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Chandos, Trafalgar Square

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user reviews of the Chandos, Trafalgar Square

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

Always busy, and if you like cask ale the old brewery bitter is fine.Like all Sam Smith'spubs you do not get any propriety brands but for beer it's fine. usually crowded with a nice mixture of folks
cellarbuoy - 10 Dec 2016 19:56
I came here towards the end of last orders and it wasn't too busy. We couldn't get a seat but had a spot at a stand up table. Not really too familiar with London but the prices were better than other places I had been to (2.80 for taddy). It's quite a nice pub really and the barman was quite friendly (commenting about how the main difference between Taddy in London vs Yorkshire was that it was cheaper). A good pub that I would certainly consider going back to.
Wezzielad - 1 Dec 2016 10:55
This pub is right in the centre of tourist London, so incredibly busy. Sam Smith's OBB in good condition, but too crowded to be a place for a relaxing pint!
Aztecgoat - 15 May 2016 09:45
A Wednesday evening at the end of September I popped in with 4 work colleagues for a couple of pints.

I was here a few months back and spent my time drinking in the upstairs bar, this visit was no different.

Extremely busy with pre theatre goers, no where to sit so standing near the bar was the best option.

The Sovereign bitter was on very good form and slipped down a treat while we killed an hour before moving on.

I do like the Chandos, it’s a proper pub with quick service and of course good ale.
lezford - 28 Oct 2015 14:13
Visited this pub on Friday 16th of October. The ground floor was in renovation. However, the first floor of this pub was open for business. Place became packed at around 17.00 hr which was good. We had a few pints of Alpine Lager of Sam Smith's, they tasted great as did the Taddy Lager. The gents' room wasn't very clean though. But all in all a great pub with lots of character and a nice crowd. Service was swift and friendly too.
ferret83 - 22 Oct 2015 22:47
Samuel Smith’s pubs are fairly nice, and this one is no exception (even more so as it is now smoke free) - as long as you accept the choice of 1 - one - cask ale, and several beers from the SS range on keg or bottle.
Sigmund - 14 Jun 2015 17:57
Visited on a Friday evening a couple of weeks ago and this is yet another pub that I haven't been to for over a decade

For as long as I can remember this has been a Sam Smiths pub and has also been really decent

Full range of Sam Smiths ales, lagers & their own cider on the taps, with plenty of bottled options also. I had 4 very good pints of Sovereign Bitter in the upstairs bar which was not as busy as the downstairs bar.

Good bar staff meant that getting served was never a problem.

Cracking pub with a lovely interior, a real pub in the centre of Central London.
lezford - 12 Jun 2015 14:59
Nice pub, an oasis of reasonable calm in the maelstrom that is central London. You know what you're getting with Sam Smith's - cheap prices, good service and a choice so limited it seems like you've walked into a seventies theme bar, but what they do serve is of good quality. This could be a regular haunt should the Harp drop its standards.
djw - 3 Jun 2015 22:20
Two words spring to mind after a visit yesterday. Brown. Cream.
Tuna - 7 Dec 2014 21:20
Second pub of the 2014 UK pub crawl, a short stroll from the first (the Harp). Like most Sam Smith's pubs the Chandos is attractively presented, efficiently staffed, and the Brewery Bitter was fine (& cheap, 2.90). It was quiet at noon, a few tourists like me, (maps, head scratching, puzzled expressions) and a couple of thirsty looking punters who may have been locals.
Queenslander - 18 Aug 2014 23:42
After a couple of pints in the Harp, we moved on to the Chandos. It's my first visit here for a while and my first visit to the upstairs bar, where the full Samuel Smiths selection is on offer. Old Brewery Bitter was available over both handpulls. The pub has plenty of character and if you like Sam Smiths offerings, it's definitely worth a visit when in the Leicester Square, Trafalgar Square or Covent Garden area.
blue_scrumpy - 6 Jul 2014 16:57
Sam Smiths pub heavily wooden inside. On a recent midday visit an obese Alcoholic Australian rambled on to anyone who would listen, an 80 year old who looked like a communist intellectual stood smartly at the bar nursing ale and a bunch of German tourists read a map in the corner.

So not sure what to make of this place, certainly seems to attract more regulars than you'd expect for the area. Tourists are omnipresent of course. The bar staff were very friendly here too. It's quite dark inside so a nice place to escape for an hour or two perhaps.

QueensParker - 19 Oct 2013 09:51
Its very busy. Not as cheap as it used to be
mont62y - 1 Jun 2013 15:50
Ah, The Chandos - one of my favourite 'watering holes' of all in London! I can't help but visit whenever I'm near Traf/Square. Which isn't often enough..! DO pop upstairs though, to the 'Opera Room' its worth a look. Downstairs is massive and impersonal, but upstairs is smaller, with a Gentlemans Club feel about it...only, ladies are in fact allowed! Leather sofas, and window bench seats give it charm & character. Sam Smith may save you a bob or two, the students certainly appreciate that. I did see a 'scholar' reading what looked like an encyclopedia upstairs here once...so you may encounter more learned drinkers here..! On the other hand, you may bump into me....! 'cos i luvvit 'ere
Rating: 8/10
TeeJay - 18 Apr 2013 17:41
Regardless of what anyone says, this is a decent pub and ideal for a cheap pint to escape the crowds at Trafalgar Square. I've been here when it's packed and there's always a good mix of punters, although the upstairs bar can resemble a sixth form common room at times. I suggest you head to Chandos to start your night out, get a couple of cheap pints under your belt and then head off elsewhere in search of more interesting ales and some crumpet.
theinnspectre.com - 16 Apr 2013 20:00
WHAT A FANTASTIC LOOKING PU-oh it's a Sam Smiths, keep walking.
wizzard - 22 Feb 2013 17:06
Nice enough, inevitably rather touristy, pub ... lots of better ones nearby, though - (eg the Harp and the Salisbury)
mozzzzzz - 10 Sep 2012 11:54
Pleasant enough pub. Beer in good order. Interesting decor. Efficient staff.
Not sure what it would be like on a typical London evening.
ericstadd - 8 Jul 2012 08:42
First went here about 25 years ago when I started to work in London and I pop back every now and then when the opportunity rises. It's good to see that it has changed so little, it still serves Sam Smith's OBB at a price way below the average and still has the large comfortable leather sofas upstairs. The only problem is it is very popular so you have to be alert to get any sort of seat, let alone a good one.
Matthew_of_Ham - 6 May 2012 18:43
Oh dear, some of the more tight fisted reviewers will drop dead when they find a pint of OBB is now a giddy 2.90! Full respect to those who don't like Sam Smiths beer (and yes it's the only choice you've got here) but this is still a great pub amongst much ye-olde-rippee-offee-touristee rubbish hereabouts.

curioushistory - 8 Apr 2012 17:06
averybigblob - that sounds pretty normal for a London pub though, just cos it's low key doesn't mean the rents any lower! What you get, a double and a large wine? Price sounds right. If that was two pints then yes - but remember this pub doesn't have 'PubCo' style double measure offers.
crowcrow - 10 Jan 2012 13:55
New Years Eve it may be. But 10.79 for 2 drinks in a low key boozer, they are taking the mickey out of you and me. Almost 2x normal price with no signs should be illegal (maybe it is?).
averybigblob - 31 Dec 2011 21:04
Was in here last week for a few. The prices are still really cheap compared to anywhere else in the area but have definately gone up of late. The atmosphere is "ok". Not great as it is full of students, and I do mean full of em! Right from when it opens up until it finishes. There are plenty of other Smiths pubs in the capital, try a few of the others. In particular one up in Fitzrovia - a lot nicer :)
Miker1234 - 19 Dec 2011 20:08
The great thing about this pub used to be how cheap it was, not that long ago it was less than 2.00 a pint, last week it was 2.11 yesterday 2.47. Although still cheaper than most pubb, if not all pubs,roundabout, I'd rather spend a bit more for a better beer and friendlier service
tanky - 16 Nov 2011 15:16
Was in this pub last night after visiting the Newman Arms.. two pubs a world apart... what a difference. It was just like being in a student union bar! So loud for such a big place without that many people. Barman was cheerful and the beer cheap (and also average). Won't be in a hurry to go back.
dking66 - 14 Jul 2011 09:50
Well these reviews seem to fall into two distinct camps. I'm afraid I'm with those who say it's a little bland and characterless. (That description includes the service as well!) A big, open bar gives it a bit of a Wetherspoons feeling and I may just have been unlucky but on the day I visited it had a slighly strange smell. Not a big Sam Smith's fan either so just stayed for one and wouldn't rush back, plenty of better pubs nearby.
lazybeer - 24 Jun 2011 15:10
Walked in to find next to no seating and the two barmen behind the jump arguing.

Waited around 5 mins at the bar whilst they finished their argument, one stormed off and the other made a telephone call to then be told that they only had 4 bottle sof wine left.

Keep walking.....dump of a pub with truly shocking service/facilities.....
drogstar - 8 Jun 2011 10:57
Think you could do worse in central London. As previous posts say, cheap Sam Smiths beer and there's also a lounge bar upstairs. Not bad to meet up as part of a pub crawl.
thehonesttruth - 28 May 2011 23:42
Nice "traditional" pub, plenty of seats & tables yet not too cluttered. Being Sam Smith's the drinks were ridiculously cheap too (2.03 for a pint of Old Brewery Bitter, not a particular favourite brew of mine but nevertheless well kept). It was a good place for a group of half a dozen or more to meet up as it's comfortable and you shouldn't have to wait long to claim a table.

