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Lamb and Flag, Covent Garden

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user reviews of the Lamb and Flag, Covent Garden

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

Went here with some mates as part of a crawl. They have a nice selection of beers, such as Fullers ESB and Seafarer. A traditional boozer. Prices are what you would expect in the West End, about £5 a pint. I had the Seafarer, which was well kept. We stood outside and experienced the sweet fragrance of the drains.
HornchurchJohn - 3 Jul 2019 17:32
Went here a couple of weeks ago with a couple of mates - first time we'd been in for a while and we were pleased to note that the pong from the bogs/drains was gone!

Another good pub - properly old and tucked away up a small street/alley but still sought out by tourists. They don't tend to stop too long though so far as I can see.

Inside, its suitably dark and unreconstructed - especially the back bar which has a great cosy ambiance - long may the brewery/pubco leave it alone.

Beer is good - I had the Seafarers (I think that's what its called) it was in good condition and well poured by the first bar person who served me. Indeed he spotted a slightly short measure and topped it up before I asked. Unfortunately, generally the service is a bit lacking - no idea which order to serve people in and get awkward if you point out that they are ignoring you. Also short measures from one of the female servers who got quite shirty when I asked for a top up - "pay for it first and I'll top it up". Not good.

So, good beer and good pub - but only a six because of the service.

Cricket.
on_the_brightside - 27 Apr 2018 23:11
Plenty of real ales to choose from and a good place to stand outside on a summer's evening, without being run over. Too many sweary pissed twits for my liking, and expensive (£4.40 per pint), but you can do a lot worse in Convent Garden.
Number11 - 24 May 2015 00:42
Another pub that I haven't been in for a very long time.

I always liked the Lamb & Flag and my recent visit has not changed my mind, now a Fuller's pub...it may have been before but I don't remember.

8 hand pumps dispensing 7 Fullers ales and 1 from Butcombe. I had a very good pint of Brit Hop.

Food had stopped being served by the time we arrived so we tucked into the Mini pies and pork scratchings that were served in a glass.

Half busy when I visited, decent pub that is worthy of another visit, it's proper traditional, old and has real charm.

lezford - 17 Apr 2014 13:16
Just noticed how much is a pint here.... £4.25 for an ESB.
Mappiman - 19 Jan 2014 12:56
The toilets are fine, so if there is a smell it must be the drains. Report it to City of Westminster or Thames Water.

malo66 - 26 Sep 2013 19:30
the smell hasnt gone
becks007 - 29 Aug 2013 18:09
Haven't been in for quite a while but earlier in the week I was in the area and dropped in. Still an excellent selection of beers, quick staff and an interesting range of clientele but - great news - THE SMELL HAS FINALLY GONE!! Back amongst my favourites.
guayabera - 14 Jun 2013 17:50
A regular stopping off point for years now, this pub is a handy fall back due to the sheer appallingness of most Covent Garden pubs and although it gets crowded, still oozes tradition, There is a contrast between the mainly standing room only downstairs bar and the airiness of the upstairs. Fascinating etchings and other examples of draughtmanship pepper the walls.
BoehmBawerk - 16 Mar 2013 07:07
A tucked away pub down a small side street, I initially wondered if I was going to find it. If you approach from the Floral Street end you seem to be wandering down a back alley full of large bins, but my perseverance paid off and it was well worth the effort. Alternatively of course, just approach from the other direction and it will be much more obvious.

Downstairs it’s mostly one single room with a long bar counter on the left, although there is a sort of snug area at the back. It’s quite an attractive place with leaded windows at the front and brown paintwork. The snug at the back has some wood panelling, and apart from in here the seating options are fairly limited with just a few stools in the window and a few more opposite the bar.

Upstairs is a further room that does have more seating, although this is probably used more by diners. Here there are dark wooden boards on the floor and the paintwork is a mixture of purple and cream. There was an old dresser and a marble fire-place, although I’m not sure if this is used. There is also a smaller bar counter with a more limited range of beers. An interesting mural of books is painted on the wall of the staircase to this upper bar.

A decent enough “pub grub” menu was offered, with dishes such as Burger, Fish & Chips, Ham Egg & Chips, Sea Bass, etc., and these were mostly priced around the £9 mark. My Sausage & Mash with a Red Wine Onion Gravy was tasty dish and a generous portion with three sausages and plenty of mash.

Beers on tap were nearly all from Fuller’s with their ESB, HSB, London Pride, Chiswick, Bengal Lancer and Seafarer’s Ale. The only guest appeared to be Butcombe, and the solitary cider was Aspall’s Suffolk.
Blackthorn - 18 Feb 2013 22:51
Been in many times. Its always a struggle to get through the door, but if you can - head for the upstairs bar, which can be quieter. My visits are akin to a museum visit and I never stop for more than 1.... Just want to soak up the olde worlde atmosphere....
Mappiman - 10 Feb 2013 18:12
re. the price of beer: 4 is a standard price in Hampstead, so 4.15 in Covent Garden sounds about right.
And I am sure the Fullers Chiswick Ale would be well under 4 in the Lamb & Flag?
malo66 - 15 May 2012 13:27
Not a lot changed since the Fuller's takeover, although they have got rid of most of the memorabilia which gave the pub it's character.

However the price of the beer is jaw dropping..... 4.15 for the guest real ale "Yorkshire Blond" is a lot of money.

Don't suppose the tourists will mind paying it but think this pub could be dropped from a tour of London pubs by a lot of drinkers.
beershot - 30 Apr 2012 09:39
First time I have been in since the refurb - I think its a MASSIVE improvement! Gone is that god awful stench which used to over power you as you waited at the downstairs bar near the loos! The refurb makes it look very welcoming and more traditional and I think Fullers should be congratulated for it. Will definately be visiting again!
Miker1234 - 10 Apr 2012 18:17
How (small c) conservative can you get? Fullers have totally respected the age of the pub in keeping the bar(s) unchanged except for fresh paint and wallpaper. Is there any need for rude language regarding colour of wallpaper? The only drastic change is the toilet which is very modern, but I don't think any customers will mourn the earlier incarnation?
In my opinion, this is still a fantastic pub though it still gets crowded at times.
malo66 - 10 Apr 2012 13:18
Popped in Saturday afternoon, very busy but its Covent Garden,both Butcombe and Bengal Lancer in good form.....if your really hungry have the chicken and bacon sannies......massive
hullcityfan - 1 Apr 2012 17:29
Now reopened following refubsihment and I for one are absolutley gutted. Awful shit coloured wallpaper has been applied all round and the ceilings have been painted in totally inapropriate colours. Fullers have ruined this gem of pub. Shame on them.
Sidders - 23 Mar 2012 00:31
The thought of a "refurbishment" scares me here as this pub is a classic old boozer and although it is probably a bit "down at heel" it doesn't need any kind of makeover! Just give it a fresh coat of paint and varnish and get rid of the pong! I remember it in Courage days and I seem to recall there was a screen/doorway to separate the front section of the back. If you want to see what can be done properly to a pub's interior then take a look at The Princess Louise in Holborn - it's brilliant.
mcroyal - 4 Mar 2012 11:08
I take the point about keeping it in the (brewing) family and the full range of Fullers beers - which sadly many of their pubs do not seem to stock - is pretty impresssive. During a recent visit to the Lamb I had a couple of pints of the excellent Bengal Lancer, though 4 quid a pint begins to make a hole in the pocket. I dread to think what a refurbishment will do to this old gem. Too many pubs start off as part of the heritage and end up as some twat's idea of what a trendy Miami bar would look like. What's that sad wreck in Neil Street? The Crown & Anchor? A terrible warning.

