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Skinners Arms, Kings Cross

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user reviews of the Skinners Arms, Kings Cross

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

Good Beer Guide 2019 entry.

Would expect the bar staff to know a bit more about the offerings - rather than answering the question "what is the Sambrooks Lavender Hill like" with "Its an Ale, innitt".

It was a very good ale.

High seating overlooking a traditional wooden bar with "Skinners arms" in the detail.

Mistakenly, I sat outside. The last time I was hassled by gentlemen of the street this much was outside the Bree Louise.
Mappiman - 7 Jul 2019 12:04
This will make you laugh (a bit!). Ordered a glass of Malbec wine. The bartender was new and served it, only to find it wasn't available by the glass on the till. She was told by the staff that only Shiraz, Merlot and Tempranillo ( a miserable offering) could be served by the glass. Having already poured it I said 'firstly, you've got to be the only pub in London not serving this NOW very popular wine by the glass'...and 'don't throw it down the sink' ..'I'll pay for a Merlot and save mindless waste'. But no, down the sink it went bizarrely because one can only buy this wine by the bottle here!! I would add that the choice of Ales was also a bit odd .. with IPAs out numbering real ales by 3-1! It's a nice pub apart from these oddities!
kwis - 21 Apr 2016 19:20
This will make you laugh (a bit!). Ordered a glass of Malbec wine. The bartender was new and served it, only to find it wasn't available by the glass on the till. She was told by the staff that only Shiraz, Merlot and Tempranillo ( a miserable offering) could be served by the glass. Having already poured it I said 'firstly, you've got to be the only pub in London not serving this NOW very popular wine by the glass'...and 'don't throw it down the sink' ..'I'll pay for a Merlot and save mindless waste'. But no, down the sink it went bizarrely because one can only buy this wine by the bottle here!! I would add that the choice of Ales was also a bit odd .. with IPAs out numbering real ales by 3-1! It's a nice pub apart from these oddities!
kwis - 21 Apr 2016 19:19
Street corner boozer close to Kings Cross and St Pancras stations, popular with commuters in the early evenings and tourists at all times of the day. Reasonable food and a good selection of real ales, better than most in this area.
manx_888 - 6 Apr 2016 17:48
I used to drink in this pub once in a while with a Scotsman, and a Yorkshireman

they both reckoned that it was the best pub in Kings Cross.

I wonder what that says about Scottish , and Yorkshire pubs.

On summer evenings there is a quite a crowd outside , but they
appear to be drinking wine or spirits, I wonder what that says about the beer.
Leftinthepub44 - 27 Mar 2015 15:11
Very good beer. Good, cheap chow. Friendly Aussie barman. On a Monday evening not too busy - excellent.
Victorian pub not too disfigured or scoured out. Nice carpet so not incredibly noisy.
AbeC - 18 Aug 2014 23:01
Friendly staff, music and football quietly on in the background so we could chat for hours, food ok, beer choice ok. It's a good honest pub with plenty of room. I've been back a couple of times since.
Yes it could do with more beer choice
GrumpyGuy - 19 Mar 2014 08:40
Unremarkable pub but nethertheless usually a good choice of ales and reasonable food One of the better pubs in the area
asprilla69 - 28 Feb 2013 12:56
It's an OK pub. It's definitely a Greene King house with the dreaded, dumbed down IPA dominating. it has a nice coal fire although the pub would be greatly improved if they removed the intrusive and unnecessary TVs. The staff don't understand beer (they're antipodean) and poured me a pint of mild when I ordered bitter. When I pointed this out I was told that mild and bitter were the same! I put him right.
Tewin - 30 Dec 2012 19:49
By chance I was in there at nightfall, noted the ceramic plaque, noted the beers HSB mentioned but opted for Aspalls Suffolk Cyder.

I used to stick to the same beers in each of the pubs I used [you got served quicker] and this was my Rayments BBA pub in the eighties. Abandoned it once the brewery closed.

It still seems much the same and winter must be approaching as the fire was on.