Downside was that two young barstaff who were clearly very inexperienced and inadequately trained had been left to fend for themselves on a busy Sunday afternoon. I had to ask twice for my first pint to be topped up; I wouldn't have been overly fussed given the price, but it was literally not much more than three quarters liquid. Glancing around I could see most pints were being served well short, including lager & cider, not just bitter & stout. Eventually I just lost the will to live and accepted that if I was going to order six pints I'd only be drinking about five, and it was still relatively cheap. Huge numbers of empty glasses were lying around waiting to be collected and washed. This wasn't the fault of the two on duty who were trying their best, but clearly neither of them was a manager or supervisior and in over three hours we saw no sign of any other staff member, so someone supposedly "in charge" was clearly elsewhere and not pulling their weight during a busy weekend session.
Delirious_Nomad - 21 Mar 2011 12:09
Lovely Sam Smith's pub right next to the church of St Martin in the Field, Trafalgar Sq. Interesting mix of customers (locals - suited and non-suited; tourists; old and young, couples and singles, groups). People on way home from work, on way to the Theatre, chilling after a shop, or after doing the galleries. Food OK, Beer as always at Mr Smiths' Pubs - Excellent. Tasty & Cheap Prices. The Pure Lager is my particular favourite. There was a good mix of seating, quiet little booths, bar stools, tables, nice room upstairs too.
madmarki - 2 Feb 2011 20:58
Weary from my afternoon wanderings, I sought refuge in this hostelry. I tried to heave the phone-box I was carrying through the front entrance but my efforts were in vain - I scuffed the pub door's architraves and left deep gouges in the red livery of my beloved kiosk.
I asked the barman if the landlord would pay for the damage but he snorted contemptuously. Thankfully, a cab driver - who's carriage I had absconded from without paying - helped push the phonebox the rest of the way into the pub as the London rain began to lash down.
So what of this esteemed establishment? The first thing that one notices are the arrival and departure boards and constant announcements for trains at Paddington station. It appears that the Pub's arcane lease is bound to that of Paddington Railway Lands, and although located several miles away, the Pub is required by a clause in said lease to 'give proper visual and aural notification of all rail traffic movement at the mainline station'. All pub patrons are handed a copy of the lease and are required to read all twelve pages of legalese before any beers wines or spirits can be bought. This all seems faintly ridiculous, when one can glance through the pub window on a clear day and employ x-ray vison to see straight through St Martin in the Fields church to Charing Cross station directly beyond, and not Paddington.
After perusing the clauses I was satisfied to order a capital cask ale, but on taking a first sip, I was rudely punched in the stomach by the Landlord. Apologising, he explained that 'station licence hours' were now over and that I would have to leave. I tried to take another sip, at which point he nodded to the shifty young barkeep. The freebooter instantly set about my beloved phone-box with a truncheon, and in half a minute had done as much damage as a band of skinheads on a May bank holiday. The landlord then joined the sweating youth, standing beside him to urinate inside the phonebox. Collecting my thoughts, and empty glasses - to serve as compensation to the landlord for the disturbance I had caused, a middle-aged harlot propositioned me. 'Fancy a freebie, sweetie?' Although the dame was a little frayed and stout, I must admit that a guilty pang of pride lurched in my belly. What gentleman, with a grain of vim in his veins, would not feel spit on his cane and sheen on his pucker after such a saucy gambit??
I left in restorative shape and reflective spirits, with phone-box proudly stuffed in my jacket.
senberbex - 2 Feb 2011 15:06
It's your average Sam Smiths pub, cheap, cheerful and thats about it.

Not bad for a swift pint but would definately not be spending anymore time here...
mikeyr1234 - 18 Jan 2011 00:56
Spacious Sam Smith's pub near Trafalgar Square. Usual Smith's cheapness: 2.03 for a pint of Old Brewery Bitter which was ok, if a bit cold.

Unusually for the area there is a small separate area complete with dartboard for those who like their arrows.

Ok to pop in for a quick one if passing, but the remarkably loud banging of the front door soom had me heading for the Harp around the corner.
flashharry1965 - 10 Jan 2011 10:32
went back - pretty bland Sam Smiths pub - 4 out of 10.
adamwalsh - 9 Jan 2011 20:33
Not a bad sort of place, cheapest round out of all the pubs visited that day. Place was empty when we visited, but the ale wasnt bad and the staff seemed friendly enough. I'd happily go back again.
Scousefire - 13 Dec 2010 22:18
Great pub.. and generally a good crowd - nicer feel upstairs than down but would recommend all round. Nice in the summer when you can stand outside... Great beer, great prices and great atmosphere. Hangovers are consistently terrible from their beer - but thats all part of the fun!
laurencemc - 11 Nov 2010 15:44
A little corner of Tadcaster next to Trafalgar Square ? Not quite, but if you fancy a decent pint of bitter at Northern prices in the heart of the capitals tourist/theatre area then this is the place to go. The location and cheap beer mean that it can get very crowded at times and even surprisingly raucous towards closing time as the hooligan bubbles in the Alpine lager start to kick in. But I like this place - the decor, the drink and the darts. I've even forgiven them for kicking me out when I was 16 - and that was as much Ayingerbrau's fault as mine.
ShenaniganOFlanaghan - 29 Oct 2010 14:18
terrible place which looks like a down market Wetherspoons! The bitter tasted stale.Very poor surroundings for a Sam Smiths pub. Bar area was stacked high with dirty glasses.Dont bother going here, plenty of better pubs in spitting distance.
covman45 - 25 Oct 2010 17:35
Pretty dismal. Got served the wrong drink - and only 1 when I asked for 2.........great.
adamwalsh - 14 Aug 2010 22:12
Typical Sam Smiths low price policy, though you tend to get what you pay for. The quality of the food and drinks is not high, especially now they have changed their menu. It was very crowded on my visit, both upstairs and down, and hard to find a seat, but we managed to get one of the window snugs. As typical of Sam Smiths the pub has a well cared for charm, with a clear intent to keep the place as authentic as possible - though since the refurbishment, the place does feel like a modern mock up, and has less of the woody charm one expects from a Sam Smiths. There are better pubs in Covent Garden, but this isn't that bad.
SilkTork - 25 Jul 2010 10:29
Terrible pub.... You don't even have to ask the staff to know that they are overworked and unappreciated. Manager is never around and food is rushed. However the beer is fantastic!
tintin62 - 22 Jul 2010 19:03
Not a great pint had .. The place is clean but indifferent bar staff. Won't be going back.
charlieFarnsbarnes - 20 Jul 2010 16:24
Lovely old pub with a good and reasonably priced range of beers and cider by Samuel Smith. The pub grub is of a good standard and there is lots of seating upstairs and down, especially once the nearby theatre shows have started. Still, after 19 years in London, one of my favourite places to meet up with friends.
kimothy40 - 8 Jul 2010 14:36
Popped in here for lunch with the folks as they were down in London for a visit. Recommend always heading upstairs as its definitely more cosy and relaxing. Usual Sam Smiths selection beer wise and a good, reasonably priced food selection. Quick and effecient service. Top stuff!
UrbanGenieThing - 17 May 2010 13:46
A grand spot and very possibly my favourite Sam Smith's joint - and favourite pub - in central London.

The upstairs Opera Room is very spacious and perfect for kicking back with a few pints of Alpine lager at much cheapness. Perfecto!
shoegazer - 5 May 2010 23:23
On my way to Noel Coward theater, and having time and good references from the Opera Room, I decided to see the place.

One word crowed, packed with people (13:30 pm Saturday morning), so the room smelled like a place without ventilation an to to much people in there. Nice sofas and tables but not a place for someone that need space and a classical stylish pub atmosphere. Qua it a deception.


Alkuino - 23 Feb 2010 14:13
Friendly bar staff, cheap Sam Smiths prices, plenty of space to spread out in the Upstairs bar on a Sunday lunch time, great location, not too many tourists - what's not to like?
KathDyer - 18 Jan 2010 12:03
In many ways this is my favorite Sam Smith pub due to the roominess and comfortable atmosphere. Had a predictable pint of OBB and there was a large crowd on both levels.
NM_Ale_Drinker - 9 Jan 2010 17:23
Typical little Sam Smiths' pub, but unlike some very spacious and not a "locals" bar at all. It's a warm welcome and a great selection for very good prices - literally, less than 2 a pint.

