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Prince Of Wales, Covent Garden

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user reviews of Prince Of Wales, Covent Garden

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

Typical central London pub. Loads of tourists and service was slow.
However, had plenty of real ales on - the 1730 was good. Also served brew dog craft beers. The dead pony was on keg draught and good and bottled punk ipa.
So I wouldn't make a beeline for it, but not a bad pub for the area.
d.franks - 6 Sep 2015 05:28
Poor pub. Very poor. Getting served is almost impossible.
SteveSeel - 7 Aug 2014 15:14
Pleasant interior and busy for a weekday evening. Beer good though expensive. Food available. Nice crowd. Worth calling in if you are staying in the area.
reverenddavid - 1 May 2013 19:52
It's not great, it's not special its just a place to go if you want a pint in London.

The Guinness wasnt too bad but was close to the 4 mark.

It just struck me as another characterless central London pub catering for the large tourist trade.
Miker1234 - 9 Sep 2012 14:06
Large corner pub near the Freemasons Hall and the theatres etc. Staff were friendly enough and the beer was OK although the range was a bit limited on my visit. Quite quiet for a Wednesday (late lunchtime) but I would imagine it does get packed in the evenings before and after the shows. Only one real complaint - 3.95 for a pint!!!!!
mcroyal - 5 Jan 2012 12:36
Excellent! I came up to London with my fiance for a weekend away, had an absolutely fantastic time in the pub, the staff were very welcoming and friendly, and an overall great night.
we were originally only going into the pub for a quick drink before moving on to a restaurant in Covent Garden, but after chatting to one of the barmaids about the food they do at the pub we decided to stay for dinner too!
We had a sharing platter between us and the food was superb and asked for the barmaid to give my compliments to the chef!

Definitely will visit again and recommend it to all of my family and friends!!

10/10!! thanks for a great evening Prince Of Wales.
London89 - 9 Oct 2011 14:12
Poor service drags this rating down unfortunately. I cam in here in the afternoon on a Sunday and left as I was kept waiting at the bar for an inordinate amount of time while one barmaid chatted to a customer and the other ignored me. I was not alone as a couple left for exactly the same reason who came in after me. THey really should concentrate on training staff better in this place. I should point put that the pub was not at all busy at this point. However, I did give it a second chance in the evening and it was much better, as in we got served! Good selection of ales though i didn't try them on this occasion. Came in here a number of years ago though and remember the ale was good then. I think many pubs in the area have to employ staff who are quie transient and don't stay long so it must be quite difficult to maintain a consistently high level of service.
thehonesttruth - 4 Jun 2011 10:14
I was in this pub a few months ago. The decor wasn't bad and the barmaid was quick and attentive. So far so good. The only thing that lets this place down is the overpriced shite beer, a pint of Landlord at 3.44 that was truly cack, got a couple of mouthfuls down and had to leave it before I regurgitated said mouthfuls over the bar. My friend and I didn't even bother to complain as, having read other reviews previously, that would have got us nowhere fast. Go to the O'Neills or Hercules Pillars if you want a decent pint. If you like drinking the contents of a horse trough this is for you.
john1969 - 31 Oct 2010 01:09
Good staff, with a reasonable knowledge of what they sell. Nice atmosphere, although the toilets could use a bit of work. Good pub.
Scrappydoo - 17 Jul 2010 15:39
I was horrified on a recent visit to see the lady behind the bar pour the contents on the drip tray into a pint glass, top it up, and serve it to a customer. I thought this was no illegal?
anonymous - 12 Jun 2010 14:16
I recently wrote to this pub to complain and explained that if I did not receive a satisfactory response I would post the letter on every review site I could find. I didn't hear a word in response so I am therefore posting the letter below.

I am writing to complain about the service we received at the Prince of Wales yesterday.

