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Blackfriar, Blackfriars

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user reviews of the Blackfriar, Blackfriars

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

This place is always mobbed after work by the legal and finance brigades, working locally - and because of the numerous transport stations nearby.
tradervic - 16 Jan 2019 11:53
Place was mobbed at 6pm on a cold Tuesday evening in January, but the great ales, fast friendly service and historic interior makes it all worthwhile!
fazerblue - 16 Jan 2019 08:12
We chose it as it was equidistant from St Pancras and the Albert Hall, but a beautiful/historic interior makes this a place worth seeking out. Beers were in very good condition. St Peters Golden, Fyne Jarl, Great Heck Christopher - and a wild oat stout that I can't think of the name of - all tried and enjoyed. Customer service pretty good. Prices the higher end of London rip-off.
littledrummerboy - 6 Mar 2017 18:13
All is still ok at the Blackfriar. Very busy on a Saturday late afternoon but service was prompt and friendly.

Bernie from Scunthorpe was giving out relationship advice and that must be treasured.

Quality pub.
terenced - 23 Jan 2017 11:06
Busy on a Saturday night with not too raucous younger crowd who seemed to be enjoying the ale. had a decent pint of a Thornbridge winter brew. Worth dropping by - ornate interior and a few ales on. Across the road from Blackfriars station.
anonymous - 4 Dec 2016 12:12
Saturday lunch is the time to go!

Got a seat - in the most elegant part of the pub.

Fantastic building which makes it worth checking out but shocking beer.

First pint of black sheep - the barmaid wrapped a paper towel around the pump. I took one sip and refused to pay. Utter bilge water.

Replacement pint of doom bar was ever so slightly better.

I would recommend popping your head in the door and drinking elsewhere!

Photos at my walking blog - http://bit.ly/1nVW6J7
Mappiman - 7 Feb 2016 13:06
Our second pub on our pub crawl of London. The Victorians certainly went to town with sheer decadence, and The Blackfriar is no exception. Magic copper carvings surround the place above the bar and on the walls. The fireplace taking centre stage and outstanding feature.

Had a couple of Yuletide Christmas Stouts, which tasted bang on, but the prices reflected the area we were in (Central Business District.)

Place was heaving with many eating, and seating was at a premium. We eventually found a spot.

Exceptional.
realalerules1983 - 22 Nov 2015 14:57
Another quick Saturday night visit on the way home and like the last time it’s very busy when I arrive at 8.45pm.

My choice of ale was Redemption’s Rising Sun @ 5.0% and it was in very good form.

I took my pint and stood outside as the evening was still warm and killed the time between my trains with this decent pint. I’m sure it won’t be too long before I make another Saturday night visit.
lezford - 12 Oct 2015 13:49
Dropped in just after 10pm on a Saturday night at the end of August for a quick pint.

Busy inside but I was served pretty quickly after opted for a pint of Berkhamsted Brews Wild Boy @ 3.7% from the decent selection on the pumps.

I stood at the side of the bar and enjoyed my pint.

As has been mentioned on numerous occasions on this site the Blackfriars is a stunning building but it’s also decent pub with a good choice of ales and is very handy for Blackfriars station.

lezford - 5 Oct 2015 14:48
Unusual interior, good atmosphere, friendly bar staff who really push the real ale to tourists and locals alike. Good menu and convenient for Blackfriars Station just across the road. Only disappointment was the gents toilet was tiny and had water over the floor. Well worth a visit.
manx_888 - 12 Aug 2015 23:11
Always a pleasure to visit this pub. We don't have anything like it in Queensland! As usual I was early & as usual I was the only customer. The bar bloke was friendly, funny & efficient even at 10.30am. My pint of Doombar (£3.75) was refreshing & the ongoing chatter very amusing. Some elderly folk arrived & were treated like royalty. Top pub, top bloke.
Queenslander - 5 Aug 2015 07:18
Had another visit to this Nicholsons pub opposite Blackfriars station. The ale selection was Wychwood Hobgoblin, Nicholsons Pale Ale, Acorn Santa Maria, By The Horns Stiff Upper Lip, Harviestoun Tasman Bullet & Broken DIal, Wells Bombardier Burning Gold & Sambrooks Speakeasy. It was fairly busy inside early on Sunday evening. So we sat outside, as it was fairly pleasant out of the wind. Still a fine pub. But it's a shame they don't serve a real cider.
blue_scrumpy - 21 Apr 2015 17:55
One of my favourite London pubs, not least because it opens at 10am most days. Though I've been here several times I've never seen it crowded, in fact the last visit was notable for me being the only customer. Tourist tip: Monday to Friday, any pub in London, if you want to see people come at lunch time or post work; if you want to see the pub come morning or mid afternoon. A pub like this is best seen in less crowded circumstances, as its décor is its best feature. The beer was fine (London Pride @ 3.60) but the art nouveaux interior is the main reason to visit.
Queenslander - 10 Oct 2014 23:36
A fine pub serving very good beer. Intriguing on the inside and pleasant to sit outside on a spring Saturday afternoon.


terenced - 31 Mar 2014 09:27
I'd walked past this pub many times always in a rush. But at last I made time yesterday to pop in . Lovely pub , great atmosphere helped by some Bayern fans bantering in good nature with a local. The beer was tasty Harviestoun IPA , and I wish I could have stayed. Staff also very pleasant and efficient. I'll be back.
canarly - 19 Feb 2014 10:15
Opposite of the TARDIS ... big outside, small inside!!
tortoise68 - 5 Feb 2014 12:48
The Blackfriar is one of my favourite London pubs, due to the wonderful interior and Nicholsons pubs are generally a good bet for a half decent pint. It was very busy on our Friday evening visit, with probably more people outside than inside. But we still managed to get a table after a few minutes. Ales on were Moorhouses White Witch, Orkney Dark Island, Hopback Winter Lightning, Dorset Brewing Co Frosted Jack, Vale Lightning, Nicholsons Pale Ale, Fullers London Pride & Sharps Doom Bar. There are no real ciders.
blue_scrumpy - 26 Jan 2014 17:29
A famous London pub, with grade 2 listed Art Nouveau interior saved from demolition by Sir John Betjeman - many visitors pop in for a drink and to view the decor. Decent selection of real ale, including some bizarre Christmas brews, which sadly the staff seemed to know nothing about, but the food was good. No doubt on the tourist trail, but still worth dropping in for a beer.
Mike_Oxford - 24 Dec 2013 08:40
Nicholsons chain pub, but wow, the decor makes it something special. Unusual shaped building, well worth a trip just to have a look at the inside.

Good range of beers too, a pleasant place for a quick pint
sussexboy - 12 Oct 2013 13:59
Made a special trip across town just to come here. One of our favorite pubs. We had a good lunch and I had two pints of Harviestoun Old Engine Oil. It is so delicious even though it is considered by many to be a non summer brew. I recommend it highly. Could even compete with Old Peculier. A beer festival was going on so they had some interesting guest ales.
endoderm - 6 Aug 2013 02:23
Popped in for a quick pint as my train was delayed. I haven't been here for many years and it's now a Nicholson's pub.

They had their beer festival on so plenty of obscure beers to choose from, my pint from Itchen Valley was good. Back to London prices at £3.60 as I'd spent the day in Shropshire paying £3.00 or less for a pint.

Extremely busy and a large group of blokes I fancy dress of which 2 of them were having a very heated argument that almost ended in a fight...I only wanted a quick pint.

