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Harp, Covent Garden

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user reviews of the Harp, Covent Garden

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

Seven years since I last commented on this place - it hasn't changed and is one of the few non food dominated pubs left in Central London. Plenty of ales on - went for the Hophead as a kind of benchmark and it was far better than the last pint of it I had. Probably one of literally a handful of decent true pubs left in Central London.
Snarling_Mallard - 11 Jan 2019 00:04
We ended up in the Harp on one Saturday night in November. My memories of this visit are a little hazy. But we stood in the alleyway at the rear, where we were hassled by quite a few homeless people, who use the area to sleep rough. Ales were Harvey's Sussex Best Bitter, Dark Star Hophead & American Pale Ale, Animal Peacock, Hawkshead Dry Stone Stout, Hammerton N1, Burning Sky Plateau, Fuller's London Pride & One Mile End Great Tom Mild. Ciders were Lilley's Pear and Raspberry & Rum Cask and two others called Buckshot and Scrumpy (I couldn't find out the producers). The Harp is still a great pub. But as always, it was too busy to enjoy when we visited. It's always best to visit earlier in the day when it can be enjoyed.
blue_scrumpy - 1 Feb 2018 18:16
I''ve just arrived back in Australia after another successful tour of UK & European pubs, the 8th since 2009, and the 5th where I''ve launched proceedings at the Harp. Nothing to add from previous posts other than the beer this year was Sambrook Pale Ale, new to me & pretty good. Though I''m not sure you should trust the judgement of someone who had spent the previous 24 hours on a plane.
Queenslander - 11 Sep 2017 22:10
Any real ale lover visiting London and especially the West End needs to drop in to The Harp.
A fine range of real ales all well kept. There are normally a few Dark Star beers available along with four or five others.
The clientele is a large and varied one. Despite the pub almost always being busy I never have to wait too long to be served.
As with several pubs around London the space created for the toilets seems to have been an afterthought!

outtamehead - 30 Jul 2017 06:09
Great pub.
Dangerous steps.
fozzy123 - 22 Jul 2017 20:46
For real ale enthusiasts, as good as anywhere in central London. The capital's beers are well represented by Sambrook and others while Brighton's Dark Star brewery is also prominent via the excellent Hophead and American Pale Ales. The only snag is its bijou size - even of weekday afternoon it was getting crowded
BoehmBawerk - 19 Feb 2017 06:58
I like this small pub. good selection of well kept beer. Upstairs (at the back) there is a small lounge area which is often empty, even when down stairs is heaving. Sadly no bar upstairs. Service is always quick and you get a full pint which seems to becoming increasingly rare in many pubs recently.
GEPC - 12 Nov 2016 12:46
Couldnt move when I came last on a Saturday.

Much more sedate experience on a Monday night. Even got a seat.

A must visit london pub for beer fans.

Fleet Street Pub Crawl at
Mappiman - 19 Oct 2016 13:10
In accordance with tradition I officially launched my 2016 UK & Europe pub crawl in the Harp. Two pints of Sambrook Junction @4.10, very nice. The usual friendly and efficient service was given, and a fairly substantial crowd was gathering. Being a Sunday I had to postpone the visit until after midday & in fact had an unofficial launch in the Wetherspoon's on Kingsway, where the clock was not so punitive. But with no disrespect to Wetherspoon's (great breakfast), the Harp was the first proper pub of the tour and set a high benchmark.
Queenslander - 29 Aug 2016 23:27
Very good, very busy. No discernible change since the takeover.
BitterShurn - 5 Aug 2016 10:48
Since Fullers took over this pub they have left the landlord to get on with it.

Fantastic ales and great atmosphere.

Well done Carl, your doing this place proud.

whatgoesaround - 25 Aug 2015 22:24
Back again in the Harp to kick off my 2015 UK & Europe pub crawl. Not a noticeable change to this gullible foreigner, the welcome was warm & genuine & the Sambrook Wandle (£3.95) delicious after a long flight. The friendly bar lady kindly a photo of me. Not many in at around 11.00am, but all received great service & good beer at a reasonable price.
Queenslander - 3 Aug 2015 07:49
In the Harp yesterday,still a great selection of beers available, I had London Fields Hopspur and Brick Blenhim Black, both good.
Picasso09 - 28 Jun 2015 08:31
Popped into the Harp last night only to find that normally Excellent Dark Star APA was NOt on again, instead a selection of very average beers. Still great staff but sort the beer out please.
2mpete - 24 Jun 2015 08:27
I'm glad to read that the Harp remains a great pub but am saddened that at least 2 posters found it necessary to quote swear words.
malo66 - 19 Jun 2015 13:24
Fairly small pub with an ever-changing selection of real ales. Quiet in the morning, reported to be very busy at other times.
Sigmund - 14 Jun 2015 18:02
Also there same day as totpotter1 ,and still the same old Harp, although there are a few changes, some good and some not so, the gents and the ladies have been swapped around which is good, for the blokes anyway, on the downside , currently the opening time has been knocked back from 10:00 to 10:30, not a lot of difference but a pain when planning a crawl onward s, every half hour counts,also the famous sausages are no more,and most beers are now £4.10, Hophead was £3.50 , central London prices but a bit of a hike from Binnies day, still this was expected from Fullers, still a very good pub though and the beer and staff back this up.
Picasso09 - 6 Mar 2015 20:54

After a refurbishment I was worried that the pub would be ruined . but glad to say that the pub remains the same little gem that is the Harp.
The Hophead was in good shape as always
visited here on Saturday 28/02/2015 ,
totpotter1 - 1 Mar 2015 10:50
Have been a few times since the takeover, and I've been delighted by Fullers holding true to Binnie's old decor and beer policy. The only difference is that Pride's now available, and although I'd never drink it on purpose here, it's overlookable seeing as the place of old has always served a couple of standard lagers.

For a person that likes pubs and appreciates pub etiquette, the Harp is a dream. Staff excellent and always know what they're serving. Punters respect each other and make this place when it's heaving a rare case of 'a good kind of busy', as my friend puts it. Not for you if you're very claustrophobic, but the ambience makes the confined space all the better.

If I had to pick one thing to not like it's the Football Free Zone sign. Comes across as a bit aloof. But then again, I am a football fan and I can say the best pubs in London are ones that don't bother with football. Prices creeping up too, but still good value for the location.

The excellently kept, well-priced beer and convivial atmosphere makes this establishment deservedly rated as one of the very best in Central London.

R3NW5 - 30 Dec 2014 12:44
I go into the Harp a couple of times a week. Still a great selection of beer. Always find the staff very helpful and quick to serve even when it's busy. I've noticed that Fullers London Pride is available but have never seen anyone ask for it.

Whole-heartedly agree with Green Onions that Fullers must not F*** this place up.

Boyne - 20 Nov 2014 15:25
Have all the old staff gone? On our last visit the service was friendly but so slow...
Beer seemed fine and pub still full of luvvies.


Green_0nions - 7 Nov 2014 13:30
Second visit under the new regime and a marked deterioration in the beers. Slightly flat slightly sour Harveys , an aging Golden Ale and even the Pride wasn't optimal . None of them bad enough to return but there we have it : Binnie has left the building . In only a couple of months the Harp has become an average pub selling averagely kept ales.
shakedown1979 - 3 Oct 2014 00:10
First pub visited on this year's UK pub crawl. First last year too, and there are a few good reasons: friendly people, good beer and it opens at 10:00am, which is useful when you land at Heathrow after 24 hours cooped in a tube and a thirst you could photograph. Sambrook Junction, 2 pints of, at 3.50 (though the same pint was 3.75 four weeks later when I next called in). Cheap for the location & ambience.
Queenslander - 18 Aug 2014 23:23
Great pub with a great range of constantly changing beer. Always a mix of dark / light beers, strengths & breweries although usually something from Dark Star (Hophead or APA). Prices for the centre of London are reasonable.
Downstairs is always packed as is the little alleyway at the back. However the upstairs lounge often empties out and you can take advantage of armchairs and a view out onto Whitehall.
Not sure when Fullers are going to turn it into another dull and overpriced central London pub (like the Red Lion in Whitehall or, frankly, The Parcel Yard at Kings X) - supposedly they have also got their hands on the Albannach across Trafalgar Square so I really can't see the point unless they are buying everything just to stop anyone else.
8/10 while it's still good!
stevenagec - 15 Aug 2014 17:18
Thank you Binnie for some good years in a fantastic pub, two visits today as good as ever, lets hope the Harp can continue to provide more good times in the future.
Picasso09 - 2 Aug 2014 20:48
Now owned by Fuller's, as of this week I believe. Will be interesting to see how that works out.
catbert - 16 Jul 2014 17:08
Can never understand the high rating of pubs, purely down to ever changing(never to be seen again) beer policy.
CliveTheGriffin1 - 4 Jul 2014 19:13
This place improves every time I visit and every time I leave I feel like it can never get better. Full of 10 regular changing ale from places like Sambrook, Dark Star and judging by the clips on display every other brewery in the uk. A must for every visit. :-)
trains2064 - 4 Jul 2014 10:56
Yes indeed! One of those daft things when you realise the mistake seconds after sending the comment but are powerless to amend the aberration.

I blame BITE for not enabling us to edit posts!!
Gamboozler - 23 May 2014 16:44
Biddy Gamboozler?

Shurely shome mishtake - Binnie (Walsh) perhaps!

grovetown - 23 May 2014 14:06
'Possibly' Steve? 'Probably' more like! Being biased in The Harp's favour for many years now I'd even suggest 'definitely'! But I am biased for good reason: an excellently-kept, ever-changing roster of cask ales from a broad range of breweries well-known and obscure. A similarly impressive array of cask ciders from various regions. These are supported by some good local bottled options, and also a keg ale (Kernel so stupidly overpriced but still a decent attempt at a worthwhile keg beer). Unadventurous beer/cider drinkers are covered by a few fonts dispensing recognised brands, and consumers of neither will find plenty of wines etc for delectation.

And all this bibulous brilliance served in a jauntily jolly atmosphere aided by a civilised mixed clientele, friendly and efficient staff, and delightful decor, notable for its various art works and fine stained glass frontage.

Even food, though limited, is worth metioning for quality - O'Hagan's sausages!

The only negatives? It can be over-busy even outdoors, and the toilets are best-avoided for sheer lack of manoeuvrability! But these aren't deal-breakers.

Biddy has overseen this place so successfully over the years and has made it an award-winning goldmine, mercifully free of brewery or pubco racketeering. Long may it continue as there's too few pubs of its ilk available in London nowadays. If it sounds your kind of venue, sally forth ASAP....

Gamboozler - 19 May 2014 16:23
Possibly the best pub I have been to in london for great beer and a great selection. I visited here before watching birmingham play charlton and had to return before I got the train back. Staff are friendly and atmosphere really good
steve21noisy - 11 May 2014 07:51
Visited on a Wednesday night just before Easter and it was pleasantly busy and we even managed to get a table! Fantastic selection of ales as usual, I had the Harvey's Best, something called Rebel Lion, Dark Star American Pale and a stout whose name I forget, all excellent and not overpriced considering the location. Not only is this a great pub for beer but the bar staff are excellent, you rarely have to wait long even when it's insanely packed as it normally is. For me it's the best pub in London and although on popular nights such as Thursday when it's a gigantic crush it's still the best place in London for real ale. 9.5/10
Monkdawallydahonk - 1 May 2014 14:33
Arrived here shortly after 10am yesterday. There were already 3 people here. But at least, I could choose where to sit. The bar staff here are friendly and knowledgeable. They will always help you to choose an ale or cider that suits your taste. There are 10 ales and several ciders, that are hidden away in the fridges. There is a blackboard detailing the available ciders, but theychange frequently and you may find that some have run out without the blackboard being updated. Yesterday's selection was Sambrooks Wandle, Harveys Sussex Best Bitter, Dark Star Hophead & American Pale Ale, Crouch Vale Brewers Gold, Summer Wine Barista Espresso Stout, Clarkshaws Gorgon's Alive, Burning Sky Aurora, Red Squirrel Red Dawn Mild & Late Knights Crack of Dawn. Ciders and perries were Springherne Medium Dry, Sam's Sweet Devon Cider, Millwhites Rioja Cask, Mixed Scrumpy & Rum Cask, Caspy Wennet Perry, Grren Valley Medium Dry & Double Vision Fine Vient Perry. I sampled all of the ciders and perries, with the exception of the Millwhites ones and all were in a really good condition. This has often been my criticism of the Harp on previous visits. But yesterday, I couldn't fault any of them, or the beers that I tried. This was my 3rd favourite pub in London. But after yesterday's visit, I think I can promote it to my favourite. It's almost a 10/10. I would award 9.5 if I could. The only thing that lets it down is its size. It gets packed during peak hours. But conversely, its size is also one of its charms. I must get here more often.
blue_scrumpy - 9 Mar 2014 10:45
Cant believe that I haven't found this one before. Must have read about it somewhere, as its been on my to do list for a while. Went in on a Saturday afternoon. Crowded to the point of stupidity, especially the narrow bit where it is impossible to pass without knocking into someone. Still, there is a reason why it is so busy, the incredible selection of beers. I went for a very good sussex best. Will come back - hopefully at a quieter location.
Mappiman - 19 Jan 2014 12:53
Been here quite a lot of late. Still the best pub in London. Great service. Great beers. Will be back again soon.
littledrummerboy - 3 Dec 2013 13:59
An incredibly interesting narrow little pub with an equally incredible selection of beers. I was here in the afternoon a couple of Saturdays ago and even then it was very busy but still got speedy service from the bar.
lancalot - 16 Nov 2013 18:44
Dropped in for a quick pint yesterday, an all to brief stay. Wide range of beers on offer, I opted for an excellent pint of Dark Star APA. Get there early to get a seat, very busy popular pub.
ericstadd - 21 Sep 2013 09:08
Very traditional Irish pub just up from Charing X station.
I’ve never been before and having visited last week cannot believe I’ve missed it for so many years.

Good choice of ales, both myself and my companion commented on how good our pints were.

Largest collection of pump clips I have ever seen.

Alley way out the back is a good place to stand when it’s busy inside

lezford - 12 Aug 2013 14:30
A combined review from two visits one on Tuesday 16 July and the other on Thursday 25 July. Great range of ales on with milds (not my thing but good to see) from Mighty Oak, Boggart Hole’s Rum Porter (very nice), Zigzag Chocolate Stout which had me salivating but didn’t deliver especially in comparison with the Colchester Cream stout which is heaven in a glass; Harvey’s Best, Hophead and American Pale from Dark Star, Sambrooks Lavender Hill and Wandle; Maldon Gold and Golden Bull. Not too pricy for the area and only at a couple times on the Thursday was it rammed. As another reviewer said the upstairs bar is quiet and we were going to nab 4 free seats up there when 4 chaps at a table downstairs conveniently left. Upstairs is definitely an option to escape the madding crowd. Before that we were sitting on stools near the tables at the back but you do get knocked a bit and the noise levels mean it’s difficult to converse easily. As usual pretty impressive service from the barmaids who handle the throng at the bar very efficiently and mostly with a smile. Easily the best the best pub in central London if not all of London. 9/10
Monkdawallydahonk - 26 Jul 2013 15:41
Best bit - cider pub in London (that I've found in 5 years). Sneaky people tho' - have them hidden in flagons low down behind the bar. Always changing but they have included: Janet's Jungle Juice (great, sweet); Gwatkins; Biddendens; varieties of ol' Mole Black Rat; Welsh Farmhouse. Good selection of sweet & dry and staff know which is which; good selection of perries too.

Worst bit - has become more and more popular (CAMRA awards galore) and is a very small pub. Nearly always bursting out onto the pavement full (there is more unknown seating upstairs so there's always a shot - don't know why people cling to the bar downstairs).

Wonderful selection of ales: lovely Dark Star; Harveys; Sambrooks and Twickenham Ales - all well-kept.

Fantastic barmaids - helpful, friendly, great control at the anarchy of the bar.

Very tasty food (basically hot-dogs but with great sausages), great for when you realise that leaving has become a geometrical problem (aka pissed from all the lovely stuff), cost unknown (always too drunk to know or care).

No muzak.

If it were bigger, less-crowded and had a garden, it'd simply be the best pub in London. Go now.

alecider29 - 23 Jun 2013 11:37
Very easy to understand why it has won so many awards - small but busy pub with around 10 ales including couple of Dark Star beers (satisfaction guaranteed) and friendly, hard working pretty barmaids who serve you with a smile.
mikey64 - 31 May 2013 19:18
Nice little place, with a big choice of well kept ales. Very snug (to say the least) and not for you if you like to be able to move around with ease. But the bar staff were on top of things.
straightatthewall - 20 May 2013 15:32
Superb session with a group of friends last Saturday. Our five-pinter included perfectly-kept Dark Star, Harveys and Sambrooks. Towards the end of the evening the landlady visited our table for a 10-minute chat, displaying all the warmth and love she puts into the Harp. A cracker!
lad_newton - 7 May 2013 08:33
Top class venue. All the beers on tap were in good nick last time I was in, and you can't but fall in love with the barmaids who are as professional as they are attractive. One of the male staff who acts as a bouncer isn't so nice, but one fly doesn't spoil the picnic. Harvey's is a regular, and Dark Star features fairly often, 10 times in 15 visits over 4 weeks. Not a criticism, as Dark star brews fantastic beers. Look out for Crouch Vale and plenty of lesser known micros. And remember Fri and Sat evenings can get rammed, so visit only if you're in the mood for a crowd! The Harp will not let you down.
jamie.nakin - 4 May 2013 11:52
Great pub. Best in London if not beyond.

Super selection including guests, some familiar names coming around and hot spot for Dark Star (I check on the DS app for latest deliveries).

Reasonable 'London prices' without taking the mick like some new trendy places.

Fun to watch the odd clueless tourist come in and order a wine or other none-ale drink in this 'famous ale pub'.

bertiekt6 - 29 Mar 2013 21:18
Visited this pub for the 1st time today for a lunchtime session. 10 ales on tap, spoilt for choice. Pleased to see Sambrooks beers on. The three beers I had where all in good form, especially the Wandle Ale.
Friendly staff with a warm greeting despite being busy. The bar area is a tad small, but there is an upstairs seating area as well if you want a quiet read.
I didn't have one of the sausage sandwiches as I had already eaten but shall try them next time.
And I shall definately pop in again on my next visit up to London.
bob.the.wop - 18 Mar 2013 21:25
popped in for a quick one on a busy saturday lunchtime...Had a very nice pint of Sambrookes Wandle...couldn't stay long..but worth a revisit...excellent pub
itchytony - 24 Feb 2013 13:43
Great choice of ales , friendly atmosphere and good service from the lovely barmaids.
covman45 - 22 Feb 2013 12:32
As others have mentioned this is a former Camra pub of the year, which consequently makes it a very popular spot, besides the fact that it is located between The Strand and Covent Garden which pretty much guarantees a brisk trade anyway.

The pub is a single room, quite long and narrow, with bare boards on the floor and limited seating, although I believe there may be more available upstairs. There are mirrors all along the right hand wall, and a number of portraits on the wall as well as Cask Marque certificates and other awards that they have won. There were hundreds, if not thousands of beer mats above the bar. Bar staff were quick and efficient, and were happy to provide samples to try.

