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Masons Arms, Marylebone

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user reviews of the Masons Arms, Marylebone

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

A smallish street corner pub just a stone’s throw from Edgeware Road. There’s a surprisingly large (in relation to the overall size of the pub) central bar area, with seating around the perimeter. In common with many of the pubs around here, the décor is mostly wood.

Unfortunately I’m able to leave much in the way of a detailed review, as on our first visit we were after something to eat and there was nowhere to eat in the downstairs bar. We therefore went upstairs to the restaurant which is quite a contrast. It looks recently renovated and has a “fine dining” appearance to it although the actual menu is shared with the pub downstairs. From perusing the menu outside there seemed to be a good selection of dishes, although with most main courses being in the £10 - £12 range, it’s a step up from your normal “pub grub”. By the time you’ve added a vegetable side dish, a couple of glasses of wine and been hit with a 12½% service charge, the bill soon adds up (whether the service charge is payable downstairs I’m not sure). The food was decent enough though, and the waitress pleasant and friendly, even if she did have the rather annoying habit of incorporating “No problem” in to every single sentence.

Our second attempt at a visit just to enjoy a pint was at around 10:40pm on a Saturday evening. On this occasion they seemed to be just about shut, with all the chairs stacked on to the tables, and just three people stood watching the TV. I assume these were all staff, as one had a bag of rubbish in his hand, so we decided to go just down the road to the all together more welcoming Carpenter’s Arms.
Blackthorn - 28 Mar 2011 11:11
So sad, went to the Portman last night and the fantastic interior has been destroyed making it another upmarket gastropub which isn't bad, just terribly bland which unfortunately just hasn't the atmosphere of the old Mason's Arms. The interior was a real draw.
Vickster - 21 Oct 2010 14:15
Now apparently re-opened as a gastropub called the Portman.
I haven't visited yet but I presume the fantastic interior has been ripped out.
I hope I'm wrong.
TheBeerMonkey - 12 Oct 2010 16:36
Not cool. This was one of the best pubs. During my five years of living in the UK I enjoyed plenty of visits to the Masons Arms. A delightful history combined with friendly service from the staff makes its loss regretful. I was always hoping to revisit it whenever I found myself in London again. I second the murgatroyd who mentioned that he was always afraid this pub would get "discovered." It seems, like in my case, it was always discovered just by walking by!
steveambrose - 28 Jul 2010 16:56
The sign outside says that it is being converted into a [no doubt upmarket] fish restaurant.

Christo - 13 Dec 2009 16:59
I quite liked this pub and have visited during a few lunchtimes when at work.

I popped round today (5.10.09) and it was locked up.

I asked the barman in the Carpenter's Arms and he informed me that it had closed because they didn't renew the lease.

it's a real pity, especially since it was much cheaper than the Carpenters.


Pat_Bateman - 5 Oct 2009 16:11
I didn't like this as much as other drinkers appear to have done. It's a Badger pub, which is a good start, but I'm afraid I just found it a bit dull: it's a pretty small single-room pub with a central bar, and rivals Sam Smiths pubs in the lack of interior decor - just the four wood-panelled walls and that's it really. It's on a rather nice local street just north of the hustle and bustle of Marble Arch, but when next in the area I'll head back to the Carpenter's Arms just down the street (which I've reviewed previously).
grecian - 21 Sep 2009 10:00
I like this place. Friendly service on a fairly busy saturday, well kept pint of Badger 'Lemony Cricket'. Seating outside, just off a busy stretch, and a good stopping point on the way to marble arch / hyde park.
rob372 - 29 Jun 2009 08:22
NIce enough pint. Had a good pint of Hopping Hare; a second Badger beer was on too.

It's worth looking out for the table enclosed in it's own "compartment" for cosy or private conversation.

Although we didn't try it, the pub does food too. Standard "pub grub" from the look of it, and an upstairs dining area where children are welcome. On our visit, children were not allowed to stay in the downstairs bar, providing a valued "adults only" space.
trueconfessions - 31 May 2009 18:03
Had the hopping hare too and was in fine fettle. Nice enough pub without being outstanding.
nickthefish - 13 May 2009 16:19
Amazingly good tasting pint of Badger Hopping Hare(£3.10) from this very attractive Hall & Woodhouse street corner boozer, 7/10
fat_beer_badger - 6 May 2009 21:08
Pleasant enough street corner pub, not too far from Marble Arch and the south end of Edgware Road, with quite an upmarket feel to it.

It has what I would call "contrived" rather rustic traditional decor ( ie - not original ).

Note particularly the special screened pawnbroking booth, which unlike those at the sadly now closed Barley Mow ( off Baker Street ), is unlikely to be original, I suspect.