No food seen.
TiaMariaJim - 25 Oct 2012 21:11
Some debate about whether or not this is a Greene King pub. It still has the brewery ceramic plaque outside, which is normally a clue. Beers today 25/10/12 were Abbot, GK IPA, GK IPA Gold, Landlord, Black Sheep Bitter and Thwaites Wainwright. If it's a genuine free house why is the beer choice so boring?
HSB - 25 Oct 2012 19:15
djw - My mate runs one of the 'Big' Fullers Pubs.
TheFluffer - 10 Oct 2012 17:53
TheFluffer - I'll comment how I want to, thank you. Hilarious that you say "constructive" when you criticise every other pub except this one. What are you - the landlord, or just his mate?
djw - 22 Sep 2012 22:10
CELLARBUOY, The Skinners Arms is NOT a G/King Pub. Check it out!!!!! My mate runs a Pub and he says that he looks at tasting notes and ingredients from other Brewers and tries to have all his Ales varied. Like some dark, some golden & hoppy etc etc. He doesn't know who will like them and who won't. We all have different tastes. Those who don't like what they see can have London Pride. (In his Pub anyway.)
TheFluffer - 19 Jul 2012 15:57
Use this pub as a bolt hole between central London and Kings Cross every time i am down. Massive difference with new landlord, love the changing ales as variety is the spice of life, Abbot is always a decent substitute if none of the new guest ales are to your taste, home made food is a God send, liver was so tender & the home-made burger was sublime, if you actually speak to the landlord, you will find this is not a Greene KIng pub..
CamraShy - 10 Jun 2012 09:02
Fluffer you are SO WRONG.any landlord who doesnt know which beers are going to be good or otherwise shouldnt be a landlord. Hey, he's supposed to taste the stuff before putting it on sale. If it isnt good enough he shouldnt have ordered the dam stuff in the first place.
The fact of the matter is that this is a greene king pub and the manager has no choice; he tries to sell whatever greene king tell him to s=sell. If its shit (which with GK it usually is) he still has to try.
FACT real ale drinkers do not always want to try different beers from all over the UK, especially when they know they will taste like crap, as they usually do in the case of GK
cellarbuoy - 21 May 2012 22:17
FYI djw, any good Landlord that offers a big variety of Real Ales by changing them constantly can't always know which ones are going to be good and which ones are going to be exceptional. Every real ale drinker I know likes to try different ones from all over UK. Offer constructive comments!!!
TheFluffer - 21 May 2012 18:29
It's okay. The pub itself is fine, but you're never going to win many friends with a Greene King house. I had a pint of their guest, which was so unremarkable I forgot its name as soon as I left this place.

If you've half an hour to kill it's not a bad place in an area poorly served with decent pubs, but it's certainly not worth a detour.
djw - 26 Mar 2012 18:28
Great pub, great food and good atmosphere. Well worth the extra couple of blocks walk from the stations.
Excellent choice of real ales and a great pint of Guiness.
I will certainly be back!
thombhoy - 23 Feb 2012 13:42
Dropped in while waiting on my son arriving at St Pancras. Even though the pub was busy I got served quickly and had a very good pint of Guinness. Well woth a vist and handy for Kings Cross and St Pancras.
LordCarson - 12 Feb 2012 12:38
Worth walking away from the pubs on Euston Rd for a few minutes to go here. Not too busy and nice beer
redrocket - 2 Dec 2011 13:28
Been a regular here since I moved to a new Office in the area and what a difference the new change of Manager has made. You never knew what mood the previous Manager was going to be in, which was usually a bad mood! And a new Menu, fantastic!! A great selection of Ales. I can now drink here more often, I was getting tired of Shepherd Neame's products.
TheFluffer - 26 Nov 2011 18:31
Recent change of management has resulted in larger array of guest ales, all well-kept. The quality of food has risen, as well; attention to detail quite impressive.
abondolo - 15 Nov 2011 15:49
Quiet on a Saturday night and if i remember it closed early but i could be wrong on that point. Usual uninspiring Greene King ales.
rpf1955 - 6 Nov 2011 18:22
Been here before a few times and would have been amazed to see this Greene King place even considered for the Good Beer Guide - unimaginative choice of ales in so-so quality. But - last night - a revelation.

