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Britannia, Kensington

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user reviews of the Britannia, Kensington

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

One of the better pubs in the area, although the refurb has made it feel a bit gloomy. Quite roomy, so suitable for leaving-dos and office drinks...tends to be busy on Friday nights
mozzzzzz - 27 Jan 2016 10:43
I can well imagine this as a classic Youngs pub of old, tucked away down its little side street. I think some folk are being fair when they note the refurb has perhaps not done it any favours and whilst I'm not for everything being pickled in aspic, you have to marvel at the way much of the Youngs estate has gone. Still, that said, my pint was perfectly acceptable and the place was certainly busy with a well-healed crowd. Some of whom would benefit from a crash course in pub etiquette. You do not march up to the bar, card in hand, and on arriving immediately bark out your order to the bar staff whilst the person they are serving is making their choice.
barlick - 19 Sep 2012 14:01
Not been here but to add to the previous two posts how about the Grapes in Wandsworth.
Picasso09 - 27 Feb 2012 21:07
@malo66 Agreed except I'd add to The Lamb, the Calthorpe Arms, Grays Inn Road


rabdes - 27 Feb 2012 17:20
I concur with most people here who can remember when this was a great classic 'Young's' pub. Why oh why have the brewery wrecked it? There is still one decent Youngs pub in inner London and that is the Lamb in WC1.
malo66 - 27 Feb 2012 15:09
Upmarket Youngs pub in a side street off High Street Kensington. The interior is larger than it first looks with dining sections stretching back quite a way from the bar. Seating is comfortable and the food looked quite good. There are old black and white pictures of the area on the walls. Beers were Youngs Bitter, Special, Winter Warmer & Wells Bombardier. The cider was Addlestones. The clientele were certainly from the upper classes. But I still quite liked this pub.
blue_scrumpy - 20 Jan 2012 22:52
The place seems nice enough.The wines are grossly overpriced and the food....well it could not have been worse..Try 10.50 for a cold
mushroom on a cold bun...when it was supposed to be a mushroom burger....and the fish plate was freezing...When the waitress came over to ask how everything was..we told her it was disgusting..to which she fled..Best sack the chef and start again before it closes down.
pmhumphreys - 8 Jan 2011 23:47
great shame like other reviewers, this was a good old pub now turned into fancy dandy place. 3.80 for pint of bitter, heck and they didnt even fill the pint up despite starring at the barman. real shame
jeffandstack - 21 Dec 2010 20:35
I remember this pub when it was a real gem with a busy crowd most nights but particularly on a Friday/Saturday evening when both upper and lower bars were in full flow. The bar service was excellent, even when crowded, and the staff in general could/would recall your last round of drinks! The atmosphere was always friendly and it was one of the best kept secrets in Kensington. I use to live near Ladbroke Grove but it was worth the 20min walk. I now live in Kent and made the mistake of recently visiting the 'new Britannia' with my family! I realise that change does happen/is necessary but WHAT have they done? The place was empty, the staff looked bored (cant blame them) and the lovely Youngs pub had simply gone! We had one drink - with only 3/4 other patrons in the bar and decided to move on. One question - WHY the refurb? What a classic mistake, yet again, to a lovely pub that was simply doing 'what it said on the tin'. Such a shame.
MT10 - 11 Jun 2010 16:08
full of middle class people
hammersmithender - 28 May 2010 14:23
If you remember the Britannia as it was before Young's pub makeover team did its thing, you will almost certainly hate this place now. However, if you take it on its own merits as somewhere fairly civilised to get away from the hordes on Kensington High Street then you might find it more appealing. The front room has been done up in fairly standard upmarket gastro-pub style with the usual mixture of high, standard and low furniture. The restaurant section is down a couple of steps, rather plainly done but enlivened by a gallery of interesting photographs on two of the walls. There are also a few tables and chairs outside in a very cramped alleyway. The menu looks interesting, until you see the prices that is e.g. 11.50 for fish and chips and 11 for a burger (plus an extra quid for some bacon!). Beerwise, there are three handpumps, currently offering Special, London Gold and Ordinary (not too badly priced for the area at 3.25, and in good condition). Another point to note - it is closed for two hours each afternoon (including weekends).
rpadam - 27 May 2010 21:13
Oh dear oh dear, another once-lovely Youngs pub that has gone sadly downhill. Flat beer, bland decor and not many customers. I won't be hurrying back :(
