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Cockpit, Blackfriars

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user reviews of the Cockpit, Blackfriars

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

Agree with the comments. Interesting old school building and pub, and I like the staff and clientele. However I always drink lager or cider here; I don't think I can rank it above a 6 much as I like it because the cellar management is awful; beer, whether that's Landlord, Adnams or anything else I've chanced here in recent years is barely drinkable (at best).
mike_s - 20 Dec 2018 15:40
My first ever visit to this interesting and busy pub on a Thursday evening.

Stain glass windows and a barrelled door on the side give the pub a homely feel. Feels like it’s stuck in the 80’s which is nice as most of the other pubs in the area are more modern and either chains or a tad soulless, this one certainly isn’t with loads of jugs hanging around the walls as well as being fully carpeted.

I feel I also have to mention the toilets in the cellar which don’t seem to be cleaned that often and are extremely small, adds to the fun of the pub!

2 ales on my pint of Timothy Taylor landlord was drinkable but not that great.

I’m glad I was brought here as I don’t think I would ever have found it.

lezford - 25 Dec 2016 08:53
Dropped in to catch one of the Euros on the big screen. First impression is of a classic old school boozer. But, cellar management, along with toilet cleaning are clearly not on the agenda here. Quite possibly the worst pint of Taylor Landlord I have ever been served in a pub.
alebarry - 7 Jul 2016 09:05
Stumbled across this little gem by accident on Saturday afternoon. A proper pub,no food, no tea or coffee, just customers happily drinking (and watching sport on TV if desired). Well worth finding.
Aztecgoat - 7 Feb 2015 21:36
Agree with most of the below comments.
Was dead as dodos when I was in there. Was 7pm before some importantant Sky football game. Luckily for me.
Just oozzes pub. See for yourselves, it ooozes pub.

albertfox - 20 Mar 2014 23:27
Cosy back street pub, unusually for the location open on Sundays - had an excellent pint of Landlord (£3.90).
saffrons - 18 Feb 2014 12:28
Had a couple of nice pints of Adnams one afternoon. Being a Sunday there were free nibbles available: cheese and crackers and the like. Interesting old pub.

Regulars congregated at the bar while the lower level had a variety of tourists and even a group of St Pauls Cathedral volunteers who could be heard chatting about bishops...different from the usual football banter.

Well worth popping into on the way to Blackfriars station, as an alternative to the Blackfriar.
MrBabble - 21 Jan 2014 16:27
Very nice secluded pub with an authentic old pub charm. Had a half of Marston's Pedigree at a pound and ninety pence. Tasted great.
endoderm - 6 Aug 2013 02:27
Once again, my camra real ale pubs of London unearths a gem. In the nicest way possible, this is like going to a working museum. Enter the doors, admire the decor that hasnt changed since the 50s and listen to the bar hangers, with dialogue straight from a Marina Cole novel. Particulalry impressed bu the barman passing around what looked like a bottle of woodward reserve bourbon. It was 7:45 on a Monday.

A real find, in a tucked away part of Ldn.
Mappiman - 8 Jan 2013 19:32
Had an excellent pint with ham egg and chips in here today. Freindly staff and fellow punters, well worth looking up if in the area. Even the bar flies are friendly!
TommyRogers1979 - 27 Dec 2012 20:56
Cult venue... about three minutes walk from St Paul's Cathedral but you'll need a map because it is hidden away... the cockfighting history adds to it... the amazing pair curved doors to enter the premises something you don't see often.

I think a tourist would imagine this is what a British pub is meant to be like.
NLBS - 16 May 2012 13:41
Called in on Sunday afternoon. Lovely pub, good beer, friendly landlord. Very nice cheese and biscuits provided gratis. Could have stayed all night, sad that I couldn't!
krmurrell - 30 Apr 2012 18:15
I really worry about some people - AdamWalsh on this occasion.

