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Lyceum, Strand

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user reviews of the Lyceum, Strand

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

Great building and cheap prices, but whilst it's an individual choice and some do like the beer/wines/spirits etc. the rating seems high to me when you're only choice is Sam Smiths
mike_s - 23 Jul 2015 12:58
Sam Smiths joint heavy on the wood fittings on the inside. Not as tourist heavy as you would expect and a good place for a quiet pint and chat after work etc.
QueensParker - 7 Oct 2013 02:52
Typical Sams London pub. A bit quaint, not too touristy, conversation driven and a damned good pint. Add to that at 2.80 a pint it's 30% cheaper than the Nicholsons rip off joint next door.
twineyboy - 5 Sep 2013 19:31
Typical Sams London pub. A bit quaint, not too touristy, conversation driven and a damned good pint. Add to that at 2.80 a pint it's 30% cheaper than the Nicholsons rip off joint next door.
twineyboy - 5 Sep 2013 19:31
Typical Sams London pub. A bit quaint, not too touristy, conversation driven and a damned good pint. Add to that at 2.80 a pint it's 30% cheaper than the Nicholsons rip off joint next door.
twineyboy - 5 Sep 2013 19:31
Having been regularly drinking in Samuel Smith pubs for the last 20 year I stumbled across the Lyceum Tavern quite by accident. Tucked away on the very busy strand in central the outside impression of the pub is a very positive one. With large windows and hanging latern style lights it immediately gives of the impression of a welcoming pub. I can honestly say upon entering the cosy pub the good impressions continued. I was met by two young men behind the bar who made me feel as if I had been drinking here for years. I ordered a pint of my favourite drink ''Samuel smiths old brewery bitter'. Which I was very glad to see was on hand pull. While one of the young men pour my pint, the other chipped in with the general chit chat you have come to miss from London pubs asking how my day had been etc. He then charged me £2.90 for my pint. Something I was very happy about Sam smith pubs have always been know for being cheap but this pint in central London is very pleasing. The first young man who poured my pint then asked if I was happy with my measurement of head to beer ratio. Something that seems to go a miss these days. I was happy as in my opinion the pint was perfectly poured. I then retreated into one of the snug little Booths to enjoy my pint. I watched the boys and was very surprised to see there service to me was not a one off. Every customer I saw enter the pub got treated exactly the same and they even made extra effort with those who were not familiar with the products. I stayed for around 30 minutes and was impressed with the clean surroundings made very enjoyable by the laughing coming from around the dart board area. I left and was greeted with a heartfelt 'goodbye and take care' from both young men. In summery excellent service, great prices, very clean and a great example of what pubs should be. I will defiantly return when in London.
Canvas121 - 2 Aug 2013 00:23
Visited between 5 and 6 on a cool weekday evening. There was a mix of quiet drinkers, and a comfortable atmosphere. As others say, it is a gem.

The visit was marred somewhat by the cool and languid service by the two very young men behind the bar. There was no eye contact and certainly no welcome - I have seen friendlier robots. A shame, because the beers and cider are good.
artieleblanc - 24 May 2012 22:03
Nice atmosphere with snugs. Service was OK but I'll need to visit again to make a judgement. My wife doesn't like Sam Smiths pubs coz they do not serve Guinness (she's Irish) although their stout tasted good to me......
Mr_ESB_Harry - 19 Dec 2011 19:48
A pub as they used to be. It was like walking into a time warp. It is on two floors with lots of wood panelling. Pleasant staff (and enough of them). Beer good, if you like Sam Smith's strange tasting Old Brewery Bitter.
At 7pm the place was busy with a mixture of students and local workers, but not as rammed as the Wellington next door. Well worth another visit.
simontheeditor - 29 Oct 2011 10:29
popped in quickly, lights still a touch bright, kitchen out of action for the night but still all booths busy, and good atmosphere. main courses usually 6 quid ish
popeye321 - 27 Oct 2011 19:58
I'll give this a 2 due to the price, nice location and relaxing booths you can sit in. However it could warrant a '0' as there is a young barman who serves in this pub (we were there on a Monday evening) who is a disgrace to Sam Smith's and a good enough reason never to go to this pub.

