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Perseverance, Holborn

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user reviews of the Perseverance, Holborn

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

Huge huge improvement ! Back on the must visit list. Years ago this pub was a fabulous real ale haunt, then declined to a rubbish Irish place then rubbish gastropub. Now it has a range of real ales, range of cask beer and a brewery in the basement, The Bloomsbury Brewery. I shall go back to being a regular visitor. The Bllomsbury bitter and pale ale are great.
Realalecat - 6 Jun 2016 17:03
I think this pub deserves a better rating than 3.7 but I see the last review was 4 years ago. A fairly modern décor to a place with a nice traditional name (at least they didn't shorten it to Percy's or something). The staff are friendly and there are 4 handpumps from their local brew (the IPA in particular was very good). The only problem was the gents' lavatory was out of action but hopefully that will be sorted soon.
16jamesdoc - 14 Jan 2016 19:32
I remember this place when it was the Rising Sun, a real real ale mecca.
Alas now it's just another bland gastropub that will never be even fit to lace the boots of the Eagle in Farringdon Road.

Ladhimself - 6 Jun 2012 12:07
We went there on Saturday afternoon (9.7.11), and were very unimpressed. The couple behind the bar made sure they finished their chat before serving us, but although they had a few nice ales, they'd ruined them by serving them way too cold to taste. We took our drinks to a random table, and the barman shouted angrily at us not to sit there. I wouldn't mind - oh hang on, I would - but we were the only people in there!

Not going back, which is a real pity, becuase it looked like a really nice place.
pxyzyzygy - 11 Jul 2011 13:24
Nice pub, but I agree the bar staff are rude and disinterested. The barman shouted at 11pm that we had 5 minutes to finish our drinks and leave.
Lizzie71 - 5 Sep 2010 16:20
Chose this pub for birthday celebrations as it doesn't get too crowded on a Saturday.
Despite a fair amount of money going behind the bar, the pub's staff were constantly hassling our party to pass empty beer glasses and trying to usher people out of the pub before "drinking up" time; when we'd left the pub and were saying our goodbyes on the street one of the bar staff asked us to move on (time was about 11.15!)
Staff have alot to learn about how to treat paying customers.

Decent pub, shame about the clueless bar staff.
jonathan1461 - 8 Aug 2010 20:11
Decorated inside and out with a dark brown and yellow/gold theme and this means that the interior is rather darker than one might expect given the fairly large windows. Quite a small bar (which must, I guess, cause difficulties at busy times). The tables are a bit regimented, but there is more seating in an upstairs room. Three handpumps - a rare pint of Flowers IPA (reasonably priced for the area at £3.10), Wainwrights and another one off. Overall, not too bad, but it is a bit off the beaten track so you would probably need another reason to make trek out here.
rpadam - 8 May 2010 10:17
There are a lot of people on here that have bleated on about how great this place used to be, but my experience is based on a first visit and I still wasn’t that impressed. Ok it’s not a bad pub, but it is forgettable and I thought that the seating arrangement was uncomfortable and there was a smell of food wafting through the pub which maybe emanated from the ‘Bloomsbury Lounge’ upstairs. The barman was nice enough, but the disco genre music was a little cheesy and too loud for a quiet week night.

Bass and Flowers IPA were available along with a premium lager selection and my Guinness was well served. I noticed a sign on the back wall that was advertising Stella at £2.75 a pint which is great for a London boozer; it’s just a shame that I don’t drink it anymore.