Under new management, not much has changed but they had 2 guests, both Harviestoun, and both in top quality, so you could properly avoid the dross from Bury St Edmunds.
theeternalwheel - 20 Oct 2011 13:49
Very friendly staff, it seemed to know about their beer. Well worth a look if you are in this area.
TheHorsesMouth - 29 Jun 2011 13:32
A clean and tidy pub with decent seating and carpets. Friendly staff too.
For a pub in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide I was disappointed with the selection. 6 pumps. 2 serving Abbot, 2 with Green King and 2 not in service.
Other than the beer a good pub.
outtamehead - 24 May 2011 06:26
Enjoyed my visit here before I got the train. Seemed busy and had a traditional feel, the barstaff seem on the ball. Green King so, had a couple of Abbots which were well kept. Toilets are clean, no complaints.
andyaston - 24 Feb 2011 16:55
Where have all the guest ales gone ? Last time I was in here it was packed and they had 4 guest beers on..this time there was just GK IPA and Abbot and no customers. Do you think there may be some correlation between the two ?
anonymous - 19 Dec 2010 12:21
A pub close enough to St Pancras to be useful as a pre-station destination. I had an early dinner there which was tip top. Nothing special, just ham and eggs and chips - but that's so easy to screw up. The chips were fresh and light, the fried eggs set just so and a generous serving for about £5. Staff were friendly enough.

Comfortable Mocktorian interior, lots of seating early on a Saturday evening and a good /fresh/ Greene King IPA.

I've been looking for somewhere to have a drink outside of the actual station 'compound' and I think this may be it.
oldtimer1955 - 12 Dec 2010 09:35
Large busy corner pub in the area between Kings Cross and Russell Square. On the evening I was in there were a lot of local office workers and the whole place was quite noisy but with a good vibe.

There is lots of seating but unfortunately the numbers forced me to stand next to one of the ledges. It's a Greene King pub so ales on offer GKIPA, Abbot and St Edmunds.

I liked this pub a lot - it had a warm friendly atmosphere and the only downside was it is clearly extremely popular with the local office workers so hard to get a seat.
murgatroyd - 15 Nov 2010 09:14
Always a good pint and friendly relaxed service, good place to enjoy a beer prior to a Eurostar trip. Decent curry house next door as well!
mmmpktge - 18 Jul 2010 10:58
This pub was fairly busy last night with many people enjoying the gorgeous early summer evening with an outdoor pint. Indoors was also quite busy. But there is plenty of seating. The beer range was slightly disappointing - Greene King IPA, Abbot Ale, Old Speckled Hen and Everards Flourish. The interior is carpeted and wallpapered. There are plenty of pictures on the walls to keep your mind occupied. The main bar area has a high ceiling. Music was playing. The muted TV was showing Sky Sports News. A comfortable pub, without being anything spectacular.
blue_scrumpy - 22 May 2010 16:10
Had a few pints of Wandle last night. Very pleasant pub with excellent staff who were good at serving and cleaning tables. Probably one of the best pubs next to Kings Cross station
SomersetChris - 27 Mar 2010 12:06
Would normally hold being a GK house against a pub but this place had a good selection of none GK offerings. The Sambrook Wandle Ale in particular being a nice pint. Despite being busy the staff were quite efficient in serving. Another pub in the Kings Cross/St.Pancras vicinity worth dropping in to. Am glad poshpplhater doesn't like the kind of pubs I do as am not over keen on sharing barspace with people who have less of an attention span than the average hamster.
anonymous - 11 Mar 2010 20:54
Ventured into this place during a mini crawl of the area, i thought i was not at all bad. Staff were friendly enough, beer was ok if a little boring. But in general i liked the ambience of the place and would not have propblem coming back if in the area.
billythegoat - 26 Jan 2010 17:01
I've been here dozens of times over the course of about 6 years. It hasn't changed much during that time, so presumably my comments will remain true for a few more years at least.

The interior is attractive; the staff efficient; the beer well-kept; the food is good and reasonably-priced (if you judge it by the standards of London pub-food, not by the standards your favourite restaurant); the TVs and music are never too loud; the toilets are usually clean; there's a nice open coal-fire when the weather is cold, and tables outside when the weather is warm. All in all, it's a good pub, but nothing *exceptional*.