Having set foot into the pub with my girlfirend (clearly not in a group) I ordered a drink and was ID'd. Fair enough, i'm 25 but probably look younger. Having shown my driving license it was reviewed suspisciously, at which point the barman asked for my girlfriend's (who at this point was sitting down) ID also. Fairly pissed off at this point, however my girlfriend proved she was 25 also and on we went.

Clearly holding my credit card (prior to and during my order), the young lad then, in a dismissive manner, declared having poured 2 drinks that there was a minimum £10 card transaction, in addition to a small surcharge. Not his fault, presumably, but this is different to most Sam Smith's i've been to. At the end of the transaction, the young lad then suspisciously asked 'are you in a group'? No, just with my girlfriend i replied, as he presumably had clearly seen. He then aired his suspiscions that we were smuggling in other drinkers and would need to see their ID's if so. How many 25 year old's smuggle in U-18s to pubs?

Pissed off, and mistakenly, we stayed in the pub. A short time after which the young lad overtly inspected our (enclosed) seated area and smugly and suspisciously eyeballed my girlfirend and the surrounding area, apparently still strangely convinced that we were hiding young drinkers.

We left before we finished our drinks, mainly in response to the attitude of this upstart. But the whole situation became ridiculous when we got up to find that in the booth next to us the young lad was stood there interrogating (in a patronising, rude and smug mannner) a group of 3/4 men, demanding IDs from a group (of i think tourists) who were clearly about 30 years old.

With this argument ongoing we left, and on the way i complained to another member of staff behind the bar about this kid's conduct.

I've never written a pub review before, however i've felt the need to provide warning to potential punters about this joke of a barman/boy (who has presumably only recently turned 18) who puts a dampner on the good name of Sam Smith's through his unbelievable rudeness and pathetic behaviour.


eastendsaint - 12 Jul 2011 10:05
I called in because the Wellington (practically next door) was heaving with office workers at 6pm on Thurday. It was a delightful haven; I sat in a tiny booth - like an overnight railway compartment, except there was no bed. Drank Alpine Lager but a companion enjoyed Sam Smiths. Ladies toilets were very clean , and a warm carpeted upper room had tables where food was served. Brass rails on stairs and panelling gave a club-like atmosphere. I don't think I'll bother with the Wellington in future
Becko - 4 Mar 2011 11:02
Typical Sam Smiths pub - lots of wood - not many people.
adamwalsh - 12 Dec 2010 20:43
popped in on one of my sunday trips to town , didnt really know what to expect with this pub as have never tried it before and im not a big fan of sam smiths , but i tried it
didnt think much of the pub itself but the beer wasnt bad , quite a few tourists in here just had the one and went elsewhere


romfordir - 4 May 2010 18:05
Good pint of OBB and well served!
keith253 - 9 Mar 2010 18:23
This is the kind of pub i like to hurt myself in; cheap prices, absolute no atmosphere. I tend to find Sam Smiths bitter to be a bit soapy so head on to the ciders after a few. But don't think you getting a bargain with this booze, you're liable to wake up with terrible stomach cramps in the night.
boozemaster - 16 Jan 2010 13:06
Real tourist trap pub this. Beer not in great nick to be honest, and it's Old Brewery/Sam Smiths, so don't expect anything "mainstream".

My rating of 5 reflects the fact that it's one of the few pubs in the area to have a dartboard (it's well lit and at the right height too!).
jameslikesbeer - 4 Jan 2010 15:29
Went here after a show and was really unimpressed.

The Old Brewery Bitter was served through one of the northern sparkler fittings on the pump that rips all the bubbles out of the beer and stuffs it on the top to make a head. Absolutely ruined what was already a mediocre pint! And if it wasn't that then there is something seriously wrong with the beer . . . .

Probably wouldn't bother going here again.
slugbreff - 18 Oct 2009 19:18
Drank a few OBB in the Lyceum and have to say it was a great pint.a little colder than I like but a good pint none the less.
Ironfist - 3 Oct 2009 00:40
The character of this pub (wooden pannelling and various alcoves) appears to have been well-maintained, although as ever with Sam Smith's houses that is more a core element of their business model, as the money saved on maintenance and refurbishment allows them to sell their wares at almost Wetherspoon-like discounts! I don't touch the keg offerings, as I'm afraid that just seems too retrograde a step given the variety and quality of real ales available nowadays, but the OBB was sampled and was satisfactory. As mentioned before, it was a touch too chilled, although arguably that helped render it that bit more drinkable as a few of my crowd suspected it was past its best.