The one thing I hope it will do is finally get rid of the ghastly smell about which many BITE-ers have commented and which on my last visit was as persistent as ever. This is probably the reason why my intake at the L and F is always liquid and I have never had the urge to eat there.
guayabera - 18 Dec 2011 16:08
Dear Browntrout, I have to say your 'horror' is a little overdone. The Lamb & Flag was for many years tied to Courage (a brewery which in the seventies was not noted for being good with old pubs or real ale. Yet Courage's management did not do the pub any harm and Fuller's track record all over London and the south east speaks for itself. Fuller's will keep all that is worth keeping. I'm sure the dear old pub can do with a bit of redecoration.
As for tourists, I think they are already the majority of the clientele and love them or hate them, they do bring money into the country.
And no, I don't work for Fuller's. I just love their ales and I enjoy visiting their new pubs and re-visiting old haunts.
malo66 - 12 Dec 2011 13:10
Made a rare visit to old london town...so had to go to my wonderful local of 35 years ago....was pleased to see it had'nt been buggered up.......but horrified to learn that it was no longer a free house and that Fulllers, the new owners, were planning a ten week ''refurbishment'' early in 2012.....so visit while you can before it's heart and soul are ripped out.......Fullers being a family run business really should know better......And for all you folk who want a clean, sterile, corporate run pub.....go and drink with the tourists!!!!!!
browntrout - 8 Dec 2011 10:42
Yes do write to Fuller's if you have a complaint - I know from another website that they take complaints seriously. On the question of guest beers, Fullers do have guest beers in a number of their pubs, but ask yourself a question before whingeing that they exclude guest beers:

If you won the Euro millions and purchased a pub free of tie, if a member of your family happened to own a brewery, wouldn't you be inclined to FAVOUR your relative's brewery??
malo66 - 25 Nov 2011 20:21
Beerquaffer's experience is inexcusable, and having used this pub for 30 years I am appalled that they should stoop to these depths. I don't know either whether it is illegal - I suspect it is - but it is certainly unethical and I suggest that BQ write to the Chairman of Fullers in no uncertain terms about this practice. Fullers, though I have my complaints about their exclusion of guest beers and their disinclination to feature New World wines, run a pretty tight ship and ought to know what the manager and staff of one of their star pubs are doing.
guayabera - 22 Nov 2011 22:45
Titchy little pub now run by Fuller's. All their beers were available, Discovery was decent quality. Completely rammed on a Thursday night with a big courtyard to the front. It's one of those intense sort of Central London pubs where the beer flows freely and it's all sort of crazy and lively - but is it a good pub? It's perfectly serviceable and a good stop off perhaps, but it's missing that "something". 6
Goldings - 11 Nov 2011 13:41
Went into this pub last week and ordered a pint of Pride. When the glass was nearly full it was topped up to the brim with the contents of the slop tray!

When I told the barmaid that there was no way I was accepting that, she said she was told to do that by the manager. I'm not sure if this is even legal, but it is certainly indicative of the pub's hygene standards.

Sadly, I left the pub without purchasing anything, and I won't be returning.
Beerquaffer - 8 Nov 2011 13:40
This pub does get packed, it's true but that's the price to be paid for having a historic tavern in central London. Nonetheless this is a great place to enjoy the beers of London's only brewery (Fuller's) and guest beers. I do not know of the iron rule mentioned by guayabera.
malo66 - 8 Nov 2011 12:55
First visit since Fullers took over. My big grouse against them is their iron rule against guest beers but the ESB was exceeedingly good. Does a good trade but it seems to be mainly regulars - seeming visitors tend to take one look at the mob (or one sniff of the plumbing) and go on their way.
guayabera - 16 Sep 2011 07:55
Was served short pints the other night and landlord made quite a face when I asked him to top mine up. This seemed to be standard practice for all punters! Fullers ESB in a London Pride glass which took the edge off slightly. Beer OK but not great.
iannicholson - 15 Sep 2011 08:10
Packed on an early Saturday evening, but my Aussie mate insisted on going over for a pint. Not sure his missus and daughter were hugely amused!

They couldn't get round the concept of everyone standing outside. Bar staff friendly and helpful. Gents toilets out of Trainspotting. I put that down to it been so busy all day.

A good pub to show visitors but there are better. Wind by its traditional reputation.
willesden_seadog - 3 Jul 2011 15:21
Went to the pub yesterday.The pub seemed unusually quiet for a weekday lunchtime. It's no longer a free house,having been taken over by Fullers last week. Sadly this means that they no longer sells Youngs bitter. Thy have all the usual Fullers range including Chiswick, however when we tried this it tasted pretty nasty - it may have been the end of the barrel. London Pride was fine. Dark Star also available.

The food service, which used to be fairly basic but good value with generous portions, seems to have deteriorated. It was pretty chaotic yesterday with bungled orders and long delays. In fairness, the waitress serving us did her best to sort things out and gave us a free pint for the inconvenience suffered - maybe these are just teething problems.

On a more positive note, the smell seems to have disappeared at long last


sheahanmick - 29 Jun 2011 10:56
Visited this great traditional pub yesterday lunchtime for the first time in a while. It had hardly changed and the bar staff were the same, which is very unusual for a London pub. We drank Youngs, which was in excellent condition. The food was a bit average but O.K. As mentioned on other postings, there is a strange smell about the place but this adds to the character and I have found similar smells in other old pubs and put it down to age. Overall an enjoyable visit.
Sussexcrawler - 16 Jun 2011 06:50
Always worth a visit as one of the area's oldest and most popular pubs. Completely agree with previous posts that bogs are awful but the place does have bags of character. Always busy and popular with many people. 4 real ales or so on draught as I seem to remember.
thehonesttruth - 4 Jun 2011 10:18
Half decent pub, real shame about the attitude of the staff. Obviously don't like customers. Won't be back.
casualrealaledrinker - 25 May 2011 00:07
I paid a visit on Friday after quite a time away and made a curious discovery; I had always put the truly awful smell in the bar, noted by expertoppinion and others, down to the gents' loo. But to my surprise when I went in there on a call of Nature it smelt of roses (or at least a lot of industrial strength air fresheners) so I can only conclude that the real cause lies dead and buried a few feet inside the door near the bar. It truly is awful but it does not seem to keep the punters away. At least at this time of the year you can rush in, grab a drink and retreat to the fresh air in the alleyway outside.
guayabera - 11 May 2011 22:32
HEAVENLY BUILDING, STENCH OF HELL.
Like many others who have commented here, I was struck by the smell of this joint, which actually made me sick to my stomach.
I used to come here a lot before the spineless sickos in government banned tobbacco use in public houses. In those days the smokey aroma of cigars and cigarettes masked the evil smell that permeates this place. Either it is a sewer problem, or years of food and drink rotting in the carpet, or the landlord has buried a few disatisfied punters under the floor boards! Either way it needs to be sorted out because it's ruining what could be a great little pub.
expertoppinion - 25 Feb 2011 10:11
Totally agree that this is a must see if your in the area, but the smell of urinal cake put me off my dark star yesterday why do pubs use this stuff??, with reference to mikeyr1234 I think the smell of the sewers might be preferable.
beerandpaperman - 22 Feb 2011 01:17
This is one of my favourite pubs in the old parish of St Giles . . . . . Dickens, it is said, was a regular at this old ale house. A little too tricky to find for the tourists but well worth the visit for those who make the effort. Peroni on draft along with a fine selection of dark ales.

