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Lemon Tree, Covent Garden

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user reviews of the Lemon Tree, Covent Garden

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

Went in here yesterday - from the outside it looks quite traditional and inviting but once your inside I think it looses some of that charm.

The Pub has a modern feel to it with light wood used and is very open plan which for me makes it a little less cosy than others in the area.

I had a Guinness and the other half a standard lager which came in at £8.80! The woman serving was pleasant enough and the Guinness ok.

Unfortunately I wont be going back, its not a bad place - theres just a lot more pubs in the area which are a lot better than this one and offer a better atmosphere
Miker1234 - 13 Feb 2014 16:56
Great backstreet boozer in Covent Garden, serving a perfectly kept (and sanely priced) pint of Hobgoblin. Estate agents might describe it as 'petit and bijoux', but it's fast becoming one of my favourite London pubs.

As a bonus, there is a Thai restaurant in the pub, with a cosy dining area upstairs. The food is excellent, and considering the pub's location, an absolute steal.

davetheclarinet - 2 Nov 2012 15:17
Second time on visiting this quaint little pub for a family drink. We found the staff very friendly along with the atmosphere.
The food (Thai cuisine) was extremely tasty and good value for money with the addition of being bought from kitchen to table with no expectations of tips.
Its a shame that its tucked away behind the Colosseum Theatre and constantly covered from view by lorries awaiting loading from the theatres stage door.
Look out for The Lemon Tree
UKPhoenix - 6 Jun 2012 13:35
On a recent visit I enjoyed a pint of Carlsberg export - I also found it to be a nice pub which I will visit again.
warrior_123 - 4 Jun 2012 15:32
Been here a couple of times, most recently last week. The pub was less busy than other pubs in the area, maybe because it's hidden round a corner.
Staff seemed friendly, I drank Deuchars IPA which was ok but not outstanding. Good selection of early punk tunes being played - good if you are my age anyway - at a volume that could easily be spoken over. The selection of beers was a bit unexciting but generally this is a good little pub.
a_cheeky_half - 26 May 2012 08:42
My first visit to this Pub.

It was quiet on a Week day after noon, my two Pints of Deuchars IPA and Singapore Noodles were delicious.

I will return.
AuldJimmy - 27 Mar 2012 18:45
Four ales on when we visited yesterday - Old Speckled Hen, Doombar, Deuchars and Harveys. Stuck to the Doombar and Harveys, which were perfectly drinkable, especially the latter, and around £3.85 a pint.
When we arrived at 3pm it was quiet compared to some of the other rammed boozers in and around Covent Garden on St Patrick's Day. Helps that it is tucked around a corner, so easy to miss.
Gradually filled up, though, and within a couple of hours it was rammed. Still not a hassle to get service at the bar, as the bar staff were very efficient - and friendly, to echo a previous comment. Bit of a schlep to get to the toilets, though. Randomly a gents' downstairs and upstairs, and the ladies' only upstairs.
It's a one-room pub with a few seats upstairs. TV above the door showing live sport, although not loud enough to be oppressive.
Were serving Thai food when we arrived, as well as some other pub grub, which looked very decent. Did say on the menu they were serving until 9.30pm but stopped early so we went to the Thai restaurant round the corner which was particularly nice.
Anyway, decent boozer. Harp has a better selection of beer, but this place tends to be a bit quieter and you can generally get a seat or at least some elbow room.
duchyjim - 18 Mar 2012 13:51
An absolute gem of a pub. It has a cheeky sort-of smallness to it that feels immediately charming. Welcoming staff behind the bar; very warm and friendly. There's also a tiny little room upstairs.

When I visited they had Harveys, Deuchars IPA, Doom Bar on tap. The IPA was very drinkable and the Harveys (perhaps an acquired taste to some) sharp and hoppy. There's a Thai food menu, but a plate of chips for £2 was went down a treat.

What's quite interesting about The Lemon Tree is that the punters seem really relaxed and chilled out. I know that sounds like a weird thing to say, but I think it's because everyone is thinking the same thing: "What a nice little pub I've found". 9
Goldings - 11 Nov 2011 14:06
Visited here on Friday night. Was pretty busy but i got served quickly by a friendly barman. Nice to find a pub like this in the area that is not full of gimmicks or takes an age to get a drink. Very friendly atmosphere on a summers evening with local office workers drinking outside. Will definatley go back soon!!
missbow - 22 Aug 2011 22:47
Just tried this place a week ago! The Harp was jammed so off around the corner to the Lemon. New looks from the last visit two years ago. Doombar was good and the place is a nice alternative.