Surprisingly capacious actually, as there is an upstairs seating area which isn't immediately obvious upon entering the ground floor. Service was reasonable, although I think we left under a cloud as things became somewhat rumbustuous following repeated losses of coinage in the Games Machine, and the barman felt the need to quieten proceedings on 3 occasions. Still, I dearly hope that we injected some much-needed pizazz, without being too obnoxious or obstreperous in the eyes of other punters.

Might take a quick 'alf here again if the opportunity arises, but I doubt that I would seek this pub out specifically.
TWG - 28 Sep 2009 14:01
A Sam Smithís pub, but one that does have Old Brewery Bitter on handpump. The OBB was OK, if a little too cold. Like so many Sam Smithís pubs, they have not sought to ďupdateĒ the interior. The booths on the left have been retained and remain unscathed, as has the dark wood panelled walls, and the lino floor. There is an upstairs lounge bar which I didnít visit on this occasion, but which probably hasnít changed much over the years. Essentially itís a typical Sam Smithís pub, retaining its original character, even if it does sit on one of the busiest thoroughfares in London. I prefer it as a pub to Wellington next door, but Iím not a great fan of Sam Smithís beers, even if they are such excellent value, so probably wonít go out of my way to visit again.
RexRattus - 29 Aug 2009 10:10
Another great Sam Smiths pub. Cheap beer...no piped music, couldn't ask for more.

OBB was ok, but barman served short pints. I go for the Wheat Beer...similar to Hoegaarden, but about half the cost...served in a lined glass - so no issues about short measures.
Disley - 1 Aug 2009 23:53
Passed a very pleasant evening here last night with some old friends.

Its a quiet old fashioned pub serving a good pint of OBB at a very reasonable price (£1.88).

I didn't eat here this time but in the past the food has been excellent value.

We were impressed with the bar maid who was cheerful all night and even took the time come around the tables to announce last orders
dGriz - 21 Apr 2009 14:18
I like the Lyceum. Itís a traditional pub in an area often tarnished by overpriced, un-atmospheric establishments banking on revolving tourist patronage.

Fantastic value beer and comfortable seating areasÖÖ Itís ideal for groups of friends having a bit of a catch up, much like the drinking group I was with (FTB2).

The food was OK, what you would expect given the price (less than 6 quid for a main)Ö..a pretty accurate picture menu.

No musicÖÖIím not sure if thatís a bad thing or notÖ.depends on what they would play I guess. Canít stand pubs with play lists dominated by UB40, Mamma Mia, Tom Jones and Bennett and McMenamin.

In summary, great pub to enjoy cheap beer in a comfortable and central location, bad pub if your looking to pick up a life partner and or a place to danceÖÖmaybe thatís why Chris Kilkelly did not show up.

7/10

FTB2 - 27 Mar 2009 13:36
Crap pint , served by some very good looking East European lady- whose interest appeared to be swayed by the fact that she had just been told that she was going to be the first non monkey in space to be blasted off without breathing apparatus....Oh!..Did I mention that the beer was crap?.....
EdgarBriggsMI5 - 1 Feb 2009 21:50
Reasonable Sam Smiths pub, which thankfully has OBB on handpump. Usually worth heading up the stairs in busy periods.
rpadam - 15 Jan 2009 20:57
Very nice pub, plain & simple, an almost miraculous survival from the good old days given this location. £1.80 a pint for decent hand-drawn real bitter - in WC2 in 2008? Never mind almost, a genuine miracle. Rejoice and praise the Lord, Sam Smith.
Bronxrichie - 5 Nov 2008 01:27
Very decent Sam Smith's boozer with comical 1980s prices. Fairly plain downstairs with those unusual booths, which is a bit like sitting inside a miniature stagecoach. Upstairs is a large, comfy lounge. Friendly atmosphere and smiley, helpful barstaff.
Albert_Campion - 2 Nov 2008 20:52
This is one of the less remarkable Sam Smiths pubs I have been in. There are a few booths along the side of the pub, but these were taken up by hoards of students.

