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Clarence, Mayfair

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user reviews of the Clarence, Mayfair

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

Final pub of the evening and it’s my Central London go to pub.

Quiet when we arrived at 8pm but then got stupidly busy at 10.30pm when a large group (25+) of young toffs arrived before hitting Maihiki next door, god they were annoying!

Anyway back to the ales, again like on my previous visits there was a good selection of 6 ales on, I drank Truman's Runner all night with every pint being very good.

Regardless of previous reviews I do like the Clarence, they have good attentive bar staff, decent ales and is just a nice overall pub.
lezford - 17 May 2016 15:36
Expensive beer and can't say I like being asked to pay a 10% service charge on 2 burgers and 2 pints, ordered at the bar. Do I look like a tourist or something? The beer was OK but then it should be at these prices. Plenty of better options around. This is, after all, just a Nicholson's pub - i.e. an over-priced Wetherspoon.
Doob - 6 Dec 2015 14:47
Popped in last night (9/11/15) for a quick pint and was surprised and pleased to find Tiny Rebel's Urban IPA @ 5.5% available on keg. 3 cracking pints later I headed home for me dinner.

Decent pub with good ales, the Clarence keeps on giving.
lezford - 10 Nov 2015 14:18
Another meeting in Mayfair and I need an alcoholic drink so the very convenient Clarence is perfect for this.

It’s just after 12 noon on a Thursday and there’s already quite a few people in, mainly local workers. The friendly bar man greets me with a smile and I choose a pint of Hook Norton’s Lion @ 4.0%, a decent enough pint if not that exciting.

I had a couple of pints and stayed for an hour before heading back to the office.

Decent pub The Clarence and worth a stop while in the Green Park area, I don’t really agree with the previous review as I’ve never had bad service here and the ale choices are always varied.

lezford - 12 Oct 2015 14:17
Awful pub! No atmosphere, boring decor/layout, 3 beers on, & barman too busy looking at himself in the mirrors and doing his hair to serve you! Heard two other customers saying 'this is a bit grim' which sums it up. I got served a pint of beer flavoured water, literally... They had been cleaning out the pipes and hadn't taken the pump off! When I took it back, the preening barman said 'oh yes, I thought there was something wrong with that' but no apology........ makes me cross as there were a few tourists in there and they would't have known that was not how it was supposed to taste! We went in about 3 and although it was quite quiet, a lot of the tables were still full of lunch debris. Why this place is in TGBG I have no idea......
Shuv16 - 26 Apr 2015 12:15
Dropped in a Monday afternoon for a quick pint. My 3rd visit in the last 4 weeks.

Again a good range of ales on offer with a few ales I hadn't seen in London before.

One of these was Woodforde's Bure Gold @ 4.3%. Nice to see this on offer but it wasn't the best pint I'd ever had, it tasted slightly vinegary.

Pretty empty at 3pm on a Monday but still a good stopping off point in Mayfair.
lezford - 20 Feb 2015 13:27
Tuesday evening in mid January and I make my 1st visit to this Nicholson’s pub just off Piccadilly.

An entry in the 2015 GBG so it’s the perfect time to tick this pub as it’s not too busy.

There are 8 hand pumps serving 8 different ales, I went for Knights of the Garter from Windsor and Eton brewery, so good I had 2 pints!

Good quick service from the ample bar staff. The interior is fresh and modern but the layout is slightly odd, as some of the seating areas are too close together.

Food advertised but I only saw chips being served in the downstairs bar, there is a more formal style restaurant upstairs.

Nice enough pub but the beer is better
lezford - 4 Feb 2015 13:46
The Clarence was my final pub of 10 on Saturday. It's a modern place and probably the nearest pub to the Ritz. Yet another Nicholsons - this one had Nicholsons Pale Ale, Hopback Winter Lightning, Copper Dragon Golden Pippin, Truman's Runner, Black Sheep Best Bitter & Windsor & Eton Knight of the Garter. It was fairly busy and no tables were available. The interior seemed clean, but fairly anodyne. Although my memory was somewhat slurred by this point. An expensive part of London to drink. But at least pubs still exist in this part of the West End.
blue_scrumpy - 26 Jan 2015 22:01
Standard one bar boozer with restaurant upstairs.
Had pint of Knight of the garter, served ice cold, after I refused the one that was going to be given to me standing on the drip tray already pulled.
pwilkins - 22 Dec 2014 09:03
Good beer and atmosphere
country2010 - 21 Dec 2011 18:02
At least 6 real ales on tap, some of them quite exotic. Prices are high but you expect this in Mayfair, especially since it's next door to one of London's trendiest nightclubs. As to atmosphere, it's a fine balance between being quiet on some nights and noisy on others but if you don't like the noise you can always pretend to be a smoker and chat to the other punters outside!
16jamesdoc - 16 Jul 2011 11:53
Where do i start......not been in here for years even tho its around the corner from my office and wont be going back again ever.
Put simply and due to lack of time i will not bore you with the whole long story however i have found some great pubs through this site and thought i would do the right thing and advise you AVOID at all costs.
Worst service ever
Rude staff
obnoxious manager
awful beer
high prices (4 a pint)
filthy toilets
dirty glasses
could go on but take my word for it this place is a toilet ,try the kings head or the goat round the corner.
jackbar - 1 Mar 2011 09:34
Smallish Nicholsons pub located yards away on one side from that long standing cattle market the Dover Street Wine Bar and on the other by the much newer and almost as bad Mahiki.