richardo - 20 Jul 2011 20:09
New landlady took over a couple of weeks ago, the Doombar was especially good as was the Harvey's, Friendly and swift service despite the pub being packed on my visit on Monday evening. Looks like this place is on the up, a good place to drink if you can't get in the Harp, which since its deserved POTY award is increasingly difficult.
wellinformed - 11 Jun 2011 12:15
I love this pub! I've always found the staff very friendly, it has a great range of beers and ciders (Doom bar and Deuchars when I went there last, with Addlestones cider) and you can almost always get a seat. Oh, and they do great Thai food. My idea of pub perfection!
kcbarlow22 - 4 Feb 2011 18:48
Visited on the recommendation of this site and a couple of others. Very impressed, although fairly quiet the barman went out of his way to make conversation and the owner also was very friendly.
Ale was spot on albeit a bit pricey, but thats to be expected around this area. I should imagine this place gets a bit packed when more than a dozen people come in!
Scousefire - 13 Dec 2010 22:15
Wish I had read the last few messages before I entered, NASTY really not a nice pub and the people running the place are from crapsville
peterpub - 20 Oct 2010 14:22
Visited 6 months ago, and it was a buzzing friendly pub.
Visisted on Saturday 3rd July and won't be visiting again.
I'm guessing new management - decor is fine, but service was terrible. Bar man was slow, discourteous, and ignorant - Had to order the same thing 4 times. In between serving customers he'd go and chat to and kissing his girlfriend.
At 11:05, the young bar girl went table to table being very unfriendly insisting people drink up now and leaving - it's how she asked that shocked people. She actually stood waiting for people and arguing with people - the girls I was with thought she was joking at first, and then couldn't believe how rude she was. No smile, friendliness, or please or thank you during the process, or at any point in the evening. Pub was in shock - 4 groups of people all shocked at the way they went about asking people to leave.
Everyone said they won't be back. With friendly social pubs just 20 yards away, there's no reason to visit this pub.

Blueear70 - 4 Jul 2010 18:41
Isnt it curious how in this day and age people find it so easy to be vindictive under the guise of a the anonymity of the world wide web.
Somehow I'm sure this is not what this site was intended for.

Quincy2 - 28 May 2010 14:49
dont bother , go to the harp
daveybx - 28 May 2010 14:14
After my comment made on the 12 th Of May I have to say that I am more than sad with the way things have worked out over the last 2 weeks. As i understand the Landlady went on holiday and left to guys in Charge, Alex And his Partner David.
They did a brilliant job, I should know as i work for a very big brand with 2 major hotels not very far from the Lemon Tree. There service was next to none and i over heard so many people saying just that, I even tried to poach them both but they stuck loyal to the silly bitch. I have it on good authourity from a very good friend of mine that drinks in the pub a lot, that they quit the Lemon Tree her return, WHY? she tried to tell them that there stock was down by a rediculous amount and that they were both coke heads. I know this not to be true and I also know from my friend that that both guys have gone to have drug test done. I think that miss Nicola Wren (landlady) should also do the same judging by the potent smell of pot coming from under the door of her flat every night. wonder what would happen if the license people were drop a visit. David and Alex please contact me, I gave you my card and i would like to help you out with not only a job that i have promised you but also this matter. D
daveybx - 28 May 2010 14:09
A bizzarly bare and sparse bar decorated in an desperately "cool" and modern manner.
The beer selection was uninspired and expensive and the whole place was such a let down after the Harp.
When we left at 2:30 on a gloriously sunny Sunday the place was empty.
flashharry1965 - 24 May 2010 11:47
Found this place a bit of a disappointment - nice exterior, but the recent refit has made it into a rather bland pub/bar hybrid. Much prefer the Harp around the corner. No faulting the beer, though.
mozzzzzz - 14 May 2010 11:54
The Lemon Tree has just undergone a complete face lift inside and out and it looks great. With the same landlady (you can tell she takes pride in her pub) and some new faces behind the bar (i have to say the guys are gorgeous) there is a real welcoming feeling. The food is brilliant with a mix of thai and english cuisine and happy thai waiters and chef's. You can choose to eat down stairs in the main bar or a quiet room up stairs (you can just drink up there too) Real ales and a large lager collection, spirits and lots more to choose from. I first went there last week after moving my office from east London and I have found a brilliant and enjoyable place to be when not stuck behind the desk. check it out and fall in love with this small bar with a massive personality.
daveybx - 12 May 2010 14:32
A pub i've been meaning to try for sometime but with the harp around the corner i've been distracted. Im glad i have now put that right. A delightful pub with a bit of a bar feel to it yet still definetly a pub, if that makes sense? Anway i liked it a lot. The hobgoblin i sampled was in fine form. The lemon tree will never compete with its famous neigbour but i will certainly pop in now and again.
Picasso09 - 29 Mar 2010 00:19
They had four real ales – London Pride; Harvey’s Best; Hobgoblin; and Deuchars IPA. I only had time for the Deuchars, and it seemed in pretty good nick. This pub is very much changed since my last visit some 30 years ago. The bar is now straight ahead, whereas it used to be on the right, with a small area where the landlady used to make some of the best sandwiches you could get. Now the furnishings are pine coloured high stools at a couple of pine coloured high stools in the middle of the room, as well as at the bar and ledges around the sides. To be fair it is a very small room and this configuration does allow more drinkers to get in there, albeit I suppose at some times it would be standing room only. I remember how absolutely crowded and cramped it could get in there for those not lucky or early enough to bag one of the tables.