Lovely old building with lots of history, a decent pub none the less.
lezford - 14 Jul 2013 16:20
Amazing decor, of course. Usually a great pint to be had too. Gets packed. Probably the London pub I visit most due to convenience! Really can't fault it, as Nicholson's chain pubs go.
Silsoe - 12 Jul 2013 08:54
Stopped in for a few last week on a ondon visit with family. Had a nice pint of Norfolk Gold, which was a new one for us. I cannot recall others on offer at the time but all the ones we tried seemed to be in good condition. The decor is very nice inside and we were glad to have found it when we did.
fr21555 - 18 Feb 2013 20:07
one of the most overated pubs i have been in
becks007 - 21 Jan 2013 16:49
A must be experienced pub for the decor and the history. Thank John Betjeman that this wasnt knocked down. Now it is a freestanding pub, with all surrounding original buildings gone. I would recommend looking around inside for the decor, but everytime I go, it is so packed that you cannot move. Last night was classic - packed to the rafters and two bar staff on.

Like it for a visit - couldnt stand it to be my local.
Mappiman - 8 Jan 2013 19:28
Had a few beers here yesterday, very interesting place and a gem if you like unusual pub interiors. I would advise you go at aroung 3pm if you want to make the most of it as you will miss the lunchtime crowds and by 4.30, 5pm this place is packed with city workers 'relaxing'. My cooking lager was just passable, not quite rank enough to take back but boarderline, but a couple of tickers came in and seemed to approve of the ale's on offer as had several halves. Didn't try the food, but seems to be standard M&B/Nichollson's fare and for the city, prices seemed fair and the tourist enjoyed it. Woth a visit for the interior alone.
fetchman - 3 Oct 2012 13:48
A decent, traditional pub just over the road from Blackfriars station. My first impressions weren't good as they'd run out of cask ales (apart from a 5.7% caramel ale) apparently due to the Olympics stuff (which I'm glad are over!)
Today's visit was far better however with a decent choice of ales and good food at reasonable prices. Due to the location it gets very busy but also has a seating area outside by the main roads. Certainly worth a visit, if only to see the historic interior!
alexw - 13 Sep 2012 21:32
This is another great pub that looks like its steepeled in history. The decor looks like you are drinking in a monastery. There are wooden pictures of monks on the higher parts of the wall.
A great pub, there is a lengthly bar with a good range of ales and beers on. Serves food but didnt have any, and couldnt say how packed it could get at peek hours.
Well worth checking out
the_original_rawnsleys - 13 Apr 2012 14:40
Busy on a Saturday afternoon with a mixed crowd...typical Nicholsons pub...a little bit on the pricey side compared to others...
d.franks - 25 Mar 2012 17:11
Visited this pub one lunchtime during the week as it's a pub that I've always wanted to check out. There were only a few people in there at that time but can't say how busy it gets in the evening as it may well be packed to the rafters with commuters being so close to Blackfriars station. Had a pint of Jaipur IPA which was 3.15 though there were 3 other ales available. The staff are friendly though I did have to wait a while for food that I ordered. All I had was a sausage bap which at 4.95 I thought was a little steep even for London.

Overall I do recommend a visit if only for the amazing interior - I don't think I've seen another pub like it. Most tables are candlelit which adds to the atmosphere. See you for yourself.

9/10.
wezmiester - 31 Jan 2012 17:38
I love this pub and I just hope it's not starting to go downhill.

I think the entire staff has changed since my last visit 3 weeks ago. Last night they ran out of Tribute, Doombar and London Pride ... which I'm guessing is their 3 biggest selling ales.

Overheard one of the staff telling another customer that they'd had a very busy Sunday, but that's not really a good enough excuse.

Hope it was just a bad day for them, as it's one of my favourite London pubs.
Pat_Bateman - 18 Oct 2011 16:42
Have to agree with last review, some staff attitude is appalling! We had lovely drink on Saturday evening, so decided to come back on Sunday evening for a drink and food... BIG MISTAKE! Drink no problem but after a 20-25 minute wait after ordering, some food came to the dumb waiter opposite our table, it stood there for 10 minutes when the chef came up to tell the barman to remove it, the barman was surly and then we realised it was our food! We refused to accept it and when we complained that we had seen it standing there (but hadn't realised it was opurs) the barman told me off saying "you could have told me it was there!" So it was sent back only for it to reappear and stand there for a further 5 minutes. Again the bar staff ignored it, seemingly unaware of its presence. By this time we were really fed up and asked for a refund. The barman tried to tell me the food had only just come up which we knew it hadn't and agin he blamed me for not telling him it was in the dumb waiter! I was gobsmacked that I was being blamed for his incompetence! I asked what the system was for communicating between kitchen and bar and he reluctantly said there is no system and thrust the refund in my hand. He was horrible, muttered and swore at me. If we hadn't been sitting across from the dumb waiter we'd have been none the wiser except our food would have been cold and congealed. I wouldn't go back and seriously this guy needs the sack.
ciderandpie - 29 Aug 2011 17:16
Might be ok, if they get some staff who actually know what they are doing.

Went in, ordered steak and a beer. For some reason the barman decided to read out every single degree of cooking option available instead of just asking how I'd like it done, which I thought was a little odd. He took my money then started doing other things...without pulling my pint. After a minute or so I realised he must have forgotten (short memory?) so I reminded him, and he promptly pulled one for me. The real fun came when I tried to order dessert. I went up to him and said these exact words "Can I have the Eton Mess, please?" First off he didn't seem to know what I was talking about, then when I did get him to understand without saying a word he started running about all over the pub and into the kitchen. Five minute later he comes back to me and tells me I didn't order an Eton Mess. WTF? I know that. I'm trying to order it! I kept telling him this but he didn't seem to get it. I was on the verge of just telling him to forget it. When I eventually got through to him he took my money and no apology was offered. I should state that I am from London and I don't have a hard to understand accent. I left pretty swiftly once I'd finished my dessert. I won't be heading back. I think I'll stick with the nearby Edgar Wallace whose service and food are always excellent.
Bungle73 - 25 Aug 2011 22:40
Have to disagree with Willsden Seadog.

Of all the Nicholson's pubs I've tried in London, The Black Friar's Ale is by far the best.

The Irish Cellarman who works there, is very dedicated to the task.

Best pint of Tribute I've came across.
Pat_Bateman - 15 Aug 2011 13:43
Incredible Nicholson's pub in the way of history and decor. Felt like a church in some ways.