Beer choice no doubt changes continually, but on this occasion consisted of Oakham Bishop’s Farewell, Dark Star Original Bitter, Dark Star Hophead, Palmer’s Dorset Gold, Sam Brooks Wandle, Sam Brooks Junction, Red Squirrel’s Red Dawn, Triple Brewery’s Winter Bourbon Stout, Dark Star Pale Ale and Harvey’s Sussex Best. The only cider on tap was Aspall’s Suffolk, although there were a few boxes in the ‘fridge who’s names I didn’t note, although I did spot a couple from Rich’s.
Blackthorn - 18 Feb 2013 19:49
One of the very best pubs in the city centre and convenient for a beer before or after a meal/show, or a session in the National Gallery. It IS small and VERY popular, meaning that standing up will be the rule. But in all other respects it is hard to fault - excellent range of beers and styles and friendly cooperative staff (remarkable in such a hectic place - but maybe explaining why it's so busy!). Loos upstairs. I agree with reviews that say it's getting even better and a model fore urban bars.
Arctium_lappa - 17 Feb 2013 21:55
I like this pub. It can't help being so small, or so popular and in any case the upstairs room is a lot quieter and you can usually get a table. The beer's good, the choice is fine and the sausage sandwiches justifiably famous.

But, to say this is, or rather was, the best pub in the country last year is stretching it a bit. It's good but by no means great.
djw - 14 Feb 2013 22:36
Decent pub, barmaid and choice of ales. Harveys Sussex Bitter in good nick when I called in recently. Adorned with pump clips from the many ales had there over the years. 8/10
ng10 - 27 Jan 2013 15:10
In contrast to my visit to a pub the day before where I encountered the rudest barmaid of 2012, I’m glad to say not only was the ale excellent as ever in the Harp, especially the Red Squirrel Stout, but the bar staff were magnificent. It was Thursday 20 December when we visited and the pub was rammed with people most likely having a last drink of the working year, yet the bar staff coped wonderfully and maintained their cheerfulness, efficiency and politeness throughout. Superb. 9/10.
Monkdawallydahonk - 7 Jan 2013 12:04
Still a great pub, true. But, for me, only 8 out of 10 for the beer... personally, I find it just a little too warm sometimes, and the range is getting very predictable... Black Sheep, Dark Star, Harvey's, Landlord, Sambrook's, you know the stuff, all very good, but all widely distributed. Does it make sense to have FIVE house bitters?

And of course, because of the pub's popularity, it really does get like a rugby scrum at times. When it gets like that, scurry down the alley at the back, turn right up St.Martin's Lane and head for the Salisbury. There's a bit more room in there and although the range is similar to The Harp's it is always very well kept and the service is slick and knowledgeable.
AbieVee - 30 Dec 2012 13:24
Great atmospheric pub with wonderful beers! It is small and can get busy, but well worth a visit when in central London.
lesalanos - 8 Dec 2012 22:51
The best beer and cider pub in London - the universe possibly.

Excellent conditioning of the beers which are served in a friendly and swift manner.

If any pub you use can serve you, from row three, in thirty seconds do please say.

Busy, yes, there is a reason. Friendly interaction, yes - ... it's a pub.

If you want pool, tv or adultery booths it is not for you. *

blooms - 17 Oct 2012 18:28
Bright agrees with stanzas who wants a pool table in this fine awards winning pub - who's only fault is to be on the small side, a feature of many West End pubs.
wealdman - 15 Oct 2012 10:39
Stanza is spot on. If you want to stand in a tiny packed pub being pushed back and fore then this is the place for you. In summary, beer good but (as I said a few years back) that is only one reason to choose a pub and this place is just way too packed to be relaxing and enjoyable.

Sorry pippp
on_the_brightside - 15 Oct 2012 04:22
Think I'll believe the dozens and dozens of positive posts on this fine pub - instead of the rare negative one (of stanzas). Pity, there's no TV or pool table!!!
oaktreedog - 14 Oct 2012 21:22
You only have to walk into the Harp to see why it is an award winner. Just about the best-kept pint you will drink in London, friendly enthusiastic staff and a clientele that includes locals, those who work nearby and visitors from far and beyond. It does get crowded, often more so than many would find comfortable. This can only be indicative of how well the pub's doing, for despite huge numbers on my visit of a couple of saturdays ago the bar staff coped incredibly well - never had to wait more than five minutes for my pint. It is a good pub plain and simple, no gimmicks or distractions, just a great pub with a jolly atmosphere and an excellent pint of real ale.
Phucough - 14 Oct 2012 20:39
How can this pub possibly have won any awards?

Think about it; what are the features of a good pub? Well, let me suggest five: decent beers (including things like porter and wheat beer every pub in the land sells bitter, that is not the mark of a good pub). Somewhere that you can sit down to drink. A decent atmosphere. A pool table or quiz machine (or ideally both) which is not completely monopolised by a few possessive individuals. And the opportunity to watch the football when its on, but also to avoid it in another part of the pub if you prefer.

This pub has NONE of those things. Craft lager? Nice dark beers? Nope, they just stock loads of bitters (with the occasional IPA). Badly kept as well; my IPA was foamy but completely flat. For a pub with so little space, why are there large armchairs upstairs minimising the number of people that can sit down? Atmosphere is fractious (due to spending the whole time with people pushing backwards and forwards past you), and completely forget the idea of any other form of entertainment in here. Its not a pub for staying in for more than one single drink.

If these premises won CAMRA Pub of the year then that says more about CAMRA than the pub itself. Dont waste your time; the Chandos is next door.

elegiac_stanzas - 13 Oct 2012 23:21
Great place - very few boozers around Central London are anywhere near this good. Poorly kept secret though, can get very crowded.
jjsint - 20 Sep 2012 14:10
What a great find.

If you are ever in the Covent Garden area try this pub out.
Good selection of fine ales and lot of different ciders as well.

topdog2 - 18 Sep 2012 11:58
I can't believe I have only just discovered this place and have wasted years in nearby lesser establishments.

Had lunch on Friday - excellent sausage sandwiches - filled up from 12.30 but before that there were a choice of tables.

8+ ales on handpump. Twitter account updates you on the latest beers available.

A gem.

alecstewart - 10 Sep 2012 20:55
An excellent pub, serving Brodies beers and good food. If anything can be said against the place it's that it gets very busy very quickly at lunch times and early evening and that's the best recommendation it can have.
Summerisle1961 - 9 Sep 2012 08:43
Great little boozer just a stones throw from Charing Cross station. Always a good and well kept selection of real ales on and the service is good - once you manage to force your way inside and get to the bar at busy times!

The gents khazis deserve a special mention. For some reason the song "Halfway up the stairs is a place where I s*it" always comes to mind, and they are pretty cozy (but generally clean).

Well worth a visit if you are in the area and fancy a cuff.
Keef_Peacock - 4 Sep 2012 19:43
The Harp is a great little old-fashioned pub. Nice staff, great real ales, brilliant decor (the oil paintings and prints are fascinating) and there is outside space at the back and front to stand with a pint. It's a regular of mine and the best pub in Covent Garden.
Beerdrinkingben - 4 Sep 2012 11:26
Bounded into the Harp at 8.42 on 31/08/12 on an Olympic crawl with dreamboat duo Torsten and Viggo. Orgasmic halves of Hophead rounded off another fantastic session. The Harp remains a Top pub - friendly staff, friendly customers, convivial atmosphere. My personal thanks to Torsten and Viggo, who were superb company all evening. Keep it up guys!
Newton_Lad - 2 Sep 2012 23:08
My daughter Lucy and I popped in here yet again yesterday and because of the Olympics business, and possibly because it was 32f outside, it was half empty. Great! No overcrowding, a couple of pints of Dark Star bitter and a spicy pork suasage in baguette. Heaven. A lovely chat with the landlady too. Pubs in London don't get better than this. I shall change my 9 for a 10 ;-)
Paul_Rochdale - 26 Jul 2012 18:31
The best pub in London for real ales. (approx 10)
Grey Ghost IPA, Sambrooks Junction, Squirrel London Porter, Dark Star Old Chestnut, Palmers Dorset Gold + more!
For a small pub this is an absolute gem.
If your going to Covent Garden then make sure you pay this place a visit.
Friendly atmosphere & friendly locals, as well as holiday goers from all over the globe.
Will be back! 10/10.
caterhambloke - 1 Jul 2012 21:05
A couple of pints in here yesterday rounded the day of perfectly, had a Darkstar American Pale Ale followed by a Saltaire Cascade both in excellent condition. It was busy as always at this time of day but its never a problem thanks to the extra efficient staff.Always make a point of visiting here as should any lover of real pubs.
Picasso09 - 27 Jun 2012 18:48
Almost as good as a pub can be in central London for real ale drinkers. But get there early to get a seat so you can enjoy the beers in comfort. It gets very busy and I think that would definitely affect your experience here, even if the staff do cope heroically.
dry_riser_inlet - 21 Jun 2012 12:33
Great pub with friendly staff well worth a visit.
hartlepool - 13 May 2012 16:17
Beer outstanding as usual on my visit again last night. Fantastic variety through gravity and colour. Dark Star revelation was particularly good. The service, though swift, lacked the usual courteous approach I experienced here in the past, but they were ridiculously busy so more than understandable. Always a pleasure to visit.
back2ploughlane - 29 Apr 2012 14:03
And see on their web site twitter and Facebook - April 17th the Harp was named West London CAMRA Pub of the Year.
zorrodp - 21 Apr 2012 11:21
Popped in yesterday at about 11:30. Made sure I was early, as I knew it would probably fill up, as it did.
Downstairs, is small, cosy, and decorated with drawings and paintings of film/stage actors. Has a great atmosphere, a far cry,thankfully, from corporate ye olde pubbe fakes. The Harp has a small upstairs room with some comfy looking armchairs, and tables, but I feel that you`d miss out on the atmosphere if you favoured a little more comfort.
Sadly, it was to be a fleeting visit, so I went for the Dark Star Hophead, which was delightful. Decided to take advantage of the sausage menu, I had Spicy Pork, whilst my son had Wild Boar ?! tucked into a toasted baguette , which were both hot, fresh and tasty. Luckily, we found a table at the back, and tucked in. Meanwhile, the pub filled up, with knowledgeable drinkers, and city types, and the bar staff swelled from one to four, all friendly and efficient. I would love to have spent all afternoon here, as I am sure that I would have made new friends, but I wouild have wound up staggering about Central London, and that just would n`t do.
Great beer, great atmosphere, friendly staff, tasty fresh food, why are n`t all pubs like this? A definate "must visit" when you`re next in the Smoke.
redmanthinks - 13 Apr 2012 11:37
This pub is an absolute palace and shrine to real ale. Eight handpumps with two offerings from Dark Star & Wandle, Harvey's amongst others - all in fine fettle. The curious can sample the ale before buying. Great selection of bottled ciders, artisan malt whiskies & good Rioca for wine drinkers. Helpful, knowledgeable and unpretentious staff.

The facade above the bar is peppered with hundreds of calling cards from previous guest ales. This fine establishment is the Gold - Standard benchmark by which I measure all other pubs, and none come close. The only downside is its a victim of its own success and always packed at peak times. Get in early, do the menu and go to Heaven!
Wiccaman777 - 3 Apr 2012 12:44
I've been meaning to visit the Harp for some time as I've heard so much about it. With my ticket for the Lucien Freud exhibition for the 1pm viewing, I popped across the road for a swift pint. Twickenham 'Black Eel', and excellent dark beer. Eight real ales on handpumps many of which I'll have to wait another time for. Busy mixture of pin stripes and jeansy people, and busy. The large hotdog sausages cooking looked tasty but I was told they don't do food during the evenings. Lovely atmosphere especially with the leaded window concertina'd back on this warm spring morning. My favourite central London pub.

Paul_Rochdale - 23 Mar 2012 08:25
Saturday evening was my first visit to the Harp for a while. But little has changed. The ale range was excellent as usual and all of the beers were turning over very rapidly. There were also around 9-10 ciders and perries on offer in the fridge. I'd certainly never tried Ciderfest Muggled Up before! All of the beers and ciders I tried were in good condition. The plum porter was a particular favourite. The only downside to this pub is its increased popularity. Getting through the narrow bar itself is a real challenge and even the alleyway at the rear was packed with drinkers. The staff are still superb and the landlady is also very friendly and down to earth. One was serving multiple customers at one time. Still my favourite pub in the centre of London and whilst I'm volunteering to help out tourists in central London during the Olympics, I will not hesitate in recommending they come here. As regards to the pub of the year award, I can see exactly why the Harp won. I think there are a very small number of pubs around the country that can better this. But they are very few and far between. Hope they keep up the good work and maintain current standards.
blue_scrumpy - 7 Mar 2012 16:59
You can see why this has won so many awards - it is an absoute institution now with great beer (both quality and range) and a fabulous atmosphere. In the summer you couldn't do better than to sit by the open windows with a pint of Sambrooke's, Harveys or whatever and watching the world go by. In cooler months it is a fabulous retreat from the world outside. Brilliant and always a "must visit" pub.
mcroyal - 4 Mar 2012 10:59
First pint of day on saturday morning,Dark Star Hophead in excellent condition as usual. This is the best time to come here if you want a quiet drink as it soon fills up and stays that way. A perfect start to a days pubbing, the only problem is dragging yourself away.
Picasso09 - 12 Feb 2012 10:34
An incredibly satisfying climax with Laurent and Philippe in the Harp on 30/12/11. We all enjoyed jaw-dropping halves of Sambrookes Junction and Dark Star Hophead. The best pub in Central London, GO THERE!! NOW!!
Newton_Lad - 2 Jan 2012 23:48
Called in last Friday for an all-day session with two friends. Usual warm welcome from Sarah, excellent ales (and sausages!) Will be back very soon.....
grahamb - 7 Dec 2011 15:24
Some comments have been appearing about the size of the pub: they can't do anything about that! Given where they are, they can hardly extend the place. You have to understand sometimes that the consumer isn't king, and that he/she has to accommodate him-/herself to what's available. So, please come to the Harp at a reasonable hour; if you can't, be prepared to drink outside (dress accordingly in the colder months). But at all times be grateful that this place offers such a good service (and that the barmaids are corkers), and save your criticism for the other pubs in the area who don't offer such quality: if they did, the Harp wouldn't be so crowded, after all.
Charno - 4 Dec 2011 17:53
Very busy, but understandably so.
Great range of beers available and very knowledgeable staff on hand to serve what you want, if you get overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of ale on offer.
Tried a number of beers I'd never heard of and all were perfectly kept; my friend had Guinness, and said it was the best he'd had in central London for a long time.
Seeing as this is only a stone's throw away from my office, I'll be back and dragging along anyone who'll let me.

Ollie_cs - 29 Nov 2011 09:27
This might be heresy, but I wasn't that bowled over by The Harp. Clearly to have a pub with a wide range of ale located right in the centre of London is a fantastic thing. It certainly deserves a visit and you could spend all day in here. But it's the pub itself that left me a bit non-plussed. It is very small and now that everybody knows about it, it's completely rammed! But I hope its success continues - to have decent ale available a stone's throw from Trafalgar Square has got to be a good thing. And I must admit that it must be very handy if you come in or leave from Charing Cross.
Goldings - 27 Sep 2011 20:15
Justifiably the 2011 national pub of the year award winner, still serving a splendid range and quality of ale, proudly. No other reason to re-review, other than to raise the score to 9 from 8, and to give prettiest barmaid of the year award to one of the staff here. The young lady with dark hair, worn up tonight, in jeans and long cardigan. Don't know the name, but she was - is - truly a thing of beauty. It's not just beer that makes pubs!
TWG - 24 Sep 2011 21:18
8 beers available yesterday from a variety of brewers. Good service considering how crowded it was - apart from the glass collector who seemed to just expect everyone to get out of his way as soon as he appeared! Very crowded as always which rather dertracts from the enjoyment of it unless you can secure a quiet corner! Worth visiting but I wouldn't want to spend too long in there.
cheshirecat - 23 Sep 2011 09:35
One of a growing number of heavenly Dark Star stockist pubs that match great beer with a great pub. Always busy, perhaps its only issue as there always seems to be lots of fellow ale lovers here and a few random tourists. Service surprisingly attentive
theposh - 17 Sep 2011 20:42
A pub well worth a visit for the beer. Right mixture of ales with well known standards and 1 or 2 ticker types. Very crowded of an evening and ideal for people who like to drink on the street.
bedfont - 16 Sep 2011 11:27
A welcome retreat from the homogenous offerings of the west end. A legendary landlady who deserves her success. An honest price for an honest pint in a land that seems to have lost its fiscal reality.
huntsbeer - 13 Sep 2011 00:09
Went to The Harp last sunday (24th July). I had two pints of wandle, which were both very good. They have eight hand pumps at the Harp and the staff know what customer service is all about. Highly recommended.
MeTheJudge1 - 31 Jul 2011 17:02
I love this pub and it's excellent Hophead Ale........a blast from the past with it's old school standards and offering, long may it continue !
Redjont - 25 Jul 2011 14:34
Rammed as expected saturday afternoon and as good as ever.Hophead excellent.
Picasso09 - 24 Jul 2011 13:17
Yep! Go there!
Dave_the_Bee - 21 Jul 2011 00:56
Just there last week! Still a great place to try many super ales! Love getting there 11:30ish and grab a chair in front of the open windows and sip our lunch time away!
Thx Harp!

richardo - 20 Jul 2011 20:17
First visit for a while, after an enforced absence. Beer in excellent nick, as always, and Binnie, Sarah and the staff as friendly and efficient as ever.
grahamb - 8 Jul 2011 06:54
Excellent. With a cheeky little sausage machine behind the bar.
thescarymary - 7 Jul 2011 02:29
This is real heaven :-)))))
Brendon - 6 Jul 2011 19:45
Undoubtably a great pub, just mobbed on Saturday afternoon.
Good pint of Summer Solstice.
pwilkins - 4 Jul 2011 12:24
Eight ales on including a mild, a stout and a porter. They also had three Hophead brews and I tried the Hophead Festival which was excellent. A smallish place with a pleasant lady behind the bar. This is one of the very few decent alehouses you will find in Central London.
anonymous - 28 Jun 2011 22:22
Good as ever last Saturday,Hophead on good form as usual.Pub of the year?Pub of the decade in my book.
Picasso09 - 27 Jun 2011 21:06
Popped in for a quick one on a late Saturday afternoon. The rain was just about holding off and so standing outside was okay, thankfully as the pub itself is very narrow so easily crowded.
The beer was very well kept, the barmaids were serving quickly and friendly, a good effort given how very popular the pub is. All in all a very good pub for those who like their real ale.
TGD - 18 Jun 2011 11:36
A couple of excellent pints of Hophead consumed here last week. The sausages were also good.
I still think this is a great pub but CAMRA Pub of the Year? I visit this place often and while any pub that serves Hophead on a regular basis gets a thumbs-up from me I would like to have a bit of choice. They need to be a bit more adventurous with their rotating ales and then maybe they would be more deserving of that award.
holbornboy - 16 Jun 2011 18:51
Great selection of beers and the two I tasted were both in good nick. Visited at 6 pm on a Saturday and it was heaving, but service was quick and friendly. For saying this is very close to Charing Cross, it's in a comparatively quiet area. Well worth a visit!
martyngs - 16 Jun 2011 07:29
Faultless. Excellent beer. Delicious sausages at only 2.50. Complete oasis for miles around.
Wilson_MacDonald - 25 May 2011 21:05
My first visit today. Excellent Pints of Dark Star Hophead and Partridge - I'll be back again. Soon.
AleSipper - 25 May 2011 19:32
Another of my too infrequent lunchtime visits to this little treasure of a pub. The bar was pleasantly full but, as ever, I got served straight away (and with a smile.) Two pints of Dark Star "American" to die for. That award was well deserved. Keep up the good work.
LesP - 20 May 2011 13:49
A traditional styled pub with an abundance of portraits staring down at you. A perfect oasis from the crass lager fountains of the west end...great for a quiet afternoon pint watching the world pass by - esp if windows folded back.