It's a must visit old school London boozer - if you are ever in the area check it out.

Keep up the good work chaps ! ! !
MayfairDandy - 15 Feb 2011 22:46
Not bad, but I really dont think anything special? It came across as being in need of a good clean and the smell of the sewers downstairs near the bar nearly made me throw up! They really really need to get that sorted, its disgusting!

The beer wasnt bad. It was very busy and although I didnt mind my time there I dont know if I would return.....
mikeyr1234 - 30 Jan 2011 23:57
Lovely little pub, gets very busy but the bar staff are good and you never have to wait long for service.

Good selection of Youngs beers on offer which are well kept, a good selection of lagers and ciders too.

Upstairs bar has live jazz band on a Sunday evening.

Well worth a visit if you are in the area.
beershot - 7 Jan 2011 16:16
Great little back street boozer. Mostly standing only but fascinating surroundings.

A must visit pub....use it or lose it.
LickeyEndBooze - 3 Jan 2011 13:52
Great surroundings,Good atmosphere , tasty beer.What more do you need?
covman45 - 25 Oct 2010 17:57
The Lamb and Flag is always on my visiting list when I go to London, usually accompanying either one of my daughters on a shopping trip, I have always found it - I have been using it, on and off- since 1973 and the only thing I can remember being different is the fact that they don't keep round of stilton on the Bar - Foood Hygiene and all that. Great Pub great beer, my tipple is the Young's which is always well kept. Keep up the good work for another 500 years at least!
Greenman_Blue - 21 Sep 2010 10:06
It was very busy when I visited late on a Saturday afternoon, with a sudden surge presumably as a nearby show ended.

There were about six ales on handpump, mostly very well kept, and the bad pint of Courage Best I was served was exchanged without question (although curiously it wasn't taken off sale afterwards).

Unfortunately standing near the gents is a bad idea, as the smell does carry some distance. It's near the bar so hard to avoid.
xeremy - 14 Sep 2010 12:34
Reputedly the oldest pub in Covent Garden, and still one of the capital's best known pubs, The Lamb and Flag is situated in a quiet side street almost equidistant between Leicester Square and Covent Garden underground stations.

Despite being opened out at the front and the two bars merged into one many years ago, the pub retains something of an "olde" pub feel to it, characterised by much wood panelling and old floorboards. Note the brass plaques by the bar in memory of previous customers and the numerous photos and prints of the pub in days long gone. It's very much a stand up to drink pub at the front with seating limited to stools at the bar and around the walls. An adjoining room at the back has several old tables and seems to be favoured by tourists.

An upstairs room - The Dryden Room ( named after a famous poet beaten up in the alleyway outside in 1679) - serves meals.

On my recent visit, beers on were Courage Best, Bombardier, 2 Young's Beers, Adnams Bitter plus Dark Star Hophead. The Adnams - 3.20p - was in good form.

Despite being a popular tourist destination, this is still one of my favourite pubs in the area. Consider combining it with visits to The Harp and The Salisbury for a high quality three pub crawl of the area's finest
JohnBonser - 2 Sep 2010 18:05
Went here after the cricket last night. Packed outside but quite a bit of space inside. Even found a couple of chairs! The service was quick and friendly. Harveys was v.good. Seemed to be popular with office types (lots of suits in evidence) and with tourists as well.
One letdown was the gents toilets. You could smell them a way off!
Thankfully we were sitting upstairs.
Overall though a good pub.
outtamehead - 21 Aug 2010 00:54
Great place - very nice - I try to go to different pubs in London each time Im there and unfortunately there are more bad ones than good - but Im glad to say this is one of the good ones. Nice history to the place - friendly staff, and lots of interesting items on the walls about the history of the place etc.
adamwalsh - 1 Aug 2010 20:33
Great, Great Pub Always have the Harveys and its always a well kept pint. Friendly staff and theres always enough people behind the bar.. When the sun's shiuning you can stand out in the court yard, never visit Covent Garden area without paying this pub a visit. The loo's are fine I've seen much worse.
charlieFarnsbarnes - 20 Jul 2010 16:29
Certainly a historic pub, with many testimonies to its long existence displayed with pride, including Californian bumper stickers during the proposed redevelopment of the area some decades ago, which was a surprise.

When visited on a sunny Sunday afternoon it was pleasant place to stop for a pint looking out over the alley from the large open windows. Hophead from Dark Star was sampled, which had perhaps seen better days (it's a better pint down the way at the Harp), however it would seem the beers are usually very good in here from the reviews over a number of years, so shouldn't judge on this one experience.

Would also seem to be in the Lonely Planet, given the sheer number of copies on display around the pub (can't complain, it's usually me lugging it about when abroad).

Would certainly add to a crawl of the area.
race_faster - 20 Jul 2010 12:50
Visited for the first time in a few years last Sunday.
Still a terrific pub it was very plesant to sit upstairs with the windows open and a fan playing on us.
The same ales on as listed below, I tried a pint of Harvey's but it was getting to be a bit treacly in the heat, so I swiched to the Kirin which was lovely but criminally expensive. My friend was on Young's Ordinary but had to change to Bombadier which seemed to be the only ale which was surviving the heat drinkably.
A jazz band was setting up for a 7:30 start as we left and I imagine it would have been a very nice evening there if we could have stayed.
flashharry1965 - 24 May 2010 13:14
Terrific drinkers pub steeped in history. One of the best in covent garden. Busy at midday on saturday as befits a good pub. Beers were youngs ordinary and special, harveys best and bombadier. I had a pint of ordinary which is getting back to how it was before the wells takeover but still has a way to go. A great pub always worth a pint or two.
Picasso09 - 28 Mar 2010 11:30
The solution to the smelly loo problem might be as follows. Drink away in the Lamb and Flag until Nature calls then pop round to the famous Italian restaurant on the corner where, if you can slip past the reception desk, you can use the A1 toilets in the basement.
guayabera - 22 Feb 2010 14:24
Went here last Thurasday and as usual it was rammed! Good pub with good beer, the Porter was excellent but as mentioned in another review the toilets are gross, they alleyway outside is probably cleaner and theres more space!
Bernie5 - 14 Feb 2010 12:21
Nice little back street pub with a good atmosphere. Didn't have any food, but drinks reasonably priced although the Japanese lager Kirin Ichiban at 4.30 a pint, whilst over priced, was very good. Gets packed in here though which is not a bad thing, but toilets are tiny and cramped and not all that clean.
meland - 13 Feb 2010 14:05
I went back last week for the first time since my post on 29 December and am glad to report that a new wave of vitality has struck the bar staff. Service was quick and efficient and my pint of Youngs was good to quite good. All they have to do now is something about the odd smell that has been rather apparent since the ban on smoking removed other pervading odours.
guayabera - 7 Feb 2010 11:41
I popped in here when I was down London on a training course. Amazing inside and the staff were extremely friendly. Only comment was the lack of real, traditional ales. That said, the barman recommended this two different halfs of Youngs combination which went down a treat. Highly recommended.
lordsutch - 3 Feb 2010 06:31
I met you Friday 29th in "The Lamb and Flag" and we talked an laughed for a brief while while I promised to guard you while you were busy... Please get in touch! U know who you are if you're reading this.:-)jkcfuji@yhoo.com. Great pub by the way. Highly recommended.
Jamie7 - 31 Jan 2010 12:40
A good boozer and a heartening find in the middle of tourist rip-off central. Adnams Broadside in good condition alongside Harveys Best, Courage Directors and Youngs Special. Lots of interesting historical bits and pieces hung up on the walls, and I'll definitely come back to sample the Ploughmans lunch as I bet they serve a good one. I liked this pub and would return in a flash.
ChrisP87 - 3 Jan 2010 11:02
jothebulb has a point about priority for locals. I was in there yesterday lunchtime when it was pretty full but with only two "serving" behind the bar. Actually, Madam was not budging from her comfortable perch in the corner and the bloke pulling pints was engaged in some lengthy conversation with his old chinas that did not permit serving other customers. Whatever happened to "Back in a minute - what's yours guv"? I've been going to this pub for yeeeeears so did not want to lose my cool. But I can imagine a casual visitor might well decide he was unwelcome and take a walk.
guayabera - 29 Dec 2009 13:16
This great pub was originally known as "The Bucket of Blood". Is that a great name or what?? I have spent a few great evenings there with friends. I highly recommend it.
odohertys - 16 Nov 2009 21:21
Nice pub with a good atmosphere. My pint of directors went down very well.
multiplexor - 8 Nov 2009 10:14
The Lamb and Flag remains an excellent historic pub in an area that has too few of them. The pub is small despite the fact that the original two rooms have been knocked into one and its popularity means that many drinkers spill out into the alleyway and street outside.