fluiman - 17 Jan 2010 00:39
classic case of it ain't broke, break it. Once a nice local pub, now utterly absent of any character.
A Young's pub with no Special even on a tap. Bought a half of Staropramen for 1.95...
2.30pm on a Monday in Kensington, no other customers.
An ex-pub. Shame on Young's.
andyross - 14 May 2008 20:50
Visited again on saturday. the place remains a mystery to me. First thing to say is that the staff are great, very cheery and personable. But the barman's jolly, joking comment when I ordered another two pints of Winter Warmer that "damn, I'm not getting any practice making cocktails!" kind of says it all. A big sign outside advertises the pink cocktails to which he alluded, but the bar area of the pub was largely empty, and the dining area packed. It just re-inforces the point - it's not a pub, it's a restaurant. It's a venue with an indentity crisis. It's not surprising - the decor has had all hint of personality and authenticity airbrushed out of it - a kind of bland, international, hotel lounge anonymity. If they want the bar side of it to work they have to look at how the space and the ambience can work to provide an authentic English atmosphere, and not be rueful if people ask for pints of beer rather than cocktails. Otherwise might just as well turn the space over to tables and make it fully a restaurant - they'd make more money per square foot probably.
Ullage - 10 Mar 2008 10:49
I visited for the the first time recently since the refurbishment and all i can say is wow! The atmosphere was spot on and the food was delicious. The staff were friendly and attentive. I will definitely be coming back more often.
madameh - 20 Jun 2007 12:34
It's a restaurant unfortunately, not a pub and you need to be aware of that if you're planning a visit
JohnBonser - 7 Jun 2007 12:57
What a fantastic little pub. Great for big groups of drinkers and a great place to take people out to eat. Lovely food, friendly staff and a great atmosphere. I can see this place becomeing my new local
anonymous - 15 Mar 2007 19:34
I visited the Britannia on Sunday and was very impressed!! We were a party of 8 and ended up being an hour late for our booking (London transport). The manager was very understanding and we had a lovele meal, even though we clashed with a big party. The best roast in Kensington!!
jonnyboy3 - 13 Mar 2007 11:33
Er, slight mistake there. It should have read. 'If you have been in this pub but not recently and are planning....'
bassaleg - 1 Mar 2007 22:29
If you have not been in this pub and are planning to do so soon; be sure to wear a black arm band.
I did not feel welcome here. Shame, this was once a classic boozer.
bassaleg - 1 Mar 2007 22:27
I took my girlfriend to the Britannia on valentines day and it definitely put me in the "good books"!!
The food was excellant and the service was top knotch. The staff made us feel more than welcome. They were attentive and relaxed despite both the restaurant and bar being full. I would definitely return to the Britannia, especially if the Black Bream is still on the menu!!!
anonymous - 19 Feb 2007 12:10
A tragic loss! This pub was such an oasis, but we always knew that it would be a matter of time before Youngs spotted how out of synch it was with its moneyed, tourist-oriented locality. I can imagine the bizarre interior layout will last for long - it's very claustrophobic at the front, and far too geared towards being a restaurant. Nice food, mind.
JoePublovic - 16 Feb 2007 15:44
I drank here regularly for nearly 20 years with a group of like-minded boozers. We went in once after its refurbishment - never again! It used to be an excellent pub, but went gradually downhill when the old landlady left. I could have just about put up with the new decor if the beer had been well-kept, but sadly this was not the case. Until recently this was one of the few pubs to have been in every edition of the Good Beer Guide - and had a plaque to prove it - but it is quite rightly not there any more.
grandsire - 5 Jan 2007 15:06
A real find, perfect location for a drink after work. Very relaxed atmosphere, friendly staff - table service for drinks. Didn't try the food, but menu looked promising.
garrybear - 28 Nov 2006 15:57
Used to sneak in here at lunchtime for a couple of drinks once a week with a mate at my old job. The boss completely disapproved of any sort of lunchtime tippling .. very fond memories of getting in ordering a couple of large vodkas, saying hello to the old gents gathered round the front and sneaking through to the back for a gossip and a laugh. Sorry the revamp seems to have gone down badly. But the memories will last.
anonymous - 5 Nov 2006 16:48
This place used to be a decent boozer.

Its reinventing of itself as a halfway house 'tween a restaurant - the prices are way too high for even a gastro pub - and a pub leaves it succeeding on neither count.