This really works

The_Speckled_Hen - 3 May 2011 13:47
My first visit since the pub gained it's Pub of the Year award.
A fine selection of ales on, I had a great pint of Hophead from Dark Star. A godsend on a hot afternoon! I followed it up with a Junction from Sambrooks resisting the temptation to sample the Harvey's Sussex.
Possbly because it was a public holiday the place was not as busy as on previous visits and I was able to find a seat upstairs.
Still a few characters in attendance though!
The service was a good as ever and the staff were friendly.
The steps to the upper room are a little dicey especially if you're carrying drinks. There's no passing on the stairs as they're too narrow so you have to wait until the way is clear.
The toilets are cramped which is a fault common to many London pubs, especially those in the W.End.
Overall though a great pub for real ale!

outtamehead - 3 May 2011 09:18
I read good things about this pub.
You know the type of thing...prompt friendly service god choice of interesting well kept ales. So much so it was voted CAMRA's pub of the year 2010/11.

Was it so much hype?

Emphatically NOT!

This is a little essential visit when in London and only a stone's throw from Trafalgar Square.

As Arnie says...I'll be back!!!
drinkingdad - 2 May 2011 17:20
very over rated Pub. Must be writing most of reviews themselves.
If You sit at the bar You will see that PINTS not finished by customers are Kept
for RESALE to the unsuspecting. This is why you can get a bad pint LATE at night.
chester - 30 Apr 2011 14:11
Went in on a Saturday afternoon a couple of weeks ago and the place was packed. However, service was very quick by a team of hardworking bar staff, and the ales were excellent. Tiny narrow pub makes it difficult to get to the back of the bar but as other posters have said, it is well worth at least a quick visit, but don't expect to be able to sit down.
Lord_Jeffers - 28 Apr 2011 08:27
Have visited twice now and, on both occasions, the service, beer range and beer quality were all excellent. Good to see them advertising the Thanet CAMRA Easter Beer Festival.
skatalite - 29 Mar 2011 09:57
Came here to see what the fuss was about - the beer range was around 7 ales and all interesting. I tried the 1648 Ruby Mild and the Admiral's Porter - all were in good nick. I expected a busy pub & so it was at 4pm on Friday but service was quick. Eventually found a seat upstairs after standing up for half an hour or so. Difficult to appreciate the pub with all people in the way but easily worth a half day of anybody's time.
Booze_Allen - 26 Mar 2011 21:10
A small pub where the clientele spills out onto the pavement outside when busy, there is also an upstairs and an alleyway out the back so a bit more space than at first it seems. Quick friendly service from the staff in a crowded bar area, the real ale was in good form with a great selection. It's CAMRA's national pub of the year, not 100% convinced about that but a very good pub none-the-less.
Abteilung - 26 Mar 2011 12:06
I feel Delirious Nomad may spend a long time searching for their ultimate pint if the cannot find it here. My first visit and I was not disappointed. Small and justifiably crowded, but I found sanctuary in a leather armchair upstairs. Beers from Atomic, Dark Star, Harveys, Red Squirrel and Sambrooks Breweries. All of them enjoyable. Not cheap to drink here but much as I had anticipated paying for the location. I can see why CAMRA have rated this as their Pub of the Year and will no doubt visit again shortly.
foamy - 25 Mar 2011 11:47
Popped in yesterday evening, having been away for 5 days. Both the Sussex Best and the Junction were very good. On balance I do prefer Harvey's, followed by Batemans and Adnams beers. Is there anything other than a coincidence that all three are brewed by (different) coasts? It was busy, though not crowded, with a friendly range of visitors (one from Norway, who seemed to have enjoyed lunch and dinner there over several days, and said he was possibly one of a very few members of CAMRA in Stavanger. He can get 500ml bottles of London Pride there, for the equivalent of about 9 quid sterling!
zorrodp - 23 Mar 2011 00:41
Popped in here for a Saturday pint'n'sausage and wasn't disappointed. Cosy and quaint, there were around seven ales on offer to accompany a choice of four flavours of sausage (in a bap). I tried a couple of the Sambrooks beers, both of which were excellent (and reasonably priced for the city). My lamb sausage was also great - hits the spot if you don't want a huge lunch. Staff were friendly, and there is definitely a buzz in here when it fills up. An interesting selection of portrait paintings adorn the downstairs walls, which combined with everything else make this a characterful and worthwhile place to spend an hour or two. Forget the touristy pub & cafe's of Covent Garden, this is where it's at!
fazerblue - 22 Mar 2011 10:29
Having heard (somewhat to my surprise) that The Harp had won the CAMRA national Pub of the Year award I made a point of popping in to check it out. It's a lovely little old fashioned pub, no tables & chairs just stools & ledges, with another more comfortably furished room upstairs that I didn't really look at properly. Eight real ales were on offer, all from Home Counties breweries: Harvey's Best, three from Dark Star, two from Sambrook's, one each from Rother Valley and Red Squirrel.

I've visited occasionally over a period of several years, and whilst the range of ales has grown in number and become more interesting I have to say I've rarely had an absolutely superb pint. Don't get me wrong, they're not "off" or anything and I'm happy to keep going back, but all too often they're a bit under ripe or occasionally a bit flat. Yesterday was typical; Red Squirrel London Porter was flat, while Sambrook's Junction was slightly hazy and will doubtless be better by today. Both great beers, and both pleasant enough to drink here, but I've had better pints of each elsewhere. Maybe I'm just unlucky with the timing of my visits, but we are talking about supposedly the best real ale pub in the entire country and I've yet to see any evidence to justify such an exclusive accolade. Still worth a high mark though, and I'll be back again in search of that elusive perfect pint.
Delirious_Nomad - 21 Mar 2011 12:33
I arranged to meet the other 'arf in here on a Friday night. I arrived at 6, and although it was already full, I managed to find a an empty stool and got served a decent pint easily enough. But by the time Milady arived at 7 (not her fault) it seemed that every drinker from miles around had crammed into the rather small bar and we just had to go find somewhere else (The Coal Hole, since you ask)

I'm sure it's a lovely pub with great beer, but when you can barely breathe, let alone raise a glass, it's hard to appeciate it. I'll do the decent thing and delay rating it until I've had a chance to see it at a quieter time. If there is one
Royed - 20 Mar 2011 15:58
More-or-less perfect. Excellent, well-kept and reasonably priced(for the area)beer from local breweries and further afield served by friendly staff in a lovely little pub. Great stained-glass windows. Only downside is, due to it's popularity and small size, it can be heaving in the evening.One of the best pubs in London and highly recommended . 10/10
baxterfish - 19 Mar 2011 11:32
Maltings tells us there are many pubs more deserving of the pub of the year award, if this is true they must be bloody good pubs. Maybe he/she will enligten us soon,as so far the Harp is the only pub Maltings has deemed worthy of comment on bite. All I know is that the Harp ticks every box and is well worthy.

Picasso09 - 15 Mar 2011 21:28
This is a nice pub with quaint decor,some good ales and good service. However, it does not do nearly enough to be made Pub of the Year. There are many better more deserving pubs around the country, can only think it was London's turn
maltings - 15 Mar 2011 19:54
I quite like this place, but I must confess, I found the National Pub of the Year award to be a very strange decision.

Been here three times now. On each occasion, the clientele hasn't really been a great mix. Moreover, the interior is fine, but nothing to go wild about. I should think the quality of its beer has got this place the award. I've never had a bad pint and the range is always good, but on our last visit a mate of mine got a glass of vinegar, so it wouldn't appear to be immune from criticism there either.

There are other pubs shortlisted for the award which I thought would have been better bets, not least the runner-up in Lytham St. Annes, but hey ho, this isn't a bad pub at all.
Northern_Ale_Monkey - 2 Mar 2011 17:43
CAMRA pub of the year.

Well done and well deserved.

Just goes to show those CAMRA types know what they are talking about
EdBeery - 24 Feb 2011 10:56
Visited Monday afternoon, lovely old basic beer house with 8 ever changing ales on tap, and amazing survivor from a different age, very friendly service and plenty of regulars too. A must visit if in the area, a couple of minutes walk from Charing cross station.
Hodge1 - 23 Feb 2011 04:39
Made it here a couple of weeks ago for the first time. Packed. Quick service, no nonsense, great beer.
1morefortheroad - 20 Feb 2011 21:11
it really is a fantastic pub! The Harp sells beer and sells it very very well. In all the years of going there it has only got better. Not a better pint in London!
little_alec - 18 Feb 2011 23:34
What a surprise, a troll masquerading as a chav! Go and work on your vocabulary mate, you might be funny one day.
davvac - 17 Feb 2011 20:28
Well done from me too, Binnie and staff: yours is a wonderful pub, and the honour is well deserved. Keep 'em coming for your ever-grateful punters.
Charno - 17 Feb 2011 16:22
Well-deserved accolade ! Have always had decent beer in here, will visit next time I'm in the area, keep up the good work !
Reverend - 16 Feb 2011 20:28
And other people have visited the Harp to vouch for themselves - and, oh look - it's won CAMRA National Pub Of The Year. Many congratulations - a huge achievement!
Dartitis - 16 Feb 2011 13:13
Congratulations! Well deserved winner of CAMRA national pub of the year.
TonyAle - 16 Feb 2011 13:01
Congratulations to Binnie and her staff for a well deserved CAMRA pub of the year award for 2011. I am not surprised at all as thi is the best pub in London which impecably stored beers.

Well done again, and I shall be heading over there in three minutes to have a beer and a sausages!
DavyBoy - 16 Feb 2011 12:13
You won't find many pubs with better service than the Harp. And the beer range is better than ever! A worthy winner - congrats to Binnie and her wonderful staff.
ed.spbw - 16 Feb 2011 11:58
not bad rub a dub, food is kosher,
whats there to complain about
my brother in law rubin, always raving.
always with the raving
ay vay
daniel_levy - 16 Feb 2011 11:23
CAMRA Pub of the Year 2011.

Well done Binnie and the team!
grovetown - 16 Feb 2011 08:53
Quality Pub. Went there for a few ales on Firday and thoroughly enjoyed myself. Let's get a few things straight, I have not got a red face or a beard but yes I do like real ale. However, I also drink lager and I do not look down on somebody just because lager is their drink of choice.

I sampled the 3 different dark star brews on offer and they even did Staropramen which went down well with the Mrs.

Will definitley go back when I am next in the West End
BeerGutt - 14 Feb 2011 14:22
Davacc - what kind of name is that anyway? The toilets won't kill you but you get a bug or disease. Did you go for a wee or a poo poo? The toilet paper is one ply and sand papers your hole.
Chav__man - 12 Feb 2011 11:21
On Chav Man's recommendation, I did go to see this pub for my self.

I know of it's reputation and how highly it is regarded by CAMRA. Neither of these things are important really when it comes to these BITE reviews.

All I can say is, if you like traditional pubs with good beer, good staff and good atmosphere, then look no further that The Harp. It has all these things in spades and, AND... It's in the heart of tourist/theatre land.

For every CAMRA beardy, there are 10 who just want good beer in a good pub. For gods sake there are even women drinking beer in this pub it's so good.

Comments about toilets on BITE are quite frankly an irrelevance. You need a jimmy, you go, it takes 30 seconds and then you get back to the beer. I'm sick of all this "the lavvies are too small, there was a little bit of piss on the floor and the Pope hadn't blessed the bog roll" bollocks.

Go to The Harp, enjoy the best beer and pub staff in this part of London and revel in the fact that the bogs ain't gonna kill ya!
davvac - 28 Jan 2011 21:29
Somehow one often feels let down by a pub,but not in this case.The Harp to me, seems to be an oasis in what has become a barren land of mediocrity.All credit to Binny and the staff,they have created something unique,unfortunatly that would seem to be a mayworm to jealous folk who
do not only fail to grasp the true experience of the pub but also let themselves down by not understanding why they are in it in the first place.
Sometimes being different can make all the difference.We all have history,this pub has bags of it,treasure it !
theskull - 24 Jan 2011 23:24
Not sure why the nerd brigade are attacking my views. Just go to the pub like I did and you can vouch for my comments. Trust me instead of the anorak brigade or digital camras or what ever else they call themselves.
Chav__man - 20 Jan 2011 10:29
Yet another warm welcome and great service in the Harp. All the best of luck for the National Pub of The Year award - down to final four from around the UK, which surely ridicules Chav_man's pointless and malicious posting even further.
Dartitis - 18 Jan 2011 14:28
Chav man , These pubs you review have mirrors , that is yourself you are looking at egit. if you are going to muck around on here atleast have some humour you dullard. There are people you can talk to if you were bullied at school and can't get over it.As for your comments on woman I feel you would lose your virginity alot easier if you treated the fairer sex with more respect, loving is better than tugging chav.
UnionJak1 - 17 Jan 2011 19:20
I don't know where Chav__man was, but he wasn't in the Harp. Then again, considering his comment on the Old Mitre, I think perhaps he's just trying to be provoking. Grow up, man.
Charno - 16 Jan 2011 11:53
Well avoid at all costs. Weirdos and homeless people love this run down joint. I am sure the barman was sleeping on the street. Not sure what the fuss is all about.
Chav__man - 14 Jan 2011 11:50
Lovely pub with eight real ales on including a few from Dark Star brewery, very busy but highly efficient and pleasant bar staff means you never wait to get served.

From the outside it can look like a fake Oirish pub, thankfully it is not.
beershot - 10 Jan 2011 16:10
We visited on Saturday, and found the Harp even better than we remembered, with a great selection of beers and ciders, and exceptionally friendly and efficient service. We sat in the upstairs room, which is wonderfully comfortable and has a lovely view.
Lizzie13 - 10 Jan 2011 08:54
Fantastic boozer with a stunning selection of beers. Opted for the Dark Star range...yum!
Visit enhanced by chatting with a lovely couple who travel down from North London especially. If you read this....thanks for your company.
LickeyEndBooze - 3 Jan 2011 13:50
I'm finding these days that the Harp is getting better and better. There are few if any better pubs in central London. On our Tuesday evening visit, they had Darkstar Imperial Stout, Hophead & Porter, Sambrooks Wandle, Skinners Betty Stoggs and Hardy & Hansons Rocking Rudolph. There were many different ciders and perries in the fridges. Amongst these were Ross-on-Wye Farmhouse, Millwhites Rum Cask, Apples & Pears and Mixed Scrumpy, Cobbledicks and Gwynt y Ddraig Two Trees Perry. Since my last review, I have found the condition of the ciders to have improved greatly. The ground floor is always crowded and has artwork on the walls. Upstairs offers more seats but less atmosphere. I always love climbing the winding stairs to the toilets. Although after a few pints the return journey can be a bit frightening. Upgarding my score from 7/10 to 9/10.
blue_scrumpy - 30 Dec 2010 20:29
Its great to find a pub in the middle of London that still wants, and is determined, to be a bloody good boozer of the old school.

Fantastic selection of beer and as a lover of all Dark Star ales there is usually a fine choice. One comment I would make is that they don't always let you know the full extent of the ciders they have on, which are generally in minipins in the fridges behind the bar.

No wonder this pub is so high on Camra's radar.
Max1905 - 24 Dec 2010 10:42
Excellent and ever changing selection of quality ale always in fin condition.

Friendly, well-trained, and remarkably efficient staff.

Fully realise that this is the 2nd pub I've given rating - in BOTH cases thoroughly deserved, Perhaps I only use the best pubs.
RonS - 23 Dec 2010 21:30
This is one of my fav pubs in London, make sure you go up to the lounge upstairs. sometimes you can have it all too yourself!! and good selection of beer here.
jake1978 - 23 Dec 2010 18:53
Very impressed, pub was packed out but got served more or less immediately. Ale was spot on and the staff very friendly...even found a copy of the Mersey Ale guide on display which is good to see!
Scousefire - 13 Dec 2010 22:16
Fast becoming my favourite pub in London. The cellar is immaculate I've sampled many different beers, often never heard of, and only ever had one slightly iffy pint. It was changed with no fuss by the charming barstaff. A1.
rattymcfadden - 13 Dec 2010 18:00
Visited recently on Sunday afternoon,enjoyed so mucha return was made later in the day after checking out christmas festivities in covent garden.very friendly barman who offered to make me a glass of Rose with a drop of blackcurrant juice in white wine (in jest obviously !) My husband found the beer selection excellent.we have visited this pub several times in the past & it never fails to please & long may it continue !
pollytyke - 9 Dec 2010 13:25
Great selection of well kept beer
Full of charm and character

One of Londons best
EdBeery - 8 Dec 2010 12:42
Always visit here if I'm in cider mode as it's the best central London venue for such. Perry usually available as well.
TiaMariaJim - 7 Dec 2010 11:41
Visited the Harp for the first time yesterday. It was spectacularly ordinary ~ meant as a compliment. There was nothing quirky or distinctive. But shining through was excellent beer (and cider), friendly staff and a very warm feeling about the place.
What is so complex about what this pub does that other pubs cannot comprehend? Its beauty is its simplicity. I fully understand why it is the CamRA POTY in London. I'll definitely be going back ~ its a corker!
bighands - 23 Nov 2010 11:47
Good boozer. My comments should be tempered by the fact that I was already very well refreshed when I reached this place, but from what I can remember - the range of ales was very impressive and well kept.

It was pretty heaving, and not the sexiest environment I've known - but the barstaff were knowledgable, friendly and very efficient.

I'll definitely be going back for a proper look!
Hotfoot - 21 Nov 2010 17:43
My favourite Central London pub. As others have said, it can be a squash, but you always get served quickly when you get to the bar. Great range of beers. Interesting range of pictures. A barmaid who usually displays a lot of very attractive cleavage. What more can you want?
paul154 - 10 Nov 2010 16:46
Real ale always good. Very friendly pub. Certainly in the top 5 five pubs in London.
bigbeermonkey - 7 Nov 2010 19:44
First visit here for a good while last week. Last couple of times I've rolled in the evening it was absolutely jammed so didn't other. This though is the only issue I would have with this excellent establishment.

The Harp is a small pub with the walls covered in various portraits - some of whom I recognise and a larger number that I feel I ought to know but can't quite name.

As usual the ale offering on my visit was excellent - Harveys Best, Wandle, Dark Star Original, Dark Star American Pale Ale, Moles Landlord's Choice, Black Country Pig on the Wall and Milestones Dark Mild. A mild of course being quite unusual for London. I had the American Pale Ale which was excellent.

There are many tributes to this pub on this site and I'm not sure how much I can add other than to say that the Harp is well worth a visit and hopefully it won't be quite as long before I drop in again.
murgatroyd - 3 Nov 2010 08:37
TWOJACKRUSSELLS - 3 Nov 2010 03:43
Best pub in Covent Garden area - by some considerable margin.
Bluenosemally - 2 Nov 2010 20:27
Cracking pub, great selection of ales, friendly staff. I'll be back for sure.
mrmoon12 - 31 Oct 2010 14:27
Good as ever Saturday, Dark star best and hophead and crouch vale brewers gold all in excellent condition, great pub.
Picasso09 - 25 Oct 2010 20:03
Excellent old fashioned boozer.What more can one add.
covman45 - 25 Oct 2010 17:29
Forget beer heaven, this is cider heaven. Always a good half-dozen ciders available in an unconventional way - poured from 4 pint plastic containers, just like you get when visiting a retail cider farm/outlet. I love it!