The decor is standard Nicholsons dark wood although the brownish painted walls made the interior even more gloomy than usual. The walls were adorned with lots of ornately framed paintings and mirrors. A lot of customers were eating when I was in and the food looked good albeit off a fairly standard Nicholsons menu. Most customers looked like local office workers - a little surprising when you consider the pubs proximity to tourist hot spots like Green Park and Piccadily. The environment was quietish and comfortable.

As with all Nicholsons pubs now there was an extensive ale offering with rergulars Pride, Doom Bar and Landlord joined by Castle Rock Harvest Pale, Titanic Tomahawk, Thornbridge Jaipur IPA, Morland Original and Kelham Island Dark Island.

It's not a bad place at all this and worth dropping in if you are in the area
murgatroyd - 9 Nov 2010 22:59
Fairly run of the mill Nicholsons offering with the usual plenty of dark wood and mirrors offering although a bit it of a strange shape internally.
But it is another Nicholsons house which has an improved beer range and now has eight ale hand pumps which as well as offering the usual house ales, included Harviestoun Schiehallion and Wolf Brewery Straw dogs amongst the guests and the latter was a well kept pint.

Gann - 25 Jul 2010 12:17
Well, I read that extensive and considered review from TWG and thought I would check back as I work very close by. I stand by my previous comments. The beer was again dirty, they do not look after it. Even my companion's lager was verging on the unfinishable. Why is it so hard to clean beer lines out? When you are charging me 4 a pop, its the very least you could do to provide something drinkable. The toilets are just wrong, nearly worse than anything I've seen in France. You'd be better off going in the bin outside the smell and fumes makes your eyes sting. The staff were ok, the food looked ok, but what's the point of ok food to go with beer you cant drink? Walk away. Rated 1 again to bring the average back down closer to where it belongs.
tsm - 16 Jul 2010 13:37
I am somewhat perplexed by the raft of poor reviews on this site for this particular pub. Okay, it is not what anyone would sensibly regard as exceptional, and is not fault-free, but to judge any public house on such tall orders would be a little unfair. I hadn't visited much in the past, and not for at least a year, but yesterday when looking for a decent ale and food pub for a lunchtime refreshment en route to the nearby Royal Academy, I rediscovered the Clarence and found it to be in good shape overall, and certainly no worse than much of its local competition which could and should always try harder.
The ale selection was, arguably something of an exception, as 8 different cask beers featured - 4 standards and 4 more adventurous offerings. This is indeed the benchmark of all Nicholson's outlets, which albeit have less competition in the capital than in some parts of the country, do continually deliver very good traditional food and ale, despite being owned by the usually uncaring and indiscriminate Mitchells & Butlers. I sampled the Morrissey Fox IPA and Daleside Morocco Ale (oddly there seemed to be an accent towards Yorkshire - accidental I'm sure) which were both in acceptable nick.
The usual variety of worthwhile pub grup dishes was on offer, and I partook of the salmon and broccoli fishcakes, which were I have to say excellent, as was the mixed salad that accompanied it. Perhaps a little over-dressed with vinaigrette, but happily that's the way I like my salads so it wasn't an issue for me at least. It was served up efficiently, as was the necessary cutlery and condiments. If the remainder of the options were as consistent as I've found across the Nicholson's estate, then I daresay one should not be readily disappointed.
The atmosphere was perhaps a little thin; a mix of clientele from elderly retired people, via working-lunch business types and various tourists, to youngsters were in and it was ticking along pleasantly enough. The latest Wimbledon match was featuring on the reasonably-sized TV screen above without being too obtrusive. A range of London tourist reading material - and literature for non-London events such as the Edinburgh Festival was available if the sport didn't appeal. The decor was standard "traditional" sub-Victoriana for pubs of this ilk but was solid, harmonious and entirely appropriate. Toilet quality however could be improved: take note please.
As for service - the final conrnerstone in the pub experience not yet mentioned in detail, it was okay. I'm afraid it was the now all-too-ubiquitous foreigners on bar duty whose willingess - and perhaps ability - to be charming in English was limited. The bloke was pleasant enough; the lady was efficient but entirely expressionless as if she really was elsewhere in her own mind. At least she was towards customers; she seemed happy enough when having banter with her playmate who was of the same background. A smile is one thing one still doesn't have to pay for in the capital and more effort is needed from this woman.

Ultimately, this represents a good all-rounder to my mind for London boozers and serves well enough for food and drink. There are better pubs; there are better Nicholson's pubs, and I wouldn't necessarily implore people to seek it out if not in the Mayfair/Piccadilly locale. Nevertheless, I would suggest you allow yourself the chance to visit the Clarence if in the area to see who is the more accurate in their appraisal. If you disagree, then I can only apologize!