Nice sofas and tables upstairs in the Opera Room. Highly recommended.
jrhgreenwich - 3 Dec 2009 02:40
We went to the Opera Bar on our way to The Coliseum. It was pouring with rain and did not expect to find a seat. What a lovely haven of relaxation and how easy to forget the time!
mhaste - 29 Nov 2009 23:09
Its worth checking out The Chandos if you're in the area as -considering its position- it can be surprisingly quiet,even on a saturday afternoon.In recent years the Sam Smiths Old Brewery has been on fine form and a bargain at 1.90....Upstairs is more food oriented, still a surprisingly excellent boozer.
EdgarBriggsMI5 - 25 Oct 2009 11:57
I dont know how it has taken me so many years to get round to commenting on this place. Apart from the occasional lick of paint, the pub hasnt changed a jot since my first visit over 25 years ago. The main downstairs bar is fairly basic with 6 snugs of varying capacity lined along the window side. The plainness of the dcor, bare floors and unremarkable furnishings is offset by some attractive coloured glass latticed windows. Tucked away at the back next to the stairs to the rather pungent loos is a darts room that is easily overlooked and a bit of a rarity in the West End. Thanks to the pubs location things can be very busy with seating at a premium but service has always been first rate and I have rarely had to wait to be served. Being a Sam Smiths pub, the prices are dirt cheap, currently 1.90 for a pint of Old Brewery Bitter and, unlike some Sam Smiths pubs in London, the Ale is on hand pump. Obviously the downside of any Sam Smiths pub is the lack of choice and the beers will not be to everyones taste.

Upstairs is the Opera bar that, far from being an extra room used as an overspill, actually functions as a fully operational pub with its own character and ambience. Unusually, there is a bar that is as fully stocked as the main bar downstairs. The Opera bar is roughly split into 3 areas, a large sofa laden lounge bar with multiple Chesterfields and some interesting little window seats, a smaller central split level area with a more pubby feel and a more homely bit at the other end with a mix between the two. Whilst it can be equally as busy, the Opera Bar is less easily overlooked and tends to get a bit quieter as the evening goes on. So basically the Chandos is 2 pubs for the price of one, cheap and busy but lacking in drink choice. There are numerous pubs and bars within spitting distance of the Chandos coming in all shapes, sizes and styles but the Chandos has always been a long standing and solid servant to my requirements.
RogerB - 20 Oct 2009 15:27
this is a busy pub because of its tremendous location next to the national gallery and trafalgar square. it is quite good upstairs, but the pub, really, is a pub to visit when it is quiet. the character comes through then. otherwise it can be even quite annoying. usual sam smith's london establishement so beer good, cheap etc.
stoichkov - 14 Oct 2009 20:55
not a bad pub - very cheap for where it is and if you can get a seat upstairs it's not a bad place to spend a night after work
welling01 - 7 Oct 2009 14:53
This is one of my favourite pubs in London. Its cheap, great location, the staff are friendly and I've never had a problem getting a booth or table. Cheers!
ljones00 - 15 Sep 2009 15:36
Paid another visit here yesterday afternoon, and as ever felt compelled to post a glowing review. Fantastic pub in a great location, atmospheric interior, unbelievably cheap prices and Sam Smith's beers are to my tastes uniformly excellent. The Pure brew lager that I plumped for on one of my rounds was without doubt one of the best pints of lager I have ever been served anywhere at any time. I just wish that this kind of excellent establishment where the building, the drinks, the service and the atmosphere all come together to be more than the sum of their parts and where you can buy a round for 4 people and often see change from a tenner, were the norm rather than a sainted exception.
Mr.Monkfish - 31 Aug 2009 12:59
I am quite a fan of the Sam Smiths brewery and pubs. For those that may be unaware, it is not plc with shareholders but ownership lies with a Trust. Hence it cannot be swallowed up as many other breweries have been and the price you pay does not include the shareholder's percentage. All the beers are additive free - another (as far as I know) unique selling point. Personally, I like the Old Brewery Bitter. I've tried the others, but prefer this easygoing, inexpensive brew.

I am surprised to see comments saying the beer was poor or expensive. 'Poor' is a subjective view, so I'll leave it at that. But if it is expensive, what and where are you drawing comparisons from? Let me put another way: Can anybody tell me anywhere else (other than another Sam Smiths pub) within 5 minutes walk of Trafalgar Square, where I can get a decent pint in a pub and change out of 2, on any day of the week?

If so, please let me know - I've been missing out, big time! (PS Preferably a pint of beer, rather than a complicated combination of E numbers and artificial colour).
Alex_Bradford - 19 Aug 2009 19:12
A pleasant place, serving a myriad of drinks - all are Sam Smith's though which does surprise a few visitors. I don't find it that cheap to be honest - maybe because I was drinking the Sam's Stout which, in my opinion, is better than Guiness. Unfortunately, on my last visit, some strange street perfomer, laden in silver make-up and making a rather silly hissing noise, decided to enter the bar. A regular stop on the way to Covent Garden.
Paulb014 - 3 Aug 2009 13:12
I usually like Sam Smith's pubs, but this one I don't. It get's crowded with people I don't like the look nor sound of, the decor is oppressive, and it smells funny. It also has a grubbiness to it that is hard to define, but I suppose that, like the smell, this can be put down to the high volume of human traffic it sees. The staff are quite good though.
crossfield - 15 Jul 2009 12:06
Inasmuch as the reclusive and resolutely unbranded Sam Smiths chain has a flagship venue, this could be it, given it's location in the very centre of town, perhaps the nearest pub to Trafalgar Square. I (perhaps unwisely) visited for the first time in a while late on a Saturday evening after visiting the theatre with friends. It is a two floor pub - the downstairs something of a "standing room only" affair with some snugs round the edge, the upstairs more of a conventional lounge bar effort. Unlike a lot of Sam Smiths pubs this still retains draught Old Brewery Bitter - served very cold and more like a keg beer (e.g. John Smith's) on my visit, and not a pleasant pint. It has a very full range of the firm's draught lagers and bottled beers and lagers - I tried a pint of the Taddy lager and it was absolutely revolting - not sure whether it was meant to taste like that or not. Unlike many Sam Smith's venues, the inside of this pub is not splendid enough to make it worth visiting, so in view of the poor beer quality - avoid.
grecian - 13 Jul 2009 10:26
The Chandos is a nice enough pub, which would be fairly average in most towns and cities.
But the fact that this is situated just off Trafalgar Square, offers quality 'Sams' on draught, and for a very reasonable price - especially considering its location, makes this a winner.
No pretencious rip-offs here, just good beer at a good 'Northern style' price.
Worth a pint anytime.
SouthYorkshireman - 24 Apr 2009 22:29
In this day and age it is always reassuring to know that there are a few Sam Smiths pubs in London (and near where I live thank heavens!). This one is decent enough - I tend to drink the Stout and the cider but my companion actually liked the lager but struggled to tell the difference between the alpine and usual lager. A decent stop-off during a visit to the capital.
paulio1966 - 20 Mar 2009 22:20
Great location, and a good pub. The distinct lack of decent pubs in the centre of London makes The Chandos an appealing prospect, with its booth seating, and old school ambience.

As with all Sam Smith pubs, the fact that their beers etc. are all produced by their own brewery is both a strength and weakness. For while drinks are the cheapest you'll find anywhere in London, their lager is not of a high quality and tastes of nothing. The ales are decent, but the lack of any other familiar beers, or even guest ales that you might be tempted to try, is a definite minus. But overall, it's a good place to meet, at least before heading elsewhere, and the food is reputably of high quality.


benjah - 15 Mar 2009 19:29
I don't know which of the Smith Boys is checking the condition of its Samuel Smith brews in London lately? -but the standard has definitelty 'gone south'... The one exception this time (and all the more remarkable considering its location) is the Chandos off Leicester Sq.
EdgarBriggsMI5 - 1 Feb 2009 19:42
The upstairs, called the Opera Bar due to its proximity to English National Opera, is spacious and nicely furnished. We had good steak-and-ale pies here and the Old Brewery Bitter was well kept. Service left a little to be desired; our food arrived separately, with little apology. Still, a good, well-priced pub in a very good location.
amgriffiths - 28 Jan 2009 22:07
Downstairs is a well presented, traditional pub. Upstairs is rather stylish, with an open fire and sofas, where it is more comfortable to have a meal with a group. I called in here a few days ago and overheard some well dressed French visitors praising the food - that can't be a bad sign!

Apparently, the Sam Smith beers are free of artificial additives. I am a fan of the Old Brewery Bitter at around 2 a pint and the similarly priced Alpine lager usually goes down well with lager enthusiasts. It's unpretentious, without all the badges and expensive advertising campaigns I prefer it that way.

Some of the more pompous criticism suggests to me that perhaps the beers would be better received by some if they were 5 a pint, laced with E-numbers and endorsed by disgraced sportsmen! If you want an honest pint, youll probably like it here, but if you enjoy the experience of paying 2 or 3 times the price for a name, stick to Irish theme bars - with their less than authentic, antique Guinness billboards, etc.
Alex_Bradford - 24 Jan 2009 02:24
I like this pub, nice ambience and great location. The food is decent, but the Sunday lunch is just all right.