The barman was very friendly and I didnít check out the upstairs bar, but I wasnít that impressed with what I did see.
Strongers - 24 Oct 2008 13:59
Very nice pub with a very traditional feel to it. Beer and food cheap as chips but if you've been to other sam Smiths pubs you know what to expect. Service good and staff friendly.

I do recommend a visit should you ever be in the area.

9/10
wezmiester - 17 Oct 2008 12:25
I sometimes pop in here to meet a friend for a quick couple of pints after work.

Considering its location is usually seems to be remarkably (and mercifully!) tourist-free. The upstairs bar in particular is very comfortable, and the prices and service are both good.

I will say that the food looks pretty unappetising but since I have never actually eaten in there myself I could be doing it an injustice.

Gostevie
Gostevie - 13 Oct 2008 16:24
Another lovely sammy smiths joint with a terrific-looking upstairs bar and a good selection of the bottled stuff behind the bar. The dartboard has seen better days, but thats part of the charm!
ChrisP87 - 11 Sep 2008 14:14
still on top form - still great value, friendly staff and never too crowded.

How do Sam Smith's do it?
bensonby - 6 Jun 2008 15:36
Lovely Sam Smiths pub (i.e. cheap, surprisingly good stout), far enough from the City for the patrons to be alright, good bar staf too.
patrickjsm - 3 Nov 2007 12:56
Very surprised this one's sustained an average of over 7 from so many voters. To my mind it's the same old boring Sam Smith beer selection but a much less attractive pub than most Sam Smith outlets. However, I wonder whether I'm missing something given the high score it gets on here.
grecian - 24 Sep 2007 17:17
The upstairs bar is less crowded though it may deliver fewer beers than downstairs. The staff up there are nice once you attract their attention, though this can take time since they like to interact with each other to the exclusion of noticing you. This is a place with all the curtain-up, light-the-lights theatrical buzz but mercifully without the subsequent torture of having to sit with a bursting bladder all the way through hours of watching a bunch of self-regarding actaws strutting up and down in wigs. It consequently goes nice and quiet around 19:29. When they all roll pretentiously back in at a quarter past 10, make sure you've previously ordered yourself a sustaining tray of three or four self-lobotomising Sam Smith's Hefe Weisses and try not to look too smug.
pauldanon - 25 Aug 2007 21:38
Visited tonight and although the pub is fine the barmaid was miserable.
ONscotland - 22 Aug 2007 23:34
Really nice pub, not normally a fan of the sam smiths pubs but this one was an exception. Very friendly service, a very good pint and a very nice place to chill from the crowds.
Thebman - 24 Jun 2007 14:09
Was really pleased with my visit to this Sam Smiths pub. While it doesn't have the stunning building, or original features of some of the other city pubs, what it lacks in tradition, it makes up for in comfort. Very pleasant interior on two floors. Lovely booths downstairs and good space upstairs. Full range of the usual Samuel smiths brews, very pleasant indeed.
alistair_cross - 23 Jun 2007 20:10
cheap beer and the sexiest new bar man ever! woo if you happen to be on here then send me a message lol!
laura_warner - 13 Jun 2007 17:25
there's not many places you can get a delicious stout for 2.10 a pint. i love the booths, and its in a great location. love it. during the week the tenders are proper gents and its very good service. the area around the dart board is treacherous though, i accidentally tripped one guy up and he didn't smash my face in, which only adds to this pubs appeal.
testpattern - 30 May 2007 16:24
The pub itself is a really nice venue.Great private booths and a nice location.unfortunately,it is staffed (like so so many others) who are less than proficient in the English language.Still worth a look and a pint of stout before McDonalds move in.
ginner - 30 Apr 2007 20:54
I asked the inevitable Auzzie behind the bar why the (Sam Smiths) bottled beers were so expensive (£3.49) when the on-tap cask beer was comparatively so cheap. She told me that Magners was even more expensive down the road. Well, that answered my question, didnít it? Still, she was young and pleasant, but plainly out with the fairies. Having said that, this is a nice place. I very much like the ground floor with its little cubicles; cosy and intimate and good to chat in. I canít say that my last couple of visits have left me electrified with the bar staff, but they have been pleasant enough and efficient, even if one of them was a bit dim.
LovePubs - 25 Apr 2007 16:25
Rarely eat in pubs but tried the food in the upstairs bar - surprisingly there were seats available - and it was fine. Didn't encounter any of the aforementioned surliness from the staff and the beer was good and at the usual Sam Smith's prices.
johnkn7 - 22 Apr 2007 22:32
That's a bit harsh! If you insist on drinkin Purebrew, off course, it's going to be a bit more expensive. Normal lager is £1.99 and bitter ven cheaper.