The Cockpit is a very small, traditionally blokey sort of pub in the middle of the City. The City is an area which does tend to be male dominated much less so than was the case.

And you think the fact there were men in it means it might be a gay pub? Good grief!

As for it being bland - did you look upwards to where you can stll see the galleries from the time when it was ...wait for it.. a cockfighting arena. Now you can say what you like about cockfighting but you can't really say it's bland, Can you?

Proper old fashioned pub for people who, like, me like that sort of thing and a fascinating piece of London's history.

CityDog - 24 Jan 2012 17:01
I went to this pub years ago and it was fantastic! I am looking to contact John Tanton. He is my uncle and I would like to reestablish contact.
Lordwark - 16 Oct 2011 10:57
Great little boozer off the beat and track...went in on a Sunday afternoon...relatively quiet, but lucky to see a pub open on a Sunday in the City...apparently built on the site of Shakepseare's house...
d.franks - 8 Oct 2011 17:11
Went in on a Saturday afternoon.

Courage Directors, Best; Adnams Bitter and Bombardier, which was 3.50 a pint and was kept well. Character corner pub, worth visiting if in the area sightseeing.
ParchgoldBiz - 23 Jan 2011 13:46
Pretty bland place - lots of men - really not sure if gay pub or not! A bit odd............
adamwalsh - 1 Jul 2010 20:18
Came in this pub as part of a stag do crawl in January on a Saturday afternoon. Great service and beer and I would definitely recommend it if you're in the area. As well as us the place was full of wedding guests (and vicar) before a wedding over the road at the church.
thehonesttruth - 6 Oct 2009 23:52
Lovely pub with the most famous (and spoilt) dog within 5 miles of St Pauls!

The Ringwood Fortyniner is a pleasant addition......
brodie_bruce - 13 Sep 2009 17:16
I was in here yesterday evening to meet a mate and was reasonably impressed.

The beer on tap was pretty good, the atmosphere quite welcoming and overall managed to pass a couple of very pleasant hours.

Disappointed that there was no food available (not even the famous Scotch Eggs).

Its a good pub to know about for when you are in the are but not one that I think I would make a special trip to visit.

dGriz - 15 Jul 2009 14:28
Lovely "local" pub - a real find in this part of the City. Interesting building inside and out, good beer, friendly bar staff
mozzzzzz - 20 Jan 2009 12:40
A public house in the true sense of the word and a welcome and much needed watering hole from the souless chains that masquerade as such.Some of the crude,incessant and unnecessary language used at the bar by some locals can be a tad regrettable but this is a minor criticism and shouldn't put of those looking for these little gems that are sadly in decline.
saintsforever - 17 Sep 2008 10:24
This is how a pub should be , friendly service , great food , and drinks .
I have also had the pleasure of the scotch eggs , if they've got 'em , dont miss out !