I love the Special Reserve cider on tap--well worth the trip.
peg - 6 Jan 2009 01:38
Busy Saturday night - service quick - youngish studenty crowd. Really cheap beer (Alpine lager 2.14 a pint!!) but I find the Sam Smith lager almost undrinkable and there is NO alternative. It is so dry and cloying - I tried everyone of their lagers - they are all the same. Yuk.
beergardenatrear - 21 Dec 2008 09:22
A Sam Smiths pub that has OBB on handpump, at the usual SS cheap prices. It occupies a fairly large corner site at the bottom of St Martins Lane. One large bar downstairs (ground floor level) and another upstairs. The downstairs bar features a number of enclosed booths that are ideal for small groups of drinkers. This is an OK pub I suppose, but The Harp, only a few yards away is far better and does better (if more expensive) ales unless youre a Sam Smiths fan of course!
RexRattus - 7 Nov 2008 19:06
Went upstairs for some pub grub with my parents
one lunch time, my father used to go here from
way back.The bar manager did not seem that intersted
in us, when my mother tried to order some food
he just got the girl who was working with him
to take our order.Decent food and beer, and
surroundings, but let down by sullen and dismissive
service
Tinman - 2 Sep 2008 12:40
Usually call in for a pint when in the area - friendly staff, well kept beer and you can usually find a seat - what more can you ask?
BobOs - 17 Aug 2008 00:00
First visit on Sunday, was pleasantly surprised too. We did the upstairs bar which has a nice relaxed vibe, just the kind of place for a long relaxed session. Size of the place means that the full Sam Smiths range is available, which is a blessing.

Interior is classic Sam Smiths - a blast from the past. Although there are number of more modern touches, like the armchair furnishings.

Well worth a stop, and a good place to take 5 whilst pottering around the local landmarks.
Quinno - 14 Jul 2008 23:06
Very transient atmosphere as you might expect in this location. Staff were pleasant and diligent about clearing tables of empties. Beer was decent enough.

Tourists please note: Shouting "Ello! ELLO! Oi! Ello! ELLO!" at the staff won't let you jump the queue at the bar.
Albert_Campion - 26 Jun 2008 11:44
I was pretty worse for wear on my last visit here but I had a nice pint and time to gather myself whilst finding my second wind.

The barman was very friendly and he let me have a sample before I made my decision and parted with any money.

I wouldnt want to stay all night in here, but I do like this pub (which is strange as Im not the biggest fan of Sam Smiths pubs).
Strongers - 23 Jun 2008 16:22
A great SS pub along with the Lyceum (another SS pub) which is just down the road. Good selection of sofa's upstairs and decent cheap beer. 2.06 for Alpine so save yourself 1.94 from the average price of a pint.
zak39 - 3 Jun 2008 17:16
A splendid pub named after a Duke who was in charge of the money for the War of the Spanish Succession. He got rich enough to be made Duke in 1719, even though Parliament later discovered there was over 3 million quid missing from the money paid out, the Duke was not punished . Thank heavens things are not like that today!
bradwan - 27 Apr 2008 21:00
One of my favourite London haunts, slap bang in the middle of the action. Geniunely friendly bar staff, plenty of space. Took a party of northern mates here after the Challenge Cup Final at Wembley last year and they were delighted.
ChrisP87 - 25 Apr 2008 13:50
Went here just to see another SS pub (since I work in one). Very nice bar staff, cool atmosphere. Had a great vodka & lemonade and a nice g&t.
See ya soon!
ohsusyq - 30 Mar 2008 17:39
In there last night (a tuesday) with three other chaps. Last resort as the Harp and Lamb and Flag, both close by, were full. Pleasantly surprised to find a decent pint of SS Bitter at under 1.90 considering the Metro reckons the average price of a pint in London is now over 4!! Decent atmosphere with plenty of seating and friendly bar staff that imediately changed my pint when it came out tasting a touch odd. Good pub for a "catch up with mates" evening.
Gilo - 19 Mar 2008 11:48
Ok for a couple of pints. A round (for 3) set me back less than 6 quid which isn't bad.
I'm not a massive fan of Sam Smiths beer though so didn't make it a long session.
The pub itself is pleasant and the upstairs bar is certainly worth a look.

mrse1 - 14 Feb 2008 14:50
Went down there a couple of weeks back and was amazed to find a pint of hand-pulled Old Brewery, excellently kept, at only 1.72! The Antipodean gentleman behind the bar was very friendly ( well it was Australia Day! ) and the ambience was excellent.

Made a repeat trip for a pint of wheat beer which was very good. Not found it up here in Yorkshire before.
garydenton - 5 Feb 2008 16:03
Have been here before but tonight was the first time I realised there was an upstairs bar. Bog standard Sam Smiths but that's no bad thing. Taddy Porter was lovely. Worth a visit.
GuideDogSaint - 25 Jan 2008 00:19
Have been in here several times recently, the place is usually quite busy but otherwise it's what you would expect from a Sam Smith's pub - good quality beer and cheap as well, which is good in my opinion! SS pubs might not be everybody's cup of tea so to speak but they really are the sort of places that should be supported.
MINTYBOOM - 15 Jan 2008 13:01
Was pleasantly surprised by this pub considering its location. A good pint of Sam Smiths and a relaxing upstairs bar area.
Floyd - 4 Jan 2008 20:53
Great beers, all their own which is a masisve bonus and a lovely change from the norm. Reasonably priced and great service. Loads of space and friendly atmospher, this is a pub that should definately be visited.
FuzzyKipper - 23 Dec 2007 20:26
Great, cheap, lots of room. What more can you ask for.
markyhb - 19 Dec 2007 08:57
Nice looking pub on the corner of St Martins Lane just off Trafalgar Square, with the attractive Opera Bar upstairs. Its a Sam Smiths pub with their usual fayre and the OBB was in good condition. Be aware that they have a policy of not running tabs against credit cards, which may not endear them to local business clientele looking to entertain clients or give the corporate card a hammering. When we queried this we were told that it was company policy and that they didnt want credit cards hanging around behind the bar and that it would get busy later in the evening and they might not be able to find us. Both logical I guess but if that is the rationale for the company policy it infers that they trust neither their staff nor their customers. It sits between the Harp and the Salisbury so ideal for including in a crawl.
Millay - 8 Dec 2007 21:00
Quite quiet when we were in early on Sunday lunchtime. Nice pub though.
Boothers - 31 Oct 2007 11:02
I've walked past this place hundreds of times expecting it to be full of tacky tourists. Finally tried it out Sunday evening. (Sept 30) Was pleasantly suprised. Sam Smiths, so you know its going to be all their product. This makes for a nice change from all the mass produced crap along side the real ales. Not a 'Stella stooge' in site. Comfy, relaxing and a nice place for a couple of jars before heading to Charing Cross to catch a train. A much better option than the Station's pub.
Zaphod - 1 Oct 2007 16:33
THIS IS ONE OF THE BEST PUBS YOU WILL FIND IN LONDON. The location (about 100 yards from Trafalgar Square) is fantastic; the fact that there is so much space is amazing (or when it's full it makes for a great atmosphere); the beer is top notch and far better than the stuff sold in every other pub in england (fosters, carling, stella and all that rubbish) and a pint is under 2!! What more could you want?
chris2 - 7 Sep 2007 21:21
First visit for a couple of years but wasn't surprised at what I found - cheap, well-kept Sam Smith's ale in decent surroundings. I've said it before and I'll say it again - I can't understand people who "slag off" SS pubs, especially those who criticise them for only serving one real ale. Surely it's better to serve one well and have a market for it than to serve several of questionable quality.
MINTYBOOM - 30 Aug 2007 19:29
Great both upstairs and downstairs. Sometimes very busy (but only as busy as all pubs around here) and pints for 1.99 even if they are nothing special they are decent. The clients are usually people who work in the area or live in london rather than tourists. One of my favourite pubs in london.
law2097 - 1 Aug 2007 14:21
Feels more like you are walking into the basement of a church, rather than a boozer, (never been upstairs)
Anyway beers are cheap & cheerful - nothing too special though. Handy meeting place for West End theatres, National Gallery, & Trafalgar Square et al.
trottis - 21 Jul 2007 00:38
Despite its location, this place is comfortable, friendly and has a pleasing atmosphere, altho I've never been downstairs, 8/10
andy33brixton - 19 Jun 2007 11:22
Average pub with a dark but pleasant interior and popular with tourists. It's a decent enough place for a cheap swift half, but If you want a pub to linger in, the wonderful Harp is just round the corner.
Albert_Campion - 18 Jun 2007 12:54
Really quite liked this place. Very large, and very busy when I visited, so obviously popular. Not doubt, Samuel Smith prices help with that!
Interior is pleasant and interesting enough to provide amusement, booths look good, and second room upstairs is enormous and quite comfortable looking.
I had a good pint of Old brewery, and they have the rest of the Sam's range on offer.
Over all, pretty good!
alistair_cross - 28 May 2007 08:01
The ale is solid, if unremarkable, Sam Smiths stuff at the usual sub-2 prices.

However, I found it offensively smoky. Also, as the beer is so cheap, the patrons tend to be a mixed bunch. This is fine if you dont mind being surrounding by scraggly-haired students pontificating on Marxism et al. I saw two clowns in there recently with a Lenin and Mao t-shirts on.

I think from now on, the extra quid on a pint of beer is worth a nicer atmosphere. Cheap but not too cheerful.
AleKing - 2 May 2007 10:20
It really stank when I went in there.
s9s - 30 Apr 2007 04:00
Great pub to meet. The booths are great if you have a small squad and want to catch up. Cheap as chips too!
Dugmeister - 27 Apr 2007 11:53
I think it's simple to summarise this place

a) It's very dark, faux wood panelling and general sense of forebodeing upon entry.

b) The place smells of a musty reek, ciggies, and the faint whiff of women.....erm, no that was just the toilets....

c) The bar staff are OK even if they look like they get dragged out of a cave to serve the general public five minutes before opening time. Let them have some natural light, Sam Smiths!!!!!!