The dart board doen't tak up mst ofthe downstairs bar, only about a quarter of the acyual bar room. Theres another room as you come in and 4 booths as well. I'll grant you that he quize machine is in a stupid place - no helped by the fact that people insis on playing it 20 at a time.

I've always found tha tif you're nice and polite to the staff they tend to be so back to you. Oh, and not trying to chat hem up helps too....
sirrah - 14 Apr 2007 11:47
This pub is an absolute shocker!

Firstly, the pints aren't as cheap as you are lead to believe in some of the other reviews that have been posted(2 pounds 76 pence for a pint of lager).

Secondly, this is a bar for locals only! You will not get served in a timely manner, unless you are known to the staff at the bar.

The bar staff were rude and became progressively ruder throughout the evening.

The Bar itself is run down and the upstairs part stank!

There is one darts board and the annoying thing is that the area takes up a good portion fo the downstairs Bar area.

Again, this pub is a shocker!! Avoid at all costs!

Oz G
AussieGov - 10 Apr 2007 14:25
I really like this place. It's cheap and simple and you can almost always get a seat upstairs on a Friday/Saturday night, although it's never empty.
Wooz - 30 Oct 2006 12:20
With beer this cheap it is nice to pop in for a pint at the Lyceum. Other customers were commenting on how good the food is it looked quite tasty.
jkelly - 15 Oct 2006 10:05
Good pub to see homeless digging through bins. Staff rather curt today. Beer very cheap though. Soulless however.
jkelly - 2 Aug 2006 03:50
Very cheap beer and good quality by Samuel Smith £1.76 a pint I had two pints Also had meal up stairs surroundings have improved it even smells nice now. Good clean toilets. Lots of quite nooks to sit in down staires.

As for the food a let down expensive microwaved. Steak and Kidney pudding like the stuff you get from a tin. Tasteless frozen carrots and greens I did not touch as the carrots were so tasteless nice chips and pleasent mint gravy however. Helpful and pleasent bar staff but at £6.95 food over priced.
jkelly - 13 Jul 2006 20:16
Can't really see what has changed about this pub, still as good as before! - good cheap beer... who knows how they manage to sell bee ar £1.76 a pint!! Only pity is the old photographs of actors have gone in the renovation.
bensonby - 5 Jul 2006 17:14
This place was indeed closed for a few weeks for refurbishment and, since I work nearby, I kept an eye on how it was changing, externally at least. A side entrance has been added, which is reached via a covered passage between the pub and the coffee shop nextdoor. This passageway is ramped, which may lead people to assume that by using it they will arrive at the back of the pub and find disabled access there. As I found to my cost today, this is not the case. Both entrances to this pub are inaccessible for wheelchair users. Given that extensive work has been done on this place in the past couple of months, I question the legality of this.
Martinl - 23 Jun 2006 14:01
Re opened a bit over a week ago and rather lovely.

Only problem seems to be that it doesn't actually look open and Sam Smiths have hardly advertised the fact. (Rather silly if you ask me.)