Beer OK but not brilliantly poured. Definitely one to show visiting friends to the city in the future.
willesden_seadog - 14 Aug 2011 02:13
Visited this pub on Sunday 22 May ,new manager running pub called Jay,
he,s only taken over in the past 2 weeks,very sociable chap. Beers where in excellent condition Sharps Tribute, and Doom bar +Brains Milkwood as guest beer gets quite busy weekdays mainly people stopping by for few drinks after work, weekends much quiter, outside seating availible, toilets
downstairs
beergulper - 23 May 2011 19:30
Visited here last Friday. The interior is rather splendid and packs in the tourists. A good choice of ales were on offer and were fairly well-kept, but the wife's G&T was all tonic and no gin. Service is passable, but the perception that this place is a tourist trap making no effort to attract regulars is unavoidable. I give it a 3 only because of it's charming decor inside, but to be honest I would rather not drink here.
simes69 - 15 May 2011 16:03
Good selection of ales including Tribute, Doom Bar, Rev James, a Royal Wedding special from the Ascot Brewery and a couple of others. Inside is pretty impressive (bar the minging toilets) and it's nice to be able to have a pint sat down outside as long as you don't mind traffic rumbling by. Tribute was 2.85 as well which is not bad for a central London pub.
DuchyBoy - 13 May 2011 08:51
Paid my first visit here last Friday and stumbled across a mini beer festival. To be honest, I wasn't expecting it to be open with most places in the City closed for the public holiday. But the number of people enjoying the sunshine outside was a welcome sign. The interior is splendid. There are engravings above the bar and around the walls, impressive leaded and stained glass windows and plenty of marble and dark wood making it quite moody inside. There is a mosaic ceiling in the impressive back room mirroring the mosaic exterior signage. There are further murals on the exterior. Real ales on were Fullers London Pride, Butcombe Old Vic Bristol Porter, Sharps Doom Bar, Brains Reverend James, Youngs Bitter, Kelham Island Best, St Austell Tribute & Proper Job, Ascot Royal IPA, Leeds Midnight Bell, Vale Special and Adnams Lighthouse. Sadly the only available cider was Aspalls. A very nice pub that only falls down for me with its lack of cider.
blue_scrumpy - 4 May 2011 17:48
The Nicholson's chain is replacing Addlestones Cider with Aspinalls (I think in all of their pubs)

The barman had to pick me up off the floor and wipe my tear stained face with his beer rag.

On the plus side, it did force me back towards a career in ale drinking.

Best pint of Tribute I've ever had.
Closely followed by the lovely stuff that is Flying Dutchman and Trade Winds.

They certainly know what they are doing Ale wise.

As pointed out in other reviews, the toilets have been a disgrace for years. Tiny toilet as well, wouldn't take long to clean / paint.
Pat_Bateman - 16 Mar 2011 15:06
A good pint of Landlord followed by an even better pint of Cairngorm Trade Winds followed by a piss. Nearly brought them back up. WILL SOMEONE PLEASE SCRUB THE URINALS. THE SMELL IS AWFUL.
Hopsucker - 16 Mar 2011 14:01
Quite possibly the best pub in London. Great location, great interior, great beers. Simple as that.

Only qualified with 'quite possibly' as the tiolets leave a bit to be desired...
portugal7 - 17 Dec 2010 11:20
Amazing pub, never been in anything even close, one of my favourites and always try and call in when visiting London. Can never understand why anyone would want to sit outside even on the nicest day, apart from a quick smoke, when the inside is so fascinating. Beer is the usual for Nicholsons, good choice and drinkable, although last time in the first two I went for were both finished. Still wouldn't hold a little thing like that against the place!!
phill1110 - 10 Oct 2010 19:08
A pub lovers pub, a must visit on a day out in London. You will be charmed with the interior. Good beer and food but that comes second to the decor.
Newblade - 30 Sep 2010 17:06
A genuine pub despite it's tourist-friendly designs, The Blackfriar is a Nicholson's pub that serves a decent ale and has dcor that will amaze and delight. If this pub were in any other major European city it would be raved over and celebrated. As it was, Sir John Betjeman and others have to protest back in the 60s to stop the bulldozers demolishing it for ever.
agnes_guano - 24 Sep 2010 12:23
This is something a little special - fantastic decor...good choice of beers..if only every pub was like this...
The_Speckled_Hen - 2 Jul 2010 15:41
Visited at lunchtime and the place was busy. it was a pleasant day though and most punters sat at the tables outside which was fortunate because it meant that the lady wife and I could have a good look round. This is a pub like no other. The interior is all covered in marble and has friezes of monks, doing whatever monks do, on the upper part of the walls. I had a first rate pint of Sharp's Doom Bar at a very reasonable price, in fact it was cheaper than my local! Thoroughly recommended.
doctorpint - 28 Apr 2010 20:55
Fascinating interior and exterior architecture given renewed impetus by enlightened beer policy that had eight interesting real ales on a Friday night. Busy but coped ok. A good place for ornithologists too.
charlie_m - 15 Apr 2010 00:16
good pub with good ale. good weather on a friday meant it was not crowded inside. worth seeking out.
bedfont - 13 Apr 2010 18:51
Impressive pub this, feels like rather special - and a good range of ales to boot with Saltaire Cascade ale and Daleside Morocco ale at the more exotic end. Pub not busy but that's because 'thousands' were drinking outside! Beer prices under 3 generally.
Booze_Allen - 11 Apr 2010 11:19
Historic pub, went on a Friday evening and it was packed with city types. 8 real ales on in good condition and cost about 2.85 which isn't bad for London. Had the food which was OK and uncomplicated.
Abteilung - 10 Apr 2010 12:25
Nice interior, quite interesting.
adamwalsh - 2 Apr 2010 11:11
Nicholsons pubs can be a bit hit and miss in my experience but this turns out to be one of the better ones.
Looks nothing from the outside and I actually worked next door for at least 6 months before I ventured inside.
The interior is something else though and it's well worth the visit for that alone. The front part of the bar is actually quite light which comes as a surprise as from the outside it looks decidedly grubby. You have to visit the room at the back for the full experience though. Architecture that wouldn't look out of place in a church and certainly the most original i've seen in a pub. It's amazing to think that this gem was nearly demolished in the sixties. Not sure if it's listed now but it certainly should be!
Thankfully, the beer is good as well.
London Pride, St Austell Tribute, Timothy Taylors Landlord and Sharp's Doom Bar on this visit, all with tasting notes on the pumps and offers to taste before you buy. Not much to complain about there especially as the prices are low for central London.
All in all, you can do a lot worse in this part of the world.

Cover_Point - 31 Mar 2010 08:49
Just noticed on my last visit, besides the fantastic Addlestones at a great price, this pub also serves Peroni, Erdinger, Staropramen, Stella and Kronenbourg.

Great choice for the lager drinkers.

Has to be one of the best pubs in London.

Staff always quick and friendly.
Pat_Bateman - 18 Mar 2010 11:01
Lovely, unusual pub with unbeatable decor. The beer's always been good when I've been in. The pies are good if you want to eat. It can get crowded, but that's what happens to good pubs.
Royed - 17 Mar 2010 23:22
lovely pub, incredibly cheap - how can this pub be cheaper than my local in Sunbury astonishes me. would definitely recommend a visit, only downside is it a pain to get to
TheGP - 27 Feb 2010 19:21
Astonishing interior and exterior, somewhat ruined by the tacky pub chain paraphernalia. Good selection of real ale, and people (drunk City boys alongside some more underdressed people). If you want a quiet drink where you can chat on a Friday evening, then look somewhere else, as the music is pretty loud (and repetitive - last time there was about 20 minutes of music on loop). That said, it is definitely worth a visit.
jacobross1 - 21 Feb 2010 13:03
Addlestones cider on draught which is very rare in Central London. Even better, it's only 3.10 a pint.
Pat_Bateman - 7 Jan 2010 15:08
A Nicholson's pub, so if familiar with the chain you will probably expect a reasonable selection of real ales that don't quite hit the mark condition-wise. In that case you won't be disappointed, and the Sambrook's Wandle was OK (if served with too much head, and certainly nothing to write home about). However, the interior really is something special so it is certainly worth a visit just to have a look around.
rpadam - 6 Nov 2009 22:52
Nice little pub on a nightmare road junction but you hardly notice that when inside - the decor will astound you. Good selection of beers on tap, even by Nicholsons standards, and a generally nice atmosphere.
Oakman100 - 18 Oct 2009 23:10
Great pub and worth a visit for the interior alone. Food was good and there is a great selection of beers including a number of hand pulled.
thehonesttruth - 6 Oct 2009 23:54
One of the great pub interiors,with alcove seating and drinking areas wrapped around a bar with a marble top .The beer range has expanded with 7 real ales ,a number of which change on a regular basis judging by the collection of pump clips.TT Landlord and Golden Best both well kept and the Harviestoun Bitter and Twisted was in great nick and proved a top session ale.Although we didnt eat,the food seemed popular and looked OK.Good pub on a warm evening due to a large outside seating area which is a good distance from the busy roads nearby.Bar staff efficient even when the pub is busy.Lively ,friendly atmosphere inside the pub and definately worth another visit.
Bucking_Fastard - 1 Sep 2009 11:28
Two or three respectable beers available e.g. Landlord, Pride and service prompt.