I wouldn’t plan to go here again.
Strongers - 24 Dec 2009 12:54
A rather jolly pub with a good rotation of beers and a reasonable food menu. It attracts the suits early evening and in some numbers too so it is always lively and has a fun vibe to it.
Matthew_of_Ham - 6 Dec 2009 16:43
Gastro pub. Would score more highly if it did not blot out memories of the Sun - even its dying days were a revelation for a novice ale drinker back in the early 90s.
meurglys_iv - 19 Oct 2009 07:54
Doesn't have Timthothy Taylors, which is the reason i went there. Reasonable otherwise.
spawnyXIV - 5 Oct 2009 21:42
Yes, this used to be a good real ale pub called The Sun. It would have been around 1995 when it was ruined and turned into the abomination that is Finnegans Wake. It was probably 5 or 6 years later that it took on it'e present name. It's not a bad place for a pint I find, especially when it's not busy and you're looking for a bit of peace and quiet. Would only give it 5/10.
Millay - 29 May 2009 18:18
Can anyone remember when it became the Perseverance? I have a hazy recollection of it having a different name the first time I went for a drink in the area (8 or 9 years ago). Have since found its name used to be the Finnegan's Wake and before that, pre-1995, it was the Sun (verification would be appreciated!).
Had decent meals there a few years ago, but the downstairs was always too busy to get a pint in first!
Totally agree that there are more than enough great pubs nearby to not bother with it now, but I echo Redriley and Martini in wishing it more resembled its 'Sun' incarnation. I wish I'd been there then to try it out!
TheHofBear - 29 May 2009 17:18
Popped in for lunch 2 days ago at about 2-ish. Timothy Taylor and Greene King IPA available, plumped for the Timmy's which was good.
Pretty empty in there. Very nice friendly girl served us so good start.
Ordered fish and chips twice and took a seat at the back. Food was promptly served and tasty. Can only assume the food must have been very late the last time as somebody had appeared to have bitten a huge chunk out of a neighbouring seat !
Needs a little TLC I think...
KOTB - 30 Jan 2009 10:10
Unloved, average, aaaaaaahh. sad.
camraman123 - 24 Nov 2008 01:52
The last reviewer here spoke of potential and of how much better this place could be. I know how good it could be because I remember it when it was one of the best pubs in London for anyone wanting real ales and plenty of them. It was called The Sun in those days, more handpumps than you could shake a stick at around a central horseshoe bar. Drink one of each and you got some kind of prize, I seem to recall - although I never did.
Martinl - 18 Apr 2008 21:10
Why would anybody in their right mind choose to go here rather than The Lamb just down the street? Not actually unpleasant but just such a nothing place. Beer choice unimaginative and bar staff, although not rude, did seem to pefer their own company to chatting to the customers.

Plenty of potential and could be so much better in the right hands.
Redriley - 23 Dec 2007 01:18
this pub needs to be thrown out into the street , and beaten to death, ale disgusting , food pants.
ginthedog - 28 Sep 2007 18:26
Nice pub but don't bring your bike there! My friend had his cycle nicked last night from the lock-up railings just opposite the Perseverance - the railings were rigged to be loose (in hind sight) and 2 fellas sped up on a moped, slid the railings out of their holder and drove off with the bike across the passenger's shoulder. Why am I posting this on here? To warn other cyclists of the scam and also because this had clearly happened before and the bar staff didn't care at all. They couldn't care less. Please put a sign up to warn people, it's the least you can do to stop your customers being repeatedly fleeced.
freewheeler - 5 Sep 2007 10:29
It's so obvious when new owners or bar staff post comments. Anyway, I've been a away for a few months and returned to my favorite pub for a drink with mates the other night. Actually, the negative comments were spot on: the staff (why's it always the blokes who collect glasses???) was abrupt and couldn't wait to close before last call, the only refurb seems to be some stereotypically pub Ebay wallpaper, and the once interesting menu's been reduced to non-descript pub grub. Wish the old management had been able to stick it out. If anyone knows if they have a new pub, post it!
Suze08 - 17 May 2007 12:22
I went back to The Perseverance as I found out they are under new management. What a difference!!! No longer a 'gastro' pub run by surly staff as before. It has been sypathetically decorated, it has good beer back on tap and the food is a great, simple pub fayre. Pay no heed to the negative comment on here, they are refer to pub as it was, not how it is. It was re-opened on 5th April 2007, so comments prior to this are no longer valid.

I'd recommend this pub to anyone looking for a beer, a chat and a bite to eat.
Chunk01 - 12 Apr 2007 11:56
very rude staff, beer on tap tasted dreadful, food mediocre....avoid at all costs.
karenbranagh - 6 Mar 2007 00:15
The Perseverance I used to know and love is dead! It's been taken over by new owners. They've not yet destroyed the decor, but keep the interior lights on high beam and only turn them down when they start to kick the punters out at *9PM*! That's right 9. There's also new lackluster bar staff who make it clear they'd rather be anywhere other than serving you(especially a new chavvy bartender who likes to talk loudly on his mobile). They do this by putting the chairs on the tables at 9PM! Oh, did I mention that? Sorry, it's just that this used to be a great pub. And what happened to the grade A food?
GirlfriendinaComa - 22 Feb 2007 11:02
One of the barmen was a little brusque - opened the doors to let the cold air in at 11 on the dot, and then spent the next ten minutes shouting at everyone to LEAVE NOW. Oh, and threatening a customer who points out that there's another ten minutes legal drinking time isn't the best customer service either. If you're in the area, go to the Lamb instead.
mirandola - 3 Feb 2007 15:09
Sunday Lunch was good - but, the food should have been served on hot plates and the Sirloin of Beef should have been carved slices instead of a massive steak.
dorsetknob - 5 Jan 2007 16:45
The barstaff here undergo a vigerous, 3 weeks training workshop to learn how to be the rudest, most arrogant and laziest in the Capital. It obviously works because no one can be naturally this bad.