I didn’t quite have the rollicking time in here as that enjoyed by TWG, but for a small pub slightly off the beaten track it fits the bill for someone in need of a swift pint. It’s not a classic pub in that there is nowhere comfortable to sit, but I can see how TWG enjoyed his time in here with chums and fellow punters in there for a good time. The barmaids were all in seasonal Christmas attire, albeit not the shirt-skirted Santa uniforms that they were wearing during TWG’s visit. Understandably they seem to have opted for the longer-skirted versions yesterday in view of the fact that it was absolutely brass monkey’s weather! I found it still to be a friendly and welcoming pub, but I don’t think that it would become a regular haunt of mine.
RexRattus - 21 Dec 2009 15:53
Popped in after an exuberant and enjoyable three pints at the Harp, not expecting a great deal; at least not in beer terms. However, I was happily proven wrong as well-kept Harvey's Best, Fuller's London Pride, Hobgoblin and Adnams Explorer (an innovative range for most London boozers) graced the bartop. It was not too busy and space could be found at the bar if not at a table. There was a festive spirit in the air and barmaids had donned short-skirted Santa uniforms. Nice touch. And they were both friendly and efficient to boot, which again is not something one takes for granted in the Smoke. '80s disco and rare groove on the stereo but not obtrusive (made a change from a CD of Christmas hits). The place gradually filled up with a pleasant mix of punters, and it was actually all rather jolly.

All in all it measured up reasonably well and I'll probably look to pop in when next in the area. Can't say fairer than that.
TWG - 17 Dec 2009 17:22
As has been said before, this is a small basic boozer with friendly staff and no tourists. The furniture looks and feels like the cheapest Ikea rubbish, even down to a screw falling out as my fat behind rested on one of the tall stools. The pub is down a side street mainly used by van drivers so the view from the bay window at the front isn’t the most inspiring, but this obviously isn’t any fault of the pubs.

Explorer, Spitfire, Pride and Harveys Best were all available during my brief visit along with a few standard and premium draught products. My Guinness was very nice, but it could have done with spending a little more time being filled.

There is a TV, but this was off and I spotted no Sports advertised although the pub details above say that this pub does have Sky so maybe I just missed them.

This place is ok for a quiet beer off the main drag, but there are better pubs in the area.
Strongers - 22 Nov 2009 12:22
I was heading for the Harp but it was absolutely packed so dropped round the corner into the Lemon Tree. It is a small single room pub without a great deal of seating but there are stools around ledges at the side and front so I made do with one of those.

It's a nice atmosphere and not dominated by tourists like many other establishments in the area.