Courage and Youngs beers on offer and in the back area one or two interesting mementoes including an award for London Cheese pub of the year. It was interesting to see that the landlord who took over in 1983 came from the Wenlock.

I'd definitely recommend coming for a drink here but the popularity means it is often crowded particularly later in the week.
Perhaps a Monday night visit might be the best option.
murgatroyd - 29 Oct 2009 07:03
You walk in and feel like you've gone back a century or 2. Well worth a visit, but I'd stick to lager or bottled ale if I were you!
Greegor_F - 13 Oct 2009 15:17
Funny the tourist complain about toilets and other tourist. This place is an historic ale house. Enjoy the atmoshere of history with a pint or move on!

richardo - 30 Sep 2009 15:35
Really not a good idea when it gets busy in the summer. The bar is too small for the crowd that gathers outside, the staff get overwhelmed and start to lose their temper. I ended up leaving on my last visit as I was tired by the barman disappearing off to serve the regular crowd at the far end of the bar, then losing his place in large group orders & getting cross with people paying by card.
jothebulb - 14 Sep 2009 13:57
I brought some visitors from Canada to this pub and they had two bouncers at the front. At first myself and another guy tried to get in and the bouncer said no. When the rest of the party arrived, the other bouncer said yes as there were some ladies amongst us. However the first bouncer didn't hear this and when we at the bar he spotted us and yelled at us to get out as we had "snuck in".

It was very embarassing to say the least.
orolain - 4 Sep 2009 17:30
The toilets here are a joke!
BARONVONBEERBARREL - 2 Aug 2009 18:46
The food here is awful, the ploughmans was served with a wedge of brown apple, and a stick of celery that hadn't been washed. The toilets were revolting too.
happydrinker73 - 20 Jul 2009 15:52
A small Dickensian ale house with a wonderful authentic interior.There is seating to the rear of the bar ,and a large upstairs area with it's own small bar which is often not that busy.The Lamb and Flag really comes alive when the weather is good,as you can drink outside in court yard .This is one of the best outdoor vertical drinking spots in London,and the bar service is excellent when there is a large crowd,so no long wait to get served.Courage Best,Youngs Special and Adnams Bitter nothing special ,but the beers selection is saved by Harvey's Best which was spot on ,great quaff.Dont forget to take a look inside ,original features abound.
Bucking_Fastard - 29 Jun 2009 10:06
Great small traditional pub, where you can stand outside and have a decent pint
scott7114 - 17 Jun 2009 19:40
Small, unspoilt old-fashioned boozer in a part of London renowned for theme-pubs. Very crowded, turn up late in the evening and you'll have to fight your way to the bar before drinking outside in the street. Ales served are usually kept well.
TheHistoryMan - 19 May 2009 19:06
In the wild West End it's refereshing to come across a "proper pub" straight from the old school - excellent Deuchars and Youngs Best last Sunday evening and some great jazz in the very crowded upstairs bar. What's not to like?
tim_eyles - 17 May 2009 18:19
I dont recommend this place, unfriendly staff, ungentle service, rude with foreigners.
vizipok - 27 Apr 2009 17:07
Small historic and atmospheric wood panelled pub with additional seating and food counter upstairs. Only 2 ales on when we arrived including Harveys, but all 4 pumps on when we left - we obviously weren't drinking fast enough!!
lout_from_the_lane_ - 21 Feb 2009 18:43
Ales are good, very attentive staff, but was extremely busy when I was in there on a Friday evening. Do not go there for an intimate evening
SomersetChris - 31 Jan 2009 11:23
Quality little place, pretty well unspoilt, and interesting public alleyway running right through the middle. Good ale on pump, probably one of the best round here if you're looking for an authentic cosy pub.
OldRogue - 31 Dec 2008 16:28
Ive always liked this pub, but hadnt been for quite some time until recently.

Greene King IPA, Old Speckled Hen, Youngs Special/Ordinary, Courage Best and Harveys Best were all available along with the usual lagers. I found the staff to be very efficient and although there were hoards of people outside the inside was quite comfortable. There is also plenty of seating in the upstairs bar if the bottom is rammed.

The toilet is tiny and you have to watch your step as you exit it as a fall down the stairs and into the cellar is not impossible.

Dont be put off by the big crowds outside as this place is worth a visit.
Strongers - 24 Nov 2008 14:15
Saturday 22nd early evening. Already full and people outside on the street. Cant remember much about it so I guess it was OK.
Normally a fair pub with good ales and a queue for the blokes loo.
CambridgeBlue - 24 Nov 2008 09:48
Very hit and miss is my experience of the lamb. Beer is normally pretty good , but the place is small , always enjoyed more in the summer when we can stand outside. worth a visit most days.
The_Pub_Inspector - 7 Nov 2008 13:44
Always liked this pub, even sat through the jazz on a Sunday evening. Old chap behind the bar can be abit grumpy at times, but adds to the character. Came across their St Georges Day celebrations by accident and enjoyed the free snacks laid out on the bar. Bitter has been pretty reliable in my view.
oldhorizontal - 7 Nov 2008 12:46
Really liked this pub, very traditional including the landlady had a great atmosphere too! worth a visit..
nicnocs1 - 29 Oct 2008 09:24
A great london pub. Been going there for years and it has avoided the developers. Bitter normally good - especially Youngs. A bit quieter upstairs if you want a seat.
a_londoner - 9 Oct 2008 20:41
This place has nice old decor and furniture and real ales on tap, and lots of outside seating. However the Sunday Roast I ordered was terrible; dry stringy meat, over-crispy old potatoes, and broccoli and carrot that had the sh*t boiled out of them. So + points for beer & pub, - points for food.
orolain - 29 Jun 2008 19:00
an ok pub and decent for covent garden. The beer was very average indeed, and the usual 'IPA's off' and not bothering to change the barrel put me off a bit. Still I didn't expect a great deal
kenincamden - 17 Jun 2008 11:51
Pretty decent pint of Youngs Bitter when I was in here at lunchtime the other day but at 2.90 not cheap, although the going rate for the area. A pretty basic toasted ham and cheese sandwich was 4.00, again probably the going rate, but freshly made and toasted behind the bar using an old-fashioned toaster. The main bar area has a couple of tables at the back but the main seating is provided by stools by the window or at ledges around the sides of the pub. A comfortable enough pub if you are on your own or with one or two chums, but not really large enough if you are in a big group.
RexRattus - 2 Jun 2008 01:04
Since the smoking ban, about 2/3rds of the customers seem to be standing about outside - this still leaves the inside quite busy, but rather more relaxed than it once was. Nice pint of Harveys, and another five (usual suspects) to choose from. A nice place to escape the tourist madness that is Covent Garden (and try the upstairs bar if you want to sit down).
rpadam - 15 May 2008 20:58
This is my favourite Pub In Central London.
Lots of character, best to visit during the week to avoid too many tourists and students drinking halves of "lager"