Very popular with Management Consultants, which is fine by me, i'll be in the Lamb or Rugby Tavern only 90 seconds walk away
halfbee - 27 Nov 2006 13:06
A funny old pub. There are loads of staff but no great urgency to serve anyone. However the Deuchars was pretty good. Didn't dare try the Directors after previous comments.

This pub is not without its charm but it might not be to everyone's taste.
Winkleman - 4 Oct 2006 12:05
Ended up here again, Sunday afternoon this time. Bar girl was very friendly and the Deuchars IPA was passable to. There were some media w*nk*rs at the bar.
danrkelly - 27 Sep 2006 13:29
2 barstaff 1 customer and it took about 5 minutes to get any attention. Expensive Directors which tasted like melted poo. Got shortchanged by the barman and had to wait to get his attention again. He tried to tell me I was wrong and only when he got his calculator out did we decide I was right in the first place (it was a basic sum). Absolutely no apology just attitude. Shan't return.

Benches around the place look ok. that's it. Luckily there's a good place down the road.
mitomighty - 11 Jul 2006 17:40
Was in this pub last night. The pub is dominated by a bar on one side which it is near impossible to get served at even if it's not that busy. The bitter on tap is horrible. It reminds me of a bad student union but without the atmosphere. Go somewhere else...!
extraordinary - 26 May 2006 10:22
Just visited on a Saturday night when the place was only half full so we had a nice big table to ourselves. WARNING: Courage Directors on tap is the WORST i have ever had the misfortune to consume. Slight sweetness reminscent of shandy and the consistency of dishwater that has remnants of leek and potatoe soup suspended. Yes it's that bad and £3 a pint!! Needless to say I had a couple of Fosters instead... It's looks like they somestimes have Deuchars on which is one of my fav's but I doubt I'd even try it in this place. Fairly pleasant interior, the area probably had better option in terms of beer.
danrkelly - 22 Jan 2006 10:14
Was in there last Friday night. This is the noisiest pub I have ever been in. Packed to the gills with trendy young things shouting at one another over the loud music. Forget it for a quiet pint.

Upstair dining room was good, though.
anonymous - 14 Nov 2005 14:36
I can see why The Perseverance could bring such mixed reviews. Definitely not a traditional boozer: the selection of real ale is small, the crowd is young and trendy(ish) and the decor is not pub standard. Yet, I found the staff helpful (particularly upstairs in the dining room), the food excellent, and the atmosphere lively. If you are looking for fish and chips to go with a Young Ordinary, this is not the place to be. If you like some eclectic tapas and a good vibe and are willing to drink what is on hand pump, try it!
Mr.Matt - 29 Aug 2005 01:56
i've heard people wax lyrical about this pub, and i can't see why. the dark wood interior is not cool, it makes the whole place too dark. if it's rammed you can't hear yourself think in there. if i go to a pub i don't want to feel like i can't see or hear anything.
koosh - 28 Feb 2005 15:16
I agree with Mr Mackensie I'm afraid. over-priced, snobby bar with a definite clique and unfriendly, rude staff. I understand that the bar is under new management which explains the transformation from a decent pub into a place full of bad atmosphere
John - 10 Nov 2004 13:40
Fantastic pub tucked away before you reach all the bars of Clerkenwell. Tastfully done up with flock wall paper, chandaliers and dark wood it is cool without trying too hard. Ranges from being dead on a Tuesday to packed with an afterwork crowd on a Friday.
anon - 6 Jul 2004 18:27
Previously a decent local boozer, now sadly degenerated into the ultimate gastropub cliche complete with expensive, average food, and staff who you'll feel like throwing your £10 bowl of mash over within minutes. Avoid!
Patrick Mackenzie - 17 May 2004 09:47

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