Nice place to come for a pint or an evening if you're looking for somewhere fairly quiet.
murgatroyd - 29 Oct 2009 07:05
Bar staff were pulling shamefully bad pints, with a good inch of head on them.
AleKing - 19 Dec 2008 10:07
Small pub without much in the way of comfortable seating but the beer is good and it is not full of tourists.
It is no longer yellow, but blue, on the outside.
rainlight - 21 Oct 2008 20:39
Friendly small pub, tucked away on a back street between Covent Garden and Charing Cross station. Looks a bit like an Irish country-town pub from the outside, but has a bright interior with plenty of memorabilia on display. The cramped bar means there are actually two more handpumps than first appears to be the case as these are set against the side wall rather than facing the customers.
rpadam - 29 Jun 2008 16:15
Nice little pub with some great photos round the walls. Saw a picture of Max Bygraves. Fantastic.
TheHorsesMouth - 12 May 2008 08:47
Great to find a proper pub in London.The Harveys and Timothy Taylors was excellent.Wendy, the Landlady made us feel like locals.I shall definately use this pub whenever I visit London.
adrianmore - 10 Feb 2008 07:20
An enticing looking little pub from the outside and indeed, comfortable enough within, The Lemon Tree does tick some of the right initial boxes, but really isn’t a place I’ll be rushing back. It didn’t quite work for me. The only ale on offer was Young’s Bitter, though it tasted delicious and the girls behind the bar were professional and friendly enough. Up the rickety staircase and you’ll find yourself in a little room with some additional seating. With the movie posters and student-style conversation amongst those seated, it did sadly have the feel of a sixth-form common room on my visit last night (29th Dec). Thai food is a speciality here, but I’m not such a fan of that either to be honest.
HTM69 - 30 Dec 2007 16:34
I commend the new managers for all the work they have put into changing The Lemon Tree and making it what it is today.

The stories i have heard about everything being covered in black from smoking, lines not being cleaned etc, i'm surprised no-one die from just walking into this pub.

now-a-days, the atmosphere is fantasic. great music, candle light, nice and clean, fantasic ales and lagers and quite a large range of spirits to choose from, sports on weekends, what more could you ask for...

its fantasic to see a small pub doing so well (even for its hiden location).
roarus - 9 Dec 2007 06:21
Quality of beer is questionable I agree but the food in this place rocks! Highly recommended for a quick, tasty and cheap Thai lunch or dinner (even if you do have to wash it down with a dodgy pint!).
daz_axe - 19 Oct 2007 15:51
Don't tell anyone about this place. Some negative comments below but I didn't know about it untill early July, just moved to work in Charing Cross and a mate who knew the area took me there. Since then been back many times usually between 6-8pm weekdays ... easy to get a seat and the service is quick. Very popular with ENO/Coliseum staff ... it is a real haven from the hell that are the pubs in the area which are on the whole full of tourists and noisy afterwork people - nothing against them but when you just want a drink and a chat this place is ideal.
celt7 - 21 Aug 2007 09:54
Popped in for a couple of pints on Saturday afternoon. Quite a pleasant little place with a good mix of people. Barmaids grasp of English was limited - par for the course in London I know - but meant getting served was rather more drawn out that it needed to be. Still, found the Guinness to be good - she couldn't pronounce it, but poured it well! Didn't sample the food, but seemed good value. Worth a visit
atsoutar - 14 May 2007 12:20
I was in there on Saturday......not sure what happened to the place but looks like most of the atmosphere went along with the old decor. Sure, it looks better after a lick of paint but somehow it's a bit sterile in there.

Beer was passable but I can't see myself going back there.
brodie_bruce - 10 May 2007 15:13
I hate to be negative about the Lemon Tree since I and my workmates have had plenty of fantastic lunches there over the last 4 years. The thai food was a treat and the husband and wife landlords were excellent and offered a friendly service and made us feel like honoured locals.


What has happened recently? 6 of us had the usual mixture of thai curries and all were absolutely tasteless. There was a loud drunk propping the bar up downstairs, and U2's Sunday bloody Sunday (the song) repeated endlessly until we complained to the bar lady who told us she was deaf (!?) Have the old landlords sold up, or was this just a glitch? Would love someone to tell me everything is back to normal.
mistral1969 - 12 Jan 2007 10:04
Thai food is very nice and reasonably priced. Beer is expensive and not that well looked after ...