neilwebby - 15 Sep 2008 13:33
yet to sample the scotch eggs but did enjoy catching the rugby here on a damp saturday afternoon. No issues re beer and the staff were very friendly. Recommended
gcc24 - 25 May 2008 13:04
Great pub, great atmosphere, great beers and food!! Fantastic for the sport on a Saturday as it has a massive screen and the place is fairly quiet.
You will know when you're a local as Wolfy the dog will demand a walk as soon as you enter!
An all round pleasure to drink there.
texy - 10 Apr 2008 15:19
Went in to watch the rugby with the missus the other day. Most enjoyable time had by all. The landlord made us feel most welcome, even letting us have a quick tour of the upstairs gallery.
The Adnams was in good nick, and the lovely unspoilt interiour made for a good afternoon.
mrse1 - 10 Feb 2008 13:19
Good range of beers in here when I have visited. A traditional City pub with a cosy interior. No suited apes to spoil it, either. Keep it up!
wbafc_beer - 5 Jan 2008 12:19
Nipped in for a quick pint at lunch whilst training next door. More than a pleasant supprise. Beer was in good condition and the food looked good, although I didn't sample any. I'll certainly be back.
mrse1 - 19 Sep 2007 12:45
Without a shadow of a doubt the finest Scotch eggs in the country.....
tech4 - 7 Sep 2007 13:25
Been going there for years but never for long as the cnuts in suits put me off. But now the suits are over in the yuppie bar across the street leaving the excellent Cockpit and its fine real ale selection unsullied by cnutyness. Top marks!
mrfalafel - 6 Sep 2007 18:24
(Pleasantly) surprising lack of suits, for the City - about the closest thing to a genuine pub that I have found in this area.
rpadam - 6 Aug 2007 23:11
Traditional City pub well worth seeking out. Roger B's splendid review below leaves little for me to add, except to say that the Adnams yesterday was first rate and also that, unusually for the area, the pub opens weekends. Also, I am pleased to be able to report that I didn't see any mice.
JohnBonser - 21 Jun 2007 13:58
Cracking little pub this one. Found it by accident last week. Thats always the best way I think. Good mixture of office folk, trendy types, normal people (I like to think of myself as normal) and old boys. Good old fashioned friendly pub no ponceyness here. I will be back.
dgriffin - 8 May 2007 13:38
The Cockpit has a history going back 400 years and the original building was apparently at one time owned by Shakespeare himself who used it as a refuge for persecuted priests. The current building dates from 1842 and was used for cock fighting until the sport was banned 7 years later when the pub was renamed the Three Castles. It reverted back to the Cockpit in the 70s and much of the interior appears to date from this time. I am assuming that the balconies are recreations as they appear to be far too small and shallow for them to be practical. That said it is not hard to picture the days when they would have been full of yelling punters and the basic shape of the pub is probably not much different than it was in its Cockfighting days. Whilst the cockerels no longer populate the floor space, it is not without its wildlife I witnessed a couple of mice scurrying around on my visit although no-one seemed to pay much attention when this was pointed out. Despite being dated in a Watneys Red Barrel kind of way, the pub is quite homely with dimpled glass windows, lamps, potted plants, lanterns and endless pictures of cockerels. Even the Courage symbols seem to be apt here. The high tongue and grooved ceiling gives the pub a much larger appearance although the bar area in particular can be a bit cramped. There is a big screen for sport although by kick off time you will probably have the pub to yourself as it is in an area not really noted for late nights. We watched an England game here and there were barely a dozen people in the pub. If you like unusual pubs with a bit of history, the Cockpit is certainly worth tracking down for a visit.
RogerB - 11 Apr 2007 15:45
Popped in here this Saturday with the lads on a stag do. Felt very welcome. A great little pub, will be back!
avotech - 25 Mar 2007 19:02
nice pub in good location. good food
anonymous - 13 Mar 2007 08:03
Nice cosy little place tucked down one of those narrow little city selection was fairly uninspiring but served well, friendly atmostphere. The decor is kind of historic but without seeming to try too hard, which I like. Also open on a Saturday, not really the norm for pubs round here.
Muzthing - 25 Feb 2007 12:14
In the later evening this place does not usually get busy until the shift finishes at the Cathedral. You get a fascinating mix of all sorts as well; from stockbrokers to crane drivers, and can learn a lot by listening to either; especially about the money to be made in the City by driving cranes. I have also learnt all about breeding huskies from an expert. and about the history of Heckmondwyke from the landlords.
The fragrant, peach complexioned Emma was there when I last visited.
bradwan - 25 Jan 2007 16:21
Perhaps I was there on a slow night back in October. It was a Thursday night and although it had nothing particularly wrong with it I wont be returning. No atmosphere and very little character for me. very small too. I think it's more of a locals/regulars pub and nothing wrong with that.
f90x - 22 Dec 2006 20:14
This bizarre old place, which obviously has a lot of history, has a lovley mixture of custom. This makes a change from the usual suits in the city. The in-house dog was very friendly and the beer was good.
DirtyPanda - 10 Dec 2006 18:22
Nice traditional City pub close to Blackfriars tube. Excellent pint of Adnams yesterday. This pub is called the Cockpit because apparently it staged the last legal cockfight in the country. Has a nice cosy feel to it, enhanced by the frosted leaded windows. Used to be a Courage pub apparently. Good mix of customers - not dominated by "suits" who incidentally seem to prefer the Shaws Booksellers place virtually opposite
JohnBonser - 23 Aug 2006 12:03
Really good little ale pub, four (admittedly fairly mainstream) brews on yesterday tasted good, housed in a classic piece of dark Victoriana.