My mother and I visited the pub for an early evening meal at about 5pm as she was flying to work abroad from Heathrow later that evening. The pub and its atmosphere were initially very welcoming which is why we chose it. We placed an order of two starters (chicken skewers and garlic mushrooms) and one cheeseburger, along with one bottle of wine. The food arrived quickly, but it was clear from the outset that the mushrooms were not going to be a success. They barely looked liked mushrooms in the form in which they were presented and not only tasted disgusting, but also had no hint of garlic. My mum, who was having both of the starters, persevered with the chicken which, although rubbery, was at least edible. However, just before she had finished she found a large piece of plastic right in the middle of the food. At this point she took the plastic out and continued to pick at the remainder (albeit apprehensively) because she was still extremely hungry.
The waiter soon came to take away our food and when he did I politely enquired whether it would be possible to refund the cost of the skewers from the bill as we'd found the plastic in the middle of the dish. The waiter's initial reaction was to snatch the piece of plastic out of my hand and storm off without a word. He came back shortly and said 'what you should have done is complained as soon as you found it'. I explained that she had only found it towards the end of her meal so we had waited for me to finish my burger (which was perfectly adequate) before pointing it out, so as not to ruin the meal completely. He simply repeated that we should have told someone earlier. I calmly said that I did not want an argument but if he was not prepared to refund us the cost of the dish, then I would write to the manager to explain what had happened. At this point, he seemed to erupt - he said 'There's no need to cause a scene' (which neither of us felt I was doing) and then stormed off again, saying that he would refund us the money. Eventually he also said that this would be done 'with apologies'. He hardly came across as apologetic, but I simply thanked him and left it at that.
Shortly afterwards, my mum went to pay the bill at the bar. The chicken had been taken off the bill, for which we were grateful. As far as we were concerned, the matter was closed. However, all of a sudden the same initial waiter interrupted the barman who was putting our payment through the till and took my mum's card away, for no obvious reason. It was not clear what the issue was, and nor was it ever explained to us why this was necessary. It was evident that the two members of staff were having an argument - right in front of us - although we could not get to the bottom of what it was about. Eventually, the initial waiter went to the till to clear the payment (again, for no obvious reason) and continued to repeat to us that we should have said something earlier and didn't deserve a refund, which hardly seemed necessary after the refund had been granted.
The fact that we found plastic in the food was obviously unacceptable. However, a simple apology would have placated us. As it stood, instead, the waiter continued to make sniping and sarcastic remarks which we considered far more offensive than the initial issue. Unless we receive an adequate apology, I will not hesitate in repeating these details on every review website I can find.

I look forward to hearing from you.

sjh_1983 - 1 Jun 2010 12:18
Terrible food, short measures of terrible beer and myself and three colleagues who work in the area have experienced being overcharged. The fake 'olde worlde' features grate too. Avoid.
CoventGardener - 6 May 2010 12:59
As I am not a Londoner I don't really know which are the best pubs to try. The nearby Freemasons Arms was packed football fans so I ventured in here.
Previous reviews make it sound like this pub should be closed down - not so from my visit.
It was a Saturday lunchtime visit. At least it wasn't as busy other pubs in the area (busy means a long wait to get served).
We wanted a drink more than the need for food. I tried a couple of real ales from a choice of five. The Reverend James and the TT Landlord tasted ok. Some people were eating and the food looked appetising. The menu had a various choice of meals at reasonable prices.
Four of us decided to share a couple of rounds of cheese on toast. The girl on food duty was very pleasant and friendly. She even gave each of us cutlery (guessing we were sharing).
I know it was only a snack but with four large slices of bread with lots of cheese on it and a side salad we all enjoyed it. Keep the pub open!
fugglehops - 27 Apr 2010 21:11
Big, bland place aimed at visitors, rather than londoners.
mozzzzzz - 25 Mar 2010 13:06
Went for a wander round Holborn yesterday and unfortunately popped in here.

Crap pint (watered down?) of Spitfire, served by someone who clearly didn't give a shit.

less than no atmosphere, whoever mentioned 'older-than-it-seems' decor was spot on.