Yes - it's a real pub. With real beer. And cheap beer. Please don't ever change
rampantwurzel - 27 Apr 2007 11:28
If you can stop the bar staffs conversation,you'll be fine.as you may be under the illusion you're invisible.Apart from that the ale's bang on.price is excellent,just remember the lager,bitter and stout are STILL below 2.30 a pint!
ginner - 17 Apr 2007 21:41
Underwhelmed with this pub. Went there a weekday lunchtime. Your average microwave food with mediocre beer. While it looks nice inside it was v dark.

The graffiti in the toilets and the anti-coke-taking angled panels over the cisterns doesn't make me want to check out the place at nighttime.

LemonGrass - 17 Apr 2007 18:55
I was working near to this pub for about a year plus it was one of my old drinking holes from a few years ago - so I have a history with the place I guess.

First, let's not get upset with the staff that are in the main, Australian, stay (last) for weeks (not months) and are paid b**ger all. It's the management we need to get angry with not the staff, but as far as I'm aware there really isn't any management and these gap-year antipodeans are left to get on with it, poor sods.

The Chandos is what it is - a bl**dy cheap pub, next to Trafalgar Sq. and nearly as cheap as the wino's favourite - Weathersspoons!

Whilst I've only ever been in at lunch or late pm on the way to the train, there's never any bother, the staff are friendly and (at least the Sam's 'Pure') beer well kept. As far as food's concerned, I thought it was upstairs for food & downstairs for beer & smokers...

there are so many places to eat around here I suggest if it's a cheap eat you want, avoid the area, walk 10 mins max & go to China Town, fill your face for a fiver then come back and drink at the cheapo chandos!

Enjoy!
mouleberg - 15 Mar 2007 22:12
Caled in last Friday at quarter to six for a pint and a snack before going next door to ENO. Queued 10 minutes for a pint of Sam Smiths and asked to order some food. Was told that kitchen closes at six and that "Chef" wouldn't cook after that. This was at five to six. Perhaps they need a clock or timecheck? This is a case of the tail wagging the dog.
Strange thing was at least a dozen other people were clamouring at the bar trying to order food as well.Should the reconsider their timing? Or should potential spenders of money be forced to throw it at the likes of McDonalds.

almost_an_old_git - 15 Mar 2007 16:49
One to pop in to when on the way back to Charing Cross. Beer good, shame the bouncers seem to be there to provide an audience for the fights rather than to stop them.
MankyBadger - 14 Mar 2007 21:33
A Sam Smiths pub so its cheap compared to most in this area, no name brands so if you only drink "jack daniels" and "coke" your out of luck.. The Smiths Bitter is good as are the lagers & cider.

Extremely close to the National Gallery, Leics Sqso it makes a good bolt hole from the tourist traps!!

Booths downstairs if your lucky and an array of sofas upstairs if you are luckier!


anonymous - 6 Mar 2007 13:22
Came to visit Chandos just before Christmas 06. A fantastic end to a wonderful day out with a VERY special friend. peaceful, clean and with polite staff.
A great atmosphere...Many thanks, looking forward to coming back soon.
eveie - 10 Feb 2007 15:15
A really good place to meet friends for an afternoon/evening. Cheap and comfy (most of the time).
It really is horribly smokey though and the extractors don't seem to be of any use.

Can't wait for the smoking ban to come into effect here! And they do need more staff to pick up empties and ashtrays.


stereoping - 5 Feb 2007 11:43
The Chandos is one of my favourite pubs around and one of few in Central London that does good beer at affordable prices. The main bar is low ceilinged and smoky and has a number of excellant booths for you to occupy. The beer is of a very good quality and at 1.70 a pint upwards you can't go wrong. I particularly like the Sam Smiths cider on tap, it is sweet and crisp and very thrust quenching. The bar staff are lovely if slightly rushed off their feet and the room is always scattered with ash trays and empties but this is easy to look past. If you're in town and you want a drink before or after you've been out then pop in for a pint and watch as all sorts of people walk in and stumble out.
matthew1butcher - 31 Jan 2007 13:54
I dont think the Harp is a good as the Chandos we drink well in the Chados but the Harp tables are dirty sometimes. And Sam Smiths is a good reel ale. maybe it is not the best but everyone thinks diffrently.
anonymous - 22 Jan 2007 14:55
I actually find the Sam Smiths bitter fine, especially in the context of a range of pubs nearby which provide the variety lacking here. Central London drinking usually has a soul-less, miserable tinge to it, but this is one step up (and handy for the Coliseum and theatres). Recommended(ish).
fromedrinker - 22 Jan 2007 14:22
MrLash, you're right. Sam Smith's OB isn't even good enough to use for cooking.

Last time I was in here the place was like a cesspit - asked politely if the barmaid could clear out table of the left over food and empty glasses. She told me straight she didn't have time. I really felt for her - not her fault that Sam Smith's won't pay for enough staff to keep their pubs ticking over. Thanked her for being honest, cleared the table myself, and resolved never to visit again. A shame, really.

STONCH'S BEER BLOG - stonch.blogspot.com
anonymous - 12 Jan 2007 00:20
Sam Smith's OBB is just filth, unfortunately. An only slightly more palatable version of John Smith's or Tetley's or other such pap.

The only thing in favour of this joint is that it's not a bad place to meet someone who doesn't know London and needs somewhere easy to find - before you take them somewhere far, far better.
MrLash - 11 Jan 2007 13:42
Excellent
dimebar - 11 Jan 2007 12:29
Favourite pub in the world. Obviously its a bit london-y after work: busy, suits, standing room only, etc. But Sam Smiths so brilliant and a great meeting up place.
wesball - 11 Jan 2007 12:00
Loped into the 'Chandos' again recently, lured by the local wildlife, and the Sam Smiths tall glass cool lager, nectar of the Gods! Good to see the landlord is opening the doors to all genre, including giraffes, etc.(see 19Aug06). We like the Chandos especially after a hard chase around the shops in central London. Here you can sprawl out on the comfy sofas upstairs, put your paws up & relax your claws a while! Signed:'Ravenous Lion'!
TeeJay - 11 Jan 2007 11:36
Proper pub, with an excellent range of decent beer at very reasonable prices. Worth trying out the upstairs Opera Room bar (unless it is very busy in which case you will probably fall over one of the closely-packed sofas...). Very convenient for the National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, Trafalgar Square, Leicester Square, Covent Garden, Charing Cross station, etc.
rpadam - 23 Dec 2006 22:49
Seriously good old brewery bitter from Sam Smiths at 1.72p a pint. For godssake this is London. Only spoilt by service slowing due to suits without cash having to pay by card and boring types who think pubs are for eating in. Still a sprinkling of all ages who seemed to be enjoying the cask conditioned fare. Given the area a fine pub as described below.
AndySk - 22 Dec 2006 22:34
This is always worth visiting. I've spent a few rainy days drinking Bitter and watching the drizzle!
Downman - 20 Dec 2006 01:33
Excellent traditional hardwood interior to the this pub. Samuel Smiths is always good and spent an hour in here trying different Smiths ales. Upstairs is better if you want to sit more comfortably. Why are the staff so clueless??? Asked for Porter and was given first Water and then Port!! Then asked for a menu for the upstairs dining rooms and was told they hadn't got them downstairs. They couldn't be bothered to give me a menu, so I couldn't be bothered to order food. Simple as that!
david1972a - 13 Dec 2006 21:11
I don't know why we went here to eat on Sunday.

Sam Smiths pubs are always understaffed, harassed and miserable aussies competing to see who can look the most disappointed that their trip to the homeland has ended up here.

Food wasn't terrible, I suppose, but everything else was - service, general atmosphere...

I only have myself to blame.
anonymous - 11 Dec 2006 12:35
Typical Sam Smith's pub, quite nice upstairs. Went in with a friend one Saturday afternoon - it was quiet when we arrived, but by the time we'd left - only 30 minutes later - it had filled up with people. Mostly tourists (due it's location opposite the National Portrait Gallery and near the National Gallery and Trafalgar Square).
edrok666 - 10 Dec 2006 10:26
I passed by The Chandos last Saturday night (19th Nov) and remembered that I actually paid a visit here around a year and a half a go. The beers are a little different, but good nevertheless and despite it being busy (a hazard of the area) it was comfortable. I cant remember the prices, but judging by reviews below, it seems to be fairly decent for the area. Ill be paying another visit as soon as Im next in the area. Recommended.
HTM69 - 21 Nov 2006 17:34
Would recommend this boozer for a visit. No frills. Needs more floor staff, empty glasses and dirty ashtrays sit for too long. Staff are friendly and this place has character. I'd recommend the cider.
WonnacottP - 18 Nov 2006 21:29
This has to be one of my favourite pubs. Good quality beer, very reasonable prices (cheap by London standards). It does appear a little worn around the edges, but this doesn't detract from the good beer on tap.
Februus - 14 Nov 2006 12:38
Would definitely recommend this place. Very reasonably priced beers that you don't see in other places (no Carling, Fosters etc). Decent selection of ales. This place has got character and is worth checking out.
MrNutz - 18 Oct 2006 09:38
Dirty is a bit much, this place isn't dirty. Granted it isn't a particularly good boozer, but you won't catch anything in there.