Always a good pint of beer to be had, and the new smoking ban means the atmos it a lot better as it can be pretty cramped downstairs

Would reccomend it to anyone who remembers the art of jolly conversation.
rightshedfred - 3 Mar 2008 13:45
Great pub, tucked away, so becomes a hidden treat

Can get quite packed out, but service remains at a fast pace with a smile

Recommend visiting
the_original_rawnsleys - 28 Jan 2008 12:34
Unspoilt classic hostelry tucked away in Covent Garden.
How a pub should be. Few decent ales on, friendly service, rammed up with tourists asking for directions to the "Blind Beggar" pub in Whitechapel.

Friendly service. Decent atmosphere but inevitably packed to the rafters.


terenced - 28 Jan 2008 08:40
A delightful old pub that has thus far eluded any form of "tasteful refurbishment". The two barmaids were both attractive and very pleasant. Service was certainly with a smile.

Six real ales were on:-
The almost ubiquitous G.K. I.P.A. & Abbot.
Youngs Ordinary & Special.
Adnams Best & Broadside.

I tried a pint of each Adnams. Both were in very good condition. I'm impressed by my first visit, on a friend's recommendation, and were it not for the curmudgeonly-looking stout fellow behind the bar who was chatting to the cook ( presumably ) - a lady who had a face that could strip paint at 50 yards, I'd quite happily give it 8.

Until you cheer up - 6/10!
5thearlofwimbourne - 25 Jan 2008 12:48
Well, nothing much changes here - and that's just the way I like it. New barman since my last visit - young, friendly and enthusiastically pulling decent pints of Adnam's. No snob, me - but how nice to be called 'sir'. Not as good as 'guv'nor' but you can't have everything. The bogs seem to smell better too.
Albert_Campion - 19 Jan 2008 01:11
Teriffic pint of 6X - the Lamb & Flag never fails to deliver a great atmosphere and a top quality pint.
BenEd - 16 Jan 2008 13:47
Stopped for a swifty this lunchtime at this unspoilt boozer and had an excellent pint of Youngs Special. Service was quick and the barman ensured a full pint by letting it settle while I paid and then topping up. Great pub.
sussexred - 9 Jan 2008 16:48
smashing pub, but how hard is it to serve
chilled bottled beer ? you pay enough for it.
becks007 - 23 Dec 2007 19:04
Good pub, good selection of ales and whisky.
Floors sticky. and loo's awful but still gets rammed full on a weekend.
CambridgeBlue - 12 Nov 2007 11:18
Superb pub. Always packed on a Friday night during the summer months. I love it
Winkleman - 19 Oct 2007 14:31
Very excellent real ales. Nice building. Charming.
seasiderMM - 13 Sep 2007 12:04
This is a dear little pub in the heart of Covent Garden - yet just enough off the "beaten track". A lovely place to take visitors to London after a day of shopping in the markets.
Sweeps - 18 Jun 2007 14:05
Don't call in that often, but am never disappointed. Great to stand around outside on a sunny day. Lovely old pub, like an old mate. Nice Youngs special. too
bluesouvenir - 6 Jun 2007 15:47
Nice atmoshere in this ancient pub.Great on a sunny evening when the main windows are open. Good pint of Directors.Then I went for a quick pee. My God those toilets. I am not usually fussed and I realise this is an old pub with little room but they could have made an effort. If you have ever seen Trainspotting...
tinsoldier - 25 May 2007 21:00
Wonderful building, beer (youngs) vinegary, staff less than perfect. Did I really pay 24 for seven drinks, including a half? Haven't been there for a while, so hopefully just an off night.
bulky - 11 May 2007 09:51
what a gem delivers what many so called traditional london taverns fail to - great beer, brilliant atmosphere and traditional sarroundings. Even though it was very busy staff where friendly and efficiant.

Thanks
swiftpint_25 - 8 May 2007 13:43
A proper London boozer. Lets hope it stays this way....
avotech - 23 Mar 2007 23:02
Lowenbrau on tap! Okay, call me easily impressed, but sometimes I just want a lager, and Lowenbrau's as good as any in the 'low-rent' category. It's not often I see it in London pubs anymore.

Anyway, after incorrectly giving it a wide berth for 10 years thinking it was just another Covent Garden tourist magnet, I finally decided to check it out after seeing some good reviews on here from the more reliable reviewers. I'm glad that I did, as I really enjoyed my pint here.

Good beer selection, great location, and loads of history. If only they could bring back the bare-knuckle boxing! >:O)
topdog_andy - 22 Feb 2007 11:24
I have to agree with the majority of the views here, it is one of my favourite boozers in Covent Garden but the beer is changeable and it does get rammed.
trickydisco - 21 Feb 2007 13:14
Having recently returned from Nigeria, I too was verbally insulted by the "non witty northerner" He called me a "sweaty sock" and all manner of names!PC rules! Its a good job I know him! Best pub in Covent Garden.
jockthenoo - 12 Feb 2007 17:05
I like it, it's been my local for c. 37 years (and back then it was practically the only pub around here that had decent cask conditioned bitter - Courage Best and Directors, and Mr Bessenger barely tolerated having Whitbread Tankard (?if memory serves) on his bar.

But the beer quality is so variable. Tonight's Greene King IPA was very so-so.
zorrodp - 1 Feb 2007 23:54
My work local, full of braying suits with no manners, beer isn't well kept anymore, wine often makes people feel sick, is dirty, toilets are horrible, always packed and outside smells of wee and lard in the summer, food is microwaved, veg from tins, I also once got spiked with something in there a couple of years ago.

But still we go back, why? Because for all it's flaws it is a real pub and there aren't many about anymore, and it is stupidly close to the office and we are lazy after our hard labours....
Bezmina - 31 Jan 2007 14:59
Shame the beer selection isn't a little more interesting in here.
mitomighty - 23 Jan 2007 17:39
Always rammed full and the Guinness is not the best. I've had food there on a Saturday when meeting friends there and it was pretty good. To be honest I always try to drink somewhere else. In the summer, standing outside, you're right by the back entrance to a restaurant, smelly bins and all.
pdavis500 - 13 Jan 2007 10:29
Rickety old joint, boasting 6 handpulls which are mainly Youngs but sadly no interesting Indies on offer.

My Winter Warmer was OK (not great though for 1.40). Inside was packed out for a tuesday evening.

Worth a quick sample for the interior, but there's plenty else in the area to enjoy and stay longer in, like The Harp.
Quinno - 10 Jan 2007 00:06
Me thinks the "non witty Northerner" was taking the p*** out of you, Kevin Bear.