The Masons Arms is a Badger pub, but not badged as such externally.

I enjoyed a good pint of Hopped Hare - £ 3.10p - in this pub last Sunday ( the Badger Bitter being unavailable, despite the pump clip not being turned round - in true Wetherspoons style ) .

Note the plaque outside the pub, revealing that the pub is situated on the site of the dungeons where prisoners were held before being taken for hanging at nearby Marble Arch. These dungeons are now the pub cellars.

There's a few outside tables on the pavement.

This is a pleasant enough pub, but it didn't wildly excite or enthuse me in any way and I don't regard it as a pub worthy of a special effort to visit


JohnBonser - 22 Apr 2009 13:27
Stopped by and sampled a Badgers - v good. Quiet Sat aft - but a good pub to be sure.
gonetolunch - 14 Feb 2009 19:15
Earlier reviews are mixed in general but I found this pub very pleasant at the weekend and certainly enjoyed my few hours here..quiet, very traditional and a world away from the greed and misery of Oxford Street. Would go back.....one of a mere handful of West End pubs worth the time of day.
TS77 - 4 Jan 2009 12:48
i live beside here so i like to call in and relax sometimes (but i too would never try their food
bakerstreet75 - 31 Dec 2008 01:03
I read Ed Dysons review regarding the prisoners in the basement. I worked in this pub in 1995 and know of these little cubby holes and had an interesting experience after cleaning and locking up in the cellar. I'm by no means a believer of the supernatural but can't explain what happened. It is also alleged that the sayings "one for the road" and "on the wagon" originated from the experiences of the poor souls held here before execution. My first intro to live ales - acquired quite a taste for tanglefoot. The Hof something beer was probably Hofbrau.
puss - 29 Dec 2008 14:18
Went there on a saturday evening, not a lot of people, relaxed and served a good pint. Just what we were looking for.
solidrock - 19 Nov 2008 07:48
Seasonal beers like Ferret can be good, but the pub itself is awful. Worst food in London by a mile, felt like I was robbed afterward.
leonidas - 19 Oct 2008 14:35
Visited last night. Have been a few times before but realised I had never commented on this one. Cosy Hall & Woddhouse boozer with good badger beers, always in good condition. Enjoyed both Badger and Ferrett yesterday. Worth a visit.
Tigerdrinker - 6 Oct 2008 09:40
Excellent little boozer (with the emphasis on little) with good ales and friendly staff - a good choice if the Carpenter's is full, and vice versa.
BobOs - 30 Aug 2008 13:35
Lovely place. Good beer, reasonable prices and friendly staff.
fluiman - 13 Aug 2008 18:03
Good H&W pub in same block as Carpenters Arms. Nice pint of Hopping Hare. Worth visiting both when in this area but the Carpenters gets the edge.
sussexred - 30 Jun 2008 10:18
Friendly little corner pub, but with probably more seating space on the benches outside than in the downstairs bar. Not a great fan of Hall & Woodhouse beers, but the Hopping Hare was refreshing on a warm summers day.
rpadam - 29 Jun 2008 16:02
Comfortable pub. Had an excellent Pint of Pickled Partridge. Always a pleasure when I get back to the Mason's Arms
awcrounse - 12 Feb 2008 01:23
Hall & Woodhouse beers, unusual for London. Badger First Gold and I assume seasonal Pickled Partridge on. £2-40 for First Gold, good value for central London. Two (gas coal effect) roaring fires, newspapers in a rack at the bar. Not much seating but a sign indicates more available in an upstairs room. Decent boozer worth a visit.
Maldenman - 31 Jan 2008 16:52
Excellent hostelry, and well out of place in the West End, but long may it continue.
wbafc_beer - 8 Jan 2008 00:02
Popped in on New Years eve and it seems a really pleasant place to go, just off from the main shopping areas so surprisingly it manages to keep a good atmosphere. The beer is fine, we had the Pickled partridge winter beer and it was fine. No food on due to the date though. We would certainly re visit if around the area again.
imdownthepub - 1 Jan 2008 09:35
I love Badger and the beer here won't disappoint. I visited on a Sunday and found the place not to busy. The fires were crackling and the atmosphere was relaxed.

On the downside, it's expensive. Also, the barmaid served my pint a good inch below the rim of the glass -- no head, just a low level.