Just about worth it for the food ...
growler - 7 Nov 2006 11:50
recently new managers...sisters from what I understand...went in last week and there was no ale on at all!!! Bring back a decent pint like a few months back when Adnams was in prime condition.
anonymous - 24 Oct 2006 21:51
Lager drinkers get what they deserve
anonymous - 6 Sep 2006 17:09
OK, true the landlady is absolutely excellent at customer relations but the beer is crap! RogerB you obviously enjoy drinking dull flat ale with absolutely no head (CAMRA member?). that's bad enough but i watched the barmaid and the landlady continue to pour the lager until the perfect head poured over the rim of the glass until it was dead level.Lager needs a head. wrong glasses i can tolerate but watching beer get wasted is a tragedy!
BeerBuddha - 2 Aug 2006 18:30
Looks promising at first with plenty of space downstairs and friendly bar staff. Beer was pretty awful, soft drinks outrageously expensive and on closer inspection the place is absolutely filthy. Upstairs in particular is very dirty. Also a very strange smell throughout the whole place - artificial perfumed tinge - I assume this is an attempt to cover up the whiff that lurks underneath from years of ingrained dirt?
Oolybel - 8 Jun 2006 17:43
Yellow coloured, bright, scruffy, vegetarian cafe style pub which would have appealed to Van Gogh. The single room gives an airy spacious feel due to the large windows, but it's difficult to feel comfortable or relaxed. There is a smaller room up the poster lined stairs, but that's rather dull and remote. Two Adnams, a Youngs and London Pride on offer. I didn't warm to this place at all.
SilkTork - 7 May 2006 22:26
From the outside, the Lemon Tree ersembles an Irish bar with its blue exterior and bright but not too overpowering interior. The simple single room bar is fairly typical for the West End with a well worn wooden floor, picture windows and, this being Theatreland, several theatrically themed photo’s adorning the wall. The pub is significantly well hidden to avoid the general Covent Garden throngs and doesn’t generally get too uncomfortably packed. The decent enough beers include Adnam’s Broadside and London Pride and it is a pleasure (and a rarity) to find a barmaid who takes care pouring a pint and makes an effort to ensure you do not get short measures. Mainly Thai Cuisine (main meals around £5-£6.50) plus a limited menu of more standard fare (Fish and Chips, Baguettes etc). Sky Sports is shown on widescreen TV above the door, unobtrusive piped music and a single fruit machine. Overall, quite a refreshing pub: traditional but with a bright, airy relaxed feel. Well worth popping into if you want to get away from the crowds.
RogerB - 27 Mar 2006 15:38
Nice, unoffensive and not full of tourists, decor a bit bland.
s9s - 17 Feb 2006 14:52
Used to be my work local when I lived in London. Always try to visit when I come back. Well run, friendly place - bar staff make you feel welcome. Thai food a knockout - cheap, varied menu and delicious - especially if you've only got time forra quick bite but want something other than pie'n'chips.
The landlady is a star!
piningforrealale - 6 Feb 2006 02:24
A real nice little bar that’s sufficiently hidden from the tourist traffic. Hard core locals (drinkers) at the bar and an assortment of 30-something office workers. They serve Youngs, London Pride, Bombardier, Adnams Broadside and Guiness, a choice of six lagers and two ciders; what more could you ask? Comfortable stools and Sky Sports. A little girl in the basement that turns out passable Thai food. Am loathed to recommend it further as I like the place.
Roballe - 23 Nov 2005 16:36
A nice little pub hidden away from the hubbub of Trafalgar Square.

Nice quiet pub, frequented by a regular crowd, office workers and a few from the nearby post office, who seem to be there more than that why theres always a queue at lunchtimes?

Food is good and so is the beer.

anonymous - 11 Aug 2005 23:28
Never too full, never too empty. The nearby All Bar One traps all the chavs and city types. Clientelle is either people from the ENO, Frontline TV or the odd police.

Has drinks shelves outside for those of you who can bear the weather. Don't know how good the Thai food is but the lady that makes it is a laugh.
jaybee - 11 Jul 2005 11:58
Have always enjoyed good food here and quick service. Something has changed - today the bill arrived without a breakdown, then when I asked for a detailed bill they refused - added it up myself and found they'd charged way over, to which they replied 'well, it's around about that amount'! Be careful with the bill is my advice!
Holly - 30 Jan 2004 14:49
Small bar, average sort of clientel. Really nothing to mark it out of the ordinary.
andrew1961 - 23 Jan 2004 21:51
Does the job if you're looking for somewhere to drink in Covent Garden that's not a trendy bar. Pleasant enough atmosphere - keep thinking that I should check out their Thai food some time.
Al - 30 Dec 2003 00:12
Excellent Bomabardier - friendly and local at least on a Sunday evening. A bit too quick to clear away an almost empty glass, but apologetic and provided a replacement (a full pint!).
Dominic Pinto - 17 Nov 2003 12:20
Full of tits.....and not the milk producing kind. Went on a Friday night and was crammed with wannabe city boys.
Matty - 30 Oct 2003 15:17
Nice pub, reasonable prices, good food.
Richard - 29 Sep 2003 16:12
Average bar but compensates by nice friendly staff.
Paul - 16 Sep 2003 13:39
Hi, this pub is great, and most recently the actor sean bean drank in here after his performances in Macbeth. Friendly staff, great food.
Ange - 27 Apr 2003 22:34
The Thai food is great possibly better than the Thai Pot next door and half the price. Well kept Spitfire and Bombardier. Good choice of lagers. Very friendly staff.
paul - 30 Sep 2002 21:31

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