I always suspect people who refer to pubs as being "dirty" as being brain-dead fans of chrome and glass bars which can be hosed down every night, removing any trace of human habitation, ready for the next coachload of soul destroyers to rock up the next day.
anonymous - 3 Oct 2006 18:13
Dirty theatre/tourist pub. Avoid.
anonymous - 3 Oct 2006 17:39
Best value in London 1.72 for a pint of brewery bitter [sept 06]good beer decor a bit sombre food edible and not exhorbitanta complement to the Harp nearby.
dogbolter - 25 Sep 2006 20:15
good pub with a good atmosphere spent many a lunchtime in there and occasional Friday night although does get crowded on a fri night. CHEAP BEER
takethat - 19 Sep 2006 02:16
Good for lunchtimes, rather too busy most evenings. The recent closure for refurb seems to have resulted in little noticeable change apart from the fact that the place no longer smells as bad. Disabled access by side entrance in King William IV Street, but no accessible toilets. Old Brewery Bitter still dispensed by handpump. Cider Reserve on draught better than in most Sams' pubs.
Martinl - 12 Sep 2006 15:30
This pub is suberb, for a quite drink at the bar or with a small group of friends, the selection is good and the ales are kept well.
Tubes - 12 Sep 2006 14:41
fantastic range of beers, good location, very good value. Like most pubs gets crowded after work but otherwise its usually fairly easy to get seats
mooose - 5 Sep 2006 14:01
Nice to see the 'man at the top of the building' is working again.. heaving beer barrels up to the top floor (for some reason)! Perhaps they could get him serving in the bar..!! We love the Chandos. TJ
TeeJay - 4 Sep 2006 00:19
The Sam Smiths is OK, but the pub is noisy, smoky and crowded.
Alph_river - 28 Aug 2006 23:23
Perhaps said person is a giraffe, or is referring to the Salisbury or Harp!
anonymous - 19 Aug 2006 12:23
If you defintion of "around the corner" entails a 20 minute route march through a very busy part of central London, yes the Cittie of Yorke is "around the corner" from the Chandos.
anonymous - 16 Aug 2006 11:37
Good central place to meet. Stay away from the dodgey lager and stick to the barely drinkable ales. If you can ignore the stench of this place then it's an ok pub in a good location for meeting. However with the Cittie of Yorke around the corner why not go somewhere with a bit more character?!
anonymous - 16 Aug 2006 11:26
GOD BLESS SAM SMITH !! I luvvit!!
If you've never tried Sam Smiths beers.. where have you been..!! Ok, you may be sophisticated.. but give it a rest for a night, be daring and try SS's stronger lager! Mmm.. mmm! I can taste it now!!
Great Pub! GREAT TOWN ! Don't ya just luv London..!!
****************************************************
Ideal central London location, spitting distance from Trafalgar Square. We love the Chandos!
They had a re-fit in March'06. So the decor should be Ok for a while! Downstairs is enormous, and very smokey in the evenings. Unless your a party animal, can I suggest you venture upstairs to the 'Opera Room' which maintains a theatre feel to it. Upstairs there are comfy sofas & armchairs to recline in, and different 'stalls' and drinking areas, unusual in the modern era of Wetherspoons & Pitcher pubs which are a plenty nowadays. I like Sam Smiths pubs, they're different! Back in April, the Chandos maintained a "No Smoking" area (before 7.30pm) at the far end upstairs, a small part-enclosed area, seating 20 people at a squash (I know, we did it!) There were not many 'no smoking' bars in central London then. Are there any more now...?? (Don't say The Polar Bear, Leicester Sq., 'cos thats now gone back to being a fully smoking pub again!)
WHERE DO PEOPLE GO IN LONDON FOR SMOKE FREE PUBS...!??
...You could always try the Chandos...! TJ
TeeJay - 29 Jul 2006 23:41
It's all right in here. Hadn't drunk downstairs for a long while but I seem to remember the downstairs bar being in a different position to now and it was less open. I'm thinking 10 years back and I could be wrong. I had the pure brewed lager for a change and it was ok.
mitomighty - 12 Jul 2006 13:56
One of the best pubs in central London. I've known it for nearly 20 years and always return with pleasure. It's always busy but not impossibly so, and the beers and barstaff are fine.
Very handy for Trafalgar Square, Charing Cross station and the post office!
timkholman - 22 Jun 2006 14:35
anonymous, many pubs may have increased their prices significantly due to the increased alcohol duty but the price in the Chandos has only gone up by 2p (apart from alpine lager), the exact increase, or less than the increase in duty. That's one of the things which makes it such a great pub!
chris2 - 22 Jun 2006 14:28
This is a great pub. It rarely seems to be busy when I'm there so always easy to get served.
kitcat - 20 Jun 2006 11:06
Increase in beer duty was a penny or two wasn't it? Yet breweries/pubcos have added 10p, 20p to the price of a pint. Don't blame Gordon Brown for that.
anonymous - 18 Jun 2006 22:07
chimpface, I think it was shut just to do it up a bit because of wear and tear, not to completely re-do the whole pub. The price increase is due to the increase in alcohol duty as part of Gordon Brown's budget.

Anyway it's a great pub, with a great chilled out vibe upstairs with the comfy sofas and great tasting, good value beer
anonymous - 18 Jun 2006 21:57
I was in The Chandos last night and the last contributor is spot on - I couldn't see any changes either: same lay out, same furniture; same beer; same groups of loud drunks screaming their heads off so you couldn't hear yourself think. Still it's not a bad place to meet before heading soemwhere else.
andrew1961 - 6 May 2006 11:26
Well the Chandos is indeed open again after its extensive refit/refurb. Seriously guys. Help me out. I can't see a single bit of difference. I was upstairs in there on Wednesday and all that had changed was the barmaid. Oh yeah... and the beer's gone up by a penny. To pay for the refurb no doubt.
Any ideas what it was shut for?
chimpface - 5 May 2006 13:22
This pub has now reopened - at least it was last night!
beeronaut - 27 Apr 2006 07:32
Call me overly-trusting, but I would imagine the refurb would not be along any of the lines you describe and may just be a restoration job. However having said that, the prime location of this pub may have tempted SS over to the dark side. If this is the case my existing frustrations with this brewery (caused by the fact that it only serves one cask beer at best, and that tastes like John Smith's Smooth) may boil over.
anonymous - 24 Apr 2006 17:51
My favourite pub, but alas, now closed for "refurbishment". Great stuff - which refurbishment formula will you choose? All Bar One, Walkabout or The 'spoon? You disappoint me Sam Smith - I thought you would know better.
anonymous - 24 Apr 2006 15:14
This pub is close at the moment it looks like it's being refurbished.
Linkman - 9 Apr 2006 09:41
Toddle off to the Pitcher and Piano then Juzza!

Sam Smiths rules - I dread the day when they sell out to the big boys and everywhere else is the identikit pub as it is getting now.
anonymous - 8 Apr 2006 13:50
Apologies for my ignorance about Sam Smith pubs Im humbled Im not a mainsteam fan aka fosters stella but Im just not a fan of their beer
juzza - 31 Mar 2006 14:31
Juzza - have you ever been to a tied house before? Sounds like you haven't! This and many other pubs in London, particularly in Soho/Fitzovia, are owned by Sam Smith's and sell their beer and their beer only.

In Juzza's defence however SS pubs are unusual in that they go as far as to make their own keg lagers and stouts etc, replacing the Fosters etc beloved of the Conniwot contingent. So when you step in here you don't see any of the megabrands. A good thing too.
anonymous - 29 Mar 2006 13:40
Juzza, This is a Sam Smith's pub. That's the whole point!! They sell their own brand of drinks! People go to Sam Smith's pubs for that very reason!!!
Linkman - 29 Mar 2006 12:56
really odd place selling brands that no one has heard from im not against something different but this pub and the fitzroy tavern that correct me if im wrong is the same company are trying to be too different im not a fan
juzza - 29 Mar 2006 12:44
Currently closed for refurbishment.
SilkTork - 16 Mar 2006 22:17
shame the old management couple have left, we miss you fran & lee
anon26 - 16 Mar 2006 21:07
Great pub but can get a bit crowded but it was fairly crowd free when we were in there at 4.30pm. Staff friendly. Didn't try thr grub but it looked OK. Most of the people in there appeared to be tourists sheltering from the rain.
paulbeckett - 13 Mar 2006 10:13
Their pints of Ayingerbrau are cheap by central London standards but I'd like to enjoy it more if I could get a seat, cause they're all taken by f****** non drinking tourists filling in postcards.
Notasaffa - 8 Mar 2006 00:02
Very nice pub that's incredibly cheap for central London. Have some good beers on tap including Samuel Smiths Ale which at 1.70 a pint is excellent value. The baked potato I had was very and the staff friendly. Toilets are clean and well kept though this pub does get very busy in the evening so the likelihood of getting somewhere to sit is slim.