Works a good tab system. Has a TV with Sky. Well worth a visit.

Fella with impressive handlebar moustache behind the bar too!
Quinno - 19 Aug 2006 22:02
Don't miss the lower ground floor entertainment.
anonymous - 6 Jul 2006 08:28
Don't forget the "inbetweenies"!
anonymous - 16 May 2006 21:50
anonymous - 17 Apr 2006 11:38
Good evening guys. This is a wonderful pub. Everyone is very friendly and will talk to you if you are on your own. They have wonderful bar staff and management, and even the 2 legged staff aren't bad either!!!!!! Will definately be making return visits.
commonasmuck - 23 Mar 2006 00:29
Hi this is Emma and unfortunately babe i was that manwhore watching you in the urinals,but couldnt see nanything to write home about.But NO OFFENCE :-)
ejh - 18 Mar 2006 03:57
Perhaps 'Emma' is the elderly gent who stares intently at the nether regions of gents who visit the men's urinals downstairs?
anonymous - 12 Mar 2006 11:58
Just to let you know, for your own information, Cockpit Emma is a geezer!
anonymous - 5 Mar 2006 14:36
Hi this is Emmna and just to let you know mr scooter-bob-roy that the pub
is not exclusively gay.But we do welcome all so come and see for yourself.

ejh - 25 Feb 2006 14:33
Strange one this.
Quaint pub with a certain charm BUT.....
My sole visit was spoilt by some elderly gent starely intently at my nether regions in the bog.
More than a whiff of lavendar
anonymous - 23 Jan 2006 13:53
A very solid little place. Nice atmosphere, decent range of ales, quiz machine to boot. Not many gems like this left in the city any more.
grecian - 19 Jan 2006 10:44
Good little place outside and in. Nice and grubby. Old school boozer with a bit of 'istory. Some old geezers having a laugh. Not encouraging to see the manager's response to criticism on this website. Still he's probably right!
mitomighty - 10 Dec 2005 12:56
Have been using the pit for years.Wolfgang is the cutest schnauzer on the planet and who really gives a toss if alf and johnny have a penchant for lifting the odd chemise it certainly doesnt bother me.And what if cookie boy is slightly mad,he always buys me a pint or large vod and what if the maccam says c**t every other word.But who is Emma?
grundy - 4 Nov 2005 09:26
Did not notice anything remotely gay during my recent visit to the cockpit. My girlfriend laughed at the suggestion but we aren't locals so will defer to those in the know.
Regardless the pub was full of character both inside and out. The barkeep was a friendly and knowledgeable enough man.
Supposedly they used to have cockfights here back in the day when that passed as sport.
The beer was okay. Agree the carpet could use a replacement.
jorrocks - 26 Oct 2005 01:33
Friendly small pub hidden away from nearby tourists.
This pub is frequented largely by aging gay males, some of whom look like John Inman (Mr. Humphries of 'Are you being served?' fame).
The two male owners both have walrus moustaches, as does their little dog.
They have a team called 'The Cockpit Queens' who compete at quiz nights in nearby pubs.
This pub is popular for its food served a midday, and its impressive old England appearance.