This is a fine pub - the Youngs beers are usually well kept ( although the quality is not as good as they used to be since the move to Bedford )

For a splendid mini crawl of the area, do this one, along with the Harp and The Salisbury, both nearby, all three are fine traditional pubs with good real ale and atmosphere, based on my visits over the last few years
JohnBonser - 6 Dec 2006 12:33
Standard English pub tucked away in Covent Garden. Very small, but managed to get a seat, probably because it was a Monday night. Walls are decked with usual olde world paraphernalia and great to sit and chat, although it's probably rammed later in the week. Didn't try any ales after kevin_bear's story, let's hope it's not stilll true!
lancalot - 28 Nov 2006 12:25
For 1 of the most historic bars in London this bar jhas got to be the biggest let down ever. Had a beer here and quickly moved onto a wine, which wasn't much better. Quite apart from requiring A-level languages to fulfil the simplest of tasks such as ordering a drink the atmosphere was simply horrible. No muzic. Hear good reports about food tho.
WonnacottP - 19 Nov 2006 00:41
A quirky little pub with real characters behind the bar!!! Standard well kept beers and first rate home cooking. Great in the summer stood outside in the sun - a great place to waste a few hours!
growler - 7 Nov 2006 11:40
Really cool little pub that's pretty well hidden. Had your basic Young's selection on and were in good condition. We split a ploughman's and roastbeef sandwiche for lunch. Killer Colman's mustard on the table!
surfadelic23 - 6 Nov 2006 16:37
With its location and well preserved interior this has the potential to be a really good pub. But what a totally uninspired selection of draught ales and lousy atmosphere. Not one I intend to visit again in a hurry.
ed.spbw - 28 Oct 2006 11:33
I drank here regularly about four years ago and noticed one of the staff taking a bucket of slops down to the cellar. When I enquired what they were doing with it, a managerial wannabe who appeared to have originated from a test tube in Stockport genetics lab told me its nothing for you to worry about sir, just you keep on drinking. Then one of the customers next to me suggested it must be to record the ulage.Then, last week I was back in town and decided to visit again, what a transformation!!! The only face I recognised was the non-witty Northerner. The rest of the staff seemed to be eastern European girls with a poor grasp of English and even worse beer pouring skills. Then it happened, I noticed one of the girls pick up a bucket of slops and tip it down the sink. I jokingly asked the Northerner why they no longer pour it back in the barrels; he replied, The owner became worried that the health and safety dept would find out. Shame though, I used to be able to get almost two buckets back into the Courage Directors without anybody noticingNow that think about it, I used to drink the Directors all those years back.Think I might go and have some tests done.True Story!!!
kevin_bear - 26 Oct 2006 14:42
Robin76: The L&F is indeed a fine pub. Even Binnie from the Harp uses the L&F!

TheStickler: I have often drunk here, and am surprised that the staff served beer in poor condition. My own experience has been that the staff are interested in discussing the ales, take a pride in what they're doing, and would be happy to accept valid criticism.
I am hoping your recent sorry experience was an isolated incident - a bad day - and that I'm not going to be disappointed the next time I visit...
Alph_river - 18 Oct 2006 11:21
Another fine looking pub with plenty of history and little architectural quirks.
Unfortunately the ales are kept in appaling condition and the prices are a rip-off. 2 for a soda water, anyone? The staff are divided between strident yet poorly informed young foreigners and misery guts, old lag Covent Garden curmudgeons.
Me and a mate left our warm, unpleasant unfinished pints. If the staff aren't even aware that they're serving up slops in the first place you'll only upset yourself more if you try to complain. Oh, and despite the cash that pours over the bar, the pavement alongside is divided from the drinkers outside by a dirty old length of washing line, undetectable to the untrained eye and positioned at the ideal height to send one sprawling onto the cobbles. No doubt breaking one's hip or jaw.
theStickler - 18 Oct 2006 10:57
I have to agree with Silk Tork's comments, particularly the one about not ordering from the upstairs. Beware: the special isn't special it's ordinary!!! or at least it was when I was in. It was nice but 2 people saw it being pumped from the special pump! The pub itself is great but I've had reason and now have more reason to question those running it!!
mitomighty - 13 Oct 2006 19:59
Probably the best pub in the West End which admittedly wouldn't be hard. Nevertheless, a welcome respite from the hell that is the Covent Garden area.
robin76 - 26 Sep 2006 11:05
Superb little pub tucked away from the masses. Always busy, always a good atmos and good beers. What more do you want or need form a pub?

You can stuck your souless chain boozers. This is where it's at.
PigPen_in_the_Fens - 19 Sep 2006 13:21
great little pub. fantastic atmosphere. push ard was a laugh
anonymous - 4 Sep 2006 19:41
A watering place fit for a Timelord (as proven by bumping into ex Doctor Who Sylvester McCoy last time we were in here)
Boothers - 20 Jul 2006 11:42
An unadulterated joy. A genuine pub - good ambience, good food, pleasant staff, excellent beer, lovely little mementi of previous regulars and it's own interesting history. A life-enhancing place.
Goole815 - 12 Jul 2006 08:16
Real British boozer! and not keeping with the area either. Posh its not yet absolute treat! Small, danky, hard to get a seat & lots of ale.

Just had a sunday roast there and it was great - a real roast! Although the potatoes were a let down, drank Best & had to struggle to walk away. Full of tourists who all had lasagne/chips/cola...seriously missing the point.

I will definately go back!


little_alec - 9 Jul 2006 15:00
Great proper pub in a bit of London not usually known for old fashioned drinking houses. If you like a slightly grotty boozer with excellent beer and proper pub food, then this is for you. The downside is that it is permanently packed, and punters usually spill out into the street. That and them having only a limited selection of beer upstairs - you can get a seat, but can't necessarily drink what you want. If anyone objects to going to Covent Garden because all the pubs are poncy, just show them to the toilets - a real treat!
monkey_steve - 28 Jun 2006 14:17
6.5! You have to be joking!

There might be a complaint about the men in suits - but it is in the middle of the city - the chances of finding agricultural labourers knocking about after a day in the fields is a little unlikely.

It is a proper pub.

Excellent beer - at an extraordinary price 2.10 a pint - before 5.30.

Good solid food at a reasonable cost.

Staff that actually seem to care about their customers.

Sorry about the lavatories ... but it is a tiny pub in the middle of Covent Garden ... hence the 8 instead of a 9.
sceptic - 9 Jun 2006 09:14
The Lamb & Flag is one of the more famous pubs in London. Many people, Brits and tourists alike, have heard of this place and are keen to check it out. It's literary association as a drinking spot for various poets and dramatists gives it a certain charm, and when coupled with its association with violence and bare-knuckle boxing, that charm acquires a fascinating edge. When the literary and violent are brought together as with the story of John Dryden being beaten up in 1679 in the alleyway which runs alongside the pub which was known in those days as The Bucket Of Blood, then it becomes an irresistible draw. That the pub manages to live up to its reputation as a place of character is remarkable in itself. This is not a modern pub kitted out in fake olde worlde charm - this is the real thing. The toilets are a modern imposition on the building and, as such, can crop up in odd places like half-way up the stairs.
Nothing is obvious and dramatic - the pub works its charm gradually and quietly. It is nearly always crowded, but that becomes part of the ambiance. The pub has served Youngs beers for as long as I can remember. It is advisable to order cask beers from the downstairs bar as the beers upstairs are often warm.
The drawbacks are that beer condition can be variable, especially in summer, that the place is often crowded and hot and noisy, but despite all this, the Lanb & Flag is a must visit pub.
SilkTork - 11 Mar 2006 10:44
Full of atmosphere, this place is heaving with men in suits - the windows get steamy with so many customers jammed in.

