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George, Temple

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user reviews of the George, Temple

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

This pub has improved greatly since I started going here, some years ago.. It now has 9 handpumps with a good selection of beers, a far cry from when Doom Bar was as good as it got! Maybe they're trying to compete with the wide choice of beers offered by Edgar Walace, just round the corner, which can only be a good thing. Can get crowded when there's a 'big' game on the telly but it always seems a friendly enough crowd and the bar staff seem happier now than they once were. Considering it's location you might expect it to be full of tourists but I've yet to see much evidence of that. Good to see a pub on the up!
Doob - 31 May 2013 12:33
Nice characterful old pub with friendly bar staff. The food and beer and consistently good. We had a Christmas meal in here last week and I was impressed with the quality of the food and the timing of its being served.
StudioM - 16 Dec 2012 18:38
On a recent visit the Kronenbourg was good and reasonably priced for London (about £3.80 a pint), plus the staff were helpful and polite. I would visit The George again.
warrior_123 - 4 Jun 2012 15:23
We went to The George because we had tickets for The Funny Side show which takes place in their function room upstairs. When we arrived we liked the building from the outside, but must admit it felt a bit too dark inside. We had booked a table which was ready for us. The food was good and reasonably priced. Nothing too special, but we enjoyed it. We had a bottle of sauvignon blanc from NZ which was very nice. Since we still had about an hour until the show we decided to get another bottle and have some dessert. Unfortunately they didn't have any more wine; not the one we had before, and no other sauvignon blanc at all. When I reacted with surprise the girl at the bar simply shrugged her shoulders. With this, we skipped dessert altogether and went to find another place where they would have wine. We came back for the comedy show, but couldn't really drink anything else as they ran out of wine - on a Saturday night!
As a summary, the food was ok and the one bottle of wine they had was very nice. The staff was not particularly friendly. I think the place could be more attentive on cleanliness as our table was sticky and the loos were not that clean. My impression is that they get the trade regardless because of their location so the staff don't really make an effort at all.
We would go again for the comedy show, but we would definitely eat and drink somewhere else beforehand. Wouldn't really recommend this place to anyone as there is nothing special about it.
Tell_it_like_it_is - 8 Apr 2012 14:13
I must say I did wonder - based my addendum on other people's previous comments rather than my observations which is always a bad idea! Looks like I must've been the worse for wear on Sat 24 Sep - next time I shall ensure I drop my reviews some while after visiting the pub in question, to assure a more accurate account free of excess....
TWG - 11 Nov 2011 17:13
The George is in fact part of Capital Pub Company, a freehold section of Greene King.

bigfoot101 - 22 Oct 2011 23:41
Update! So much for being on the money with this review. Turns out this pub IS a Nicholsons outlet! No wonder it compared so well. Oh dear. Losing my touch. Think I'll have another beer to clear the mind.........
TWG - 24 Sep 2011 17:23
Actually something of a first here; this is the first TWG BITE pub review written whilst still in the establishment concerned! Therefore this should be bang up to the minute, although naturally still only my subjective opinion. I'd never heard anything especially great about the George, possibly because it inevitably carrier central London pricing and folk understandably tend to be more demanding of a place selling beer for almost £4 a pint. Nevertheless, in cask ale terms at least, the pub is competitive, with 6 featured on pump, selected from individual breweries nationwide - Sharp's, Black Sheep, Adnams, Sambrook's, Twickenham and Ascot represented as of 24 September. And the latter two were - are - found in excellent condition; perfect temperature and high on flavour. Well done. It certainly compares favourably to the Nicholsons of this world as an ale house. The usual keg cider and lager brands are here of course, but I'm not concerning myself with that nonsense! Food looks to be popular, clearly striking a chord with the tourist market, which, along with the legal eagles, form a significant part of the trade. Service was with a smile and was efficient, with no language problems that can so often ruin a simple transaction in the capital. Externally the pub is evidently playing on its heritage, with Tudor beams adorning the front. Inside, one finds a more typical Victorian-led design. Plenty of alcoves end a generous bar area. TVs are on but not over-obtrusive. All told, not a shabby effort at all. Maybe not exceptional, but worthy of some attention if in need of sustenance in the heart of the city.
TWG - 24 Sep 2011 17:18
A narrow, half timbered pub right opposite the Royal Courts of Justice, the George was a welcome refuge on a ridiculously wet Satuday afternoon

Being a Nicholsons there was an interesting choice of real ales: Sharps' Own (which unfortunatly went soon after our arrival), Hogs Back Summer Ale, Batemans All Seasons, and Purity Mad Goose. The Batemans and Mad Goose were in decent condition. The food looked ok but, inevitably for a touristy area, a bit on the pricey side. There is a carvey advertise upstairs.