But the place is spoilt immeasurably by the excessively loud piped muzak which is wholly out of character with the rest of the pub. I suggest management dispense with it.


_grobag_ - 16 Aug 2009 21:12
I like this pub - the interior, a real work of art, must make it truly unique and it's worth going into the place just to take a look! Amazing now to think that so-called 'modernisers' once wanted to demolish it. Can get crowded inside (being a thin, wedge-shaped building, it's not exactly spacious). Cask ales, including TT's Landlord last time I visited. Decent enough food.
TheHistoryMan - 19 May 2009 19:03
Visited today, a grey and overcast lunchtime. Found the pub half empty so none of the service issues referred to previously. Two well kept pints of Thwaites Lancaster Bomber (glasses topped up without question) - 7 different real ales on - washed down with a tuna melt and chips Mate had steak which was not bad. Only slight downside is the price, even by Nicholsons standards.
twineyboy - 8 May 2009 00:12
Ok Pub. Visited 4 times on a recent trip from Australia. Good beer, amazing building but car be very slow to get served. I also find it always smells a bit inside. The 6X went down very nicely though.
banksy - 20 Apr 2009 07:07
Went on a Sunday when it was quiet and enjoyed the Timothy Taylor. A proud part of our pub heritage thankfully preserved, and delightfully out of place with it's concrete surroundings. A good range of European as well as home grown beers.
DrinKing - 6 Apr 2009 12:01
Great pub to visit, once all the usual crowd (as others have said, City boys and their hangers-on) have gone home or when it's nice enough to sit outside. The interior is amazing and well worth a look. Great range of beers from all over the place.
gomezcat - 4 Apr 2009 15:36
Stunning Art Nouveau interior - amazing to think it was nearly bulldozed in the 60s! Busy with City boys.
mozzzzzz - 20 Jan 2009 12:43
This pub seems to me to be an enigma. The building is amazing, very atmospheric, the beer was good on my visit last night, Landlord was in good (but not amazing condition), the food which I am yet to sample look good on the plate and on the menu. I will go back and sample the meat platter at some points.

The letdowns with this pub were the staff, very slow and rude on the whole, though not all. And the atmosphere was very loud and city boy blah.

silentbob9484 - 19 Dec 2008 14:11
ok, I feel that I should slightly update my initial unmitigatedly enthusiastic review. Since my first visit I have been in a few times for a pie and a pint and I think it is now 50-50 as to whether there is a decent beer on, whether the bar staff know about it if there is and whether or not the pie is hot in the middle. I think it is mostly good.
dan88 - 18 Dec 2008 17:14
Beautiful; old pub, the beer selection is great.

the staff were not sensational but I think the girl was still learning.

it was a bloke named speedy gonzalez that entertained me the most (read into that what you will)
soulfly - 19 Nov 2008 17:11
The pies and the black sheep are excellent.
dan88 - 21 Oct 2008 14:47
Great selection of spirits, lagers and ales. Nice atmosphere and good service.

One thing that let it down was a poor meal with dry chicken
pink_elephant - 28 Aug 2008 15:13
A good allrounder - the sort of pub you can take your family. Service on the ball, food served until quite late (pretty average I have to agree with earlier post). Very good selection of ales albeit 'the majors' - Landlord, Tribute etc - get a micro brewery in!). But the best thing is the look of the pub - in an age of chain bars they've modernised this very sympathetically. 8/10
dry_riser_inlet - 27 Aug 2008 17:33
Worth a trip just for the interior designed by sculptors Nathaniel Hitch, Frederick T. Callcott and Henry Poole in 1904. The well kept Adnams and London Pride are also worth a visit as are the pies - I love pies - which is just as well as every dish offered is a pie of one sort or another - great!!
BobOs - 17 Aug 2008 00:09
It is a strange interior, almost crypt-like with carvings of monks and brass plaques depicting scenes.Interest history. Large seating area to the front which can be a bit noisy with traffic. Good ales available with Summer ales being promoted. I tried Bateman's Thirsty Work which was excellent.
Mothroy - 27 Jul 2008 09:42
Amazing interior designed during the arts and crafts movement. Lots of images of boisterous and slightly lurid monks! Gets very busy but deserves it. Back room is a delight!

Love it!
bobdonelan - 15 Jul 2008 15:00
I love the interior, love the pies, love the ales. I has a nice little outdoor area too, right in the middle of the city. Bravo!
orolain - 30 Jun 2008 23:16
An amazing interior and well kept beer. Food is average and the pub can get a bit busy at times after working hours, but when you go inside it you know its one of those pubs that you had to visit at some point in your life.
CaptainJamesTPint - 23 Apr 2008 15:53
Just went in for the one pint but was impressed enough for another visit in the near future. It was pretty busy on Saturday afternoon but had no problem getting served. the lager was fine and decor impressive. Don't change it.
Wheel154 - 10 Mar 2008 15:14
Went in for a quick look at the inside more than anything. Beer was ok, but not great by any means.
Would be a much better pub I feel, if it wasn't part of the Nicholsons empire.
mrse1 - 10 Feb 2008 13:21
Worth a visit for the decor alone. Beer good.
GaryB59 - 7 Feb 2008 17:52
I visited on a Saturday afternoon at about 1500 - It was busy but quiet. Had a pint of Cornish something, which was very palatable, I should have taken a note of the name (D'oh!) Good to see that Weston's organic cider is available in bottles - it's lovely stuff. I had a pie. An Aberdeen Angus and veg. Very nice but at 7:45 possibly a tad pricey.
The Art Deco decor is unusual and well worth having a close look at.
thewednesdayfrog - 4 Feb 2008 10:19
Went yesterday for a pre Christmas beer with some other old buggers like myself.... This is one of those pubs that has been improved immeasurably by the smoking ban as you used to have to cut your way in through the fog ! I never thought I would be saying this as I thought the ban would remove all the atmosphere from most pubs. In the case of the Blackfriar the atmosphere remains as do the friendly barstaff - who'll probably now live 5 years longer - and the excellent beer and food. Oh and it's a bit of a looker as well!!! Recommended.
chippysupper - 25 Dec 2007 11:07
Nothing has changed since the last time I was here (12 years ago) - and thats a good thing!

Very busy pub after office hours. Serves food until 10pm. They have this 'Nicholsons Pie' thing - never heard of it before, but boy - they are excellent!! Game pie, Mash, veg and a pint or two - unbeatable.