The food looked terrible and several tables were heard complaining of hour-long waits, but I would never have ordered any in there anyway.

No loo roll in the ladies.

Small pubs, one that care about the customer and their product, close by the hundreds, but terrible places like this survive.

An unmitigated, thudding failure.
shand83 - 1 Feb 2010 10:42
There are quite a few pubs like this at the eastern end of Covent Garden. The PoW is a largish single room without the annoyance of TVs or loud music but with nothing in particular to distinguish it either. There seemed to be quite a lot of older tourists or casual visitors when I went in. The beer was ok but while it's ok for one there was nothing to really recommend here other than it's not some horrid bar.
murgatroyd - 13 Nov 2009 22:47
the beer is routinely foul in here which is a pity. actually, for a pub to not be able to serve a decent pint is worse than a pity; it is unforgiveable.
having long since learnt the lesson to not risk a pint here, i went in for some food today. and that was dreadful too. it is a pity that so many pubs are closing but equally a pity that so many dreadful pubs are thriving in central London. the staff are friendly enough but i'm afraid that is not enough.
istenem - 3 Nov 2009 21:26
Some very mixed reviews of this place, so thought I would take a look inside when passing. The general impression was similar to a Nicholsons, with plenty of not-as-old-as-it-seems wooden fittings and four real ales. No problems with service and my pint - Brains St David's Ale - was OK (if nothing special) and typically-priced for this expensive area at 3.10. A bit cramped due to a large part of the seating being reserved for some group which hadn't arrived at the time of my visit (early evening). So a mixed bag, and almost a benchmark for a 6.0 rating.
rpadam - 16 Feb 2009 19:56
awful, awful pub! i was served the stalest pint of ale i've ever had and when i duly returned it the supposed "landlord" told me that there was nothing wrong with it and "it was supposed to be like that - its an ale." whats more he wouldn't offer me a refund or anything in return. do not go here!
bimgot - 31 Jan 2009 13:42
Hmmm..hesitate to add it to my pubs as don't want to find it full of tourists and poncy gits next time I venture in.

A proper pub with decent well-kept ale at reasonable prices. Easily as good as any in the area, except people put it down for its decor? What are you? a 'Merican tourist? get a life pal!

To all its other detractors;
There is a trade off between price + service speed.
Pulling a decent pint ain't a one-second job.
Try the Savoy if you want speed or a 'spoons if you want cheap.
Pubs serve grog. Food's an incidental. Try Wimpy or Tesco.
If you want poncy decor, try the Tate Modern

lor' luv a duck mate, there's enough tossers destroying local cruisers as it is wiv out flash harrys banging abowt the bleeding decor & how slow the new Eastern European barmaid is.

fact is it takes time pint to pull a pint and we cannae no longer afford to pay the wages of the ex-colonials: ozzies, kiwis, saffas who could at least speak English albeit weirdly accented.....


threeravensmoor - 20 Jan 2009 22:22
Pretty grim and expensive, beer is always stale the pub itself is hot and stuffy. Bar staff slow and operate the whos next policy whilst looking at their feet and not the customers.
mrse1 - 1 Aug 2008 17:22
I drank here a real good ale from Cornwall. I liked it very much. I did not tried the food.
ilfaccino - 5 May 2008 13:13
Awful. awful, awful. I was served mouldy bread here and when I complained it came back scraped off with a tut. They had half full pints sitting under their pumps filled from drip trays, there was no paper in the ladies for the missus, the cutlery was dirty, the place smelt funny, the staff didn't speak English and the Manager was drunk. I'll be back to witness this disaster again but I'll be bringing my own refreshments. Don't waste your money.
spaceman - 30 Apr 2008 12:55
Bit crowded in a bad way, hard to get to the bar. A staff member saw me and a friend line up in a bad place, recommend we move over, then asked us what we want. This surprisingly quaint staff attitude was then quelled by two female patrons who thought we were served above them. Well, the staff offered, and im sure if it was the other way around you wouldn't be complaining but smiling as well...
the_original_rawnsleys - 28 Jan 2008 12:42
Centrally located but unimpressive on the visit I undertook with a comrade.