Large screens show various Sky sports and, judging by the enthusiastic consumption of a Tri Nations rugby match, the pub is a meeting place for Antipodian fans.

Saturday evenings see a comedy club in action upstairs.

The staff were friendly and place was clean, I would have no hestiation about popping in again if passing.
flashharry1965 - 22 Aug 2011 13:21
Nice pub, friendly enough staff and beer wasnt too bad at all. We went on a Tuesday afternoon when it was quiet, so I expect this place to get a bit busier during footy or rushour.
Scousefire - 4 May 2011 14:26
The mock tudor frontage does this place no favours and for years I have given it a wide berth, fearing a sort of hammed up Olde London pub aimed at tourists who don't know any better. When I actually went inside recently I was pleasantly surprised - there are a few old features and little touches that are a bit more authentic than the exterior, and a wide range of beers in keeping with many other Nicholsons pubs. Good place to watch sport too, although the screens rather dominate and it may be best avoided on match days if you are not a football fan.
rob1981 - 24 Mar 2011 17:04
Don't be taken in by the outside. Inside you will find that the pub is devoted to ales which you have never heard of. Half the pub is devoted to a huge TV screen displaying football. I totally loathe such pubs.

To cap it I only walked in [on a Sunday] as a huge sign outside said it did roast lunches:

However in the word of Malina Mercouri: "Never on a Sunday."


The beer tasted awful.
mycetes - 7 Nov 2010 20:31
used to do a "comedy" review show upstairs on a Tuesday evening. Lacking in comedy, only the overpriced beer gave any redemption to an otherwise dull evening. Not worth a long trip to visit.
gin_and_tonic - 7 May 2010 17:36
I've walked past this pub several times over the years and never bothered going in. It was so cold yesterday though that we needed to find a stop off on our trek along the Strand, so we decided to pop in for a swifty. I was very impressed - excellent atmosphere and pleasantly busy, there were 5 guest ales on IIRC - I enjoyed the Sharps Nadelik which was tip top while my associates played it safe on the Gales Seafarers, which I was informed was fine too. I will probably return here, as like someone has mentioned, there aren't too many decent boozers around here.
Sharp - 20 Dec 2009 11:33
Nice enough pub opposite the Royal Courts of Justice, set in a mock tudor building that proclaims to have a much older heritage than the blantantly fake beams suggest.
Tried the 'Old Hooky' which was in pretty good shape, plus an underwhelming Wheatbeer from Adnams. There were two or three other ales on offer, including Hog's Back RIP and at least one seasonal beer.
Fairly crowded on a Friday night, especially along the narrow section from the end of the bar to the rear door, but we'd had the foresight to reserve a table, which made for a good night for our large group. The rear section of the pub can seemingly be reserved as well and an upstairs bar was advertised, but closed when I was there.
Pubsignman - 17 Dec 2009 23:43
Quite cosy when it's not busy. Not a bad place to spend an evening considering the choice of pubs in the area.
telephones_and_toliets - 27 Nov 2009 22:35
Licensee tries hard, knows his beer and is very welcoming but is very let down by his staff. If you obviously don't want to be there then don't pretend you do. (And don't pretend that it is a big effort to walk 5 yards to the end of the bar where 8 blokes are about to put £150 over the ramp in a lunch time).
She is not doing anyone a favour, and the 8 blokes and £150 are now safely elsewhere most lunchtimes.
harrythebastard - 11 Nov 2009 23:25
Popped in here on the off-chance to kill some time to heading to The Quad (for my sins) across the road on Saturday. Not bad. Sure, 'Mock Tudor' is probably an understatement - plenty of emphasis on the lowness of the beams, being able to sit on a barrel etc - especially as it is offset by the presence of two large televisions in opposite corners. But a fair pump selection (including T.E.A which seems to be a bit rare at the moment) and its proximity to Temple station mark it down as a fine round-linker - although it wouldn't be the highlight of it.
getsit - 3 Nov 2009 23:00
Good atmosphere, the staff were pretty good considering there was seemingly only a couple working and the place was quite full. The ales available were from sharps, adnams and sambrooks with one tap unused. the beer was of a good standard and I found it to be quite reasonably priced and consistent with other local pubs as the doombar was £3 a pint and the Adnams £3.20.