Service is so so.
Minesapint63 - 7 Nov 2007 11:15
Stopped in here for one last night on the way back to Blackfriars station. They normally have 3 or 4 on, usual stuff with the odd unusual one. Last night I tried the Bateman's Valiant which was OK. I noticed that they had Weston's Perry on too.

Nothing special for beer but you will always get some real ale.
GuideDogSaint - 9 Oct 2007 23:07
Really unique architecture, features and stuff with a Medieval/Victorian feel. Great location and range of ales. Staff were good, and the facilities above average. Thumbs up.
Fart - 26 Sep 2007 19:06
Good range of real ales. Intrusive (IMHO) music inside, so we sat outside. Didn't notice any weird smells inside.
anonymous - 10 Sep 2007 15:00
You have to visit just for the interior, you will not see anything like this anywhere.


ukmysterycustomer - 10 Aug 2007 18:11
Good well kept real ales, tried it out whilst on the Dick Whittington Ale trail
alewhale - 9 Jul 2007 20:41
I've enjoyed coming to this pub a few times before, principally because it offers a genuine old London pub atmosphere. However, last night the service was appalling - slow and rude. What's more, later on near closing time I saw a rat running down the stairs when coming up from the toilets only to see a mouse scurrying across the pub floor. When I told one of the members of staff they were indifferent. Not good for a pub that sells food. Perhaps too genuine a old London pub atmosphere.
jg6882 - 23 May 2007 17:22
Fantastic interior with a decent pint served by friendly bar staff
Pidley2547 - 21 May 2007 19:16
Should be tried at least once. A gorgeous interior and a great selection of ales, tragically spoiled by the said ales being far too cold. I can't say I noticed the smell, but a friend of mine has commented on it too so perhaps that's just my faulty sinuses. Your mileage may vary, but do check it out for the decor if nothing else.
Ghoti - 14 May 2007 17:20
Me and my friend had regulary passed this pub, and longed to enter since we were not yet eighteen. After finally reaching that age we decided our first pub together would be The Black Friar, or as we like to call it, 'The Monk Pub'. All I can say is, it was well worth the wait. The interior is beautiful; despite being made in the 1800's, there is definate medieval characteristics to the place, creating an almost 'homely' vibe. Even though it seemed we were the only two people who weren't coming for a quiet drink after work, we didnt at all feel out of place. This was probably due to the various carvings of monks near the ceiling, which we found rather amusing. Therefore overall, pretty good. The staff were very friendly, the food was divine, for a pub anyway (you must try the beer-battered fish and chips), and really, a nice location next to the thames and adjacent to blackfriars station. So go and have a look!
ladylaughalot - 8 May 2007 21:48
Paid my first visit for some time a few weeks ago and had a very good pint of "Timothy Laylor Tandord" as my somewhat inebriated mate confessed to having said to the bar staff when ordering. Must visit again.

MINTYBOOM - 2 May 2007 11:14
Fascinating interior. Elgoods Golden Newt on guest was in good condition. A bit of a squeeze but I didn't expect any different on a Friday evening. If people have noticed a funny smell, they may notice it in a few more pubs once it's not smothered by cigarette smoke! Would visit again if nearby.
kchef - 22 Apr 2007 20:14
On a preternaturally warm April Saturday, finding an open pub (emerging from the City) selling both Broadside and Landlord (and two other changing beers) with an affordable, if unspectacular, scampi and chips (7) and a place to sit outside was a delight. The pub has a leaflet of pub walks relating to other Nicholsons pubs.
drtimthornton - 16 Apr 2007 14:08
To the 5th Earl of Wimborne - My Lord, I would not dispute your contention that trade across the industry as a whole will fall when the smoking ban is effected in July, but I still contend that it is likely that trade in the Blackfriar will pick up when it is not the only pub in the area with a smoking ban! We must "wait and see" as a great man once said.
RexRattus - 26 Mar 2007 17:57
I went in on a Sunday. I dont really get some of the previous comments about the smell (maybe they have noted the moans on this site) it was precisely the absence of the smell of smoke that was instantly noticeable and warmly welcome; no other lavatorial odours were present either. That wasnt all; the beer (I think it was Adnams Broadside) was very good but most impressive is the interior. It really is something different wonderfully unique and original and I understand built in an Art Nouveau style at the very beginning of the 1900s. I didnt eat but the food seemed to go down well the enormous girl adjacent to my table was shovelling it in, washed down with her pint - but she hardly eats a thing, honest.....


LovePubs - 26 Mar 2007 11:38
Tim Taylor's Landlord on draft, bliss.... But why does the pub always smell of wee?
avotech - 23 Mar 2007 22:39
"but hopefully trade will pick up when all pubs are non-smoking" - I wouldn't put money on it. It was reported on the radio this norning ( B.B.C. Home Service ) that since the smoking ban was introduced into Scotland a year ago, trade has fallen by 11% and jobs have been lost to the industry as a result.

I still rate The Blackfriar at 8/10, for the interior if nothing else.
5thearlofwimbourne - 22 Mar 2007 10:30
In here for lunch today for the first time in about a year. Didn't notice the bad spells reported by previous reviewers and the pint of Landlord I had was just fine. But maybe I hit it on a good day. Anyway, this is a late Victorian pub with some of the most spectacular internal marble and brass decorations to be seen anywhere that were added around the beginning of the last century. Pretty empty for a weekday lunchtime - possibly a result of the no-smoking policy, but hopefully trade will pick up when all pubs are non-smoking.
RexRattus - 19 Mar 2007 23:44
On our last night in Londan (12/3/07) we had a traditional "pie" and ale at this quaint pub.It was refreshingly smoke-free...........wonderful time!!
njnkp - 15 Mar 2007 22:48
This is a great pub. It is in my top three. Beautiful interior and seven cask ales to choose from. I had Everard's Pitch Black stout and Tiger. Food was good and service was fine. It will be my first stop of many next time I'm in London. Well done Blackfriar.
endoderm - 6 Mar 2007 22:57
I called in again in the first week of February (07). Every handpump had handwriten tasting notes on Cask Marque clip add-ons. I had had a pint of Youngs oridary a few hours before in Diamond Jacks, and tried one here. It was vile! Almost crystal clear, but tasing like a drain sump. I left a near full pint. I have not had a good pint here for over a year. I will not be going again until I read on here that the beer has become drinkable.
bradwan - 16 Feb 2007 21:14
Okay, folks...you wanna know why people think this pub "smells bad"??? That's because it's a non-smoking pub. Coming from a city that's had the smoking ban in effect for a few years, I can tell you that

Non Smoking Pubs Smell A Little Funny.

That's the smell of spilled/dried beer, that the smoke usually covers up. So, get used to it London, because come July 1, every pub is going to "smell bad", sadly!! The Black Friar is a lovely place (just went there last night for the first time, expecting WRETCHED smells but we only smelled non-smoking-pub smell.)


anonymous - 26 Jan 2007 13:04
I have brought many friends here to show them the amazing carving, and I will again; but wish it was managed properly. It is not so much the dirty, which does not bother me, and the smells I could tolerate; but the quality of beer is bad, because it is not looked after properly. All of this, and the hit and miss attitude of the staff strongly suggests managers who just do not care
bradwan - 25 Jan 2007 16:30
Building has genuine character and, on the face of it, pub has a decent rotating real ale selection but, fatally, all beers are chilled to the bone. Also suffers from the usual bored, listless service of many pubs in the area. Always crowded...
wee_eck - 24 Jan 2007 15:32
I didn't believe the reviews at first, but I was here Sunday and it's true - this place absolutely reeks, and of different things in different places, all of which are nasty. It's like a Museum of Bad Smells.