One reviewer complained about the clientele, and it's true that people from three local places are often here: the BT Openreach offices; the British Library; and the institute for the blind. So, if you want to see and be seen in a place with trendy/attractive customers, this is perhaps not the place for you, but if you want beer, food, or somewhere to chat without being deafened by SkySports, then this is a much better pub than most of the ones I've been to in London.
JdeP - 1 Dec 2009 16:40
oh my god!!! NO NO NO NO NO!!!
NO atmosphere at all just full of boring old beards and suits sipping real ale.
Food is disgusting if you ever get it.
Bar staff soooooooooooo ugly and boring its untrue.
poshpplhater - 14 Nov 2009 22:40
I don't usually frequent GK pubs these days but popped in yesterday with a group of old work colleagues for old times sake as this used to be our local. IPA and Abbot as expected but I was surprised to find 2 guests in the form of Sambrook's Wandle Bitter and O'Hanlon's Yellowhammer. Both in excellent condition. Will pop in again if I'm in the area.
cheshirecat - 21 Aug 2009 09:42
Not a bad pub, usual greene king stuff plus a guest. Food looks o.k.
A better option than O'Neills down the road or The Boot round the corner.
Better places like Mabel Tavern or Bree Louise 10 mins away.
rob372 - 13 May 2009 07:51
Occasionally now serves interesting guests on top of the GK. Also has outside tables which are relatively peaceful despite being near to Euston Road.
meurglys_iv - 25 Apr 2009 12:09
This is a Greene King pub so unsurprisingly IPA, Abbot and Old Speckled Hen were all available, but I was surprised to see some Landlord which was very nice. There is also a selection of standard lagers alongside San Miguel.

I noticed, as some others have on here, that this place is more of a localís pub, but not exclusively. The barman seemed OK, but the music channel being played on the couple of screens was a bit out of place. I found the pub to be clean and I liked the decoration, but maybe some more light could be generated as it is a little dark.

Iíve been to far worse pubs and wouldnít mind returning here if passing.
Strongers - 6 Apr 2009 15:51
On my irregular visits to this pub it rarely fails to under whelm me and it was no different this time. Iím not sure what it is, the staff are efficient and friendly, the dťcor is nice and itís quite an attractive pub. It just seems to have no identity or soul. It doesnít seem very tourist friendly in my opinion but I guess if you have enough regulars you donít need to be. Three Greene King ales as usual with the ĎGuest Beerí being Olde Trip.

Millay - 31 Jan 2009 20:59
Best pub I've found if you've got an hour or so to kill wilst waiting for your train at King's Cross or St Pancras - about 5 mins walk (max) from each.

Only two Greene King ales on (IPA & Abbot) but both very well kept.

It's safe, quiet, airy and a welcoming place to while away an hour with a crossword and a couple of pints before your train arrives.
Dearnesman - 19 Jan 2009 15:38
I agree with "not bad". There's something about it that doesn't engage enough enthusiasm to call it "good".
Bronxrichie - 8 Nov 2008 00:57
Not a bad pub. 5 pulls all seemingly well kept. Had a Landlord and Abbot Ale and have no complaintes against the cleanliness of the lines. Had a juke box and I couldn't really tell if it was more of a locals or a trendy pub or a combo. Still, had a Victorian designed ceiling which was nice and had a friendly staff that was willing to help me.
mrdruse - 2 Oct 2008 18:23
A fine traditional style of pub just south of the Euston Rd opposite St. Pancras Station, with much dark brown wood and, surprisingly for London, plenty of room. It has proper sized tables with chairs, not stools, and enough of them to make it a very comfortable pub for lunchtime food and drink with friends. All very civilized.

Food is well presented and tasty, at around £5-£6 for a cooked meal, and on both occaisions that I have eaten here was very good indeed. There were quite a few people eating when we were in on a Tuesday lunchtime.

There is typically six or eight beers on handpump (I forget exactly), including Green King IPA and Abbot and guest beers. It is well kept.

One of the better pubs in the area for sure if it is a quiet meet and chat that you want.