Over two floors, you can usually get a seat if you go upstairs and are willing to share. If you don't look too closely you can avoid the slightly grimey loos and sweaty glasses.
PicklePub - 14 Jan 2006 17:52
a vary nice pub for the area.
derry - 6 Jan 2006 17:16
"walklim" is correct about the toilets but wrong about everything else. This is a FANTASTIC pub, and is absolutely full of charm, history and character. I wish they hadn't taken out the creak old partition between the middle bar and front bar... but there y'go. The beer is OK... try the Bombardier.
Albert_Campion - 2 Dec 2005 14:22
Working mans club! Please. Decor is great.
mitomighty - 1 Dec 2005 12:59
This pub may claim to be old but it certainly does not have any charm at all. The interior is like a working mans club. No frills whatsoever, the maintenance budget must be less than a pound a year. I have never known such disgusting toilets either. Yuk. Not worth visiting.
walklim - 1 Dec 2005 12:55
Wonderful place but badly kept ale.
mitomighty - 29 Nov 2005 16:17
Racecourse prices for poor, low gravity beer and one of the three worst pub meals I've eaten in my life. Not improved by a bunch of Morris Dancers amusing themselves abusing themselves outside. Recent posts seem to confirm a perception it may be on the slide.
joegreen - 15 Nov 2005 13:28
Big reputation pub serving poor condition beer - especially in the upstairs bar where it's usually warm and nasty. Has a certain woody charm even when packed, but it's more famous for being famous than for being a great pub.
SilkTork - 4 Nov 2005 13:44
Can be tourist central at times but a nice enough pub. When tourists conjure up an image of a pub it looks like this one.
jorrocks - 22 Oct 2005 04:15
Walking past here at 11am,saturday,thought I'd check the pub out before anyone else gets in(as previous visits have entailed unintentional touchy-feely with about 6 people I've never met before)....I've never rated the beer here so I had cider.....Its a fine looking pub lots of old wood in the back bar,whilst you can sit upstairs- even though it looks more of a food service area.I found the service excellent....Its A little bit of London history-but early visiting is advised!
EdgarBriggsMI5 - 21 Sep 2005 21:18
Visited this pub on Saturday, very quiet, beer not very good. Seems to have been taken over since I last went in. Not the standard it used to be anymore I'm afraid.
Hucks - 15 Aug 2005 15:48
Absolutely mobbed on Saturday with punters spilling down the road so not tucked away enough despite what previous posters say. Beer was alright on my visit so maybe in4 was just unlucky.
johnkn7 - 18 Jul 2005 19:47
Possibly the worst pint in London! A colleague and I were both thoroughly disappointed with this so called 'Traditional Pub' If poor service, poorly kept beer and a dirty interior are your thing then this is the place for you. Personally I will not visit again. Terrible!
in4 - 21 Jun 2005 15:53
if only it wasn't so popular with tourists
tcpie - 7 Jun 2005 17:04
Very old, traditional style pub. Fairly tucked away, so not quite as many Covent Garden tourists find it as you might think.
rah - 2 Jun 2005 13:24
I have to say that the drivers for visiting this one are its location and (presumably) its 'listing' by English Heritage. it looks like they haven't touched the interior or the outside of the place for donkeys. The bar staff are indeed rude (we got evil death stares and were told we could leave now if we wanted to finish our Twix which we had in our mouths when we entered the palce!)and the beer is a so-so mix of wishy washy foamy Archers, which my wiltshire counterparts would be embaressed to drink, and even soer-soer fizzy lager. And 1.05 change from a tenner for three pints of archer's ain't cheap! Having said all that, it has an atmosphere, a nice position and a very pleasant interior - good for the tourists, I guess....
mikegray - 17 May 2005 09:47
This pub is a little diamond tucked away.
anonymous - 9 May 2005 20:33
A great boozer, and the landlord is a good geezer.
history100 - 11 Apr 2005 17:33
Stumbled across this one last September. Agree with Travis. I was just bying time and came across it. I have no idea how to get back there or let alone trying to give instructions out. Good pub and good service. I believe this first pub that I have ever been to that actually served Lowenbrau on tap. Cheers Joe USA
Joseph65 - 11 Apr 2005 16:17
Don't go here much more than once or twice a year, but it's pretty much the only pub I trust in the Covent Garden area. Very popular when the offices empty, so popular in fact that it can be hard to find a place to stand let alone sit. Ales are good, although the place isn't cheap.

Slightly hidden away. Good luck trying to describe how to get there to someone.
travis - 4 Apr 2005 02:42
Apart from Terry the manager no one can serve a decent pint here. And the cellarman must strain the real ale through his socks. The staff are arogant and useless and this relies on its position for trade. Stay away if you like a decent cheap pint. You'd often be quicker brewing your own!!!!
sydenhambob - 3 Apr 2005 17:27
Splendid pub - I have only ever been in 3 times ( including last Saturday ) and have never had any problems with the beer or the service. In fact the standard of the Youngs Ordinary would put many of the pubs much nearer the brewery to shame.( Also had Ridleys, Marstons and Courage Best on )
Still feels like a proper pub, even though it is on the tourist trail.
Probably the best pub in this part of the West End
JohnBonser - 7 Mar 2005 13:19
Plenty of history...and that can mean plenty of tourists on a Friday night. Given its location, you can expect a full house.
Mr.Matt - 28 Feb 2005 03:58
This pub is has always been a favourite of mine, however, lately, there has been a gradual deterioration in service. Last saturday lunchtime, I ordered two pints of Youngs Special from an attractive barmaid who presented me with what can only be descibed as a half measure. On requesting that she fill to the correct pint measure, she rolled her eyes and puffed and blowed as if I was asking an unreasonable request. Her reply was that it should have a head on it. I let her rudness go and watched her pour another punters pint. Same thing. He complained as well. Now I'm not sure if it's a policy of the management to save beer ergo, more profit, or it's just the ineptitude of this particular barmaid, but this is just the sort of growing apathy I'm seeing insinuating its way into all our cherished waterholes. That said, this pub has good ale and certainly retains an 'old world' atmosphere.
zaparoski - 21 Feb 2005 09:12
A real pleasure to find a proper pub not mucked about with. Ales tried were excellent.
canastajim - 7 Feb 2005 21:27
I absolutley adore this place. Coming from the North east I was under the impression that the folk in London were not friendly. Well I was wrong.

Fab, Fab little pub tucked away and even has little brass plaques on the bar to let you know the names of some of the past regulars.

Love it Love it.

alister - 30 Jan 2005 12:56
We came here on a Friday night and it was very full both upstairs and down. However we managed to get a table, and never found ourselves waiting any longer than about 20 seconds to be served. I have to say the 2 pints of ale I had where not the best kept in the world, but the pub and servce behind the bar was top notch, although it can't be said for the stone faced oriental women clearing the tables though.
anonymous - 24 Jan 2005 02:24
Great! A really nice place to feel happy, drinking some good beer in a friendly atmosphere.
ilfaccino - 11 Jan 2005 15:53
Tooks some friends here and has a decent pint with good staff
janerankin - 2 Jan 2005 18:11
We've been meeting here every month for years.
Great beer.
A traditional drinker pub. Just great.
Can get really busy but just wait 20 mins. Most people seem to meet there so a lot of coming and going.

