. Not the easiest place to find but if you like quirky little pubs, it is worth the effort. It is not the biggest pub you will ever visit but it is probably the darkest. In the winter gloom, the tiny interior is lit by little more than the light that emanates from the small open fireplace. On the mantelpiece, a few candles pick out the mirror above and giving it a gothic Hammer Horror movie feel. The small bar usually has 2 decent beers including a guest (Deuchars and Camerons Soleys Choice were the recent options and at 2.70 for a 5.5% beer in London, the prices are pretty good). The furnishings are sturdy and basic with pew seats, benches and wooden stools on the bare floor. The dark paneling is battered and worn but fits nicely with the surroundings. The window sills are littered with more candles and a random selection of books and a newspaper rack sits by the door so you have plenty of reading material if you cant find that elusive London Lite distributer. On the walls are a few old style adverts, a couple of mirrors (one nice old Guiness mirror and another with a rather ornate frame) and, rather bizarrely, a couple of African masks which coupled with the animal skulls on the bar canopy give the impression that the place is used for black magic after closing time. Despite the eccentric approach, the pub is quite welcoming and the staff very friendly. Until recently they had Bar Billiards but this has been temporarily replaced by a pinball machine although I was informed a couple of months ago that the Bar Billiards will return at a later date. The cues are still racked in the corner awaiting their next chalking. There are some benches outside for those who prefer to drink al fresco but the exterior of the pub and its surroundings are a bit glum. The pub is perhaps not to everyones taste but I always manage to fit in a visit when I am in the area. Given the quality of the competition in the area, you really cant go far wrong here.
RogerB - 27 Mar 2007 10:19
I love having this pub on my street. It's tucked away so unless you know where it is it's hard to find. Very cosy inside, with a (gas) fire and they encourage bringing your own food with you. Good beer as well.
anonymous - 18 Mar 2007 18:45
This place has gone to the dogs. Was in there recently for the first time since last year. Barman poured me a pint of IPA, and it was digusting at first mouthful. He then proceeded to dump the rest of the barrel down the sink right in front of me! Used to be a great spot when it was the Craic House, but I know loads of people who've stopped going there because the beer is absolutely rotten.
keep_it_green - 24 May 2006 16:13
Fabulous place to go and buy a friend a drink, especially if it's their birthday or something. Small, cosy and friendly. And nice beer. And friendly staff. Even the drama students seem a nice bunch, for drama students ;-)
mikeyo - 18 Oct 2005 13:03
OOh, sir!, OOh, yes sir!
Does this pub exist? We couldn't find it
anonymous - 3 Sep 2005 23:35
Formerly known as the Craic House this pub is a great local bar. Always friendly and relaxed and no chain pub tat or advertising. It trys to stay tucked away to avoid the football crowds and other hassle though it can get busy when the local acting school invades. It's a small one room bar with dark wood panelling and an open fire in winter. It can get smokey with the doors shut though. It doesn't serve food though they're happy for you to bring your own. Loads of character and even a pub cat!
pinksarah - 26 May 2005 21:19

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.