Sadly it is completely mobbed most of the time. The bar staff are brilliant at getting you served asap, but it is a scrum.
mark555 - 24 Oct 2010 22:22
One of those beer heaven pubs. Centrally located, superb choice of ales and unspoilt. This small west end pub is the perfect place for a quality pint in an area much taken over by tourists, chains and gastros. A proper boozer and well worth top marks
twineyboy - 24 Oct 2010 21:50
Worth taking a pair of boxing gloves to fight your way to the bar when it's busy ! However when you get there, don't despair, as you won't wait long for a well kept beer due to the excellent staff. This pub has gone from strength to strength and deserves it's popularity - always a pleasure to return...
chippysupper - 9 Oct 2010 00:53
KIcked off a mini crawl here the other day.
What a place to start.
A cosy old pub with a great selection of ales and flagons of proper cider in the chillers with the bottles.
The pub itself is rather narrow and the area in front of the bar can get a little cramped but is worth it for the beer and the convival atmosphere.

A welcome change from the sea of faceless chain pubs/bars which seem to dominate the area.

DoctorFunk - 4 Oct 2010 12:47
There is a God! A centrally located pub that hasn't obviously sold out to corporate interests. Wish I could visit the Harp more often. However, when I do, there is invariably a good range of well-kept beers and, however busy the Harp is (and it's usually pretty full) the friendly and efficient staff serve you with hardly a wait. Hope to see you again very soon.
LesP - 3 Oct 2010 14:24
Called ln twice yesterday either side of a visit to The beer festival at the bricllayers arms. Unsurprisingly perhaps the beer here was was better than any I tried in putney. Busy late afternoon but no trouble getting served the staff being as efficient as ever. Remains the best pub in London as recent awards testify.
Picasso09 - 25 Sep 2010 09:05
They have several flagons of cider and perry behind the bar, which the friendly staff were more than happy to give tasters of.

Not many pubs have proper cider, so this is good to see.

Unsurprisingly was very busy on a Saturday night.
xeremy - 14 Sep 2010 14:35
This is a super pub. Lovely upstairs room, well kept beer which turns over quickly - good place.
alexdeane - 14 Sep 2010 12:25
The place has grown on me over the years, the beer is a good as anywhere in London and the staff are tremendous. It can be a victim of its size and success but is a joy to visit off-peak.
BlindTiger - 3 Sep 2010 14:50
More ciders than any sane man could drink in one go.
Picasso09 - 2 Sep 2010 20:26
Not much range of ciders? Whatever's happened here?
TiaMariaJim - 1 Sep 2010 02:59
Good place with character but really not much range of lagers and ciders- very much a professional real ale drinkers' place. Upstairs bit is interesting and often not even occupied as the aforementioned gather at the bar. Can be a bit cramped. Also not cheap but then this is Covent Garden after all.
followedthrough - 29 Aug 2010 15:11
Always very crowded after work, but well worth venturing inside to get a first-class pint from their much improved choice from eight handpumps of regular ales from the Dark Star and Sambrooks breweries and interesting guest beers. The bar itself is pretty compact, but the barstaff are very efficient so once you make it to the counter you get served quickly. However, there is also an upstairs room with more seating which is usually much calmer (and also a back door to a rather dingy alleyway if all else fails). Justifiably voted CAMRA Greater London Pub of the Year 2010 last month, but probably best to go at a quieter time of day if you can.
rpadam - 21 Aug 2010 11:36
I have to agree with Henners about the Wandle but you can never have too much Dark Star. Top pub.
Picasso09 - 20 Aug 2010 23:01
Good condition Hophead on saturday, I think four Dark Star beers was a bit ott though as they also had two of the crap Wandle beers on. Still a fantastic pub.
Henners - 18 Aug 2010 19:10
Perfectly kept Hophead and American pale Ale this saturday, I can honestly say i've not tasted better anywhere. Best pub in London by far.
Picasso09 - 15 Aug 2010 08:28

Congratulations to the HARP in Covent Garden which has been voted the winner of the prestigious CAMRA Greater London Pub of the Year for 2010.
This popular Free House is at 47 Chandos Place, WC2N 4HS, directly opposite Charing Cross Police Station.
For the second year in succession the winning pubs licensee is a woman, in this case, for 2010, the landlady is Bridget Binnie Walsh.

mim - 7 Aug 2010 15:52
Blimey !
Calm down Foghorn Calm down !
Theinvestigator and I were having a perfectly reasonable exchange of views there and you seem to have lost the plot.
Sounds like you need a pint ?
Ruxton - 4 Aug 2010 20:56
Sorry to interrupt this e-pub fight (God I hope none of you are in The Harp at the same time!), but I'd just like to say that this is a wonderful little pub, one of the very best in Central London. It's a tight fit and the place is liable to sudden surges of people flooding in, but it has real atmosphere and one of the best selections of beers around. As well as a few rotating ones, there's nearly always a Sambrooks or two and several Dark Stars on. And you don't have to walk far to the bar when time is of the essence!
daveid - 4 Aug 2010 13:43
Dear theinvestigator

Standard deviation is designed to eliminate error or distortion which to use an analogy is like an year end audit which is designed to pick up errors or material mis staments but not fraud.
If there is a deliberate attempt at fraud by giving simply lower than average marks e.g 3's and 4's under multiple pseudonyms then yes it won't eliminate them.
Similarly an audit is not designed to detect fraud because it assumes the information provided is not fraudulent.
So if there is someone trying to downgrade a pub then other measures are surely necessary similar to The Jockey Club who investigate suspicious patterns of betting or more rigorous checks on the ID of the reviewers.

Ruxton - 2 Aug 2010 21:05
Apologies to Foghorn for trying to enlighten you - perhaps you should have paid more attention to your maths teacher !
Picasso09 has touched upon in a much more lucid and admittedly less nerdy way what I was trying to but failing to expound.
Ruxton - 30 Jul 2010 20:33
Supurb Hophead lunchtime and equally good American Pale Ale upon my return. What a pub, never have to wait to be be served , excellent beer and friendly staff, what more do you want.
Picasso09 - 28 Jul 2010 23:03
Regarding the ratings of the Harp,Ye Old Mitre and The Royal Oak and their subsequent chart positions as opposed to that of the Jolly Sailor in West Looe, as recently mentioned by Pat Bateman.Yes the three London pubs by nature of their location will have plenty of drinkers through their doors. 444 ,420 and 399 ratings respectivly many of these will not be from locals but people who travel miles to visit these excellent pubs , myself included particularly where the Harp is concerned. I'm sure there has been a few saddos down marking these pubs too but the sheer amount of positiveratings means this has little or no effect. The Jolly Sailor on the other hand achieved it's number 1status from only 35 ratings so when a couple of idiots downmark without leaving a review, indicating they've probably never been there, the slip from the charts is inevitable. It is however just as easy for a pub on so few ratings to rise up the table. This is not an attack on the Jolly Sailor i havent been there so cant comment, the point being the Harp,Mitre and Royal Oak are where they are on merit. p.s I hope this has'nt bored mr Foghorn to much.
Picasso09 - 25 Jul 2010 07:28
Pat-in which case BITE should apply standard deviation theory to the sample population of those voting and exclude votes outside the normal expected distribution or bell curve.
For example if the 95% of votes are between 4 and 8 but 2.5% are 3 or less and 2.5% are 9 or more than you exclude the top and bottom 2.5% to stop errors or distortions in the sample population.

Ruxton - 23 Jul 2010 19:22
Ruxton, The quality of the pubs/beer and the location etc don't really matter in this particular scenario.

My point is that as soon as a pub challenges for the top spot, (I've seen it now on several occasions) a group on BITE posters all vote said pub as zero, to push it back down the charts.

To do that without ever having entered the chart topping pub defeats the entire purpose of this website.
Pat_Bateman - 23 Jul 2010 15:01
Re the previous reviewers gripe about the same pubs being top ranked all the time,well I think it has more to do with context and democracy than conspiracy.
Both the Harp and Royal Oak would be great pubs wherever they were situated in the country but the fact that they are in central London makes them exceptional considering their location.
If you compare them to the many poor pubs in central London it makes them stand out against their competitors.
If you transported them and sited them next to The Jolly Sailor in West Looe in Cornwall I agree they would not seem so exceptional !
Furthermore because they are sited in central London they will have more footfall than The Jolly Sailor in West Looe and more people posting positive reviews and hence they are always at the top of the rankings which is how democracy works.
Ruxton - 23 Jul 2010 14:13
You make a valid point Pat Bateman, this bias towards pubs down south is quite unacceptable at times. Sadly though this is rather indicative of British society as a whole i'm afraid. The rest of the country will always fare poorly whilst their is an emphasis on things London and its environs!
nokegthanks - 23 Jul 2010 14:03
Since becoming free of tie this fantastic little pub has just got better and better. From the constantly changing range of local-ishly brewed real ales, always in peak condition, the range of real ciders and perries that would put many a small CAMRA beer festival to shame, to the excellently priced good quality sausages in a bun. What could make my new regular even better? Simples- the staff! It's a tiny pub with a phenomenal customer throughput, how 3 or 4 people work so closely, often serving two or more linters at a time is nothing short of an education and is certainly entertaining at times, not only does everyone get what they want quickly, efficiently and with a smile. They also know the stock, so if you're undecided you will be guided and offered a small taster.
The only thing that should put you off visiting is if you are claustrophobic, it gets very busy and rightly so, the alleyway to the rear and pavement out front make generous overflow space when needed especially in good weather anytime of year.
No I don't work for Binny, the landlady, but I think it's certainly up there and deserving of CAMRAs National Pub Of The Year!
Cheers all staff and customers
Wassail to the ciderheads
ssteven1 - 17 Jul 2010 15:04
Started our day here and also ended it here on a very hot saturday. Unfortunately the 7or 8 pubs we visited inbetween came nowhere close to being half as good as the Harp. The beer is always in the best condition possible,in this case hophead. The service behind the bar is top notch.why cant other pubs be this good? By far the best pub in london.
Picasso09 - 12 Jul 2010 00:00
Still brillaint. But I did notice (a) the evil GK and (b) GK but under a different name. No point in debating as there will be another five postive recommendations in a few micro seconds. Only other question is why not a higher score?
baggydave - 4 Jul 2010 22:26
I note from The Harp's Web site that it is West London CAMRA Pub of the Year 2010.

But no mention on the West London's own Web site, nor seemingly anywhere else for that matter.

is this a hangover from the 'CASK Wars' of 2009 and 2010 I wonder?
grovetown - 24 Jun 2010 12:59
Been going here for a few years now and still love the place. Football free zone last night, which was the incentive, not that I need one, to down a few. The glorious Crouch Vale's Brewers Gold was on, alongside some Dark Star beers.

Staff, as always, helpful and knowledgable, really is the best pub in Central London. The beer is well kept as well and the ever changing rota of beers ensures that I keep returning.
Fulhampete - 13 Jun 2010 10:29
Being an old git this was the WELSH HARP when I first visited way back. I guess Binney had it renamed, not being Welsh. It does get rather full but where else in Central London can you get the range of ciders and perries lurking at the back?

TiaMariaJim - 7 Jun 2010 20:26
Good proper pub in the heart of London that gets very busy because it's so good. Always a good range of well kept ales on. Well worth a try.
charlescask - 7 Jun 2010 20:01
scorching day went in last fri/sat/sun, got seats each time 8 of us great selection of ales and ciders this place is one not to miss if you are in London
lilscse - 28 May 2010 20:35
Visited again Sunday, a gloriously cool retreat from a very hot afternoon.
Again a superb selection of ales on: Bateman's Old Salem Porter and Dark Star Old Chestnut were tried and were in great condition.
flashharry1965 - 24 May 2010 11:42
LOVE IT, really cute bar.
claphammom - 13 May 2010 15:41
I ain't quite sold on this.
Iz gut ya... but...
Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner.
foghorn - 10 May 2010 23:02
As others have said - walked past here many many times..........after reading good reviews here decided to try it - lovely atmosphere - I liked all the old paintings covering the walls, staff were friendly - sure its a tight squeeze - and dont be fooled by going out the back door to find the toilet! I couldnt get back in and had to walk round and back in the front haha! (Toilet is up the stairs just so you know!). Very nice - will be back.
adamwalsh - 4 May 2010 07:53
Nice pub, but a tight squeeze. My tip is to ask about the regional scrumpy in the flagons out of sight behind the bar. The bar staff are always happy to recommend.
darrenwool - 27 Apr 2010 10:49
Yet another very enjoyable visit to the Harp - Binnie and her staff continue to provide a marvellous pub experience. The Mighty Oak Oscar Wilde mild was in superb condition, as was the Dark Star India Pale Ale (despite an ABV of 6.2% it wasn't too sweet and cloying as many beers of that strength tend to be).

With regards to previous comments about the place being packed - quite appreciate this, though one could argue it's a relection of the Harp's popularity, and sometimes it is all in the timing - nearby theatre show times probably have an effect.
Dartitis - 19 Apr 2010 17:38
Slid in here for a quick pint on Saturday sfternoon during the public services rally in Trafalgar Square. I had been past the Harp hundreds of times in the past without calling in but after reading the various revews here I decided that I had better give it a go- and I'm glad I did.
With the front widow removed it was a lovely cool and shady oasis from the unseasonably warm sunshine and luckily the pub was not too busy as it is pretty narrow and I'd imagine that it easily gets rammed.
Eight real ales were on and there were some interesting looking jugs of cider and perry in the fridge. I tried a pint of Spectrum Black Buffy which was absolutely gorgeous: I was sorely tempted to have another but an old bloke sat next to at the bar and his smell drove me back to rally pretty fast (not the pub's fault mind)!
This is a really good pub in an area that has some awful rip off dumps and it's only a stumble from Charing Cross station.
flashharry1965 - 12 Apr 2010 13:16
Nice pub, good choice of real ale on offer, friendly staff and very popular. It was very busy on Friday evening , people drinking outside in the sunshine!
Roberttherailway - 10 Apr 2010 11:26
One of the best pubs in London. A short walk from Charing Cross so handy for a last drink before the last train home.
totpotter1 - 8 Apr 2010 17:56
Can't fault the beer (sorry 'ale'). But there is so much more involved in a good night out and this place is just way too small and way, way, too packed to be even vaguely enjoyable.

on_the_brightside - 5 Apr 2010 20:23
Another enjoyable session at The Harp last week. The only beers I recall were three from Dark Star - Hophead, Sussex Stout and Festival. My pints of Hophead and Sussex Stout were excellent. We got in the pub around 5.30 and it was fairly busy but within half an hour it was absolutely heaving.
One of the best pubs in London.
holbornboy - 31 Mar 2010 23:48
With out a doubt the best pub in london. Never fails to please. Two visits yesterday as ever fantastic beer (choice of 8), fantastic (but dangerous if not treated with care) cider and perry. And always good service from people who know their beer no matter how busy it gets. The only pub i rate 10/10. Dont miss out pay a visit.
Picasso09 - 28 Mar 2010 09:49
I am greatly amused that my posts on this pub are being removed.

I write a post which praised the pub and stating it will be deserved winner of CAMRA west London pub of the year and twice it is removed, and yet other people are allowed to write on the HARP page, stating lies about me and my pub and also offer Anti gay/women/black comments on other pages and nothing happens....

What has happened with this site.... People are telling lies about me, making accusations that i have attacked other pubs, all 100% untrue and i cannot defend myself....

The HARP is a great pub and i wish it well and i hope they realise i have never attacked the pub or the lady who runs it.
Martin_at_CASK - 26 Mar 2010 14:11
Gem of a pub. Interesting collection of pictures around the walls. Real ales served in excellent condition by genuinely friendly staff. Great atmosphere. Popularity reflected by the fact that despite being slightly off the main drag of Charing Cross Rd it was packed at 4pm on a Tuesday. Everything a real pub should be.
edchambers - 24 Mar 2010 22:23
Sometimes you walk into a pub and despite having been there before it just doesnt feel right. Maybe the beers good but something about the whole ambience feels off kilter.
Sometimes you walk into a pub and it just kinda wraps its arms round you and gives you a big welcoming hug!
The Harp is one of the latter. I can never remember a time when I have been here when I havent been made to feel welcome, drunk two or three pints of the excellantly well kept beers, watched the bar ladies wreathed in smiles and passing witty banter back and forth across the bar with foaming pints, quite patently enjoying themselves as much as the punters. This is the British pub at its best. I love it.
You deserve to win West London Pub of the Year.....and considering I'm one of the other five know I mean it. Good luck!
Quincy2 - 24 Mar 2010 20:31
ram packed on a saturday afternoon, but managed to get a seat up in the granny's boudior upstairs. Very funny! Good atmosphere up there though.

Despite the bar being busy we got served quickly and in a cheery way, we had 2 decent pints of hophead in here on our flying visit.

All round, worth a visit.

angelina57 - 24 Mar 2010 17:58
An excellent small, busy pub with the best changing selection of real cider and perry I've found in London. They do great sausages too, can't ask for more! And they have invented a time machine, whose operation is achieved by mounting the stairs!
Lozzachops - 24 Mar 2010 17:14
An excellent small, busy pub with the best changing selection of real cider and perry I've found in London. They do great sausages too, can't ask for more! And they have invented a time machine, whose operation is achieved by mounting the stairs!
Lozzachops - 24 Mar 2010 17:14
Much improved since becoming a free house. Excellent choice of 8 real ales from the likes of Sambrooks and Dark Star and a great atmosphere.Reasonably priced (3.00 - 3.10) for the area. I saw the comedian Mike McShane in here and he was half the size he used to be on 'Whose Line is it Anyway'
baxterfish - 22 Mar 2010 22:10
wow....BITE has gone crazy, written diarrahoea everywhere...

The Harp is a super super pub, former heavery weight champion and still to this day a contender, great service and great beer and with out competition anywhere nearby for the quality and range of its beer.

So much has been written on this site lately comparing it to other pubs, why bother, its a supreme champion, its weathered the years and been getting better. In my opinion it is streets ahead of the Old Mite, the Wenlock, the Old Fountain but not the CASK. I think the newcomer is its equal, its ealy days and would never presume to say its better, but when it comes to the choice of beer and quality i prefer the CASK, i think the range is more adventurous and they more often have beers on that i havent tried before...its ticker heaven some days.

But the Harp is still the Champion and it is up to the CASK to show over time it can continue in its current form and warrent a place in the pantheon next to the Harp.

The Harp is for me a 9.5/10
bongobob - 21 Mar 2010 10:45
Only been here a couple of times.... Love it though! Lovely friendly staff, nice beer, can't really ask for more!
Marquis_of_Lansbury - 20 Mar 2010 10:45
Nominated CAMRA West London Pub of the Year 2010.
Surely Binnie and her girls have got to win this; particularly after being abused on BITE by the Top 40, self promoting Cask & Kitchen management.
No contest; the Crooked Cask & Kitchen, against the honest, hardworking Harp.

DEPTFORDDUTCH - 20 Mar 2010 01:41
Small pub tucked away from Trafalgar Square and the National Gallery.No longer the secret it used to be and deserves its accolade.

The harp is a gallery itself of showpiece beers. Eclectic band of customers

8 handpumps. Harvey's Sussex best ever-present. 3.10 on my visit.

Large opening concertina window at the front opens it up to the street is a striking feature to be enjoyed(for myself with the Telegraph crossword)

Friendly bar staff.

This is a destination pub, worthy of a detour.


Polypinmath - 19 Mar 2010 10:51
As a semi-regular of The Harp, I would put my house on Binnie not having the time nor inclination to engage in smearing Cask.

I imagine that - especially now she's a free house - she is entirely preoccupied with running what is a great pub.

I have been to Cask and it's fine. I'm not sure it warrants some of the adulation it receives here; and I admittedly prefer The Harp. As they are both - happily - geographically quite discrete, I'm not forced to make a choice between either and will use both when in their respective areas.