I'm surprised that Nicholson's has allowed this pub to deteriorate to what it is now. I don't particularly like the Nicholson's franchise, but I at least respected how they keep their pubs...until now.

topdog_andy - 12 Jan 2007 14:29
My colleages and I have been in here a fair amount over the last 8 months we are working locally untill March 07 but we no longer go here as we have finally become fed up with the bad smell, and the flies in the summer were very offputting. The girls behind the bar were fine and I liked sitting outside even though it is a busy road. It's a good place to start on a Friday night after work but it does need a damn good clean.
f90x - 22 Dec 2006 20:10
Went in on a slow afternoon. Nice time to go and check out the furnishings. The beer was okay. The food less than impressive. The service surly at best.
jorrocks - 19 Dec 2006 04:36
Nice drop of London Pride, reasonably priced for both food and drink and very interesting decor. We went on a Sunday and although it wasn't too busy we had to wait around for a decent table to eat at.
brammers - 20 Nov 2006 13:59
beautiful building outside and in, beer ok and not too pricey.much of a muchness really.
DirtyPanda - 18 Nov 2006 12:34
Oh woe is me. At one time a lovely pub and a great place for lunch. What the hell happened?? The same manager is there, most of the staff are the same. Why oh why has this wonderful pub been left to decay in a pool of stale urine, and vomit?
Zaphod - 16 Nov 2006 13:32
I ate there and got amoebic-dysentery. Actually that's not true, but it might be: the place is slums-of-calcutta-squalid. Nice interior blah, blah, which is neither here nor there when it is fly-infested, and everything you touch you stick to.
asdfasdf - 2 Nov 2006 14:20
This is one of the most beautiful pubs in London.
Unfortunately they don't seem that interested in cleaning, I think that might be the source of those flies mentioned before. Nice beer and amazing scenery, just be warned of the smell coming from downstairs...
Shagsy - 30 Oct 2006 15:25
Visited for 1st time last night to get a free T shirt in the Dick Whittington Ale Trail. Pub decorated for Halloween which added to the visual experience, which is very interesting. Was crowded inside so sat outside for a while, traffic a bit too much. Will be going again, but not on a Friday night.
Fullerspubcollector - 28 Oct 2006 22:53
Amazing interior, as you can see from the pictures. Nice beer, and a reasonable selction of it too. But boy does this place need a good clean. As noted, little flies everywhere! Really quite minging, and this pub deserves better. Could be a fantastic pub but isn't because someone has hidden the bucket and mop.
Muzthing - 28 Oct 2006 12:57
Went there tonight to escape the rain... and wasn't impressed. Little flies everywhere - landing on your pint, in front of your face... on the tables. Disgusting. And a nasty smell near the bar that makes it impossible to enjoy your drink, (a range of the usual Stells to some guest ales) assuming you can get past the flies. Very disappointing, I usually enjoy Nicholson's pubs.
ONscotland - 25 Oct 2006 21:07
If you want to see what the future holds, visit this pub. The Black Friar has gone completely non-smoking in advance of next summer's ban. Having said that, this is a very pleasant pub conveniently opposite the BR station - good range of ales on tap and nice atmosphere. I've been there a few times both before and after they banned smoking, and can't say that the atmosphere has changed at all. One problem is that on my last visit there was a strong smell of cooking fish around the bar - which in the old days was probably masked by the smoke.
Crow_Valley - 25 Oct 2006 18:21
Just spent Sunday lunchtime here. We had a couple of pints of Adnam's Broadsides and Aspell's cider on tap - both very good. Food is typical Nicholson's bar menu, properly cooked and well served. No smoking bar, plenty of seats outside. Impressed by the design, of course. Previous comments about the clientele have to be read in conjunction with Nicolson's own web site which says the pubs are "primarily catering for city workers and tourists" so, er, don't be surprised to find suits and backpackers here.
padthesaint - 24 Sep 2006 19:16
Had a few in here the other afternoon, beer was nice, as it usually is on my visits. I've never noticed the smell myself but I've never bothered going when it's busy so could be wrong. The building is fantastic. Saw the food but didn't eat it. The bloke who seemed to be in charge looked like he'd been on the sauce since 10am last wednesday, or is he just a friendly regular?
mitomighty - 18 Sep 2006 15:24
Whilst it is hard to believe that some people want to stand outside and drink on a traffic island, inside (if you ignore the Wetherspoon's-style sticky tables) the food is a cut above standard pub-grub and the real ales (I tried 'em all) were quite adequately kept. Cocktail bar at the Savoy it aint.... but it is an interesting, real ale, railway station boozer.
Raimundo - 18 Sep 2006 12:38
No it's the pub you alone want to love. Everyone else thinks it's dirty, smelly, neglected and sells bad beer and reheated food. If you think it's so good start drinking there.
anonymous - 28 Aug 2006 18:00
savagepink / simes69 - couldn't have put it better myself.

This is the pub we all want to love. I think it is an absolute treasure, but nonetheless somewhere I very rarely actually drink, despite the fact I live close to it and regularly pass by.
anonymous - 22 Aug 2006 11:07
Surprisingly good beer considering how grotty the building is. I visit the Black Friar now and again to see if they've managed to clean it up a bit. This is a grade II listed premises saved from demolition and is well worth a look. However, it is very badly in need of a sympathetic clean and restore. The stink inside is really awful, there are clear signs of rodent infestation (yes really!). They do serve real beer and if its not too crowded you'll get a nice pint. Note to the owners: you really need to raise your game a bit here, you are destroying a historic building by neglect.
Haldir - 22 Aug 2006 09:59
Left the Blackfrair feeling like Darrell Hair. All looked set fair- stunning interior non-smoking pub and great beer. Sadly the beer was served up very short- had to embarrassingly ask for a top-up. The unspoken truth here is that you are accusing the team of cheating.
BlindTiger - 21 Aug 2006 19:33
A nice pub to go to at lunchtimes when it's not too crowded. However, a recent evening when it was not particularly busy visit saw the gents ankle deep in piss and the bar manager practically throwing beer into a glass. Although there's plenty of space to drink outside, you are adjacent one of the busiest traffic junctions in London. Very very disappointing.
simes69 - 14 Jun 2006 21:12
Passed by on Saturday and was surprised to find it open on the weekends now. Totally full of tourists and a few stray builders but then there really isn't much in the neighbourhood to attract anyone who doesn't work nearby or happen to be passing as we were. We both had bottles of Weston organic cider so I can't speak for any of the draught beers. The building is beautiful but I agree the decor is a bit worse for the wear and there is an underlying stench which was lessened by the doors being open on a sunny day. Food served which we didn't try, but looked of the unremarkable, frozen/deep fried variety. Seems a shame not to spend a bit to bring such a fantastic looking pub in such a prime location a better experience.
Savagepink - 15 May 2006 16:26
Nice pint of deuchers ipa in here. Visited on a hot sunny friday lunchtime so outside was a mass with suit's.
No smoking pub, but as previously mentioned it does pong a bit.