Will definately re-visit sometime soon...
wezmiester - 6 Mar 2006 18:40
Just Good and solid with interesting pictures on the walls and nice sofas upstairs and i'm partial to some of their brews.
mitomighty - 12 Feb 2006 21:11
Nice pub. Had a nice pint of Sam Smith's Alpine Lager. That's right, I used the words "nice" and "lager" in the same sentence. Food menu looked good, sandwiches looked huge and served with plenty of chips. Will definately visit again.
mad_mullah - 7 Feb 2006 14:20
Very good central London choice - slightly heaving on a Friday night. Interesting beer which at 1.70-2 or so a pint cant be bad
anonymous - 30 Jan 2006 13:15
Interesting interior. If you like Sam Smith's beers (I am not sure I do) definitely give it a try.
anonymous - 5 Jan 2006 13:36
Found this one completely by mistake.. Popped in for a quick pint, and ended up spend a good few hours in there.
Bar staff brilliant, atmosphere brilliant. A spot on pub...
easyco - 27 Dec 2005 19:59
40 metres from Trafalgar Square and 1.70 a pint,surely beyond belief. But no, a decent Sam Smiths pub with friendly and helpful bar staff and a good atmosphere.Worth a visit for sure.
ChrissG - 21 Nov 2005 22:50
Went here last weekend to meet a few friend's before heading to a mate's birthday celebrations at Covent Garden. Went to another Sam Smith's pub, The Cock Inn just off Oxford Street about a year ago and had always thought of it as one of the most welcoming London pubs I'd ever been too. I can now add The Chandos to that list. Although fairly empty (it was 2.00 in the afternoon), the staff made every effort to make you feel welcome and were constantly moving around keeping the place tidy. I know for a fact that I did a strange double take when the barman told me that 2 pints of bitter would be 3.40! It was amazing to finally be drinking at a London pub where you hand over a tenner and get over a fiver back in change. The 'bare boards' look of the place was comfortably inviting and even the toilets were remarkably well maintained. Will definitely be going back.
palser - 9 Nov 2005 16:26
Awesome Pub - magical in some respects, downstairs is so comfortable you could sleep there and upstairs palys host to a secret world not unlike the lion and the witch and the Chandos
beerisgood4u - 3 Nov 2005 10:45
I travel to London fairly frequently, and had meant to pop into The Chandos and give it a go for a while. A fortnight ago I did just that, and wasn't disappointed.

Two of my favourite pubs locally (in Manchester) are Sinclair's Oyster Bar, and The Boar's Head (in Stockport), both Sam Smith's pubs, and their bitter's and pale ale's are always top notch (alas, it's only Sinclair's that ever has the Tadcaster bitter on, however).

The beer was good, the staf were friendly, the pub itself was nice (much prefer a nice dark wood pub to a shiney pine-and-chrome monstrosity any day!), and the prices were good (surprisingly so for London, and in comparisson to other Sammies pubs).

I'd recommend the Chandos to anyone who fancied a decent pint in a decent boozer.
Bigaudio - 1 Nov 2005 18:23
The only thing going for the Chandos is the cheap prices, there are far better pubs locally, so I would suggest giving these a go rather than the Chandos.
primalpete - 1 Nov 2005 13:52
A really great place for a drink after work. Does get busy but cheap as chips and superb location for pre-theatre/downtown drinks.
keep_it_green - 1 Nov 2005 13:24
cracking place to drink, good social buzz to it, friendly staff, cheap beer. We always look to meet up here when people coming from across UK for gigs.
gumpy - 30 Oct 2005 17:49
Top place, cheap beers just WAY to busy after work.
Delios - 30 Sep 2005 13:17
Yes, I probably will. No typing errors this time...phew!
Mr.Monkfish - 28 Sep 2005 16:52
You'll "mis" it will you?
anonymous - 28 Sep 2005 16:51
Cheers Jockstrap! I'll remember to try this "beer" of which you speak next time...I'll mis my peer though!
Mr.Monkfish - 28 Sep 2005 16:50
A fine pub, prefer it during the day than at night. Get a sofa as per beermeup's exaltations. I prefer to drink beer here myself as opposed to the one below who likes to drink 'peer'???
JockStrap - 24 Sep 2005 14:41
Lovely pub with character that avoids being a tourist trap despite it's prime location. It's a Sam Smith's so the beer is good but unique to the brewery and the "famous" and "premium" brand name drinks are not served here. Lovely wooden floored area downstairs with nice booths to secrete yourself in. Upstairs offers a warmer, more comfortable environment with more sofa style seating than standing room. If the windows are open in summertime it's a good place to watch the world go by. Lovely building all in all, with good peer at a very acceptable price. Bar staff are generally on-the-ball and friendly too.
Mr.Monkfish - 21 Sep 2005 13:54
No trip through town is complete without a brief sojourn into the Chandos. Yes, its the same as any Sam Smiths pubs and yes, its very cheap. But this place has a bit of charm that always makes me want to stay and get shit faced. Technically speaking. Get a sofa and then look smug to the patrons who have to stand.
Beermeup - 20 Sep 2005 13:45
Hadn't been for a while and it was nice to come back. Not as crowded as I expected for a Friday night - is everyone on holiday or avoiding the west end these days?

It was a pleasure to have a pint of Sam Smiths from a proper hand pump again (so many of them have gone to keg now). And yes the prices are very welcome - 1 per pint cheaper than the Cove in Covent Garden which we visited just before.
GrahamA - 13 Aug 2005 21:20
Unbelievable prices for Central London. My mates enjoyed the stout and the ale (Sovereign) wasn't bad at all. There seemed to be a good atmosphere about the place and it was busy without being heaving.
johnkn7 - 19 Jul 2005 21:38
I was there on the night that Melanie "was attacked" and would like to point out that had she not yelled at the men and then preceded to chase them down the stairs slapping one of them in the face, the incident would have had a different outcome. Note to self Melanie, mustn't shout at and slap strange men in central London pubs.
Scott223 - 1 Jun 2005 14:26
I disagree with the disparaging comments about the Sam Smiths beer. The stout is very good. The bitter is average but certainly quaffable, and the prices are very good value for Central London.

I've always thought there's a good atmosphere in here, downstairs as well as up, but they are sometimes short-staffed and you can wait a while to be served. It's shocking what happened to Melanie (below)though. Unfortunately there are a few unsavoury elements around this area, but you should be able to go into a pub on your own without having to worry about being attacked. The pub management should consider employing security instead of putting the onus on you.
zel - 20 May 2005 16:43
Good, central pub to meet up with large groups of friends; large stalls and seating areas- and of course, very cheap beer... but don't touch the bitter. In my experience it ain't kept too well.
Gagriff - 12 Apr 2005 19:33
Yeah,..nice one to know this,...especially the upstairs bar,....although,... you may have to move onto the shorts in here,..cos in terms or beer,.. all they serve is that Samuel Smiths nonsense
kmcs - 7 Apr 2005 14:18
Basically, a well-run atmospheric pub following the exact Sam Smiths Yorkshire formula (exactly as per the Hansom Cab in York, for example), but in central London rather than York or Tadcaster. Staff change frequently (quite often Aussies) but management is on the whole good. The draught Ayingerbrau lager is a very quaffable German look-alike, and it's cheap and well brewed. I used to work nearby in Whitehall and come in every day for a pint at noon in the dowmstairs bar, which is nice when fairly empty but can get very crowded. And for single women on their own the upstairs bar is definitely "more appropriate".
vyvyan - 20 Mar 2005 14:44
I was recently attacked by two men and punched in the face while waiting for a friend at the Chandos. The management told me (and I quote) that they politely suggest that I avoid coming into busy West End pubs alone. So much for their policy of protecting lone women!
MELANIEDAVIS - 2 Mar 2005 12:32
The Chandos is brilliantly central for meeting my N/S/E/W friends, plus there's no excuse for saying 'I can't come out - I've got no money' because it doesn't get much cheaper than this. Upon saying that, don't feel like you are drinking in some slime-hole as a consequence. I always go upstairs and there is a pretty friendly crowd there. Lots of tourists pre-theatre and quite a few office types so can get a bit busy on Friday nights. Very friendly/efficient bar staff.
roxy - 2 Mar 2005 12:13
Nice central London pub, very much in the tradition style. Of course being Samuel Smith's the best part is the extremely cheap ale.
Recommended if drinking in the area.
anonymous - 6 Feb 2005 18:37
Excellent pub, cheap beer, friendly bar staff, and excellent location for meetin up with mates. Usually very busy though, so you have to be early unless you want to stand around with the masses of people.
beach03 - 1 Feb 2005 17:38
Nice looking pub and the beer was ok. Popular with tourists.
Womble - 30 Jan 2005 09:20
Looks nice but as someone who hates Samuel Smiths and their array of poor lager and nasty spirits its not one I'd recommend.
RobG - 7 Jan 2005 13:54
a great place for making new friends! we've formed a whole crew as a resultof this pub and its amazing ayingerbrau lager!
love it!
chandos crew! - 17 Nov 2004 14:21
what an amazing pub! the atmosphere is great and is very cheap!especially considering the location!

steven helliwell - 17 Nov 2004 14:18
I can recommend this pub - good, inexpensive, beer, especially for the location! A very traditional interior, which I like. The upstairs is very pleasant and comfortable.
Jason - 26 Oct 2004 10:18
Great location and a not bad pub either. Excellent spot if you need to arrange to meet up with friends in the West End. Very cheap beer for Central London but perhaps a victim of its own success at times - seemed to have run out of more than one draught beer on a recent visit. Not sure I would want to settle in for the evening but a decent choice as a place to down a beer or two before moving on.
Simon - 14 Sep 2004 14:25
A reliable, *cheap* pub in central London. Sometimes too full (because of the cheapness). Upstairs (with the big sofas) much more pleasant than downstairs. They need to sort out the ventilation though, too smokey in winter.
anonymous - 31 Aug 2004 16:28
This is one of the better London pubs which does not get too busy considering it's location. Recommended....
Ollie Reed - 30 Aug 2004 16:41
Went on Friday and was rather diappointed to find that they had some terrible music playing, so loud you could hardly hear yourselves talk. Went upstairs and fortunately it was OK up there.
If they're trying to drive customers away then playing thrash metal at high volume is a good way to go about it.
The beer wasn't as good as usual either.