But the suggestion that Binnie is somehow orchestrating some campaign against Cask is as offensive as it is plain silly.
grovetown - 16 Mar 2010 21:35
Jonaphon and Jilly went up the Pimlico to fetch a pail Of ale
Jonaphon fell down and broke his Wallet
And Jilly's Purse came tumbling after.
Up got Jon , and to the Harp did trot
The Cask not as good as on Paper

Henners - 15 Mar 2010 09:43
Went in to meet a friend on last tuesday. I had two excellent pints, one Sambrooks Wandle and one Skinners Betty Hogs Best Bitter.

Pub was full, thanks to the great service I got the chance to try samples before ordering the proper pints.

Everything about the nice interior is said in pervious posts.
Pidley2547 - 10 Mar 2010 08:26
Been to this pub a couple of times and was very impressed on both occasions, the Harveys is excellent its a bit snug but that's party of its charm, i wish there was a pub like this in Brum
Ispy - 28 Feb 2010 12:10
an amazing pub allways has something good . but they should replace the 2 sam brooks because they rnt that good.instead having 2 more guests .
i had the dark star 6 hops and over the moon and both were stunning beers.with super friendly staff this pub is one of londons my oppinion.

1.cask pub and kitchen (pimlico)

2.the harp. (covent garden)

3.the old fountain. (old street)

4.the bree louise. (euston)

5.wenlock arms (old street).

6.the castle. (holborn)

7.the trafalgar (south wimbledon)

8.the white horse (parsons green)

9.the bricklayers arms .(putney) porter. (london bridge)
1honeydew - 28 Feb 2010 12:03
Busy as ever last Friday night, but as usual you are served very quickly by charming staff and the quality of the beer (especially the Hophead) was simply beyond reproach. Only time for 3 before we left for dinner, I would hapilly have forgone the food and stayed here all night. Without doubt one of the finest real-ale pubs in London
The_Man_From_Soil - 22 Feb 2010 13:39
Nice little pub, good atmosphere, Lovely staff - however the smell of the Sausage that they do is very over power and you end up leaving smelling of grease or cooking fat. - Get rid of that and it will be great boozer, especially with the comfy sofas upstairs.
Eastendyid - 19 Feb 2010 15:21
Really nice pub close to Covent Garden. Normally very busy it has a great selection of beers and they pour a fabulous pint of Guinness.
Lovely atmosphere and good staff.
No music or TVs - heaven!
PatW - 17 Feb 2010 19:32
Have a look around the glorious National Portrait Gallery just off Trafalgar Square and then just a few steps away go into this fabulous old pub. Honestly its wonderful with stained glass windows and the ale. Boy oh boy. A fine selection. Everyone who loves ale go here. Friendly staff as well. Plus the fact it was my birthday and my husband paid for the drink!!! Utopia!!!
ladygooner - 6 Feb 2010 11:38
Definitely one of the better pubs in this area - not sure how it has escaped my notice for so many years. Good selction of beers on including a couple of dark ones - all well kept and some fantastic food smells wafting through the pub made me wish we didn't have alternative eating plans. Really nice little building with pleasant helpful staff - well worth a visit
firsttimewalker - 28 Jan 2010 14:12
I wish I'd found this pub years ago. I always used to go to the Chandos along the road toward Trafalgar Sq.
Along with the Ship & Shovell it's the pub I use before taking the train from Charing X.
The one problem is the Harp is so often busy and being a small pub it's not always easy to get in let alone served!
However the beer is great (Harveys and a couple of others ) and the staff are always friendly. The last time I was served by a girl who used to live in Dover, where I currently live! The atmosphere is lively and cosy.
If there are a few of you and you visit early enough you could try to get a table upstairs. There's more room and it's quieter.
outtamehead - 23 Jan 2010 02:21
Chav_Man (11 Dec Comment) clearely has mental health problems (he seems obsessed by feaces) - check out his previous entries.
ericthered - 19 Jan 2010 15:32
How foretunate for us to find this fine English ale house recommended on this site. And thank you Bridie for the welcome drink.
HarryScarlett - 16 Jan 2010 21:25
How foretunate for us to find this fine English ale house recommended on this site. And thank you Bridie for the welcome drink.
HarryScarlett - 16 Jan 2010 21:25
How foretunate for us to find this fine English ale house recommended on this site. And thank you Bridie for the welcome drink.
HarryScarlett - 16 Jan 2010 21:25
Easily one of the finest pubs in the west end. Eight well kept guest ales on rotation, friendly bar staff & a daily (except fridays) selection of quality sausages in a bun with onions.. what more could you want. Very busy all year round but worth the squeeze!
Dwin - 10 Jan 2010 22:02
After a pleasant pint at Chandos, wandered down a short distance to a pub I had always wanted to visit. Appreciated the knowledgeable and friendly service and help from the staff as the handpumps on tap were foreign to me. Settled on Sambrooks Wandle and Dark Star Hophead and both were great. I could be very happy making this my local.
NM_Ale_Drinker - 9 Jan 2010 17:21
Simply cant fault this pub choice of 8 ales not all run of the mill but all in top condition. This is my usual meeting place for regular london pub walks and quite often end up here as its only a 15 min walk to waterloo station most of all its a real pub well done binnie sarah and all the staff keep up the good work
Picasso09 - 5 Jan 2010 12:12
What a great pub! Recommended by a friend who knew we'd be in the area and we were definitely not disappointed. Even on a Saturday early evening the place has a wonderful vibe to it - lots of good, old-fashioned hubbub and conversation with not an electronic device in sight. Beers in excellent condition, nice array of real cider/perry and great, happy, helpful staff. Will visit again soon.
littledrummerboy - 4 Jan 2010 13:41
Always a pleasure. Where's Hillary? Around Jimmy's?
WinnieSChurchill - 3 Jan 2010 00:43
Full of oldies wearing anoraks, good beer and great location,but i've seen more life in a Wether...... pub
sadies - 1 Jan 2010 16:53
Heaven in a pint class; served by Angels.
BoggieJim - 30 Dec 2009 17:12
Why this obsession with real ale. Surely there are other drinks and other qualities that make a good pub.
Chav__man - 22 Dec 2009 10:04
One of my favorite London pubs. Serves an excellent selection of quality ales and always friendly staff. Not for chavs or Stella drinkers.
adrianvickery - 15 Dec 2009 12:51
Great boozer. Good ale and snacks and a nice air of geniality.
JockStrap - 7 Dec 2009 19:13
Superb little howff ! Warm, friendly atmosphere & splendid range of ales and ciders. Excellent food, charming staff...and even the toilets are top notch.
loftmagus57 - 2 Dec 2009 09:34
Really friendly staff, and a splendid selection of beers. Thoroughly recommended.
Captain_Mainwaring - 30 Nov 2009 20:54
What I don't get is why this pub hasn't got a higher rating than 7.x. It really should have an 8 or 9 as it is by far the most consistent pub in London for good beer (though the Bree Louise comes a very close second).

I go to The Harp maybe once or twice a month and there are so many things I like about it, most of which have been covered in the previous 20 comments. There have been times when the beer hasn't been quite right, especially with the troublesome (over-lively) but superb Hophead. But it's never a problem as the engaging staff just change it regardless without no fuss or any hit of West End attitude.

And they don't rip you off. 3.10 a pint is pretty good for the very centre of town.

FieryJack - 29 Nov 2009 22:47
Real ales always in tip top condition!
Pistol - 14 Nov 2009 19:14
Quite the thought that just a stone's throw from the tenner-a-caricature plastic of Covent Garden is this. Made sure I came here thanks to the earlier great reviews, and I was not disappointed. This place really is only about the beer, and as you'd expect that was absolutely superb, with a selection split between local micros and underrated 'names'. No Fuller's obviousness here...

Deservedly busy on my visit - there are no tables in the conventional sense - so took a seat by the open area by the door. Yes, there wasn't even a pane of glass there.. This pub is truly one out-of-time. Essential
getsit - 3 Nov 2009 22:50
Us two Northerners introduced our Southern friends to this gem last weekend when we met up for a re-union. It was a Sunday evening and comfortably full. We had pints from two local brewers whose name escapes me but settled on the Dark Star Hophead which was magnificent. We loved the place and would recommend it to anyone - friendly staff and "locals". I don't know if they do food - it doesn't matter - this is a place for talking and drinking. Even if you are on your own, you can just absorb other peoples' lives and there are always the pictures to look at. Most intriguing - perhaps someone could do a little leaflet telling folk who they are and the history behind them. Recognised t'northern lad from 'Uddersfield though!!
JBGatelad - 31 Oct 2009 18:13
I was going to post a more detailed review but I'll be lazy and ditto jonnysaint who visited the day after I did and drank the same beer.
rob372 - 23 Oct 2009 15:10
The Harp - for ages I'd walked past only to be put off by it being crammed to the rafters. Not a fault of The Harp - it shows how popular a place it is. I just like to take in a pub sat down with no hassles, noise and all that.
I popped in at midday on Wednesday. Virtually empty. I had an excellent pint of Dark island from the Orkney brewery - there were at least 5 other ales on. All good ones. The venue is long and narrow, untouched by modernisation. By that I mean it hasn't been gutted and turned into something generic.
Service was good. Surprising, however, alot of the pubs in the Beer in the Evening top 40 are London establishments. There are quite a few pubs similar to The Harp (I'm thinking in the New Forest & Isle Of Wight) which is my neck of the woods, that don't get a mention. Just as good. I guess its because of the amount of traffic The Harp and others like it see on a daily basis from locals and tourists alike.
I'm not knocking The Harp - it is a splendid pub and I've given it an 8/10. One of the better places I've visited in London.
Jonnysaint - 23 Oct 2009 11:58
Fantastic range of ales, and I've always been served in a friendly and efficient manner, no matter how busy it is. And as many other reviewers have mentioned, it can get absolutely rammed, especially in the post-work, pre-theatre hours. The little upstairs lounge is nice but almost always occupied (or maybe I'm just unlucky).
dpv - 19 Oct 2009 13:01
Cannot fault this pub. Speedy, friendly service and good range - very busy though so not one for a quiet drink!
meurglys_iv - 19 Oct 2009 08:04
They had a staggering eight ales on last week. I had three during a lovely lunchbreak and each was as wonderfully kept and served as ever. Simply the best pub in the area for beer and one of the greatest pubs in London. The sausages are amazing too, and the bar staff are the little gems in the dazzling crown of excellence that is The Harp. Am I being over-praising? Not in the slightest, words are not enough to express how magnificent this pub is or how good the bar staff are. It does get busy, but then it is because it is so good. What do you expect! 10/10 for Binny and her fellow Harpians.
DavyBoy - 16 Oct 2009 09:19
The stand out pub for quality ale in London. Often has a Mild which as a midlander is great. Always busy with first class staff and with a different beers ever evening you have to return on a daily basis to keep up to speed.
mrbunter - 13 Oct 2009 18:37
Best real ale house anywhere. This is the place Ye Old Mitre would love to be. Everyone who works behind the bar is knowlegable about what they sell and they selll a lot!
camraman123 - 12 Oct 2009 00:35
The best pub in central london, end of.
mike_s - 9 Oct 2009 15:15
A gem - beer as good as it gets.
ericthered - 9 Oct 2009 14:12
Thank god they've kicked Punch out. Definitely a better beer range than before. Wolf, White Horse, RCH, Moorhouse with the usual suspects.
GuideDogSaint - 30 Sep 2009 22:43
Spent a week in London near The Harp. This was my everyday watering hole. Pleasant publicans and the cask ales fresh. Super nice feature is on pretty days the stained glass window fold open and a nice breaze flows through this small cozy pub.
A must visit place if you come to London.
richardo - 30 Sep 2009 15:42
I'm sure this place has had enough glowing reviews in the past, but if you are reading about this pub for the first time I can tell you it is great.
Green_0nions - 22 Sep 2009 13:23
Simply the best in central London.
TALLTORQUIL - 17 Sep 2009 00:12
Nice ales and intimate atmosphere. The sausage baguettes are wonderful if you are feeling a bit peckish!
DarkLordOfBarnet - 16 Sep 2009 23:41
just a perfect London pub ; small range of expertly kept ales, friendly service . Gets a bit packed because there's no real competition anywhere close . Sausage sandwiches available if you're starved.
shakedown1979 - 15 Sep 2009 09:30
Great place , always a good range of ales on. People out fron with the windows open, always been a good crowd here on my recent two visits over the past two months.
rob372 - 13 Sep 2009 17:49
Great beer & the sausages went down a treat as well.
Wilson_MacDonald - 27 Aug 2009 13:22
Binny continuing to assert her new found independence with eight on last night:

Batemans Middle Wicket;
Orkney Red McGregor;
Sambrooks Wandle;
Dark Star Hophead and Dark Star;
Timothy Taylor Golden Best;
Harveys Sussex Best; and
Piddly Xpress(?).

More power to her.
grovetown - 14 Aug 2009 11:03
Came back here a few weeks ago and it's still a great pub with staff to match, shame it's not my local.
Notasaffa - 12 Aug 2009 20:41
Quite simply one of the best pubs in London.

Fantastic range of beers, great bar staff.....nothing more to say!
sbennetts - 11 Aug 2009 13:53
Formerly a Charrington's pub called The Welsh Harp - a long time ago mind - it's now just The Harp. It's situated little more than a stone's throw from Trafalgar Square.

It's a long narrow bar with the walls covered in fine paintings and mirrors.

It's also a multi award winning CAMRA favourite and a CAMRA GBG regular in recent years. The pub now proudly displays the certificate recording it as SPBW Greater London Pub of the Year 2008.

It seems to be inevitably always crowded, given its beer range and location and its narrowness in front of the bar makes it a bit of a squeeze sometimes. There is however an upstairs sitting room ( no separate bar ) to where you can retreat to avoid the crush.

Pleasingly, it's a drinkers pub first and foremost, although speciality sausages are served.

Even though I only come here about every 3 months, there's invariably someone serving who I recognise - always a good sign.

There's usually 5-6 real ales on. On my recent Saturday afternoon visit, these were Harveys, Sambrooks, Greene King Sundance, Dark Star Hophead, Timothy Taylors Golden Best ( unusual to find a TT beer other than Landlord ) and a beer from South Wales Newmans Brewery called Last Lion of Britain. On previous visits, Black Sheep has usually been on.

I usually go for the Harveys in here, but went for the Dark Star Hophead on Saturday - 3.10p - which was in typically hoppy form.

The pub is well worth a visit, but try to visit when it's relatively quiet if you can
JohnBonser - 4 Aug 2009 13:29
Girls! Girls! Girls! All lovely! Served me a superb pint of Black sheep the other day, keeping me waiting, but didn't mind as beautifully poured and presented. Given a stool to sit and smoke my Cigar at back. Highly recommended as usual.
Don't forget that there is a small comfortable lounge upstairs, that can be a quiet retreat for a drink and chat, or a read of your newspaper, when the main bar is busy and noisy!
zorrodp - 23 Jul 2009 07:48
On the strength of the reviews for this pub, I went there this evening and found all that had been said in its favour to be true. A great pub for ale drinkers although small and quite crowded. The clientele seemed, for the most part to be dedicated ale quaffers and the barmaids were efficient and suitably buxom.
It was , inevitably, noisy but the background conversation was genuine and not the usual "Look at me" exhibitionist chatter that one finds in pubs where the customers are oikish 40-year-olds or kids showing off. However, for the individual drinker, it lacks the privacy of a secluded corner to read a newspaper and, having enjoyed the experience, I shall be returning to one of the souless barn-like establishments where I can unobtrusively blend into the background.
Padderborn - 22 Jul 2009 00:21
Popped into last Friday night and packed. Served superbly as ever; eye contact, warm verbal welcome and handed pint of my usual happiness here; Harveys.
Stood outside in front of the opened window enjoying the delights of a Cigar and watching the world go about its business. Happiness is the Harp!
FARTINGGHOST - 21 Jul 2009 14:28
Visited last fall and enjoyed my stay a lot. The place was packed but the lady behind the bar served me with no problems. In fact, she was doing the work of two people: answering the phone, claening tables of glasses and serving--so I was impressed. Several good real ale's on at any one time and a good atmosphere. I'll get back to London again and visit--worth it!
mrdruse - 19 Jul 2009 23:13
I love this pub. Extremely nice staff. They usually have a good selection of ciders and perries, which changes often. Be aware that perry taken in excess can and will lead to "explosive decompression", apparently caused by some chemical present in pears, and extremely awkward when staggering around "theatreland"! Occasionally infiltrated by football yobs on Saturdays.
crossfield - 15 Jul 2009 13:14
Like Bucking Fastard I am aware of the level of passionate support that The Harp evokes. I was slightly hesitant about visiting, on a recent trip to London, in case I had to point out the emperor was naked. However, its a fantastic little pub

The interior has all been described in great detail before, so I will just limit myself to stating I couldnt believe how small it was and how unfeasibly narrow the area is opposite the bar! There were about fifteen punters when I called at about four oclock, on a Thursday afternoon, just enough to give a nice chatty buzz and to set off The Harps almost conspiratorial cosiness. However, I would struggle at peak times, no doubt finding it oppressively claustrophobic.

My barmaid was friendly and welcoming but could have been a little bit more product savvy. Several of the beers Id not come across before and she struggled to describe what style they were.

Quality of the beer was excellent, crystal clear served in squeaky-clean glasses. Disappointed with the much-lauded Harveys, but found Dartmoor Jail Ale much more to my taste. (I couldnt bring myself to try Landlord served in the southern style!)

Will definitely call again next time Im in central London. Itll be a fantastic refuge when the distaff side of the family do their usual trudge down Oxford Street.

aleandhearty - 19 Jun 2009 09:51
Superb small pub near charing cross and handy for the west end. Clean glasses, well kept ale and friendly staff. Well worth a visit.
nickthefish - 8 Jun 2009 16:13
There is a slightly messianic tone to some of the reports on The Harp.The TT Landlord is well kept and shifts in vast quantity and the bar service is like poetry in motion ,uber efficient even when the pub is packed and the barmaids are always very friendly.However the beer range is restricted ,always featuring Harvey's Best (oaky but distinctive),Black Sheep (dull) besides the TT Landlord.Morris Mayhem(bland GK brew) was guesting and when this ran out Sharp's Doom Bar made an appearance,now so ubiquitous and frankly unexciting despite the hype.So despite sampling all the brews on offer ,the group I was with gravitated quickly back to the TT Landlord.The news of the break from the Punch tie is welcome but no change yet.A more imaginative selection of ales is now required to place the Harp back at the top of the pick of central London boozers.
Bucking_Fastard - 3 Jun 2009 10:46
Visited The Harp again last week and had a couple of the best pints of Harvey's I've had outside Lewes. Well done to Sarah for her outstanding cellar skills.
Got into conversation with Binnie who tells me she's bought The Harp from Punch, so her beer choice will be expanding now she does not have to rely on them for her supplies. I did mention she ought to look at Dark Star brews, but that's just my personal opinion. If you are in The Harp, mention your favourite beer. Binnie: why not start a suggestions book?
Alph_river - 28 May 2009 16:00
Whisper it not, but is The Harp loosing the plot? The beer range is getting very predictable and I'm of the opinion that the beer-line cooler has not been working properly for some months now. Has to be said that the beer quality in the Salisbury has got the Harp beat these days. Sad but true.
foghorn - 26 May 2009 19:25
Really wanted to rate this pub badly to stop people going and filling up the seats, but couldn't bring myself to do it. The Harp is excellent.
T_G - 10 May 2009 03:17
Great pub. Fantastic choice of beers and ciders (proper ones like), very friendly and attentive bar staff, good atmosphere, great location.