bigfoot101 - 24 Oct 2009 15:18
Actually seems to have got a lot better than my last visit. Has there been a chnge of manager. Was in last sunday, very pleasant service and no nu metal!!! Fairs fair, horrible previous visit, but the last one was lovely!
camraman123 - 3 Oct 2009 15:52
This is the imposing pub that you see in the background whenever a TV programme or news bulletin takes a shot from the steps of the Royal Courts of Justice. I suppose the mock Tudor frontage must make it look ancient and in keeping with the surrounding area, but I don’t think that it is anywhere near the oldest pub in the area. But it’s a decent enough hostelry. Inside, the main bar area is pretty unremarkable, but there is a long relatively thin table towards the rear, which just looks as if it ought to be used for impromptu board meetings over an ale or bottle or two. The room at the back has some comfortable furnishings, with a portrait of a be-wigged gentleman – whom I did not recognise. There were a couple of real ales on. The best bet appeared to be the Harvey’s Bitter, but although it tasted OK it was at a top of the range price of £3.40 a pint. All in all this is a fairly decent, if generally unremarkable, pub. OK for a pint if you can bear the high prices, but there are better pubs in the area.
RexRattus - 22 Sep 2009 09:40
Lovely pub, perfect location. Why is it empty?? Its directly opposite the front door of the Royal Courts of Justice on the meeting point of Fleet St and the Strand. However the managers obviously want it to be an antipodean bar where boring travellers can listen to nu-metal. Biggest waste in London. Pure *&^%, and i see they've successfully had some bad reviews removed from this site recently!! Hope its closed soon!
LSEprof - 1 Jul 2009 23:02
Although downstairs is one room, the back part with the fire place has the feel of a separate snug. Nice interior and my Hog's Back Englan'd Glory was in fine form, most people around us did seem to be eating and of course during the week this place will be filled with braying suits and tourists so probably not somewhere I'd rush back to. Great pub, shame about the location!
mannyowar - 5 May 2009 11:46
Until I read my review below I hadn't realised I had already visited this pub! Beer was mostly from Adnams: Broadside, Fireside and East Green Carbon Neutral (flavour neutral too!). Pride was off.
GuideDogSaint - 24 Jan 2009 12:41
Very unpleasant pub.
maxpayne - 9 Jan 2009 01:07
No longer an M&B pub.... yippee ,, now we see a far better pub , clean , tidy , great food and good staff... capital pub co, i believe has bought the place.
The_Pub_Inspector - 20 Nov 2008 14:52
Previous review obviously by staff or company employee. Once this place gets sold and changes hands and the ignorant arrogant incompitent staff are gone, then visit, its a great building, but at the moment its a godawful place. #worst service in london.
camraman123 - 2 Oct 2008 00:07
Sharps Atlantic IPA, Pride, Adnams Regatta, Erdinger and Bitburger. Bottles of Leffe too. Long narrow wood panelled pub. Cricket was on TVs.
GuideDogSaint - 24 Aug 2008 20:12

This pub relies heavily on passing and transient trade, which seem to have stopped in developing its own identity. However it does have three things going for it; service, beer and price. Dealing with these in order:-

i) Service – The George has some of the best service in the locality. Unlike some pubs were you can spend twenty minutes airing your money on its journey between your wallet and their till you are always served within minutes of arrival. If it becomes busier an extra person always appears. Occasionally a staff member may appear tired or somewhat disinterested but, whatever, service is always good.

ii) Beer - Some pubs claim they are ‘real ale’ pubs when their only offerings are London Pride plus a guest beer, which changes only very occasionally. The George does not make this claim but usually has around half a dozen from all corners of the British Isles. Unusually they are always well kept.

iii) Price – Whilst not as cheap as a Wetherspoons the prices are very competitive for the area often 40 –50p per pint less than some more pretentious pubs.