Johnno - 18 Aug 2004 15:04
A great pub, Sam Smiths beers, location off Trafalgar square and aircon for those HOT days..
TheGP - 10 Aug 2004 14:36
Had a few in here Sunday afternoon. Staff were friendly, the Old Brewery bitter was good and me and pals passed a few hours pleasently while London swealtered.

The upstairs bar was plush and not busy at all. Very nice. Yay for Sam Smith.
MrScott - 2 Aug 2004 17:03
Another great Sam Smith's pub. Due to its location its a good meeting place. Tends to get very busy.
I've had some great nights in here, and it'll always hold fond memories of the first time I bought a pint in here and realised just how incredibly CHEAP it is - especially for central London!
Johnno - 22 Jun 2004 14:15
We were recently in London visiting from the states. The Opera Room at Chandoos was recommended by a bartender from the states. Good food, good prices, friendly staff, great room with lots of light coming in through beautiful stained glass windows, a great place to relax during a day of walking around London.
Smitty - 30 May 2004 13:19
Good Beer (Ayingerbrau) Good Food upstairs (fantastic Ale Pies) very comfy couches and a good view over the Square. Staff are friendly too.
Aaron - 19 May 2004 06:28
This would have been a nice pub, if they got a new bar manager, I have never met such a rude man. Completely ruined the experience for me. Shame cause might have been ok otherwise.
Maz McGuigan - 10 May 2004 11:07
This is always my first stop on a night out up in the West end, usually pop in there if I'm in the area during the day too.

Great beer, great atmosphere but the place can get a bit smoky as there doesn't seem to be any extractor fans or anything (at least any that work).

Good to get in early - long live Prinz and the killer Pils! The Cider knocks your socks off too...
Mark - 12 Mar 2004 20:38
The pub I usually use to meet up with mates in Central London. Then again we're all old fans of Sam Smith's from our university days. It's basic, friendly, a bit noisy, and cheap. A good place to muster before an evening in the West End.
Pete Fenelon - 12 Mar 2004 15:34
Chandos is a great pub, it does exactly what is says on the tin. Good well priced beer, comfomy sofas upstairs, you can hold a conversation with the person sat next to you, it's comfy and cosy and does all my favorite crisps, what else do you need??
Isla - 10 Mar 2004 13:17
It's a Sam Smiths pub - means good beer and cheap prices. The upstairs has the bonus of great leather couches and pretty friendly bar staff. Just don't forget the person you came with if you start chatting with one...
Peter Bancroft - 28 Feb 2004 22:23
in my opinion, the best ratio on quality : price in london, plus you HAVE to love the leather couches in the upstairs room. Also, the Old Cask Bitter is fantastic! for a 1.68 pint!
Hector H. - 27 Feb 2004 17:11
A pub that doesnt sell Becks or Southern Comfort, or Bacardi... and has one rough red wine by the glass.??? Beers OK!!
Ian - 24 Feb 2004 18:05
Freindly relaxed atmosphere and nice drinks. Helpful staff 9a friend lost a personal item and they found it for her) will go back there soon.
Tremaine Douglas - magick_mercutio@hotmail.com - 24 Feb 2004 10:23
Poor service upstairs but nonetheless a good place to start your evening.

Avoid soft drinks more pricey than the beers (2.60 for a soda water and lime as opposed to lager under 2).
anonymous - 14 Feb 2004 08:23
But Honest John, that's why we like it. You can be moderately heinous and no-one bats an eyelid.
Bines - 12 Feb 2004 11:31
Most unsuspecting punters will probably try the bar downstairs - this is the smoking area. Upstairs is rather different; one end of the lounge has sumptuous settees - Beware! If you sit in one of these, you may have trouble getting up again. At the other end, there are more conventional tables and chairs. Service can be slow, so the best time to go is when it's nearly empty. The beer (Sam Smith's) is very cheap for central London, but the food's a bit pricey... but hey, they've got to make a profit somehow.

Duvel - 18 Dec 2003 22:46
A good pub to meet in, but not worth staying in for the evening - it gets packed. Beers are usually well kept.
andrew1961 - 7 Dec 2003 14:19
Another Samuel Smith triumph but don't hang around too long as it has a tendancy to fill up with suits. Not the politest sort of folk so expect a brief case or a trench coat in the face if you are unfortunate enough to be sat near the toilets. Also it always seems to be under staffed, and so getting served can often develop into a long drawn out affair. Hmmm... maybe not such a triumph after all.
Good for: late afternoons/early evening.
thenationofjames - 5 Dec 2003 13:34
Excellent location, service, staff, meals and beer. The best in London so far.
Dean - 11 Nov 2003 12:32
I'm afraid that I don't share your other contributors enthusiasm for this pub... it is a gipping smoke filled hole and serves repulsive beer.
John B Honest - 4 Nov 2003 09:10
Good relaxing pub in the busy West End. I recommend the leather sofas upstairs. Although they may make you miss that train/bus/tube home.
Paul - 16 Oct 2003 10:44
Cheap, characterful and easygoing. Does the west end job nicely. Usually nice clientelle and friendly barstaff. Long may it reign
John - 17 Sep 2003 16:07
Dark, Dickensian, a good place to take foreigners who want to see a proper London pub.
Vindaloo - 15 Aug 2003 08:54
Great pub - great atmosphere!! We have been a couple of times and have yet to be disappointed. The last time that we were there (2002) we actually spoke to a very friendly WWII Vet - when does that ever happen?
CLO - 13 Aug 2003 05:06
Great pub, one of the few in that area which isn't totally plastic, where you can relax as if in your own living room.

Ayingerbrau is very nice, as are bar staff esp friendly grinning bald bloke
Justine - 10 Jul 2003 14:08
Recommended! Great place to have an early dinner & a good pint if you have a youngster in tow. Children friendly till about 7.30p.m.
Bob Jarvis - 23 Jun 2003 15:14
The booths are good, as is the bottled organic lager.
Col - 9 Jun 2003 14:43
lovely cheap sam smiths real ale... mmmmmmm
burton - gespachio@donalddewer.co.uk - 13 May 2003 12:59
Exactly as everyone here says. Great Samuel Smith's beer, great location. Good service. Good atmosphere. And very cheap.
Sickboy - 28 Apr 2003 20:07
great pub - not been for a few years. the Ayingerbrau pils is legendary as is putting the contents of the ashtray into some bird's kitbag
Simone - bickers@bickers.com - 23 Apr 2003 16:52
Great location and atmosphere. Doesn't serve certain drinks like JD and Baileys which is a pain, but it's friendly and cheap. Brilliant music too.
Lou - 21 Apr 2003 17:40
great Samuel Smith pub so very cheap but also great atmosphere. Service usually very good
arturo_morales - 18 Mar 2003 15:00
Brilliant Pub, Brilliant Beer, Brilliant location, what more do you want???
Daniel Cox - 17 Feb 2003 17:35
Very good place to meet friends, cheapest pub I know in central london, and great beer (if you like stout and ale or weird pseudo-German stuff)
Andreas - 8 Jan 2003 15:33
Not a place to stay in for more than one drink. Gets too busy thanks to its location. Handy for some theatres though.
Alistair - 29 Nov 2002 13:51
Great pub to meet up with friends arriving from out of town as it is so central. Great Sam Smiths beer and comfy sofas too!
Jim - 20 Nov 2002 18:01
The best pub in Town!
Mark Lewis - 6 Nov 2002 14:04
My favourite pub in London.

Monika behind the bar is wonderful.
Jon - 1 Nov 2002 15:08
One of the few places where you can go on your own, read your book have a drink and not get molested by men.
Eva - 28 Oct 2002 16:32
Fantastic Pub, great beer and terrific staff!
Vicki - 13 Oct 2002 14:09
A Sam Smiths pub - good beers including 'authentic' Ayingerbrau Bavarian beers brewed in Tadcaster! Definitely a pub for wood lovers, there's half a forest of trees in the furnishings.
Piers - 11 Oct 2002 14:46
Quite a nice bar upstairs, the pretentiously titled "Opera Bar", which has comfy sofas, but range of beers doesn't stray far from Lowenbrau. Many more preferable pubs nearby...
Pauly H - 30 Aug 2002 11:34

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