It is small, it is busy and it isn't especially cheap. But as a place to meet in that area of Central London for a few cheeky pints, you'd be hard pushed to beat it.
Dylarolla - 10 May 2009 01:43
Always rammed! Good beer and a good mix of people. It's a bit pokey (although there is space upstairs), but this gives it a friendly atmosphere. Staff were good. This pub is a 'must do' in this part of London.
Green_0nions - 4 May 2009 16:41
This is my favourite pub in the Central London area. Nevr had a bad pint - on this occasion (fri 03 Apr) I had a quality pint of Landlord whilst stood outside.
Paulb014 - 8 Apr 2009 12:45
Mid afternoon saturday 4th. The big windows at the front were open making it very pleasant sitting inside watching the world go by.
Went in for a Sussex best but this was off so settled for a rather nice pint of Landlord.
CambridgeBlue - 6 Apr 2009 14:05
Brilliant pub - good beer - good service.

One of my London top 5 boozers.
Dan137 - 31 Mar 2009 19:02
What a Boozer! I've walked past this plas hundreds of times over the years and never given it a look in, but thanks to BITE I have discovered one of the best served pints in London. Started up with a couple of pints of Ringwood and when that ran out (I had one of the last pints and I was passed the message that I could exchange it if it wasn't up to scratch) I moved to the Harvey's. Both were served with that fantastic frothy, bubbley head that you so rarely see these days as "swan neck" spouts become the norm. Nice interior, friendly staff and great beer - a rare find in central London. 3 a pint? Money well spent in this place.
eveningall - 19 Mar 2009 23:09
Popped in for a saturday afternoon beer and discovered they have a very small room upstairs. We sat by the window upsatirs and watched the world wizz past outside.
I tried a pint of Harvey's Sussex best, but its not the best beer that I have had. Then a pint of Landlord, Normally I don't Like TT ales but I have to say it was very nice.
CambridgeBlue - 12 Mar 2009 16:49
The place is a victim of its own success. Whilst a good twenty metres long, it cant be more than three metres wide at most and that includes the space taken up by the bar. There isnt room to move, and it was heaving when I visited. And hot. Far too hot. There was a small upstairs room where a group of us found a table, but the stairs were a tad steep, and none of us fancied the fight back to the bar for a second pint, even though they had six hand pumps, all serving different ales.
Six You don't often see that many. They offered tasters, so I sampled the three beers Id never heard of before. All in exceptional condition. The Harp is somewhere Ive been meaning to visit for ages. It has a reputation of benig one of those Holy Grails for the ale drinker. Unfortunately, very few things in life live up to their reputation, and in my honest opinion this pub isnt one of them. (Sorry)

MankyBadger - 22 Feb 2009 17:21
Apologies!...The views on here have made me give this place a well deserved another look, Excellent beer!check the sitting room upstairs if you run out of space....on this place I'm suitably chastised
EdgarBriggsMI5 - 1 Feb 2009 19:48
Nice little pub in London's West End on the outskirts of Covent Garden. Finding a seat in the main bar here is always difficult, particularly at weekends. During the summer, punters spill out of the narrow bar onto the street. You can always walk up the narrow rickety staircase to the upstairs bar if you're desperate to be seated. Although you're unlikely to have the same 'atmosphere'. Always have a couple of real ciders or perries in the fridge (from the New Forest producer) in addition to a handful of real ales. I've never been fully convinced about the quality. But overall, this is a handy watering hole only seconds from Trafalgar Square.
blue_scrumpy - 1 Feb 2009 17:46
I love visiting this pub but 3 a pint for Harveys? Don't Punch know there's a recession on? Somewhat soured my visit to this otherwise superb boozer. I suppose my 1.88 pint of OBB at Chandos next door balanced it out to satisfy my cheapskate tendencies.
ChrisP87 - 28 Jan 2009 10:39
Haven't been in for ages, so I was surprised to find it quiet on sunday for a change. Some of the other punters were getting stuck into a range of real ciders they had in jugs behind the bar, but I stuck with Harvey's Bitter which was sublime. Still the best pub in Central London.
Albert_Campion - 27 Jan 2009 11:28
Excellent, excellent pub. This was my 7th trip to London from the US, but my first to The Harp. I now realized I had walked by it several times!!! It is now in my top 5. Anyway, all the ladies behind the bar are extremely nice no matter how busy they are (Hi Hannah!) A couple of fellow patrons, Mike and Mira are really fun to drink with as well.
londonmonkey - 21 Jan 2009 03:58
Superb pub all round. Absolutely heaving last night when some other nearby pubs were emptier than normal. The Harveys (3 a pint) was spot on and the sausages are great too.

You may struggle to get a seat here, but the friendly atmosphere will lift the weight off your feet.
GrahamA - 8 Jan 2009 11:59
Not sure if that was a rhetorical challenge but the Market Porter in Borough Market.
AleKing - 5 Jan 2009 18:11
What many people forget is that the Harp is a tied house not a freehouse. It is tied to Punch Taverns and must, therefore, choose its ales from their list and at their dictated prices too . Having said that, there are always six real ales on and from memory at least two are guest ales. In addition, there are several other taps for the standard lagers, plus cider and guiness and Scrumpy to be had on top of that. I challenge you to find a pub with that selection and quality (cask condition, beers from the wood and others have all have endorsed this place). This is all topped off with their lunchtime selection of O'Hagen's Sausages.
DickiedeVere - 2 Jan 2009 16:27
Is it me or is this place losing its glory? The last few times I have been in there they have the same, run of the mill ales on with only one uninspiring guest ale. Maybe I've been unlucky but it is a worrying trend.
AleKing - 28 Dec 2008 13:32
This jewel joins the Square and Compass in Worth Matravers and The Bridge Hotel of Buttermere in my Holy Triumvirate. Pray that it stays exactly the same- especially the toilet- cos places like this are magic.
fredmitch - 18 Dec 2008 16:51
The first session of a new version of London's proudest drinking society was held at the Harp last Thursday. Missing a few core members due to relocation, customs problems and general domestic duties (Barry) the new group quickly settled into this charming little boozer. Even though the pub was crammed, service was prompt and efficient, seating was solved by moving upstairs to the "lounge" where one could relax over a larger whilst reclining on one of the leather seats. Only one of the group sampled one of the many ales on tap, with the Sussex Ale described as "pretty good". A high rating indeed from someone who really knows his english ales. Bar snacks were well covered and I can highly recommend the bacon bites. All in all a decent little pub first out although the one down side would be the ridiculously small mens toilets which were a little cozy when filled with a couple of drunk Irish businessmen.
FTB2 - 16 Dec 2008 17:21
Just had a 6 week jaunt to the UK from Australia (where I am currently living). Visited the Harp 7 times in that time and every trip was great. One of the best pubs there is...I only discovered it by chance last year on another trip. Will be back in Feb!
banksy - 2 Dec 2008 01:15
A little gem near Charing Cross Station, I have been using this pub since 1968 as I consider it on of the best pubs in London.

The beers are kept in excellent condition with three house beers, Harveys Sussex, Black Sheep and Tinothy Taylors Landlord and 3 guest beers which includes, from time to time, one of my favourites, Batemans.

The staff are friendly with a good sense of humour and the O'Hagans sausages are a must have. If you are not a sausage fan then you can bring in food from the local cafes/sandwiches bars.
johnincroydon - 29 Nov 2008 19:20
Saturday 22nd. First visit to this very small pub. Almost walked past witout going in but glad we did.
There was a fair selection of ales on offer and a bonus we managed to get a table to enjoy our pints of Tribute.
The loo is tiny and up a narrow staircase.
Will visit again when in the area.
CambridgeBlue - 24 Nov 2008 09:44
Never fails to tick all the boxes. This is a pub! If there's a better one round here, I ain't found it. More power to Binnie's elbow. (mind you, I'm a bit worried about upsetting FARTINGGHOST... phew).
foghorn - 23 Nov 2008 12:16
Just focusing on the pub: yes, the ales are good, and yes, it has nice decor. I did find it to be...dull. Very few people; even the barstaff were not chatting. Maybe I caught it on a too-quiet Sunday afternoon when everyone seemed to be elsewhere watching football.
Mr.Matt - 14 Nov 2008 15:04
OllyMott - 14 Nov 2008 14:58
In the show Avenue Q ,there is a song called
"Everyone"s a little bit racist sometimes"
Which sums this up really! , so lets get back to reviewing the pub please
winchesterclub - 6 Nov 2008 15:52
Great pint in there again last evening. This time it was the Tribute which seems to be establishing itself as a regular now. Am I right in thinking that only 2 of the 6 pumps rotate guest ales now rather than 3 before? No matter. Lovely beer, lovely staff, lovely pub!
sussexred - 6 Nov 2008 12:15
Kiwiphil, you silly little fat head! How can you possibly mark down a pub because of the comments of a beer critic, who is commenting on something outside the pub. Your a prat. Surely you know this by now? I recall you at the Uplands in East Dulwich, and the East Dulwich tavern. Mind you, you can't help it, it's genetic. Hands up all those who have ever found a decent barman/Manager/Landlord working behind a bar from New Zealand? None, I hear you reply. Little wonder you enjoy watching "the eye candy" coming in and out of the toilets in the Golden Lion in Soho; your quote 14 Sep 2006. You dirty, little, soliciting gay hobbit. Your a typical of the average product of that backward pair of islands down under; sexually repressed, unless incest, sheep, roving gang banging, buggering Maoris or bored, cast members of "Lord of the Ring" are in town. Little wonder that you have to sneek back to the Motherland for a view of normallity and employment. Let's face i, you marked the Harp down because of the young, glamourous, friendly and professional female bar staff serving there. Admit to it? Twice you have attacked "Eastern European bar maids" in your earlier comments? Yet, you fall out of your pram over comments about "Eastern European builders"! I take it you fancy them? I'm glad you won't come back to rub shoulders against me; it's not your shoulders rubbing against me that I'm worried about. Pervert!
anonymous - 5 Nov 2008 20:10
Bit harsh Kiwiphil. May I point to your comments about The Walkabout? "...go watch it in a french pub !!! ( oh , sorry , I forgot , they surrendered it to the germans wihout a fight.... "

Isn't that racist? And I am sure coming up to Armistice Day the families of the thousands of French men and women who fought and died for their country would rightly be insulted by your comments. Or was it a tongue-in-cheek light-hearted joke? Like Fartingghosts comment? It was a throw away statement and I think you over-reacted.

But, this is a site to review pubs, and the Harp is a modern miracle and certainly one of Londons finest, if not the finest. Long may they continue to serve me beer.

DavyBoy - 5 Nov 2008 16:58
Good grief, if I rated every pub on the views or behaviour of the odd individual who drank there they'd all get bad marks. The pub can hardly be held responsible for the views of one of its customers - particularly when these comments are expressed outside of the pub anonymously. There is not a hint of racism whenever I have been there and I certainly can't see the staff putting up with such behaviour. All I can say is this is a most excellent pub with a relaxed and friendly atmosphere - who ever you are you will not regret popping in for a beer or a sausage or both (I recommend both!).
DickiedeVere - 5 Nov 2008 15:55
Tounge in cheek i think "kiwiphil"
maybe it"s a British thing
winchesterclub - 4 Nov 2008 15:51
What a fantastic pub! A great selection of ales and a really good friendly atmosphere.

No TV, no music, good service, not a restaurant, a great location and a great beer.

superb all round
banksy - 4 Nov 2008 15:19
It's a true reflection of the Land lady & her ladies that run this most perfect of pubs that makes this one of the very best of British real ale bars. A credit to the British tourist industry.
Princemonolulu - 31 Oct 2008 10:57
At the moment Westminster council has allowed Thames Water to dig a trench right out side the place, place 6 foot safety fences along the way and pile earthworks up and around the entrance. Then they allow the Navvies to disappear back to Poland/Albania or where ever East and leave it up to the Great British drinker to hack his way through to the dear old Harp! No problem for this Britisher however.
As always, great beer, well served. Great girls behind the bar. The best staff in London. Carry on!
anonymous - 29 Oct 2008 23:54
harveys was good , pub reasonably busy, not a regular stop but not bad for one on the way to elsewhere. reccomend at least a visit
kiwiphil - 26 Oct 2008 19:27
This is truly one of the very best pub's not just in London, but in the country. Heavenly bar staff. Great selection of well served beer. Well worth a day trip to the capital for a drink or two.
anonymous - 25 Oct 2008 17:19
Great beer, nice staff,good location. Tip top!
What a gem of a pub! Can't believe I haven't found it before? 5 handles available (Summer Lightning, Harveys Best, TT Landlord, Jennings Cumberland, Sheps Spitfire) Tried both the Landlord and Cumberland (several of!!) and each were on superb form!! Plus 2 Real Ciders available. A warm evening so the front windows were open creating a wonderful atmosphere. Long narrow pub with seating available upstairs as well as out the back. Bar staff were very friendly as were the clientele. Very impressed with the prices for Central London - 3 a pint, 2.90 for the Harveys!! We've been paying 2.90 in tied houses for guest beer in Colchester for some time now. I'll be back!!
BlueArmy0 - 21 Sep 2008 13:02
Went here on Saturday for only the second time. In all my years of drinking how have I managed to overlook this excellent pub? A friendly, efficient barmaid, a choice of six or seven ales (I tried the Summer Lightning, Black Sheep and Tribute - all well kept) and a relaxed atmosphere all made this the most pleasant evening I've spent in central London in a long time. As more and more West End pubs go down the bland, soulless bar route (like the Marquess next door) it is extremely important that this pub survives.
holbornboy - 15 Sep 2008 11:48
I must say I think foghorn is being a bit harsh. The chap concerned only helps out when the Landlady (or is that Landperson these days?) is short staffed and has always been friendly and polite when I've been there. May be you just caught him on a off day.

I totally agree with bitman's comments - it is my favorite pub in London too. Well run, great bar staff, good food and the best kept beer by far (at a reasonable price too). If you're a regular London worker and fancy a pint and a sausage, or if you're just up town for a day out, then you'll not be disappointed with what is probably the West End's last traditional pub.
DickiedeVere - 3 Sep 2008 14:54
Revisited a few weeks back - the beer is still good and the updstairs room has had an overhaul, so now looks well worthwhile going up the Lynn Faulds-Wood bothering staircase. Good work all round.
Quinno - 3 Sep 2008 09:34
The Harp is my favourite pub in London. It's a beautiful old-style pub with a traditional wood interior and stained glass windows that are opened in hot weather giving great views of the people and street outside. The place is very well managed and the bar staff are all very friendly and efficient. The selection of drinks is excellent and they serve a very good selection of sausages in rolls. The customers are from a wide variety of backrounds - office types, local residents ( unusual to meet in London) shoppers and staff from the nearby theatres. It's quite easy to strike up a conversation at the bar, which as a Dubliner, I like to do.

It can get very busy at lunchtimes and in the early evenings but there's plenty of space to drink outside at both the front and the back. There's a very comfortable upstairs room too but I haven't tried it yet!
bitman - 2 Sep 2008 17:29
This pub has lots of character with old photos adorning the walls.

Nice selection of ales albeit a little pricey at 3 for a 4.2% pint, but I guess its in the middle of town.

Very much worth a visit.

sethbreaker - 20 Aug 2008 08:49
Arrived at my favourite West End pub at 2:30, after the lunchtime rush. Shock-horror, there was a man behind the bar! This is a novelty in The Harp. I have long held the prejudice that Englishmen, especially those from the Home Counties, make the worst possible bar-tenders in the whole world: they haven't the faintest concept of service (and I speak as a born Londoner). This particular "Stressed Eric" confimed my worst suspicions by handling his shift with the polished aplomb of a two year old in the grip of a mighty sulk (every request being met with a tut, a mutter, and a flounce). A lovely French lass approached the bar and sweetly asked "Excuse me, I do not understand... what is a wild boar sausage, please?" Matey-boy replied "Well madam, it's a WILD BOAR SAUSAGE" thus demonstrating the well-known fact that all an ignorant Englishman has to do to make himself understood by Johnny Foreigner is to SHOUT. Only 8 points this visit Binnie. The Summer Lightning was the best pint I've had for weeks,but must deduct two points for all the SHOUTING! Sorry.
foghorn - 19 Aug 2008 17:10
Great Little Pub, Great atmosphere, Harveys avalible which is always good. a Proper Pub
charlieFarnsbarnes - 17 Aug 2008 21:15
About time I contributed to BITE instead of just reading it, so where better to start than the best pub in the West End and probably in London? Binnie runs a proper old pub with a great atmosphere, friendly staff and a good range of well-kept beers. I treat this as my "local", even though I live in Barnet, and inevitably end up there on any visit to Central London.
ramsrob - 15 Aug 2008 12:57
What a great place Binnie runs. Whilst I try to avoid the centre of town if I do get dragged there a trip to the Harp is sure to brighten my spirits. Lovely ales, good atmosphere and fantastic O'Hagans' sausages.
gileyboy - 6 Aug 2008 11:59
On Friday night I was served a nice pint of unknown ale by a very friendly barmaid. I smoked a cigarette in the alley out back and then climbed the treacherous stairs to the tiny bog. I had great fun; I just wish that I could remember some more of the night!

One thing that I will say is that even though it looked heaving there was room at the back and although I couldnt get to the bar I was informed of the ale selection by the barmaid and then served instantly.

Well worth going out of your way for!
Strongers - 25 Jun 2008 08:27
Just back from an excellent saturday afternoon session. Sitting by the open front windows meant some good repartee from other drinkers and passers by. Beer selection top class as usual with Otter, Sharp and Bateman ales to go with the standard choices; Harviestoun Bitter & Twisted coming on later meant for a prolonged stay. Service top class as ever.
ed.spbw - 14 Jun 2008 19:43
Sat inside on a busy Wednesday evening with the front of the pub opened up and folk spilling out onto the street. William IV St is pretty busy but it calmed down later and we very much enjoyed a few Harvey's Sussex at 2.90 a pint. The small bar was well covered by three professional staff and the previous guest ale labels plus a charming little upstairs which is rather like something from the Geffrye Museum.
danrkelly - 12 Jun 2008 13:44
Good, well kept beer selection. Adnams Explorer was very nice.

Because of it's location and rather small interiour it does get rather rammed quite quickly.
mrse1 - 20 May 2008 13:54
Not much new to add seeing over 250 comments to date. Full of character and welcoming. Regulars are Black Sheep, Taylors Landlord and Harveys Sussex. Good enough without the guests, on this occasion, Harviestown Bitter and Twisted, Adnams Explorer and Batemans Valiant. Spotted the intimate upstairs parlour style room I've never noticed before.

Only one minor gripe, the front windows fold back to allow in air and light, and also smoke. It seems de riguer for smokers to stand outside chatting through the opening to friends inside so a lot of smoke blows back in.
Maldenman - 19 May 2008 17:59
This was pub 10 of a crawl and to be honest all I can remember was the beer tasted Ok and there was a good choice.
TheHorsesMouth - 12 May 2008 08:49
Today apart from the usual three there was Spitfire, Deuchars IPA and Titanic Captain Smiths which was very nice if a bit heavy for a warm afternoon.
GuideDogSaint - 11 May 2008 00:35
No I didn't have 3 pints in 2 minutes! The bloody "hand held device" I was using said it hadn't posted.
sussexred - 7 May 2008 00:08
The Thwaites Wainwright is excellent. Drinking it at this very moment :)
sussexred - 6 May 2008 18:02
The Thwaites Wainwright is excellent. Drinking it at this very moment :)
sussexred - 6 May 2008 18:01
The Thwaites Wainwright is excellent. Drinking it at this very moment :)
sussexred - 6 May 2008 18:01
This pub ticks all the boxes.
Happy girlies behind the bar; plenty quaffable ale; and Binnie (the landlady)is everybodys favourite Auntie.
If there's a better pub than this in the West End, I aint found it.
And ,thank the good Lord above, it's Chav-free.
foghorn - 5 May 2008 19:31
Another pub which I enjoy visiting very much because or the good range of beers which are available. The staff are always very friendly and helpful. They are also all very knowledgeable about the drinks which they sell.
Beeel - 2 May 2008 15:24
Good staff and atmosphere, and excellent beer. It is narrow and busy though. there will be times when you simply cannot get in.
The climb to the gents will burn hundreds of calories, and you should hope you don't meet a fat bloke on your way up, because you'll have to back down.
bradwan - 27 Apr 2008 21:06
Irony and sarcasm are my fortes.
Chav__man - 25 Apr 2008 14:41
Love the review Chav_man! Who said irony was a dying art...