Would also add that the quality of ale has improved since the refit, possibly as all the staff have changed.
Norealaleinorpington - 19 Jun 2006 15:06
I was there in May and went inside. The ceiling was being papered with the usual woodchip-type paper and, best of all, the couple of little booths on the left hand side of the pub are still there. Othere than that, it was hard to tell exactly what had changed since they closed it for renovation - maybe they are doing all the work upstairs. My rating is based on what it was like last time I was there when it was open
johnmnz - 15 Jun 2006 03:47
They have removed the landmark barrell clock from the exterior - I hope this will be put back as it is a good pointer that I use for anyone trying to find my office along the road opposite!
RogerB - 4 Apr 2006 16:53
Scheduled to reopen in May, but with Sam's record this could be later! I have it on very good authority that they are going to be treating the building sympathetically, thoug I'm not sure about putting the entrance in the side alley between this and the Starbuck's next door!
anonymous - 3 Apr 2006 14:42
Hope I'm not tempting fate, but Sam Smith's do have a very good track record of sympathetic refurbs with little or no loss of character (The Angel at Cambridge Circus being a good example). In fact, this pub did have a minor 'furb about 5 years ago... I expected the lovely windows to be binned but they kept them. Fingers crossed.
Albert_Campion - 2 Mar 2006 13:34
Has been closed for the past few weeks and is undergoing a major refurbishment. Nothing outside to say when it expects to reopen. I will keep an eye on the place.
RogerB - 24 Feb 2006 13:07
Currently closed for refurbishment (Feb 2006). Hope they don't destroy the period decor!
lonegroover - 14 Feb 2006 11:46
I have loved this pub ever since I first went into it. Considering it's location, it's really cheap and very friendly.

Go here instead of the Coal Hole, it's heaps better.
pint_sizedvix - 11 Feb 2006 17:46
Lovely pub, lovely interior, good beer on hand pump....what more do you want? and in the middle of london with cheap prices!
bensonby - 4 Nov 2005 21:16
Situated on the Strand in the heart of Theatreland so donít be surprised to see a few tourists and theatre-goers. Before entering, look out for the interesting barrel clock on the pubs faÁade. The main bar is a single room with 3 very small snugs (room for 4 people in each) and a larger recess opposite the bar. Cheap beer prices but as per Sam Smiths pubs, the lagers and soft drinks in particular can be an acquired taste. They do have Old Brewery Bitter on hand pump (I have noticed that more often than not Sam Smiths tend to do keg beers only). The panelled walls are adorned with pictures of old music hall and theatre stars from Victorian / Edwardian ages, none of who you will likely have heard of but it is in keeping with the area. Not usually very crowded but pre theatre can be a bit hectic. There is a comfortable upstairs bar to take the overflow of customers if necessary. Not the best of the Sam Smith chain in London but excellent value for money and well worth a couple of pints if passing by.
RogerB - 27 Oct 2005 15:57
Bin here only once, but it was right after work so the expecation was it would be jammed (as the Wellington next door was). In fact there were about 7 people there. Typical Sam Smiths so great beer, very cheap and this time no annoying crowds. Can't beat it for a London pub !

Shhhh don't tell anyone !
Delios - 30 Sep 2005 13:24
This Sam Smiths pub does still have real ale unlike others in London. Friendly lively atmosphere.
GrahamA - 16 Jun 2005 11:14
Great boozer, always a joy to grab a few ales there after work. One slight warning, avoid getting into an argument with the rather rotund cycloptic fellow at the end of the bar, he enjoys getting people barred!
anonymous - 19 Apr 2005 18:35
Always a good selection of eligible bachelors spending money on the passing ladyfolk, especially the one who looks like Jean Luc Picard
harroldpotter - 19 Apr 2005 17:17
Was there with my friend Lucy and can say the guys were really very nice - even let us play darts! But Harry Potter lookalike kept beating us, not very chivalrous!
jemmima - 19 Apr 2005 16:42
Great, friendly and good food. The blokes aren't too bad either. Thanks guys for making a kiwi feel welcome ;)
kiwilucy - 19 Apr 2005 15:59
Every time I'm in port I try to dock at this fantastic watering hole
ancientmariner - 18 Apr 2005 12:56
An oasis on the Strand.
granto - 18 Apr 2005 11:22
I tried this for the first time last night. Impressed! Might not be the nicest place on earth, but no nonesense traditional English Local. The staff were friendly, the beers are exceptional value for central London and all Samuel Smith's. so lagers are brewed to German purity laws - none of your mass produced gaseous beers here. Look past the decor and give it a try.
alexs - 15 Apr 2005 12:34
Reading material at the end of the downstairs bar is a bit left wing! Nice collection of toys though. Had a great night watching some actors trying to play darts and draw attention to themselves.


rwtory - 15 Apr 2005 12:20
Quality cheep beer (never a bad pint in 10 years), and always good conversation with a healthy mix of locals and tourists. This pub has a superb atmosphere for a central London boozer.