May it never become a wine bar style treny pub.
awm - 27 Nov 2004 16:20
superb pub i worked there a few years back and wil always go back miss all the banter with the boys at the door recommend to everyone and anyone
paul "SWEATY" - 15 Nov 2004 15:33
i worked here a few years ago its a shit hot wee pub, great food and a lot of personality
sweaty - 15 Nov 2004 15:23
Excellent meeting place however
some of the worst toilets in the world and a grumpy landlord.
The pub inspectorate - 22 Oct 2004 08:15
I hope this pub never closes & never changes, a taste of a real London pub.
avotech - 7 Oct 2004 21:05
This pub has a really good vibe - A proper pub as it should be
TheGP - 10 Aug 2004 15:46
This is a great pub and a good place to meet friends. Obviously everyone thinks so 'cos it's always heaving with bodies when I'm there.
Tim - 3 Aug 2004 17:10
Great little pub although can get a little grotty.
Aaron - 23 Jun 2004 03:58
Have been many times over a number of years but have, sadly, to say that it has the feeling of knowing it is famous and therefore resisting the temptation to put in any effort. Bar staff ( especially upstairs ) can be rude, tables stay uncleared and cleaned and beer expensive. Not what it so easily could be.
Oliver - 19 Jun 2004 16:39
The best pub in London. This was our last stop on our all day pub crawl. Of course, we were feeling no pain, but it was the coolest we stumbled across that day.
TIM DANGELO - 10 Jun 2004 23:55
Priceless! What more can you about this pub.It is full of character and should be listed,maybe it is! Anyway its a gem of a pub,go and see.
Nick Hamer - 5 Jun 2004 18:22
Great pub, nice friendly bouncer, beer good and still managed to retain lots of proper English pub charm. Very popular and had a great atmosphere. Put it on your list for a pub crawl.
Maz McGuigan - 10 May 2004 11:00
Very nice and kinda romantic little place. Good selection of beers.
Jennifer - 2 Mar 2004 11:35
I think the portly northan gentleman who seems to be in charge behind the bar is the main reason most folk go there.
The best doormen in the world... especialy those who turn up at 5.30
What a welcoming bunch they are, you must visit!!!
jonny tread lightly - 26 Feb 2004 23:29
Used to work behind this beautiful little pub. Full of history and character and a very pleasant drinking experience outside in the alley (except for the super busy after work period).
Paladino - 23 Jan 2004 20:46
Great pub with Directors and guest ale. Live trad jazz band on Sunday evenings. Only drawback is their strange habit of reserving all the empty tables near the stage for hours before the band arives, while customers stand.
foxski - 4 Jan 2004 20:28
Nice choice of bitters. I'll be back.
Bruce - 17 Nov 2003 19:33
I think the pub was great i suppose that is all down to the owners well done
S.A - 16 Nov 2003 21:01
Sure it's a main stop on the tourist crawl, but the place has real local character and atmosphere.
Jeff - 8 Oct 2003 00:41
Had a seriously iffy lager here on most recent visit. Shame, really, because the beer's normally OK. Will go back to bitter on next visit.
drinker - 27 Sep 2003 10:26
Nice enough, standing room outside and not too crowded inside. Not exactly the most attentive bar staff, but friendly. Would definitely visit again.
Lieven - 11 Sep 2003 16:52
Used to have brass name plates all around bar of local bare knuckle fighters when I used to go there
Tony Paton - 30 Aug 2003 19:31
Visited this Pub for the 1st time during a visit from the states 06/03. A nice Pub. Quite crowded and seems to be a tourist stop.
Bee Pulliam - 9 Aug 2003 19:51
brilliant..one of the best pubs around
k - 8 Aug 2003 15:01
One of my favorites! I like the back room and, although it is sometimes quite dirty, one has a feeling of long history not always found in other equally old pubs. Often slow but friendly and cheerful bar service.
Charles - 30 Jul 2003 11:39
Love the place. My favorite Pub in London. The first place I head for when I go back. The bar staff are great. Thanks for the picture from behind the bar.
Jim - 1 Jul 2003 21:01
Used to go here many moons ago when there used to be a box if snuff on top of the partition for those who fancied a pinch.
If you want to impress an overseas visitor, bring them to the pub from the rear entrance, down the very narrow passage and they will be so amazed by your local knowledge. A great pub for drinking outside in the summer, gets a bit overcrowded inside and you risk getting stuck to the floor, bring back the sawdust I say..
Iain - 1 Jul 2003 14:15
Great place for a drink. Unpretentious place, usually full of local business people who know a good place when they find it. Good beers and a smashing unspoilt atmosphere. Reasonably well hidden from ghastly tourists who overun many of the pubs in Covent Garden.
Andrew - 1 Jul 2003 13:45
Ok, this place. Been there a couple of times. (On one occasion the toilets absolutely stank, but we'll gloss over that one...)

It's got a lot of history, as "anonymous" says. It used to be called The Bucket Of Blood apparently and was the bare fist fighting centre of London!
TheG - 17 Jun 2003 14:54
Rich in boxing history. One of a kind.
anonymous - 11 Jun 2003 03:48
This pub is the business. Hidden away in the back streets and completely unspoilt. A unique cosy london experience 10 out of 10. I'd go there for a guiness and a packet of scratchings anyday of the week...
Rich Leck - 3 Jun 2003 16:37
On Sunday nights there is a trad jazz band from about 7:30 upstairs. The front seats/tables are reserved for the local old folk at this time. The music is good.

Always a popular pub, get there early if you want a seat.
Mark Dressel - twoheads@REMOVETHIStiscali.co.uk - 24 May 2003 12:53
A VERY OLD FASHIONED BUT VERY
FRIENDLY PUB WITH GOOD FOOD
AT REASONABLE PRICES. DEFINITELY
WORTH ANOTHER VISIT.HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
7.5/10.
IAN HARRISON - IAN.HARRISON495@NTLWORLD.CO.UK - 24 Apr 2003 19:00
The question about the name. This usually relates to some connection with the Knights Templars, whose arms feature a lamb and a flag. Whether they originally owned the land around here, or whatever, I don't know.
Paul - paul7301@hotmail.com - 20 Mar 2003 13:00
great pub get served well quikely and politely
arturo_morales - 18 Mar 2003 14:56
To answer the earlier question the Lamb and flag has a religious meaning I think. The Lamb represents Christ and flag is the flag of the cross. Perhaps the one who named it was very devout. Better name than the Slug and Lettuce anyway.
james wild - 13 Mar 2003 18:45
Best pub in Central London. Traditional beers. Old fashioned interior. Trad jazz on Sunday evenings. If you're only going to visit one pub in London this is the one.
James Wild - 13 Mar 2003 18:43
why is called "lamb and flag"?
drey - 10 Mar 2003 19:49
Mmm, lovely. Best on a Summer's day, obviously, looking out at the hoardes of unsuspecting tourists passing by the end of the road...
Pauly H - 23 Dec 2002 14:54
Small and occasionally crowded, but nice. The bar staff are great
Brian - 2 Dec 2002 12:12
Lovely pub. Well kept beers, friendly bar staff and - unusually for Covent Garden - not filled with hoardes of drunk and shrieking girls from Essex!
Chania Seddon - 15 Nov 2002 13:15
Love the place. One of my top 10 pubs in London without a doubt.
Piers - 4 Nov 2002 18:18
Stand outside on all but the coldest days. Like all the best real pubs badly in need of renovation. Some of the best real ale served anywhere.
Jon Ward - 4 Nov 2002 17:39
Small pub, up an alley from the Rose and Crown. Does good real ales. Has an upstairs. Serves food.
Rob - 5 Sep 2002 15:10
Right by Leicester square and covent garden.
A real pub as opposed to the masses of tourist filled chains like the slug, all bar one, pitcher and piano etc.
Good food upstairs, good beer in the main bar and on warm days you can stand on the cobbles outside.
Neil Whiley - 20 Jun 2002 10:02

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