You've recognized that this is one of the best boozers in London and your pithy recommendation will be appreciated by Binnie and her staff, who will no doubt be preening themselves in the glow of your praise.

Your review will serve to make those who have yet to enjoy the delights of the Harp even more eager to abandon lesser venues, eschew lager-drinking bergits, and head for Chandos Place...

Alph_river - 25 Apr 2008 00:05
Very average. People say that this pub has a great range of beers but there is hardly any of the major lager brands with their "super chilled" products. Very disappointing. Who drinks ales anyway - except for geriatrics pretending it is the 60's again.

And why the comments from CAMRA? This pub is not linked with photography is it?

The staff were trying hard but you could sense that even they realised they were fighting a losing battle trying to make this pub appealing.

Chav__man - 23 Apr 2008 14:19
I mean The Best!
valkeasuo - 20 Apr 2008 02:39
Best pub in London! The manager is the gest, she gives us some free examples of different beers and stuff!
valkeasuo - 20 Apr 2008 02:39
I can't believe that I only found this pub about a year ago. Since then my wife and I(who have about eight years experience of cellar work in a GBG listed pub)have returned on every single visit to London, only to have our initial impressions reinforced. Namely friendly and efficient staff who serve a good range of beers kept in tip top condition. I cannot find a single fault, only cause for celebration - the decent London boozer is far from dead! So congrats to The Harp for its latest awards. Truly well deserved! Looking forward to Saturday and our latest visit..:))
PlayByAle - 31 Mar 2008 17:25
Excellent pub as per everyone's comments. I had a few excellent pints of Harveys.

One thing to note is that the Google Map has the location completely wrong, I think it is a problem with the postcodes. the streetmap seems correct.
mralistair - 31 Mar 2008 12:31
Paid a return visit on Saturday evening and was made very welcome. Enjoyed Titanic Stout until it was replaced by Saltaire Amarillo Gold which was even nicer! The pub wasn't too crowded and the upstairs room was a pleasant retreat from the bustle outside.
ed.spbw - 24 Mar 2008 20:38
It's all been said, but my tuppence-worth would add that my smoking pals were impressed with the (previously undiscovered) provision of ashtrays and little half-barrel beer tables in the ginnel out back. Got a table to the rear Sat nt & enjoyed some extra beers, rather greedy after a Reading crawl but the Saltaire Amarillo Gold was outstanding.
trainman - 24 Mar 2008 09:43
Good pub. Popped in on the evening of Tuesday 11th March for a swift pint. First impression was the size of the place, very narrow. Not packed, but there were a good number of people in. Friendly service, and numerous real ales to choose from.

Extra points for the novelty of the sausage grill behind the bar - I've never seen that in a pub before!

When I'm next in London and feeling thirsty, I'm sure I'll be going back to The Harp!
Paulaner - 14 Mar 2008 00:29
An excellent drinkers' pub with 6 real ales on offer, served in good condition.
Floyd - 22 Feb 2008 10:29
Excellent choice of beers, really well kept. My only minus would be the place is pretty narrow and cramped - I'd be happier if I could spread out a bit!
old_at_heart - 22 Feb 2008 09:33
This pub single-handedly restored by faith in London boozers the other day.
I'd just cought a pint of bitter and was heading to my seat upstairs when the landlady spotted the ale was cloudy. I hadn't even noticed myself.
She insisted I choose another ale and had it sent up to me.
Most licensees (and certainly most cack-handed bar keepers at lesser establishments than the Harp) couldn't give a toss about the quality of the product they serve, so well done to all the staff here.
davidb - 15 Feb 2008 17:00
What a gem. The staff are really, really friendly, and even though it is often crowded in the evening the service is superb.Good range of real ales including many of my favourites, Harveys, Tim Taylor Landlord, always in excellent condition. SPBW London pub of the year 2008.
Secretary - 14 Feb 2008 12:28
I too am at a loss to understand how anyone can complain about the range of beers on offer in this pub.

Highly recommended when in the area, as is The Salisbury in St Martins Lane
JohnBonser - 4 Feb 2008 13:15
When I visited (Saturday 26th Jan) they had 6 real ales on tap - Exmoor Fox, Proper Job from St Austell, Hobgoblin from Wychwood, Sussex Best from Harveys, Timothy Taylor's Landlord and Black Sheep. They also had 3 ciders available - I went for the New Forest Snake Hatcher - 7.4% The Exmoor Fox, Black Sheep and Snake Hatcher all received a vote of confidence from our party.
Fairly busy but getting a seat for myself and 2 friends was not difficult.
There is an eclectic collection of dirty Victorian paintings on the wall.
A nice little pub if you are visiting the centre of London.
thewednesdayfrog - 4 Feb 2008 10:44
Yes, quite right Allison. I was in Wednesday afternoon and had a pint of Davenport's Export which was excellent, and was only one of a number of decent ales on offer. I don't think you need to make excuses for your range of beers on offer - the selection remains one of the best in Central London.
RexRattus - 1 Feb 2008 17:53
With regards to the comments from GuideDogSaint about are choice of real ales as being 'nothing unusal', we would just like to say that we are tied to Punch Taverns and and not allowed to buy are ales from anywhere else. We do however rotate our 3 guests ales constantly.
allisonstothard - 25 Jan 2008 17:44
"6 real ales tonight but nothing unusual: Landlord, Sussex, Spitfire, Black Sheep, Eden and Hobgoblin. Nice little pub but not as good for beer as I was expecting." . . . . ???

Sussex, Black Sheep and Landlord are permanently on here. The other three pumps rotate guest ales very quickly. You should have been in earlier. Moorhouses Pride of Pendle and another guest I can't remember at 5:30! The Rock "Eden" was excellent. I can't understand anyone knocking this pub for beer choice!
sussexred - 25 Jan 2008 10:32
6 real ales tonight but nothing unusual: Landlord, Sussex, Spitfire, Black Sheep, Eden and Hobgoblin. Nice little pub but not as good for beer as I was expecting.
GuideDogSaint - 25 Jan 2008 00:16
The Harp was packed last night for yet another award - the Society for the Preservation of Beer from the Wood (SPBW) awarded the Harp the honour of London Region Pub of the Year. All the beers were in tip-top condition as usual, and Binnie and Sarah led a super team of staff who made sure there were no queues at the bar despite the place being jammed.

If you appreciate cheerful friendly service, tasty O'Hagans sausages and a wide range of very well-kept cask-conditioned beer, then this bijoux pub is the one for you. Being so good, it does get busy tho'!
Alph_river - 18 Jan 2008 16:51
First visit last nigh to the Harp and I was suitably impressed. Great range Harveys Sussex best, Spitfire, Black Sheep Bitter and Tim Taylors. This pub deserves it's high praise!
BenEd - 16 Jan 2008 13:45
It took a very long time to get my colleagues to come here but as soon as they walked in they've hardly left. Old school boozer with proper staff and good beers. Cider lovers rate the place too. Nice spot for a lunchtime pint!
little_alec - 6 Jan 2008 14:47
I had forgotten all about this place! Lovely little gaff with some nicely kept real ales on, a real find.
matt_k - 3 Jan 2008 15:56
The St Martins-in the-Fields real ale drinking bellringers ought to make this wonderful little pub their post-practice venue. Best-kept cask ale in central London. Why settle for second best?

campanologia - 16 Dec 2007 15:36
A nice little pub, six ales on tap, friendly staff, nice Christmas decs.
lionbaz - 11 Dec 2007 16:24
cosy spot, we got in before it filled up too much, excellent cornish beers.
virginiaplain - 10 Dec 2007 16:09
Nice, friendly pub, good service
Maggie_Tul - 5 Dec 2007 15:58
Having worked in Floral Street for 10 years, and hung around Covent Garden for twice that; I can say that this is easily the nicest pub on the patch - and I'll happily walk past the Lamb & Flag to get to it. Beers are excellent, and service impeccable. The less-than-desirable types mentioned below are the scene and prop boys from the English National Opera next door. They can be a little 'geezery', but never seem to be installed for that long. Crowdedness is the only realy downside; but, to that extent, it is a function of its success.
grovetown - 25 Nov 2007 11:00
Was in there last night (Tuesday 20th October). Bini the friendly landlady is doing all the right things - great array of well kept ales (nicest Harveys I've had)which you can try before you buy, eccentric and eclectic art on the walls and hot sausages readily available. What more could you wish for? Congratulated her on having the best pub in London. Richard
wheatsheafregular - 21 Nov 2007 20:29
Cracking selection of beers including two Cornish ales and Landlord. Was packed on Friday night as upstairs wasn't open and some of the clientele left plenty to be desired, so a return visit at a less busy time will have to be on the cards.
DuchyBoy - 12 Nov 2007 09:02
This excellent pub has just been voted London Pub of the Year by the Society for the Preservation of Beers from the Wood. Excellent beers and superb friendly and efficient service make this a worthy winner.
ed.spbw - 2 Nov 2007 21:26
Rocking Pub, can't remember much but rockin!
Jelvis - 2 Nov 2007 14:22
We were in early Sunday lunchtime prior to our trip to Wembley Stadium for the NFL match. Was very quiet. Nice pub though. Recommended.
Boothers - 31 Oct 2007 11:00
Crowded, but a wonderful pub, and even more so in the middle of the West End. Very good beer - especially the Harvey's Best. Glad to hear they make the Stella taste foul: might keep away the sort of people who drink it. Another plus point!
ghostwheel - 26 Oct 2007 09:21
After going for my skinner's fix at the Cove, on to the best Pub in Covent Garden, and, as far as i'm concerned in London. Although the crowds frequenting the Harp spill out onto the pavement, you can usually go upstairs to the lounge and grab a seat even on a busy Friday night. Black Sheep Best, Taylor Landlord, and Harveys Best are the staples here, with a couple of guests and real cider. An excellent Pub.
ahscum - 21 Oct 2007 15:11
This pub is consistently good with fine beer. I think I have only ever had one bad pint in here over the years and that was changed by the barstaff without hesitation. Gets far too busy but that's just because it's such a great place to drink.

TheBeerMonkey - 3 Oct 2007 13:40
Took a friend from Montana here for her first trip to an English pub, and she was very impressed. I feel sorry for all the tourists whose first (and maybe only) trip to the Great British Boozer is the likes of The Tottenham or the Leicester Square spoonies.
Albert_Campion - 26 Sep 2007 20:31
What a gem! Great decor inside and out and beers and stuff. Shame its kinda small and lunch wasnt very exciting, but still one of the best pubs.
Fart - 26 Sep 2007 18:55
This pub is fantastic, there are numerous different beers on offer and the barmaids are brilliant, they give you a good bit of banter if you want.

And yes, come here and drinkl ale, don't drink Stella or anything like that (or at least don't complain about it).

Go and find this place, it is a real gem.
arkid - 26 Sep 2007 13:45
Nicgooner (23rd Aug)- If your pint was foul the brilliant staff here would have replaced it instantly and given you a few more for nothing, probably. Was your review written from memory? I ask because all of your reviews were written on the same day. Are you sure you got the right pub? Never had a less than good pint here myself.
Alph_river - 13 Sep 2007 16:31
With regard to Anonymous (13 of Aug) - each to their own, but coming here and drinking Stella is like visiting the British Library and reading The Daily Star.
Albert_Campion - 9 Sep 2007 00:49
I have to post something on this pub as an antidote to all the depressing things I am now saying on many of my other favourite boozers. I over looked it for years - what a mistake. One of the best things about moving up to Trafalger Square for work. Wonderful.
baggydave - 8 Sep 2007 22:48
Visited yesterday and things were pretty much as usual - beer was good and there were six ales on handpump. It was relatively quiet when I was in but I could understand it getting a bit busier and thus uncomfortable. Good pub though.
MINTYBOOM - 30 Aug 2007 19:26
My pint was foul. Won't be visiting again.
nicgooner - 23 Aug 2007 11:05
The service is very good; with a great range of well kept beers (6 last time i went) on.
The only downside is the place does get very busy, and is perhaps a victim of it's own success in terms of that, especially given it's a very narrow bar area; but if you go at quieter times it's a cracking pub.
mps77 - 16 Aug 2007 10:22
The real ale may get good write ups but I'm afraid the same can't be said for the lager. Recently ordered two pints of Stella which were promptly discarded (and the pub exited) as they tasted foul.
anonymous - 13 Aug 2007 18:50
Very interesting and vibrant pub. Loads of guest ales were available, gutted I could only stop here for one. It was packed when I went in but had no problems getting served by the very friendly barstaff, presumably the landlady, who made us feel welcome. Had a pint of Woods Pot O Gold which was fantastic.
Sharp - 1 Aug 2007 20:50
Went back on Thursday,a large wine and a pint of TT was 7,so not cheap but I like the way the front opens upto the street and the beer is kept rightplus the sausage sarnies are ok.
dogbolter - 30 Jul 2007 22:01
delightful spot with good range of beers; lovely downstairs bar (although the one upstairs is a bit bland). try the sausage sandwiches.
mozzzzzz - 18 Jul 2007 11:56
Great pub, especially for central London. Nice guest ales and a landlord and landlady of character!
PeoplesPalace - 5 Jul 2007 20:19
I loved this pub! Very friendly staff and comfort food. What more can you ask for?!
Nessie - 1 Jul 2007 15:01
I got refused service in this pub for wearing an England shirt! Granted I wouldn't be seen dead in a football shirt these days, but an England shirt! In London! In England! Never been back since.
anonymous - 28 Jun 2007 15:57
Good pub, there aren't many places like this around the area. The upstairs is usually pretty quite but the downstairs can get packed. A range of four or five Real Ales with Timothy Taylor's Landlord and Black Sheep Bitter as regulars. The guest beers aren't particularly adventurous at times, but at least they change regularly and are nicely kept. Recommended.
The_Greene_King - 25 Jun 2007 16:24
Fantastic pub! Quality and range of beers is a rare treat for this area of the city. Can get a little crowded at times although there is usually space to enjoy your pint outside or the no-smoking room upstairs. Cheers!
Hophead - 18 Jun 2007 16:35
Excellent little pub. You can even get a pint of Harvey's! Being from Sussex, this is a rare sight in London!
theadz01 - 13 Jun 2007 15:14
Small, but perfectly formed.
deho - 9 Jun 2007 11:22
A truly great pub. Really excellent Black sheep Bitter, and a barmaid that was so friendly, she smiled and said "Goodbye" when she went off duty. A great place for a drink, a gem.
nigelrowe - 7 Jun 2007 18:11
Excellent pub gets busy, but the staff still find time to smile, has around four or five real ales on draught, & usually a more unusual one. it also has real cider kept in a polypin, (small barrel) in the fridge.
lovesong - 31 May 2007 19:54
'Anonymous' has clearly never set foot in this gem. Places like the Porcupine, or the Brewmaster and the Sussex are 'bog standard west end boozers', which is why I never go in them.
Albert_Campion - 31 May 2007 12:32
Superb pub; one of London's finest
weston - 30 May 2007 14:08
Nice traditional pub within spitting distance of Trafalgar Square. I'm with Tony Ale on this one, he's spot on.
JohnBonser - 29 May 2007 14:58
I live in Toronto and was in London last week on vacation. Before traveling to London I found this website and made a list of pubs to visit. Imagine my delight when quite by chance I stumbled across the Harp. Knowing its rating my friend and I stopped in for a pint. Well its a nice pub and all, I have nothing bad to say about it, but the top rated one?
Its tiny so we had to stand outside and there isnt much to see from the street. I have to admit I was a little disappointed. Im glad we just happened to find it out of sheer luck because I was actually planning to make a special trip to find it. We visited several other pubs that I would have rated much higher.

JimboBob - 28 May 2007 23:51
....But that's the point anonymous it isn't a "bog standard west end boozer" which is why it has rave reviews and is rated highly on this website.Most west end boozers are expensive,serve average quality ale and usually have several bouncers on the door!!This pub in no way falls into that category.
TonyAle - 28 May 2007 16:44
I know this pub well,and it's a good pub, no doubt, but the best pub in the country? come on! it's just a bog standard west end boozer, nothing more, nothing less
anonymous - 21 May 2007 03:07
Very crowded after work, but well worth venturing inside to get a decent pint from their good choice or regular and guest beers.
rpadam - 17 May 2007 22:42
JohnBoner - probably was there about 9 30pm onwards
Chav_man - 3 May 2007 16:00
I have worked within half a mile of this pub for over twenty years but have never been in until last week - driven by the consistently good reviews on this site. I'm jolly pleased I did! The quality of the cask ales was excellent - as many others on here have described. But the pub is slightly a victim of its own success being uncomfortably busy until the quick-pint commuters started to leave at about seven o' clock. The service was fine in the circumstances and the staff (all female that night incidentally) were pleasant enough.
shack - 1 May 2007 16:17
I have been here many times, and have to say it is one of the best pubs in Central London. Whilst it is small and gets smokey in the winter (bring on that smoking ban in July!), the place has character, friendly staff, and awesome beers (i.e. a proper pub). You can really tell a place that cleans its beer pipes, and this is definitely one. The Ales are amazing, and they serve the best pint of Guinness you will find in London. Great to just stand outside the open windows on a warm spring/summers day and watch the world go by. I havent tried the sausages, but apparently they are to die for!
anonymous - 1 May 2007 15:29
I was in yesterday evening - about 7 o'clock - service was fine and the Harveys was excellent.

When did you visit,Mr Chav Man ?
JohnBonser - 1 May 2007 14:16
I am not sure what the fuss is about. Checked this out and thought is was absolutely crap. Where's the duke box? But my main concern is with the extremely poor service. The attitude of some of the staff there is if you are asking them for a pint of their blood instead of their finest flat and warm lager!!
Chav_man - 1 May 2007 14:06
Not bad but overrated
zamora250 - 30 Apr 2007 02:21
Went to this pub for the first time on the 28th of april for my 21st. It's an absolutely brilliant place, a real pub in the heart oo London which is really rare. Had 6 ales, tried the black sheep, and titanic, both lovely. Friendly staff, very chatty locals. Just a really nice place to relax in this hectic part of london.
Thebman - 29 Apr 2007 17:06
Excellent pub - certainly when I'm in the area it's here (when I've just been paid) or the Chandos (when I need to drown my sorrows...)

Just one thing - I just wish it was a little bigger as it's understandably very popular and populated by some good drinkers who know a decent pub when they see one. I WANT A SEAT TOO!!!!!!
rampantwurzel - 27 Apr 2007 13:07
It's all been said below. Probably one of the best pubs in London.
Bodger - 18 Apr 2007 00:42
Had an excellent pint of Thwaites Thoroughbread here earlier this week. I suppose at 2.90 it was the going rate for the area. This is a smallish pub with seating consisting mainly of stools round the bar and shelves. As it was a warm day the entire front of the window area was open, giving the place a welcoming feel. This is something that you don't see too often(the Lamb and Flag is one other that has the facility) and is in contrast to most pubs which turn their back on, or provide an escape from, the outside world.