MxThomas - 16 Sep 2008 21:04
Hi There

My name is Anna, I was over visiting in London in July and had dinner at your pub two evenings in a row with my two boys, we really enjoyed ourselves. I would just like to say thankyou for making us so welcome. When I come back to London I will definately visist you pup again. I am finding it very har to settle here in NZ, even though it is so beautiful here. If anyone who I was talking to intend to come to NZ, please send me a e-mai an I might be able to show you round. Thanks once again for making us so welcome
Anna & Boys
annawhite - 18 Aug 2008 00:13
The current rating of '7.1' doesn't seem to tie-up with some of the recent reviews. Traditional pub interior, but not overly gloomy. Six handpumps on - not all Greene King thankfully. Nice pint of Cains Sundowner. One of the better pubs in the area.
rpadam - 10 Jul 2008 00:25
Really heavy barstools so if you have a row out.
poshpplhater - 5 Apr 2008 01:09
People seem to be getting very excited about what is a very middle of the road place! It's a perfect six I'd say. A 'safe' pub which is not great value but is not a rip off. Staff are not 'really friendly' but not 'off'. Ale is available, but Greene King. Not as nice as the Lord John Russell but better than the Boot!
dry_riser_inlet - 4 Apr 2008 11:52
Alfnoax - fair enough, but I hope that you would be up front about charging me, rather than just including it in the total and hoping I didn't notice. I have no objection to being charged - it's the way it was done that irks me. And I maintain, if you have a regular customer who spends £50+ on lunch over the course of a week, you'd have to be a mug to pull a mean-spirited little stunt like that. Not exactly good business sense in my book.
DonDiego - 26 Mar 2008 12:35
DonDiego - if you came in my pub and used 3/4 of a bottle of hot sauce on your chips I'd charge you! 3/4 of a bottle on chips isn't a condiment its a significant part of the meal!
Alfnoax - 14 Mar 2008 13:03
Did DonDiego actually go to the right pub? I find it hard to believe its the Skinners Arms which, over the last year i have been regularly visiting at least three times a week, with colleagues for lunch or for a quiet read of the newspaper.

I can't comment on the beer as I am a VAT girl but the choice always looks very good and certainly the ales seem popular with much of the clientele.

As for the staff, they are some of the finest barmen that i have been served by in central london in rceent times. They remember their regulars and always make an effort to be friendly and cheerful, even when making forty coffees for a coach party of lunching pensioners.

During these long winter months the cosy roaring fire has made the pub even more welcoming.

I am sorry DonDiego that you did not have agood time on one of your visits, but whilst you are drumming up support amongst your colleagues, I shall be revelling in the fact that I can actually get a table for lunch and not have to prop up the bar.

To anyone else, I think DonDiego had a bad experience. In the 150 or so times that i have been there in the last year, I have NEVER had a bad experience. truly one of the bst pubs in the area with the nicest staff!
Siobhain - 14 Mar 2008 12:49
I will NEVER set it foot in this place again as long as I live.

I work long hours and take long lunches - it's the only time I get to sit down and eat a meal. Over the past six weeks I have spent in the region of £14 on lunch/beer on 3-4 days per week.

I should add at this point that I am a big fan of hot sauce. I used 3/4 of a bottle on two servings of chips (I was starving!) and the next time I came in, they actually charged me for it. Can you believe that?

I am aware they are running a business and not a charity, but it's not as if I pop in on the odd occasion and order half a lager. To repeat - I spend around 14 QUID each and every lunchtime. And they have the f@$%^&g cheek to CHARGE me for a condiment? Where's the sense in that?

Even worse was the way they went about it. I ordered my usual grub/beer combo and the total was £1 more than usual. When I asked whether or not that was correct, I was told it was. I added up what should have been the total and asked for the second time why it was more than usual, and only then was I told 'I've been told I have to charge you for the hot sauce.'

Bottom line is - the people that work in this place are creeps, which is a shame because it's actually a half-decent PH. But they have absolutely no idea about the basics of customer service or the cost of doing business. I am going to advise the whole of Camden Council to avoid this place and I would urge you to do the same.
DonDiego - 5 Mar 2008 14:39
Iíd not been in for a couple of years but stumbled across it the other day and went in as I thought I remembered it as a decent real ale pub. What a disappointment I found, only two pumps on , ordered an Abbot only to be told it was off so had to settle for a barely drinkable IPA. Maybe I caught them at a bad time so I will try it again as I really canít believe the Skinners Arms has gone this far down hill.