Whilst it is not really a pub to go out of your way worth it is always worth a visit if you are passing. Some landlords should send their staff around to learn about customer service!

MikeTheMechanic - 25 Jun 2008 22:20
Nice pint. Pub was a bit full but the cup final was on the TV!

twm_sion_cati - 19 May 2008 11:43
OK, a bit dark inside, not very busy on a Saturday night either.
rainlight - 12 May 2008 07:23
Not too crowded on a Sunday afternoon. Found the real ale in good condition, unlike some previous posters.
Mr.Matt - 10 Apr 2008 02:48
Never too busy so well worth a look if you like a quiet pub
oncebitten - 6 Apr 2008 01:38
Good choice of beers and lagers.Not a destination pub and it seems to lack atmosphere but ok for a quick one if in area with the carvery at £7 a good lunch time filler.

leggless - 4 Aug 2007 18:01
It was pretty quiet in The George early on Saturday afternoon whilst I had a couple of decent San Miguels. I thought that the barmaid was very polite and the pub was clean and tidy, although it was quite dark.

I have to agree that as a pub it doesn’t stand out from the crowd and I would suggest fitting a respirator at the top of the 3 flights of stairs to save us unfit chaps from dying on the way to the toilet.
Strongers - 19 Jun 2007 15:10
Went in today in the hope of a pint of Twickenham Ale (as not a long enough lunchtime to make it across to the Hole in the Wall.) Not on, so tried a pint of LBW. (The cricket is on after all.) It was a pint so off and sour as to make it undrinkable.)

Needless to say I raised this with the bar staff who informed me that it was a real ale and as anyone knows, when an ale is off it is cloudy. As the pint was clear it was fine so they refused to change it. (they could not taste it as it would apparently be against the rules.)

Norealaleinorpington - 17 Apr 2007 14:51
Unremarkable bog standard London pub. Difficult to get excited about. Can't say I liked it, can't say I disliked it. A rare sighting of beer from the Twickenham Brewery. I didn't sample it as I wasn't confident that it would be on form - the London Pride was distinctly moderate.

Staff seemed disinterested - in marked contrast to The Old Bank of England which is just across the road.
JohnBonser - 9 Mar 2007 10:12
No pool tables (that makes 0 in the whole of WC2), they were removed 3 months or so ago according to the disinterested barmaid. The beers on offer are the usual fodder, plus one guest, served up to look like foaming dishwater gone flat at just above room temperature in a fairly warm room.
Punting itself as a late 18th century tavern is cheap considering most evidence of this has been ripped out and replaced with pony old bits of trim.
Also, it's not too much to bid your punters goodbye when the pub's 90% empty and there's no one to serve, is it?
theStickler - 15 Feb 2007 01:29
I pop in here every so often and like most Nicholson's pubs it is above average for central London. The interior is pleasant and comfy and it's never too busy. A good selection of real ales although last time I was in here I thought my Adnams was pretty mediocre. The food (the Adnams standard menu) is also good, honest pub grub.
grecian - 4 Jan 2007 14:57
I paid a visit to The George when in the area on the 27th Dec. I found it to be a friendly, well run and relaxed place serving good beer at reasonable prices. The piped in music was pleasant and would definitely recommend here as being a decent enough place to whittle away a couple of hours
HTM69 - 30 Dec 2006 11:27
Pretty nice. About 6 different beers, excellent quality and varying from blondes to bitters. My Italian friend enjoyed his Kron, I had an excellent bitter, called Admans, I believe it was. (I'm always looking for new bitters.)

The food we had was excellent, but then, we made safe choices. My American friend and I had the Bangers and Mash. The sausage was grilled, but otherwise very traditional. The grilling was a nice touch, it was delicious overall, and had my favourite mustard, Coleman's. Potatoes were a bit too creamy though and some of the sausage was a little too charred. Overall, though, very good. My Italian and South African friends (I love London) had the burgers. A bit pricy but they said very delicious, juicy though well done as they both like, and very generous portion. The chips looked a bit soft for my tastes, but as I understand, that's how they are liked over here.

