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George IV, Holborn

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user reviews of George IV, Holborn

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

While on a bit of a session in the area with my cousin a week or so ago, we ventured into this pub by chance as we were en route to a known-to-be-excellent hostelry over in Covent Garden. The building's exterior is not unusual but is well-preserved and implies that the interior should be of aesthetic and architectural worth, which happily it is, albeit with some latter-day encroachments which are arguably doing no favours to the pub's hitherto-nicely-preserved character. I am surprised I must say to hear that the place is owned and operated by the LSE, as one might surmise there is more money behind the pub than any university could make available.

Saying all that however, the actual experience of the George IV, when one factors in the drinks, service and all other elements, was ultimately unremarkable and although not unpleasant, I left with no inherent desire to make a return visit any time soon. The cask ale range was uninspiring (only 2 handpumps available if I recall correctly), albeit that the London Pride I sampled was found in reasonable condition. My cousin sadly does not share the same palate as myself and is happy to quaff low-strength, ersatz and mass-produced fizzy lager, although even he found a restrictived choice on the taps. Service was via the now-customary foreign employee and was efficient but impersonal.

We did observe a reasonable mix of clientele; although clearly accented towards a younger crowd, there were groups of friends, couples, and people alone of both sexes which suggests some broader appeal. But of course breadth of appeal does not necessarily indicate a superior pub; what it often means is that pub offers a by-numbers, predictable, undemanding but comfortable experience that is enough to capture less-discerning passing trade, but will never be a 'destination' venue for any one aspect of its operation. A 'jack of all trades and master of none' if you will.

Let's face it pugoers, there are innumerate pubs of this kind in and around the capital, and so many of them yield anything that would draw you back in, unless you were passing the pub again and just fancied a quick pint on the off-chance. It isn't doing anything appallingly wrong but equally does nothing so right that it is deserving of a glowing tribute on sites like BITE. I'd still rather pubs like this remained viable and open, and I do hope that it's in safe enough hands to ensure it does not become just another derelict premises. But for my money, it just isnt' working hard enough and will need to rely on as much local passing customas it can - perhaps that's where the students come in?!

TWG - 30 Mar 2012 13:17
Very few poeple in when I visited: only one beer on (Everards Tiger): barmaid could have been a bit more "alert" but the worse crime was being comitted by the electricians who were fitting new light pendants and chandaliers and screwing metal ceiling boxes into the wonderfully decorative ceiling thus detroying what the original architects had obviously taken time and care installing!! Absolutely disgraceful. I blame the LSE who are obviously more interested in financial matters than the history and decor of their pub!! Such a shame - I shall not return.
mcroyal - 5 Jan 2012 12:50
Owned and run by a uni, not publicans, says it all really. Cheap though.
shipper - 14 Nov 2009 01:37
I am sure this hostelry used to have a sign up saying "No Students". But that was a number of years ago and now the hotbed of radicalism that gave the world the third way owns this pub.

Interior is charming and un-spoilt. The beer is kept ok but a bit too cold. Lager range uninspiring. If you like Carslberg or Carling you would be spoilt for choice.

Nothing remarkable or memorable.
terenced - 16 Dec 2008 09:43
I was standing outside here finishing off my cigarette before entering and I noticed the “open to staff, students and members of the public” sign. It had me scratching my head until I walked in and spotted all of the students and the big “London School of Economics” sign hanging from the ceiling. This was a first for me, but everyone seemed pleasant enough, although there were a couple of strange blokes contemplating which I made a point of avoiding.

The prices are very reasonable and various lagers are available along with Landlord (which was very nice), Adnams and Bombardier.

My student days are over so I’ll probably never drink here again, but I didn’t really find any other fault with the pub.
Strongers - 28 Oct 2008 09:08
It's studenty, spacious, cheap and unpretentious, all of which are good things, but the Old Hooky is absolute rubbish. They should learn how to keep ale. 4/10.
foxski - 11 Oct 2008 16:21
Ok it's studenty, and noisey due to the high celling. But, the beer is cheap and reasonable, the food is ok and the pub itself still seems to retain some of it's old gin palace features. So not the worst student pub/bar your going to walk into.
mrse1 - 2 Oct 2007 11:42
Busy and noisy. The noise is accentuated by the wooden floor and lack of any soft furnishings. Beer was OK and there are still some original features, but this is not one of my favourite pubs in the area. A rather studenty feel to it - after all it is owned by LSE
JohnBonser - 19 Dec 2006 09:28
Refused to change pints of off Old Hooky despite complaints by several different customers.

Not the pub it used to be.

oddbits - 2 Jun 2006 19:54
A really nice pub and all the better for being smokefree. The bitter is well-kept, the staff are very good and there isn't too much of a studenty feel to the place. Thoroughly recommended.
anonymous - 1 May 2006 03:43
Has been acquired by the nearby London School of Economics and re-opened under their management in January 2006. Reasonably priced beer, and is now all non-smoking. Main clientele is LSE students (the more affluent ones, the rest use the student bar)
lonegroover - 24 Feb 2006 17:53
Much, much better now htat the new company has taken over. Still far too many cheap students.
anonymous - 20 Apr 2004 19:58
Expensive and often far too busy

Go to the Tuns instead
Richard - 2 Apr 2004 13:30
Great little pub, ideal for falling into after a hard week's work. Upstairs there's a games room which is sometimes rented out with giant Jenga, pool, etc. Oh and they do karaoke on Fridays too :)
Briony - 4 Feb 2004 14:40

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