Oh, and an excellent landlord. Who bought me a pint last night to say that!
stoneage - 13 Apr 2005 16:09
Top booza. Particularly like the no-nonsense landlord.

My Gaff My Rules
tailgunner - 13 Apr 2005 15:18
HAving spend 1 year at Courtauld Institute I think this is great pub. Best and cheap in area. I wish for pub like this back home in Nancy.
jeanluc - 7 Apr 2005 14:23
Not a bad wateringhole and under £2 a pint in central London is hard to beat. Decent beer too.
newdocwho - 7 Apr 2005 14:11
What else can I add? Great prices, friendly - if slightly overworked - staff. Try talking to the old blokes at the end of the downstairs bar, this will provide you with hours of anecdotes and amusement. I;ve known tourist wander in for a swift half and stay for hours!!!!
simonj - 7 Apr 2005 09:13
Well said that man. This great pub also has a DARTBOARD, a rare commodity in this day and age... not to mention the lovely Gabby
tombelton - 6 Apr 2005 16:38
I totally agree with the last 2 comments. A great little boozer!
sirrah - 6 Apr 2005 16:35
Some of the comments below leave me slighlty bemused. How can it be more expensive than the Chandos? The whole chain is the same price & Chandos Toasties are 50p more! I've been drinking in there for ages and have never found the barstaff to be surly surley or un coopoerative (with the odd exception, but the less said about certain North Americans the better!). I detect some sour grapes here from a group of student who were probably slung out one evening by the managment for lingering too long over a pint with 4 straws?
davidh - 6 Apr 2005 16:05
My favourite boozer in the whole world. Nuff said.
tombelton - 5 Apr 2005 17:38
If it was the Courtauld's "official" pub it was certainly Kings' "unofficial" pub. What a really lame place. Had as much atmosphere as the waiting booth at South Bermondsey train station.

If you're studying at either place don't go here or the Waterfront or Tutu's...it's all about the LSE bar. Cheap subsidised booze. DO IT!
Wastoid - 3 Feb 2005 18:38
Samuel Smith pub but tends to be pricey compared to the Chandos (another SS pub) in Trafalgar Square.......Like the Chandos go upstairs - tonnes of character. Downstairs dark and unwelcoming. Food is expensive undercutting Wellington next door by about 5/10p but food not as good or plates as big. Set up for fleecing tourists but if all you want is a draught beer it takes some beating in the locality. Don't try the bottled beer may not be brand bottles but charged at premium prices.
Tom Williams - 23 Jun 2004 17:08
Used to be the "official" pub of the Courtauld Institute just across the street. I enjoyed many an afternoon passing the hours in one of their little cosy booths, quaffing the inexpensive beer and munching McCoys crisps. Upstairs is nice - a good place to have lunch if you work in the area. Staff is nothing spectacular, but you never feel hurried. A welcome spot in the hectic Strand.
Sam - 23 Jun 2004 16:49
The staff in this pub keep changing but they are usually surly and unco-operative. We used to come here a lot because it was close to where we worked but they never got any more friendly. Finally we gave up. I suppose it's good if you want a guaranteed seat. Though that tells you something doesn't it.
Steve - 20 Mar 2004 16:33
Good pub, nice staff. Great upstairs.
Jakob Nixon - 26 Feb 2004 17:51
The best pub in London town
ads - 14 Jan 2004 12:40
This is one of my all-time favorite pubs, and I make certain to visit it at least once every time I travel to London! The staff is friendly, the food is very good (albeit the serving hours are too short), and the prices are extremely good given the location.
markpoese - 9 Jul 2003 18:51
Much nicer than the Wellington especially upstairs. I go there regularly and there is an excellent selection of real ale and lager.
Queen A. - 9 Jul 2003 11:07
Sam Smith pub so cheep and cheerfull, better than any surrounding pubs by a mile. always has beer unlike Wellington next door (landlord never wakes up for deliveries)
arturo_morales - 20 Mar 2003 09:04
A top pub. Nicer upstairs and always relaxed and friendly.
Cyberwitch - 11 Dec 2002 09:29
Nice traditional pub, £1.90 pints of 'Ayingerbrau' lager all the time. Brewery owned, good atmosphere and great staff.
Aimee Lawson - 2 Sep 2002 16:55

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