It has a nice cozy atmosphere and friendly service. The staff was mostly foreign, the lady had a pleasant hispanic accent, and they were patient and friendly. I recommend this place if you're in the area. I wouldn't go out of the way for it though. Only the Knights Templar is worthy of that. 6/10
AlVila - 17 Dec 2006 15:22
On recent visits have found the beers reasonable and the range of wines by the glass decently priced if rather much of a muchness. Staff are pleasant and efficient. Main concerns are with the food : it does not live up to expectation - "crusty" the rolls were not - and yesterday the batter pudding of my Toad in the Hole was like concrete. I feared for my teeth and left much of it, although the sausage was nice.
Goole815 - 12 Jul 2006 08:57
very busy when we were in there one evening....full of young legal eagles having a pre-dinner drink before nipping over the road to the lawcourts for a dinner...good beers usual beers as most Nicholsons pubs..well kept
lilscse - 24 May 2006 11:46
Famous old pub that does not dissapoint. Quite spacious and a pleasant atmosphere.Pity about the piped music.
tinsoldier - 19 May 2006 22:58
Pleasant interior and service. Excellent beer (London Pride) but background music just that bit too intrusive.
beermann - 2 Apr 2006 19:51
It might be fake tudor but it is warm and cosy, the staff are really helpful and efficient and the food is tasty and filling. Got served really quick and the food came quickly too. Stepped in here out of the rain and had a lovely time.
anonymous - 13 Feb 2006 13:13
OK pub, had a pint of well served Timothy Taylor - Landlord. Didn't have to wait long for my food.
snowdog2112 - 13 Jan 2006 11:36
I'd love this pub to be a wonderful old historical place where you can soak up the atmos and imagine bar wenches from Hammer Horror Films but you just know that it's rubbish inside and served some bad quality ale which I didn't expect. Only go if you're a tourist.
mitomighty - 29 Nov 2005 16:05
Before anyone gets all historical about the George, it should be mentioned that this is probably the most “fake” pub in London and I don’t particularly mean that in a bad way. The mock Tudor façade is very impressive and one can easily mistake the building as being medieval. It isn’t – the current building is Victorian at best although there has been a pub on the site for much longer. A plaque outside provides a potted history of the pub. Its proximity to the Royal Courts of Justice means the customer base consists largely of lawyers, legal teams, alleged criminals and local office workers. The pub is quite spacious inside and is basically one long room, the bare floored front area being divided from the carpeted rear area by a screen. All the features from its fake beams to its deer antler light fittings are all recreations. There are 4 well kept and reasonably priced Real Ales, a decent food menu and friendly staff. It is a bit out of the way from any of the tourist areas but is worth a visit in conjunction with some of the other excellent pubs in the immediate vicinity.
RogerB - 11 Nov 2005 15:50
Stopped in because it's one of the few in the area open on weekend evenings. Was very quiet, but for a few stag parties and other tourists like us. Enjoyed good conversation with the manager and the beers were in great shape. Highly recommended.
ale_brewer - 14 Aug 2005 14:55
What a boozer! Never been in a pub before where you can drink pints in the company of solicitors, judges and crims alike(ableit free crims of course). Law courts are opposite so range of people you get in there is great for people watching. Outside of the pub is truly awesome - really olde worldy; inside is not as stunning but fine by me. Range of beers could be better but for a place to witness London's shear diversity of people - this place is tops.
beermunger - 3 Feb 2005 19:22
Nice pub. Stopped off to meet a mate who works nearby for a pint. We both had the afternoon off to shop in the January sales, and we had every intention of staying for one drink, but a couple of pints later and we decided to stay. That said, we thought it would be a good idea to have a spot of lunch. I had fish and chips and my mate had a steak ale pie. Fab winter food. Nice atmosphere. We stayed the rest of the afternoon!
anonymous - 21 Jan 2005 11:40
One of the Strand’s oldest pubs, The George, has re-opened its doors following a careful refurbishment and brings a welcome dose of traditional pub charm coupled with improved facilities and a delicious new food menu. Former regulars – including Samuel Johnson and Sir Horace Walpole – would no doubt be impressed by the loving care that has been paid to this London landmark.