anonymous - 12 Oct 2005 09:59
Can anyone please tell me if Emma is still behind the bar?????
anonymous - 8 Sep 2005 12:04
Wonderful boozer. Tucked up a side street, so off the beaten tourist trail. The staff are excellent. Only complaint is the large football screen which occasionally descends for games which no-one seems very intrested in.
Nailed - 15 Aug 2005 14:17
Is it a Gay pub? more camp people in there than a carry on film.
scooterroy - 9 Aug 2005 22:30
Extremely friendly staff and patrons, good atmos. marred slightly by the pints of Guinness that were served up to a group of tourists. Pints were served in one go and tourists (Russian, I think) obviously not having tasted stout before took copious gulps before the pints had settled. Bleurgh! C'mon bar staff, have pride in pulling a decent pint.

That blip aside, a great little boozer.

E1_Norton - 20 May 2005 17:32
Who's behind the bar these days??? Emma still there??
anonymous - 13 Jan 2005 23:47
It's anice enough, quaint little pub. Pedigree still not up to much, the hound still needs a bath. It's OK for a swift pint at lunchtime, but agree with jarvis, that this is not in the running for best pub in London.
pnorton - 13 Jan 2005 11:57
Lovely traditional pub with great food and excellent service. A good pint of Guinness is 2.80 which is marginally cheaper than most city pubs these days.
rob - 11 Aug 2004 10:01
Friendly atmosphere and a large screen for football if that takes your fancy. I have to echo Phil's comment though - the Pedigree was truly atrocious. Not surprisingly everyone else was drinking lager...
Graham - 24 Jun 2004 17:13
Made it here last Thursday. Great pub (quite cheap for the city) with loads of atmosphere. Sign outside says est 1787. Pretty quiet inside on a Thursday night, but no seats. And hardly any suits. Ran out of Guiness that night, which was disappointing, but these things happen. Overall great city pub.
JamesC - 7 Apr 2004 12:36
Was in there on Friday, and had one of the most disapointing pints of pedigree I have ever had.
phil - 20 Jan 2004 14:19
This is a decent pub, but I doubt it is really the best pub in the world. The old hound looked a bit grubby last night and do with a good scrubbing.
jarvis - 11 Dec 2003 12:26
Traditional pub with character (if you want pubs devoid of character try All Bar One etc). Always a pleasure to visit.
andrew1961 - 7 Dec 2003 14:30
Small,cosy, wedge shaped and welcoming city pub. Hard to find a seat last night. The crowd seemed less oppressive than most city pubs and there was no obstrusive music.
Simon - 13 Nov 2003 12:29
The Cockpit is the BEST pub in the world. Especially Emma behind the bar. I was visiting from Australia (backpacking) when I came across the Cockpit. The locals quickly accepted me into their circle which I really appreciated. If anyone would pass my email address to Emma I would be eternally grateful.
Neil Chambers - - 4 Nov 2003 23:23
Harry and Shirley you obviously too young and trendy for this excellent and truely 'locals' pub. We serve everyone for the Dean of St. Pauls to the local road sweepers so please get a life outside your 'trendy' and expensive dives. By the way that 'smelly dog' was featured on the recent Shakespear documentory and probably gets into more select places than you do!
J.Tanton Manager-Cockpit - 30 Jul 2003 17:29
Top boozer, great pubdog, needs a new carpet
Jarvis Blackburn - 10 Jul 2003 15:51
It is a dismal back alley pub with no atmosphere or room , frequented by dull city types.
Shirley Bolt - 9 Jul 2003 10:26
FANTASTIC pub!! My husband and I were vacationing for our anniversary and fell in love with The Cockpit. Bartenders were great and we enjoyed a brew among the local monks. Will DEFINITELY be back again. We miss you London!
Shannon - 30 May 2003 04:32
I love this pub!! The bartenders and patrons are very friendly. I felt like family there. I can't wait to go back!
Heather Kinley - - 26 Apr 2003 21:32
I'd rate it as a 9 - small but very atmospheric. more like a country pub than a London one. Beer OK too
mickeyg - 28 Feb 2003 17:00

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