Service was thoughtful and respectful but there was nothing particularly to commend this place at any level. Forgettable to be honest.
terenced - 28 Jan 2008 08:58
Good example of a typical British pub in London. Open plan, good selection of ales, plenty of natural light and nice to sit or stand outside when the weather is good as it is next to the amazing Freemasons building. Prices are reasonable for London
Sillyface - 27 Nov 2007 11:55
Dodging showers, dropped in on a Saturday afternoon, excellent pint of Bombardier, reasonable tasy and quickly available bar snacks.
Bluenosemally - 30 Jul 2007 13:40
Basic pub, good range of ale in reasonable condition. Somewhat noisy, don't think that the background music was really necessary.
deho - 8 Jun 2007 13:41
Nice enough boozer, well located for a thirsty ale drinker on their way to the theatres on Drury Lane.

Plenty of seats and a nice view from the window, though the atmosphere seemed slightly less buzzing than I would have expected given the amount of people in attendence. Something to do with the layout I think.

Five ales on tonight, though all drawn from the usual suspects. I had a Winter Warmer which was the most interesting on offer and it was in good condition, with a nice temperature.

Not cheap though (my half and a Baileys for Missus Quinno came out at 4). Still, I guess that's par for the course in this area.

Never going to win any pub of the year awards, but good enough for me to pop back in again.
Quinno - 10 Jan 2007 00:17
A medium-sized pub with plenty of seating and tables, very centrally located and easy to find (just look for the Masonic Temple next door!). It was quite busy when I went there (Saturday evening), but we got seats without much trouble. Several real ales, including Adnams Explorer, Broadside, and about 4 others I forget. I stuck to the Explorer and Broadside, which were in good condition. Bar staff are competent, with quick service.
In theory the pub does food, in practice there was none being served when I was there as the kitchen had closed since the pub was expecting a party. So don't rely on their being food.
The entire pub was rather smoky, no more than the average pub, but that's damning with faint praise. Currently a perfectly good place for a drink, should get better next year.

Nicolai - 30 Apr 2006 15:25
Black painted floorboards, flickering candles, varied seating, good corner location and a selection of six different cask ales; this pub has the assorted ingredients to create a good pub, yet somehow fails. The ingredients lack cohesive character, charm and atmosphere. The beers on offer: London Pride, Youngs, Bombardier, Deuchars, Broadside and Old Hen.
SilkTork - 14 Mar 2006 20:13
How can this average and lifeless place be your favourite London pub? Do you never leave Covent Garden? Even so there are better places than this even in the immediate vicinity.

Pretty poor food, pretty poor beers, but very central so a low standard is expected. You could do worse I guess.
anonymous - 9 Feb 2006 13:59
Now my favourite London pub.Great atmosphere,friendly people both sides of the bar,food excellent,service & politness to match,good selection of ales & soft drinks.Sunday afternoon the pearly kings & queens were having a sing song adding to the general feelgood atmosphere.I will return.
glenn468008 - 19 Dec 2005 22:30
I love this pub, although it may not have much atmosphere it is a good down to earth traditional english pub with great food and excellent service. Its also one of very few pubs in the west end that allow children of all ages and pets in with you.
My family have been coming here every sunday since before i was born and is has to be good for us to keep coming back.


fuzzy_jangle - 31 Oct 2005 15:49
quite busy at times - good selection of real ales (5 on tap when I was there). Food looked OK
RogerB - 7 Oct 2005 14:37
Spent my last evening in London here talking American football with the Scottish bartender. Very friendly staff. Fairly transient crowds in the early evening having a pint before/after the theatre.
rseibt - 20 May 2005 13:35
Was here one Saturday night, was quite busy but we managed to get a table. Wine and drinks were nice and the staff was friendly enough! Had a really good time and would probably go back.
IvyIvyIvy - 4 Apr 2005 14:17

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