The site has been in use since 1723, albeit originally as a coffee house, and, whilst outside there hangs a sign of King George III (or “King George the Third” as American tourists might say), the pub supposedly took its name from its original proprietor, George Simpkins.

Without losing any of its traditional pub appeal, The George has been restored to former glories with the re-introduction of leather booth seating, wooden stools, black leather banquettes and polished-brass wall lights. Wooden floors have been brought back to life, and new lighting and soft furnishings complete the picture for the ground floor bar.

Visitors looking for a more formal dining experience can enjoy the newly revamped upstairs bar, which will be operating as a restaurant during the day. The inviting interior – in shades of cream and racing green – features a range of traditional fixtures and contemporary furniture, and is available for private luncheons. The space is also ideal for private parties and evening functions and can cater for between 80 – 100 guests.

The menu has also been overhauled with hearty pub fare featuring traditional classics to appeal to the enormous variety of drinker. Sited directly opposite the Royal Courts of Justice, The George is one of London’s rare finds – a classic pub in every sense where people from all walks of life happen in to imbibe a drink or three. Barristers stand shoulder-to-shoulder with felons, families commiserate convictions alongside those celebrating the taste of freedom, and cabbies and tourists swap stories like old friends – in over 280 years not much has really changed at The George.

Dishes such as Fish in Beer Batter with Chips and Gammon & Eggs sit alongside Steak and Ale Pie whilst the deliciously tempting Yorkshire Pudding Dippers – Yorkshire pudding pieces served with a pot of gravy – are the perfect accompaniment to the good selection of ales including London Pride and Wadsworth 6X. There is also a range of hot and cold sandwiches with classic fillings such Ham and English Mustard and Steak and Onion, traditional Sunday roasts at the weekend, and an extended wine list caters for all tastes.

The George is open from 11am to 11pm Monday to Saturday and 12am to 10.30pm Sunday. Food is served from midday to 10pm Monday to Saturday and from midday to 10.30pm Sunday.
~ ends ~

Note to Editors

History of The George

· It remains unclear whether The George, founded in 1723 as a coffee house, was named after the reigning monarch, George III, or its original proprietor, a man by the name of George Simpkins. However, the portrait on the pub’s sign is not of Simpkins but rather of George III who ruled between 1760 and 1811.

· The pub stands proudly on the Strand, in the company of other great buildings, such as Royal Courts of Justice and the Adelphi Theatre. At the turn of the last century, the Strand was known for its jolly public houses, restaurants or ‘chop houses’, music-halls and smoking rooms.

· The George is particularly imposing with its stained glass and wooden carvings such as the monks on each side of the front window, and other, more eccentric carvings, including the green frog and seemingly naked men chasing pigs.

· The George did not escape the Blitz unscathed. At 9.20pm on 11th November 1941, the building was damaged during an aid raid. The local air raid warden Frederick Mottram, who was one of the licensees of The George, survived the blast, but gave up the license.

· Former regulars of The George include Horace Walpole, Oliver Goldsmith and Samuel Johnson, who for a while used The George as a postal address. Another frequent customer was the conman Henry Perfect who was fond of impersonating vicars and, it is said, often rented rooms upstairs.

· There is also, allegedly, a ghost of a cavalier who haunts the cellar.

For more information on The George, for photography or to do a review, please email or call me on 0207 4046777

rhys - 4 Jan 2005 16:41
Not bad, actually, I popped in last night for a couple and considering the location (right opposite the Law Courts on Fleet Street) it's a bit of a scruffy place. It even has a pool table. Maybe this is where the poor people go when they've won a case? Beer went down pretty well, though.
MrScott - 22 Jan 2004 11:26
Had to be at work on th emorning of the England v S. Africa RWC game - Walkabout was out of the question, a lot of places were closed, but this was ideal. Been done up, and able to watch TV in pool room in relatve comfort. On the downside, the main bar is a bit on teh dark/dingey side.
Stephen - 26 Nov 2003 17:48
Under new management yet again.
Nice room upstairs.
Philip - 26 Sep 2003 11:10

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