My Rating 7/10
fat_beer_badger - 11 May 2006 16:44
Agree with Henners... this is a fine pub, although it seems to be filled with either tourists or suits. It's also the *only* pub I've found in London where the Taylor Landlord tastes pretty much how it's supposed to taste. There are just so many pubs in the city where they just don't have a clue how to keep it.
sfocata - 10 May 2006 22:15
Would disgree that the pub in a national treasure. The beer is atrocious and the place stinks. Damn fine decor granted- but more of a tourist attraction than a pub.
anonymous - 27 Apr 2006 15:56
This pub is a national treasure,the beer is served well,the Timothy Taylors Landlord is good,the Landlord is miserable ! It does pong a little these days but is still a must see pub.
Henners - 27 Apr 2006 10:14
You are not wrong, Stonch.
JohnBonser - 13 Apr 2006 12:40
The comment about people in this pub being too lazy to walk to "Fleet Street's gems" is pure comedy. Granted there are some quality boozers on Fleet Street, but the Blackfriars is a national treasure and holds its own in any company.
anonymous - 13 Apr 2006 09:14
Great arts and crafts interior that must be seen. Food is fine for pub food and the wine list is good.
Not sure what tombola had been sticking up his/her nose but the place smelt fine, for a pub.
jackthelad - 12 Apr 2006 21:54
Visually a great pub, ok drinks, staff have always been good when I've been there. The problem? It stinks. You'd expect fresh air in a non-smoking pub, right? Wrong - you've got the smell of stale battered cod and chips, and it's not appealing (I don't smoke btw). For tourists, Blackfriars commuters, and people too idle to walk to Fleet St's gems only.
anonymous - 11 Mar 2006 15:26
Musta been there on good days. Ale was always good. Tremendous place but why would anyone wanna drink outside it. Moukalakaheeki!!
anonymous - 7 Mar 2006 17:17
This is one of the most amazing pubs I have ever been in. You have to see it to believe it! The inside is way over the top but it will keep you occupied whilst you drink ya pink. Only one member of staff on but he's was working very hard and we were only kept waiting a few moments. Good selection of ale on tap.
I cannot stress how much anyone in the area should visit this pub.
anonymous - 3 Mar 2006 21:55
Rightly known more for its decoration than its ales, this is a pub to show people rather than one to treasure for a quiet pint. That said, it IS a heck of a show, with a ludicrously overdone interior that gets a chuckle out of me every time I stop in. Definitely a hub for any pub crawl of the area.

The beer is average, and I've had more than one iffy pint there--the London Pride is usually in shape, though, so stick to that. The staff is changeable from one visit to the next, and I've met very friendly and borderline sociopathic barstaff there.
Hodsthorn - 28 Feb 2006 15:00
We did the Black Friar as a part of our NI-crawl (Pubs of National Historic Interest) in central London. A large room split into a number of drinking areas. Mosaic interior all over with words of truth written at the walls. A heritage pub, but otherwise fairly average. We had a honey sweet and dry pint of Jennings Golden Host before we crawled further on to the Salisbury in Covent Garden.
rune - 16 Feb 2006 12:24
I have often wondered that - I think its due to this reason - when you are in a crowd of office workers most people generally REFUSE to go anywhere other than the nearest possible pub/bar to the office, and therefore you always end up in the most random places
anonymous - 16 Feb 2006 11:23
In response to Mr Boss Hog, I've never found the beer or the staff anything less than fine.
JohnBonser - 16 Feb 2006 11:21
Aside from the great decor, I hate everything about this pub. The beer is criminally bad, the place stinks and the staff are surly. For some unknown reason certain ex-colleagues decided to make this our 'local' so have had to endure this place on a few occasions.

Question: why do hordes of clowns insist on drinking 'al fresco' here in the summer when it is equivalent to drinking in a traffic island??? It surrounded on 2 of 3 side with pollution-belching taffic, for Gods sake"!$"
anonymous - 16 Feb 2006 10:42
The food is the strong point in this pub. When I worked in the area, this place provided some great meals, and the no-smoking policy made them more enjoyable.

The Tim Taylor beers are also great.

This pub should be done on a Fleet Street crawl, along with The Old Bell, Cheshire Cheese, Tipperary etc.
AshingdonMan - 13 Feb 2006 14:16
This used to be one of my favourite places. Unfortunately it has gone downhill. What is that dreadful smell? It certainly isn't smoke. It's very off putting. The wine, though cheap, is dreadful, bordering on undrinkable. I'm so disappointed. I hope it picks up again! The staff, however, are very sweet and helpful.
pippalee - 13 Feb 2006 14:02
I can't add much to what people have already said. I particularly enjoy sitting in the side room before or after a visit to Tate Modern (which is ten minutes walk away).
clissold345 - 12 Feb 2006 20:46
Beautiful little pub, great pint (Taylor's Landlord) and the added bonus of a smoke-free atmosphere
DewiWyn - 3 Feb 2006 12:45
TT Landlord was very good & the food was fine for a chain (Nichollson's) pub. The interior should make this a must for anyone visiting a pub in London.

As for the smoking policy, if you don't like it, then go outside. It makes the pub a far better place for the majority.
Wilson_MacDonald - 3 Feb 2006 12:15
Good selection of ale topped by TT Landlord in good order. No smoking policy sadly confirmed. Hardly seems necessary given the draught that blows through the place. Good for a quick one before the train departs. However, when Thameslink is in serious "we-regret-to-announce" mode, the Old Bell in Fleet St is a better option.
Hopsucker - 17 Jan 2006 15:21
Just confirmed with the manager. Its been smoke free since Nov 2004. Give it another try.
Zaphod - 12 Jan 2006 14:45
I've been loads of times, last time I went was just before the General Election last year and there was definitely smoking then.
anonymous - 10 Jan 2006 17:08
Stonch & anonymous (jan 3) may actually want to visit the pub before commenting on it. Its been smoke free with no ashtrays for over a year now.
Zaphod - 10 Jan 2006 15:51
Beer seems good but they need to look after the place a bit more, empty the ashtrays and stuff. The art nouveau interior is fantastic and very unusual of course. In a rather undesirable location, though came in handy a couple of years ago when I got stuck here during a tube strike.
anonymous - 9 Jan 2006 11:53
Great. Just like having a pint inside the V&A. Service is a bit patchy... there always seem to be at least one leatherette bench covered in crisps. Beer can be a bit variable, too.

"dark and smoky inside"... you say that like it's a bad thing.
Albert_Campion - 6 Jan 2006 13:18
Cant see the attraction - dark and smoky inside
anonymous - 3 Jan 2006 22:15
This was marvellous!! Some nice guest Ales, cool decor, odd looking building. Every pint I've had in here has been top notch! Loved it, will take foreign visitors!
mitomighty - 29 Nov 2005 16:07
If you're drinking Fosters you really can't complain - you obviously have no taste buds.