8/10 if only to re-balance the ungenerous score so far!
TWG - 30 Jun 2010 10:52
Been in here four or five in the last couple of years and it always seems to be very busy.

The cask ale selection is always pretty good and I haven't had a bad pint on any of my visits.

It certainly isn't a relaxing, quite place to drink in, but perfectly acceptable as a bolt hole for a reasonable pint if you have just come up from Green Park tube.
davvac - 28 Mar 2010 14:04
Despite Mayfair having a dearth of acceptable boozers, this makes no effort at all to even achieve mediocrity.

Dirty beer, filthy toilets. Leave it, its just not worth it
tsm - 3 Mar 2010 11:29
Went here on a busy Saturday night. However, there were only two members of staff on at 9:30pm with one of them delivering food out to tables. The remaining member of staff was ignoring customers at the bar and talking to friends.

Eventually gave up and left after waiting up to 10 minutes to be served.

Dreadful, will not return.
WaldorfAndStatler - 1 Dec 2009 21:20
This is a fairly unremarkable London pub with the expected restaurant upstairs. I found the staff to be nice enough, but the conversation from the hoards of office workers depressing.

Landlord, Pride, Deuchars, Broadside and Wainwright were all available during my visit alongside a selection of standard and premium lagers.

Like all of the other patrons I would probably drink in here sometimes if I worked in the area, but I certainly wouldnt go out of my way.
Strongers - 31 Aug 2009 21:29
The last time I drank in this pub was a few years ago and reading the other more recent comments I see that it has deteriorated even further. When I first used to drink there, over forty years ago, it was a pleasant up-market place and often had characters in evening dress who had popped over from the Ritz to chat to the manager and his very charming wife. Although my friends and I were certainly not Ritz frequenters, we were treated exactly the same as those who were and it bacame a regular haunt of ours for quite a while.
Now, sadly, it would seem that it has gone the way of many decent pubs.
Marvellous thing liberal democracy.
Padderborn - 18 Jul 2009 12:10
Why is it 'racist' to comment on the useless Polish bar staff ? Its a fact that they are inept in this pub and i couldn't care less where they come from. It is dreadful that visitors to our country are treated with disdain when ordering drinks in this pub as i witnessed yesterday.
nickthefish - 12 Apr 2009 06:58
Odd-shaped Nicholson's bar, with the usual not-quite-so-good-as-it-should-be pint of real ale (6X on my recent visit). Most notable for the sign behind the bar which states that they will top up your beer if you think it has too much of a head (which could be a useful tip for the tourists, or an indication of a frequently asked question - who knows which?).
rpadam - 3 Feb 2009 22:34
the Clarence, absolutelly amazing place to relax if u want a dink after work or dinner in the upstairs dinning room. There is a really good club next door if u want to carry on drinking. The prices r dead cheap too . I competelly dissagree with the person who wrote a really racist comment about the Polish staff there they r lovelly people.
If u can fond me an English person who'll work 12 or sometimes 16 hour shifts for 5.73 an hour tellthem to apply at the Clarence they are always looking for English staff who will work for a minimum wage.
kimber2510 - 5 Jan 2009 22:06
A bit more crowded than others locally. Three ales on including Hobgoblin. Service ok, I don't agree with the 'awful' comment, maybe they've changed. Very near to Green Park station so unless you're a member of the Fox Club or want to go into the huge pub-cafe' on the corner, this could be your chance for a last pint before going in.
rainlight - 21 Oct 2008 20:46
Used to work down Berkeley Street and I guess you could say this was our local. Spent more time in The Clarence than I did in work during some weeks! Fridays lunch/nights are generally the busiest and all in all a fairly decent, if not small, pub.
mlmcjonesy - 8 May 2008 12:46
Good beers, service from (Polish?) staff awful, food came 45 minutes after ordering and stone cold. Dark and lifeless. Avoid.
cplewis1927 - 13 Apr 2008 14:15
Named after King William IV (Duke of Clarence) this is not one of the better Nicholsons establishments, in fact it is quite dull and uninteresting given its location. It is a bit of an odd mix of old and new styles and seems to want to be known for something historic or famous but just doesnt have anything to grasp hold of to fill the requirement. The blurb on the walls go on about all the famous people who lived in the area (Alexander Pope, John Nash, Chopin) but there is nothing that actually links them to the pub. The interior consists of a front section with paneled walls and mirrors whilst the main bar to the rear is a bit narrow and cramped. The ceiling in the front bar is particularly ornate but generally the place is a bit bland. 3 Ales included Pride, Landlord and Waggledance all decent enough and reasonably priced. The place gets fairly busy and unless you know where to go, pubs around this neck of the woods are not easily stumbled on. There is an upstairs Drawing Room Bar & Dining Room with a table service and a bit more decorum but overall I cannot find anything about this place to lift it above average at best.
RogerB - 28 Dec 2007 23:45

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