What a waste. I shall not be visiting again.
Mike_D - 12 Jun 2006 16:33
Well done to the team at the Brittania! I came in last Thursday with three friends and had a fantastic meal. The service was great, with the decor to match. The waitress was so good we spent a small fortune but enjoyed every minute of it. Our personal favourite was the chocolate fondant, so come on girls, spoil yourselves! Turn down the volume on the restaurant phone though pls.
Robertstone - 11 May 2006 00:45
Ullage you sum up perfectly what I feel is happening to our old watering holes. In years to come when all traditional pubs are just a distant memory some bright sparks gonna come up with an idea of a traditional London theme pub.
TSW - 29 Apr 2006 21:33
It's turned into a restaurant. Recent reviews here applaud its virtues as a restaurant serving beer. Fair enough, but that don't make it a pub. Admittedly the old Brit needed a dusting over, but the new Brit is a soulless, vapid environment uprooted from its traditional incarnation as a pub into somewhere that could be in any city in the world, a kind of world class standard of anonymity and blandness. They do it well. So what. People come to the UK to visit pubs, not restaurants that could be in their own countries. As a Londoner I mourn the death of traditional boozers (of all standards and desirability) to this corporate, global standard of vacuousness.
Ullage - 13 Mar 2006 13:36
What a fantastic place. Went in for dinner last night with 14 other people and we all had a great time. The food was oustanding and the service was flawless. A massive improvement on the old Britannia. No more smelly old Fuddy Duddies waiting for god. This place is up with the best of them. If you want Great service outstanding food and a cracking pint of Special this place is for you. 10/10
anonymous - 3 Mar 2006 10:49
what a wonderful improvment on the the drinking den that WAS The Britannia! But where's charlie!?!?
beerdoctor320 - 28 Feb 2006 13:55
I have to agree with pumpy. I've been in quite a few times since it re-opened and each time have had a fantastic meal and have always been welcomed by the friendly staff. And it's good to see that they still serve great ales...not the norm in a refurbed pub. Even better that my girlfriend doesn't winge when i want to go there as she too can enjoy the drinks selection. I give it two thumbs up!!
swag - 23 Feb 2006 15:04
Not quite sure what all the fuss is about from everybody!!! This is a fantastic pub serving good food and fine beer and gave me prompt service. The 27-50 that Mr anonymous paid for his fish and chips was in fact Dover Sole and anyone who knows anything about food at all will tell you it ain't cheap!!!! I suggest he goes back to his frozen processed cod with limp chips and luminous mushy peas and moans in his pint to someone else because I thought this place was fantastic. Heartily recommended!!!!!
Pumpy - 22 Feb 2006 19:35
It used to be a regular meeting place for a few of us scattered over West and South London. It used to be a fine, typical Youngs pub, although the service could have been friendlier. But after the refurbishment it is appalling. It seemed to us (on our one and only visit to the refurbished pub ever) that if you didn't want to pay their exhorbitant prices for a meal and just wanted a quiet beer and a chat, the staff weren't that interested.
Pompeybob - 14 Feb 2006 16:45
What have they done!!! What used to be a friendly, cosy pub for drinks in an evening or a lunchtime escape from the office with good beer and reasonably priced food, is now a soulless sludge-green shell of a place. The staff are friendly, but probably have to be when faced with customers falling off their chairs when faced with the prospect of a 27.50 wallet-draining for what any ‘real’ pub calls fish and chips!
anonymous - 31 Jan 2006 11:57
I like the new Britannia, at least I like the back part. The staff are friendly and efficient. The place has had some new life pumped into it. It is sad to see another traditional pub go but times change. Well done to Youngs for what appears to be a step in the right direction. Great food here, great beer here and a lot of the old regulars still use it so it can't be so bad
anonymous - 28 Jan 2006 22:51
The Britannia is dead. Killed by Youngs. It's an anonymous, gastrified nightmare. Dark matt purples and grey - Ikea lampshades - polite but glassy-eyed waiters bringing drinks to your table, looking through you with a blank corporate gaze. All history, atmosphere, integrity, comfort, genuineness obliterated. You could be in New York, or Madrid, or Melbourne, that's to say, nowhere. The roots of what makes a part of English culture so vivid and unique destroyed in a vapid, hollow, banal makeover. Nothing here is genuine anymore, nothing preserved, everything surface, but with no meaning. An empty shell. Well done Youngs and your "winning formula" as you describe it ....
Ullage - 14 Dec 2005 16:40
Closed for refurbishment at the moment.
ermsey - 11 Oct 2005 13:51
something missing? fine looking pub but not much character.
anonymous - 26 Jun 2005 15:10
A very good pub. Large and spacious and generally free from music and blaring telly. It's got more touristy - there are routinely squads of well-heeled punters from the Copthorne Tara and other local hotels. They're fine though - the pub is big enough to accommodate them without upsetting the balance and feel of the place. It seems to suffer from a string of charmless landlords though. The rest of the staff are usually fine.
Ullage - 16 Feb 2005 16:27
Beer on good form ( Sunday 12/12/04).
This is still a traditional pub. With its wood - pannelling and seemingly well - heeled customers and no music / TV, it has a bit of a feel of an old style Gentlemans Luncheon Club, but I highly recommend it if you're in the area.
JohnBonser - 13 Dec 2004 13:52
A gem. One of Youngs' best pubs, and one of the best pubs in Kensington. The beer has been in superb condition whenever I have visited, and the food's good too. It is well worth a trip just to visit this pub, although its nice to do a crawl taking in the Radnor (Everard) and the Britannia Tap (Young) both of which are in Warwick Road.
Lee Newton - Lee.A.Newton@jobcentreplus.gov.uk - 12 Sep 2003 16:45

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