The Carpenters Arms is a short stagger away, with plenty more choice but a little less atmosphere.
surgecommodore - 13 Nov 2007 17:24
Quiet [no live music on Wednesday], good beer [Ferret, August - October only], cheerful & attentive staff make this pub well 'vaut le detour' for West End drinkers who don't habitually venture N of Oxford St. The menu shows that it only aspires to entry level in the food stakes, but if that discourages those whose main interest is food rather than drink, so much the better, as there is not a lot of room inside.
Christo - 28 Sep 2007 14:09
You can get a seat, which is more than you can say for most West End pubs. The beer is fine the food is adequate. There's no piped music or nasty little kids so i'd recommend it.
neilgr - 1 Sep 2007 13:58
Had a drop of Badger First Gold which was excellent. They also had Stinger on. This pub has a central bear, with some seating, but seemed to me to be the sort of pub for propping up the bar. Plenty of dark wood gives it an old feel. I don't know the prevenance of this pub, but there is a sign outside that says its cellars were originally cells used for the temporary incarceration of those unfortunates waiting to dance the hempen jig at Tyburn. I quite liked this pub, and will drop in again if I am in the area.
RexRattus - 13 Jul 2007 10:02
I was not overly impressed with the Lager or the food in here.

I went in with the misses on Friday afternoon and ordered a pint of Fosters (I think) and a cheese sandwich and a BLT baguette. The sandwich and the baguette were both stale and the bacon tasted of fish. The menu was mainly Thai and in hindsight I should have ordered some of that as it looked quite good.

My first pint wasn’t the greatest and was served, in a glass with lipstick around the rim, by a fairly miserable barmaid; although I was later served by a much chirpier barmaid.

In my opinion, unless you are into real ale, this is probably a pub to give a miss.
Strongers - 5 Jun 2007 15:59
I went here back in the fall when Stinger was on, and I agree it was a great pint. Went back last weekend and had a decent Hopping Hare at a whopping 3 pounds! Most expensive beer of the night.
jackvervacke - 6 Mar 2007 19:27
I really liked this place; it is a nice, cosy, little pub with a friendly enough environment. The Badger beers were spot on, especially Stinger, which was great. The normal Badger ale was only £2.40.

As a mark of the kind of place it is, two plebs walked in and asked for Magners. The barmaid said they don’t have any, so, remarkably, they tried Stinger. There is hope…
AleKing - 18 Sep 2006 09:17
Good pub, great beer. Can't argue with that.
TheBeerMonkey - 31 Jul 2006 14:43
A compact pub serving Badger Beer, worth a visit.
beeronaut - 1 Jul 2006 05:41
Really liked this place on a Saturday afternoon, although sadly there were no seats downstairs in the very pleasant and relaxed main bar so had to go upstairs. Its a Badger's pub so decent beer (vera_shaw is just wrong) - Festive Pheasant is lovely though as its seasonal today's may be my last pint!
anonymous - 4 Feb 2006 23:23
At least you can normally get a seat here when the others all around are full!

The food is a bit suspect. I had a mushroom risotto once that clearly came out of a microwave packet marked 'Tesco' or 'Sainsburys', and another time they forgot to wash the soil off my salad!
rlm - 24 Dec 2005 17:30
The beer is awful and the food is a little suspect too. I like the "fire" in the winter. Passers-by seem to call in to use the lavatory making the pub feel like a giant public toilet on a frosty sunday night. Interesting history.
vera_shaw - 22 Aug 2005 16:54
Blandford fly is excellent (real gingery) and the benches outside get nice sunlight in the Summer. Shame their fridge never seems to work so you have to get them to put the beer in an ice bucket for a while.
m_shannon - 9 Aug 2005 10:45
very nice little pub unusual beers but very good quality
LIKEADRINKINTHEEVENING - 28 Jun 2005 12:17
Great atmosphere with a nice mix of locals, office people, tourists and people from the park. They have got a great german lager called Hof... something and there is a really good looking tall guy behind the bar. They need to imrove their foof though.
Rizla - 8 Jun 2005 14:01
Horrible. Someone please draw a smile on the face of the girl that works there!
IvyIvyIvy - 9 May 2005 15:33
They sell bottled wheat beer and the excellent Blandford Fly. What more can I say, except has anyone seen my sandals?
phil - 14 Jul 2004 16:36
Best pub around, even though it's not the most popular. Beer could be of a higher standard, and is best supped whilst sitting outside with a kebab bought from Edgware road
CJL - 14 Jul 2004 16:26
Nice locals pub - and found a great little hidden booth (right behind the bar) - perfect for a few pints with a small group of friends. (or a slightly larger group of small friends)
gilesd - 4 Jul 2004 09:00
COZY AND ATMOSPHERIC,CAN BE HARD TO FIND SO MAINLY FULL OF LOCALS.
Nick Hamer - 10 Apr 2004 16:54
A very friendly pub with an interesting history. There is a tunnel under the road leading to the hanging tree at Marble Arch as the prisoners used to be kept in the basement. Some nice little 'cubby-holes'.
Ed Dyson - 18 Mar 2004 22:32

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