This is a great pub with wonderful decor and a fine pint of Tim Taylors (that's beer, Mr Fosters!).
strangebuttrue - 15 Nov 2005 14:14
Without doubt - the very worst Pint of fosters in the UK. I left it there!
pbnconsulting - 3 Nov 2005 12:07
This is the exception to the rule. I typically avoid pubs near train stations and tube stops. This one is a must see. The marble, alabaster and reliefs of the Monks is pretty cool. The Timothy Taylors Landlord is worth going back alone. Standard Nicholson's menu items.
jorrocks - 25 Oct 2005 01:55
Still a beautiful pub, frequented by tourists and suits alike depending on the day of the week and the time of day. Their food has gone downhill. No more little roast potatoes with rosemary - now it's potato wedges. Don't ask for gravy on your pie, their gravy was a gelatinous blob of black(!) goo over the vegetables as well as the pie and mash. At least they do decent drinks and real onion rings, breaded, rather than the chopped up stuff in some batter and fried.
caradea - 20 Sep 2005 10:17
A must see pub that is just seconds from the tube stop. I liked it so much I went back the next day. Ales are in great form and well kept. Decor is one-of-a-kind. Make sure you stop here for at least one!
ale_brewer - 14 Aug 2005 14:26
Enjoyable pub with a great interior. Stank a little like someone puked in there when I went. I assume that's not the norm.
jaykoivu - 27 May 2005 03:13
One of my fave pubs in London, seriously spooky and great atmosphere! and the No Smoking rule is just an added bonus!!!
VaVaVoom14 - 22 May 2005 15:54
A pubby pub but with no smoking which is really good. Helpful pleasant staff.This must rate as the first theme pub. Arts and crafts - compare the tapestry and fireplace at the Coal Hole. Nice beer. A good start or end to a visit to the Tate over the river. Or just don't bother with the Tate.
thelardyman - 12 Apr 2005 16:03
A pub as a work of art.
Homage to the Arts & Crafts movement...completely unique. One to take the overseas guest to...The designers should have cut down on the opium tho...
AusseiMatt - 5 Apr 2005 16:01
i like this one,...nice feel to it,..just far enough from the city to feel normal,..has a nice look and to it,..good/low marble bar,..dark ambience, similar to Crokers near lisson grove or the warro in maida vale....

Hang on,... i have just read the other reviews and apparently they have now made it non smoking,.........its political correctness gone mad,...shame
kmcs - 31 Mar 2005 13:43
I recently made my first visit since the pub went smoke free. I thought the new policy only enhanced what is already a great pub experience. It did not seem to detract from business as the place was packed as usual with the after work crowd and this was a Thursday nite. I hope other establishments consider a smoke-free alternative.
anonymous - 27 Mar 2005 23:34
Fantastic that one can enjoy a pint without smelling like a dirty ashtray afterwards. Good ale, good food. Getting really busy at lunch times now. An upside to the smoke free policy.
Zaphod - 17 Mar 2005 14:23
Can't really add much to Foxski's comments on the interior design. Unique in its parodic homage to the arts and crafts movement, this place really has to be experienced to be truly appreciated. It was, during the 1960s earmarked for demolition, but was saved thanks to an outcry from famous voices who opposed the destructive consequences of unbridled post-war modernism (just look how hideous is the nearby Blackfriars station). The Blackfriar also had a very well kept range of beers on my last visit, with tasting notes to help you choose and friendly staff who were willing to provide you with a 'taster'. I believe it doesn't open at weekends, which is a pity
thequaffer - 17 Mar 2005 13:51
Excellent pub as ever, as described by previous contributors, but seemed a bit quiet yesterday evening. Has the decision to go "no smoking" throughout driven the crowds away, I wonder ?
JohnBonser - 19 Jan 2005 13:01
A very beautiful pub, round the corner from St Paul's Cathedral - worth visiting for the architecture alone. As they say in the menu, it's an "art nouveau Grade II listed masterpiece". Incredible marble, alabaster, brass carvings, mirrors, murals, various objets d'art and a truly wonderful arched room. They do a delicious pint of Timothy Taylor's Landlord (London Pride and other ales were off when I visited on a Sunday afternoon). Friendly, cosy atmosphere, inexpensive tasty meals and a friendly barman. It's also a non-smoking pub, which is a lovely change you're a non-smoker.
foxski - 16 Jan 2005 22:54
Very original Pub. So lovely for me and my girl in a quiet evening of january...
ilfaccino - 11 Jan 2005 16:13
A classic pub with well cared for real ales. Always had good friendly service, good food, and too much really good ale. In the summer it can get arms and legs with the crowd spilling out onto the pavement. That just adds to the atmosphere. Quite possibly the most architecturally beautiful pub in London. The marble has to be seen to be believed.
Andrew - 9 Nov 2004 16:23
excellent place to have lunch, especially in the summer outside, good range of food beer was like the service very good, highly reccomend
David - 8 Oct 2004 10:07
I was impressed by the decoration, and there was a nice selection of real ales.
Edward - 10 Sep 2004 12:30
Nice interior
Peter - 6 Jul 2004 13:06
Interesting pub with good friendly vibe. Real ales available - the Timothy Taylor's Landlord was lovely. The only downside was that it got quite smokey - a non-smoking part would be nice.
Graham - 24 Jun 2004 17:06
Great little pub, lucky find when waiting for a friend.

Beer was good as was the variety, staff ok.
petergoesrock - 18 Jun 2004 11:06
Beautiful building, it does seem to lack something though - probably over-managed by some chain pub firm.
Darryl - 12 Apr 2004 17:37
Great looking building - looks like it got forgotten when the surrounding area got redeveloped, and they've just left it there in the middle of the road! (well that's how it looks from Blackfriars Bridge)
I'd always meant to pop in - unfortunately, I have to agree with Lawrence though - I went on a Saturday afternoon recently, and have not met such a rude barman in years! Sadly, I'll have to leave it a while before returning.
gilesd - 29 Mar 2004 08:28
Lovely building, good location. Nnever got to try the beers because the barman was amongst the most rude and arrogant of people I have met, decided to spend my money elsewhere. Could be ok if the barman was changed and the bar didn't fall apart on approach.
Lawrence - 29 Mar 2004 08:18
Great friendly place, and the architecture in the end room is a superb setting to drink a few ales. Once the chefs hours become more stable the place will have little faults bar the lack of sports action on a big screen.
Blair - 11 Mar 2004 14:25
Surely the best pub on the circle line
Captain - 2 Mar 2004 11:11
Can't fault the building or the service, but somehow it just lacks character.
andrew1961 - 7 Dec 2003 14:05
They don't make 'em like this anymore. Truly outstanding decor. You can't fault a place like this unless you take a disliking to the clientelle or some other unquantifiable factor. A must see.
Good for: True pub aficionados
thenationofjames - 1 Dec 2003 13:54
Best pub interior I can think of. Very cozy and Art Deco. I recommend going in the evening when things quiet down.
Katie - 9 Nov 2003 00:12
Not just my fave London pub, but my favorite drinking establishment on the planet. I can't get enough of the interior. Oh the hours (and brain cells)I have wasted here. Perfect.
Jeff - 8 Oct 2003 00:23
I must agree with Stef. The seats are wonky. The place gets extremely crowded around noon. The interior is something that should be seen at least once. The beer was only satisfactory but I was hit on which is sometimes a plus.
Charles - 30 Jul 2003 11:31
Wonky seats.
Stef - 4 Jul 2003 15:27
The barman seemed rather aggressive when we we selecting wines. He looked like he had been in the job too long Great for watching buses go by (plenty of routes) You can crawl to the tube if needs be
Gavin - 4 Jul 2003 15:22
Interior decorations are great. My wife reckons it's a better place than the usual dumps I've taken her in round London
Boothers - 11 Apr 2003 10:47
Weel worth popping in if only for the marble frieze interior
Mark - 18 Sep 2002 16:33

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