Millay - 12 Jan 2008 19:50
been coming to this pub for twenty years, through a number of re-fits -- but high standards maintained throughout that time for quality of beers and friendliness of staff and clientele
anonymous - 3 Jun 2007 18:36
It's an old fashioned good quality pub... In London Town... Well kept beers of all styles (love that Abbot). Cheap pub grub: Scampi & Chips et al. House spirits with deals on doubles. Grand staff...

Only problem is every other bugger knows all this. Get in early if you want a seat... or wait until summer and sit outside.
billy_big_nutz - 6 Mar 2007 13:07
Handy little pub close to both King's Cross/St Pancras and Euston stations. Visited a couple of weeks ago with a mate and the Greene King IPA was on good form. Definitely a place worth remembering if you happen to be in the area.
MINTYBOOM - 29 Dec 2006 17:47
Not impressed upon entering, asking for a pint of TT Landlord (advertised on a big placard by the bar) only to be told it was 'unavailable'. Bah. Had a couple of enjoyable pints of Abbot though.

Decent place, but very very smokey, not helped by having fans at ceiling height blowing all the smoke back down towards the punters - what's that about? If you ventilation, open the damned door!!!
Quinno - 24 Nov 2006 13:01
great boozer perfectly kept Taylor Landlord (Greene King ales also availble) Prompt friendly service, far better option that O Neils/Euston Flyer around the corner.
moclips2002 - 1 Nov 2006 22:02
I just phoned to see if they do food on Saturdays and the person answering said the pub isn't open at all at weekends - thought this was worth mentioning!
rovingricey - 4 Oct 2006 19:05
Handy for the stations and with well kept beer (all Green King range though). Has the advantage of outside seating, whilst we still have summer, as it can get busy inside. Otherwise, the best place is the non-smoking area at the back, which always seems quieter. However, this does not stop the smoke reaching it.

Been in the beer guide for a few years, which from the typical standard of the beer is very understandable - ie. good! One of the best of the pubs in the locality for meeting people to the west side of KX.
zakman - 1 Sep 2006 13:28
Nice old interior, Landlord on handpump (+greene King), pleasant atmosphere. Gets busy, but worth knowing about for when stuck at King's Cross or St Pancras.
pablos13 - 24 Jun 2005 17:52
The best pub in this particulary sh*tty part of London.

Good for a quick, safe, jar en route to Kings Cross, and better than the other candidates, such as The Dolphin (qv).

Can get crowded, which shows there's b*gger all competition locally.
jcraf - 11 Jun 2005 22:38
Old traditional pub with plenty of space. Good IPA and prompt, friendly service.
Can get crowded in the evenings-so must be doing something good!
midbedsboy - 18 May 2005 14:28
Deserves to be successful:friendly landlord & very tasty IPA. A good place to have on your list
mally - 16 Apr 2005 13:44
Friendly staff and reasonable food. But the house wine is horrible! It gets unpleasently crowded on a Friday night and they don't serve food then either. But very nice at lunchtime and on other evenings. Shame the no smoking area is at the back of the pub.
valbear - 14 Jan 2005 16:24
Popped in here as i was walking by purely because i'd heard it was good and was really impressed. There were a bunch of mature train drivers on the raz (starting early lads)and the atmosphere was great. Plus a couple of Greene Kings on pump. Brill
c_unsworth - 6 Jan 2005 17:07
I was invited to a leaving party, that was held at The Skinners Arms.
Since i have never used this pub before, i was pleasently surpised. The range of real Ale's and quality Wine's where second to none.
The menu i was told was being changed, a new range of home made specials.
I will definitely be back!
Mathew Worrel - 16 Oct 2004 10:48
Did a bit pub crawl round london and this was the second pub we went in. Very quiet (lunchtime) struck us as a foody pub, rather than a drinkers. Seemed ok. Nice old fashioned English pub, with some nice decor.
Maz McGuigan - 10 May 2004 10:47
I think that this pub is probably the best pub that I have ever been in.
Chris - 11 Apr 2004 19:23
Well this pub is a very nace place to sit and have a drink with your mates.
It has a smoking and non-smoking area.
It serves food hot and cold.
aine - 22 Mar 2004 16:41

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