Anyway, lots of original paintings and the like adorning the walls add to the atmosphere. I remember this place from when it was the Welsh Harp and it does not appear to have changed much. It's a decent, welcoming pub with good beer and definitely worth a visit.
RexRattus - 13 Apr 2007 22:05
Following on from my previous positing, I went on a Saturday afternoon and my previous thought proved right. It was busy but not uncomfortably so and there was plenty of room. The ales Caledonian XPA, Black Sheep, Titanic and Jousters were on top form and well poured and well-priced.

AleKing - 26 Mar 2007 09:56
wild boar flavoured sausages. I felt looked after in here and being in trafalgar square you meet all sorts.
brendan_behan - 16 Mar 2007 03:46
This was the first pub I had an ale in upon my arrival in London. I don't know if it was because it was my first or not but the Black Sheep was one of the best ales I've had in London. Top form. As mentioned it was a CAMRA award pub in 2006. The cellar woman was rightfully proud of this award. The Landlord from Timmy Taylor was also excellent. Good range of ales that constantly changes due to excellent turnover. Good sausages as well. Highly recommended.
endoderm - 14 Mar 2007 01:32
Excellent little pub good choice of ale's friendly staff had no problem finding a seat considering it was 7.30 on a Sat evening this pub is Camra West London's pub of the year 2006.
david737 - 11 Mar 2007 18:21
This Wednesday evening, March 4th, will be neither lifeless nor drab, with some decent philosophical discussion kicking off at 8.00 - lubricated by some of the best kept beer in Covent Garden, if not London, served by the best team in the Universe!
zorrodp - 5 Mar 2007 21:02
Good pub, very friendly management and staff, crowded. Ideal place for early afternoon drink before the crush starts.
seasiderMM - 4 Mar 2007 18:32
Popped in again on Friday, again a decent selection of beer but still not too sure about the overall quality - The Exmoor Hound Dog was good but the Mordue Radgee Gadgee was distinctly average. I'll just have to keep putting my head round the door for quality control purposes...

As mentioned in other posts, upstairs in very drab, more life in Roy Castle. Stick to the downstairs area.
Quinno - 27 Feb 2007 23:47
Certainly to be avoided on a Friday lunchtime if you can, but this is a very fine place. Excellent, friendly service, good ale, legendary sausages.
joegreen - 26 Feb 2007 14:33
Excellent boozer but very busy on a Friday.
Recommend anyone to go and try their Harvey's Best, absolutely stunning beer.
Had a quick look upstairs, seems quite drab and lifeless, better to be downstairs fighting for a table...great pub & great staff.

dyyony - 19 Feb 2007 13:18
Can get very busy as narrow bar but never had a problem being served by the friendly bsr staff, usually at least four interesting real ales on including Landlord, plus they have real cider from the cask in the fridge.
lovesong - 16 Feb 2007 15:38
nice and friendly place,bar maid with the bluest eyes was very accommodating A good pint, a little squashed at the best of times but surely thats a good sign?toilets up dodgey stairs but cant do much about that.
DirtyPanda - 10 Feb 2007 20:11
This is a lovely pub - an oasis of niceness in the middle of West End chains and cavernous bars which feel the need to advertise their "Traditional English"ness. Worth watching out for the traffic in and out of the back door - musicians from the Opera House next door come in for a swift half in the interval.

One thing though. Whatever you do don't sit at the bar, especially not near the front door - glasses are piled precariously high on shelves at head-height, and I've seen them come crashing down more than once, covering some poor punter in borken glass.
waziotter - 7 Feb 2007 15:08
lovely old fashioned pub with a nice selection of guest beers, including Timothy Taylor's Landlord and Harveys. A must place to visit at lunchtime to sample the delicious sausage menu, yumm!

Can get busy but that's the reason to visit, it's not popular by accident.
Bong - 26 Jan 2007 14:14
I must be in a minority of one, as while I liked the atmosphere, the beer was pretty diabolical. Meeting up with a few friends in London after travelling I was looking forward to my first pint of real beer for months, only to be bitterly disappointed. Barely drinkable. Had to wait until I got to Newcastle for a decent pint.
johnadams - 24 Jan 2007 20:46
Continues to be a great pub.
mitomighty - 23 Jan 2007 17:31
This really is a very fine pub. We had just sat at the window and were starting to wonder if our pints of Harvey's were going to clear when the barmaid whizzed over, declared them unfit for purpose and replaced them with repeated (and unnecessary) apologies and some excellent Wye Valley ale. Top class service and very friendly. We had to resist the O'Hagan's sausages, which was a pity, but we'll be back. The Harp joins the Salisbury on our must visit list when in WC2.
joegreen - 22 Jan 2007 13:21
The Harvey's Best was on stunning form on Saturday. It's still a great boozer but it does amaze me that people go to it to drink generic fizzylagerpop... too often too busy, which is a shame.
MrLash - 22 Jan 2007 12:59
May nothing about this wonderful pub ever change (apart from its constantly updated range of guest ales of course). Great to have a pub like this in the centre of London that hasn't succumbed to offering food, fruit machines and homogenised beers in bland surroundings. Terrific place - don't hesitate to visit if yr in the area.
realalemadness - 20 Jan 2007 14:38
I don't see what all the fuss is about, myself. Their selection of Bacardi Breezers was pretty awful and it was all a bit old. There's an O'Niells and an All Bar One just down the road in Covent Garden if you want a proper night out.
anonymous - 19 Jan 2007 14:38
Great little pub, only real problem is that it gets too busy at certain times.
Beer is always good - only remember having one bad pint in here over the last few years which I took back to the bar and they happily exchanged (I even got an apology). The bar staff are trained properly as they are always friendly, quick, efficient and know how to pour a pint.
Watch out for the steep stairs up to the gents though. Can be a tad smokey.
TheBeerMonkey - 18 Jan 2007 11:42
Enjoyed this place on Sunday afternoon. Good selection of ales available, although nothing really noteworthy on the day I went. Lovely decor and an excellent barmaid who kept friendly banter with all of the customers. In a small pub on a quiet afternoon, you need to have great staff to make the difference and this place certainly did that. It's great to see a place with a functional no smoking room too (it's on the 2nd floor), unlike The Salisbury's, which is as effective as a no p*ssing section in a pool. Didn't actually use it though, as the atmosphere downstairs was so enjoyable, and it wasn't terribly smoky due to the number of customers. Could see it coming in handy on a weeknight though.

One thing bemused me about the visit though....why are there three coat hooks in the single gent's stall? Does it tend to attract heavily layered customers, or is there something else going on I'd rather not know about? :O)
topdog_andy - 16 Jan 2007 09:19
The previous reviews are spot on. This is a great pub with excellent staff and a supbern range of beers including Cider. Love the place.
Knocker - 12 Jan 2007 11:36
What an oasis in a desert of rather tired, unwelcoming chain pubs! Definitely a place for the real drinker with a range of well kept ales (Black Sheep was on top form). Pleasant surroundings, friendliness from behind the bar. Well worth seeking out.
fromedrinker - 7 Jan 2007 10:00
An excellent little pub - not only for the selection of well-kept real ales but also the tempting sausages that are served over the bar! Good for people watching when the windows at the front are open too.
MINTYBOOM - 6 Jan 2007 03:56
This pub can get very crowded but the service is second to none - friendy and efficient. Always nice to go to a pub where the people serving seem to genuinely care about what they're doing. Beer range pretty good too: Harviestoun Bitter & Twisted was on top form last night. By far the best bet in the area.
ed.spbw - 22 Dec 2006 17:40
A fine, friendly, small traditional pub handy for Charing Cross Station. Excellent pint of Landlord. Also Black Sheep on. By far the best pub in the area. Smoking allowed (yes!) but for the weaker bretheren non smoking room upstairs.
AndySk - 20 Dec 2006 16:52
Superb pub, very well kept ales and friendly, attentive bar staff. The best by a long, long way if you are in the area...
Mr_Flash - 18 Dec 2006 14:02
Splendid pint of Timmy Taylors Landlord last Saturday morning.
I like this pub more and more every time I visit, which unfortunately isn't often enough. Always nice to get served by somebody behind the bar you recognise from your last visit, even if you're not a regular
JohnBonser - 18 Dec 2006 11:07
Visited on Sunday afternoon, the first time I've ever been when it wasn't heaving. Lovely pint of a dark ale called Barnstormer from a selection of good, though perhaps rather samey, beers. This is a first class pub, especially considering the location.
anonymous - 11 Dec 2006 12:37
Very handy venue for aprez bell-ringing practice at St Martin's in the Fields.
The beer is worth sallying forth for, and the bar staff are good fun and have a glint in their eyes.
campanologia - 6 Dec 2006 23:07
A small pleasant pub, friendly service and well kept real ales including Harveys.Will be back when next in area.
leggless - 19 Nov 2006 17:57
Great pub, best in the area ! Excellent selection of Ales, decent bar staff too.. keep on returning.
darloexile - 19 Nov 2006 12:12
Great little pub in Central London that isn't a Sam Smith's. Pricey but well worth it for the fantastic selection of real ales.
davefrom78 - 15 Nov 2006 14:34
Very good. I had heard good things about this place and it definitely bucks the trend of appalling pubs in London's West End. A small but very homely pub with a local's atmosphere and a range of four or five real ales. When I was there both Harvey's and Timothy Taylor were in excellent condition. I'd definitely pick this as venue next time I'm in the area.
grecian - 13 Nov 2006 16:46
Nice but small pub with a good selection of Real Ales. I tried the homewrecker ale which was very tasty. If the downstairs is packed, there is an upstairs room with a few tables.
surfadelic23 - 8 Nov 2006 14:06
Very small and busy pub close to Trafalgar Square. Great selection of ales, and the pint I had was good. Two friendly ladies behind the bar - this is a good little pub that I will go to again.
nich52 - 4 Nov 2006 17:26
It's Binnie's and Sarah's commitment to Real Ale that counts. They know how to look after it, serve it, and please customers. It is definitely one of the top ten pubs in central London, but this view might alter depending on when you visit: get the place to yourself and enjoy; hit the rush hour and you might be less impressed...

A great venue nevertheless!
Alph_river - 29 Oct 2006 00:05
This is a good pub by london standards because of its choice of beers for one,but it aint that good!Its definetly worth a visit but you would be disapointed if you thought it was going to be a top of the chart pub.Got to go now as my taxi for the pub has just arrived.

Henners - 27 Oct 2006 19:50
I went to the Harp for the first time last night and had a great night. Fantastic beer, brilliant sausages, great atmosphere. I will definitely go back (and will take my veggie boyfriend even though he won't be able to enjoy the sausages!).
Clarey79 - 27 Oct 2006 11:58
I agree with Aleking completely.
anonymous - 24 Oct 2006 22:26
I agree with Aleking to an extent... however...a place needs to be sufficiently busy to justify turning over such a wide range of ales!!! Without the people coming through the door and ploughing through the ale this would be your bog standard pub struggling to sell a firkin of London Pride!!! Admittedly it is tight on a busy night but without us ale drinkers cramming the place it would be another bog standard tourist hole selling Fosters as its "premium offering"!
givemeale - 24 Oct 2006 21:56
AleKing is spot on.
MrLash - 20 Oct 2006 11:19
A very impressive range of ales; Black Sheep; Dick Turpin and, especially, IPA, were great and well-poured by nice staff. Didnt sample Harveys, Batemans XXXX or Timothy Taylor as Ive had them all quite recently.

While it is a great pub for ale (rightly regarded as one of the best in the area), I have to say I feel it is a tad over-rated the seventh best pub in the land? There are a few quibbles that, at least from my perspective, knock a couple of points off.

Drawbacks are the slender layout, which although not on the minute scale of The Jerusalem Tavern, certainly creates hustle and bustle. Some people may feel is part of its charm, but and maybe I am just getting too old it inevitably ends up too crammed and cramped. Obviously it is incredibly popular (deservedly so) but each time I have been in there, I have felt like a sardine, floating in a sea of suits, students and everyone else not my preferred means of sampling some quality beer. Although the staff managed the bar faultlessly, it was a bit of a battle actually getting to the bar (stuck behind plebs ordering lagers) and then a challenge to get the beer back without spilling it amongst the flailing elbows, jostles and obstacles, only to stand amongst these flailing elbows, jostles and obstacles and try to drink the pint.

I also thought the dcor was a bit tacky, I'm also not a fan of high chairs, and the undersized toilet halfway up the stairs was a bit of a pain; even if some people would see that as quaint.

In conclusion, I would easily recommend The Harp, but probably try to go there at times when it is a bit less hectic to avoid the crush.
AleKing - 20 Oct 2006 11:17
My favourite boozer in London, a wonderful spot to stop off and have a drink or three before catching the train home from Charing Cross. It may sound like an Irish pub but it consistently has on at least three or four excellent English bitters, some of which are a pleasant surprise, including - if memory serves - London Pride (expected), Timothy Taylor's Landlord, Black Sheep and Harveys Best (the finest beer known to humanity, and proving that it can travel beyond Sussex!). Unlike the so-called beer festivals which run sporadically and briefly in over London pubs the beer at Harp is nearly always excellent because they always have it.

The building itself has a rather long and narrow layout, with considerably more width at the rear. The back door is also a useful escape route if things get too busy at the front during the rush hour. It really is a great place to sit (or prop) and watch city life go by in the summer when the large windows towards the front of the bar are unlatched and bolted down. The Harp is also not a bad place to watch the rugby on the small TV high in the corner wall as I did during the Six Nations; the compact nature of the interior gave it a close but friendly atmosphere.

Another thing in the Harps favour is the decor, with its dozens of paintings, is strangely different but nonetheless pleasing. Also the cooked sausages make it a good place to take a hurried snack (although the lack of plates can make actual consumption rather tricky!). I believe as well that a small upstairs room has been opened, although I only caught a quick glimpse, but I think I'll be staying downstairs on my next visit.
Beerhead1 - 19 Oct 2006 15:41
If your a visitor to London and want a really good drink with a wide selection of various national brews; look no further. It get's very croded, but it's a long narrow pub, so push on to the back. Wonderful place.
anonymous - 13 Oct 2006 22:33
Every time I go to this pub I have a good time. Nice little buzz, good beer (6 ales)and very nice service. It's all good as far as i'm concerned.
mitomighty - 13 Oct 2006 19:44
DEPTFORDDUTCH - 11 Oct 2006 15:17
The drinking man's Coal Hole.
anonymous - 9 Oct 2006 12:30
I first put a review of this pub saying what a gem it is back on 13th July 2005 and now I'm almost beginning to wish I'd kept it to myself ... haven't been for a while now but am glad SOME things don't change and that it's still tip-top. Look forward to my next visit, hopefully SOON! Janet
anonymous - 9 Oct 2006 12:24
A dying breed in London, especially central London; a classic house that combines a decent variety of ales with simple, home-made grub, and surprise of surprises, genuine character. Granted, it's on the small side but surely still infinitely preferable to these soulless corporate barrack-rooms now so commonplace in the capital and elsewhere. Moreover, it stands out for being friendly, and the buzzy atmos from the mixed clientele can pervade the street when the large window is opened up. Unlike lots of London pubs the Harp doesn't need to reply on dozens of colourful hanging baskets outside to draw the punters. Keep up the good work!
TWG - 4 Oct 2006 17:34
Harp, a true West End gem
Enables us all to

Really good, well-kept
Pint or three

Before heading
In homeward directions,
Not wanting
Nor needing to leave.
It's the best example of an
English pub (in the Irish mode)

We have.
All I ask is Punch
Leave it alone
So we can continue to
Have good times here...


zjp - 3 Oct 2006 11:45
The thinking man's Coal Hole.
tanderson7 - 3 Oct 2006 07:53
A nice little boozer with well kept ales. Not sure what it will be like in the winter, (purely because of its size) as I have only stood outside. Very nice though.
mr_lunch - 2 Oct 2006 13:36
Good Pub,especially in the daytime ,when the front is open ,friendly clientele,good selection of real ales sausages are good too an oasis .
dogbolter - 25 Sep 2006 20:10
Altho' I got there late evening after the fun, Sept 19th, there was still a good and convivial atmosphere in the bar and upstairs in the no smoking room. The Black Sheep bitter had peaked, but the Harveys Best Bitter was excellent.

A much deserved award for Sarah, Binnie and the whole working team!
zorrodp - 21 Sep 2006 15:16
This place is stunning an excellent venue to take people to.

I liked the sausages a lot and will definitely come back for more!
anonymous - 13 Sep 2006 16:49
This would be a pub to prize anywhere, but to find such a gem in central London is quite astonishing. The beers (a great variety of which are on offer) are always in fine condition, the sausages are delicious, and the staff maintain a cheerful and friendly attitude despite having to work so hard to cope with the crowds of appreciative punters. Definitely the best pub in London.
nickfitz - 12 Sep 2006 20:14
The front of this place is stunning, especially when they pull the front window right back.

Six ales of interest on last weekend, tried Lees Ruddy (OK - for a Lees!) and the Kerfuffle which unfortunately was warm and quite past its best, so the quality control is a bit wobbly at times it seems. Hopefully it was a one-off?

A trip to the toilets after a few is an experience, due to the narrow winding staircase and lack of turning circle when you get to the door.

Well worth a trip for the heritage factor alone.
Quinno - 12 Sep 2006 19:30
A splendid example of a traditional pub in a central London location. The beer is exceptional (I particularly recommend the Harveys). Both the staff and clientele are delightful. I must also thoroughly recommend that you enjoy one of the fabulous O'Hagans sausages with your pint. The Harp is a real treat for the genuine pub enthusiast.
Lord_bangstick - 10 Sep 2006 11:08
Why, oh why, have I been walking past this place on my trips to Theatreland and the National Gallery and drinking in the Chandos or the Marquis of Granby. Has to be the best pub in central London. If you go midweek towards the end of the evening it is a lot less crowded. The staff know their real ale and serve a great pint, great clientele make for fun people watching.
workhard - 4 Sep 2006 15:16
Excellent in every way. Went after seeing reviews here and vas completely impressed. Beer was kept as well as any I have had and the staff are more friendly than any I have met in London before. will be going back soon to try the famous sausages!
TrickyG - 1 Sep 2006 13:28
A very friendly, small but perfectly formed pub. Very handy for a post National Gallery drink. Add in the fine beer and it is comfortably one of the best pubs in the area. However to have it as one of the best in the land, is overrating it.
BlindTiger - 29 Aug 2006 17:15
For a regularly-changing carefully-chosen selection of well-kept real ale, the Harp is probably the best pub in central London. O'Hagans sausages (pork & leek, lamb& mint, etc) are wonderful! Binnie Walsh knows how to run a proper pub, and her well-trained staff deliver a very high standard of customer care. The Harp's popularity means it can be crowded at times, so choose your times wisely and enjoy a tip-top drink a stone's throw from Trafalgar Square.
Alph_river - 28 Aug 2006 11:31
What a big surprise; a terrific pub in theatreland that not only has a changing range of real ale, but a warm and friendly atmosphere to enjoy them in. I feel mortified that I bypassed this little pub for the Marquis of Granby for so many years or settled for hot, ugly, crowded places like the Chandos round the corner.
SteveinLondon - 25 Aug 2006 14:00
ssteven1 - 18 Aug 2006 14:47
What a great little pub. Friendly service and good quality beer. Busy but not too busy on Saturday late afternoon and found a seat easily, I honestly could have sat here for hours drinking T.T Landlord and eating those tasty sausages if it wasn't for the fact that I had other venues to visit. Will definitely return.
giantelf - 14 Aug 2006 14:34
Excellent beer, gorgeous barmaid, very friendly and efficient landlady. One of the few pubs in London where you get a decent head on your pint and that's relaxed about last orders. Amazing that it's in the centre of London.
malone - 7 Aug 2006 14:49
I have been frequenting this pub for many years and i find it to be the best pub in the area. Amongst all the lifeless wine bars in the area this place is a gem.
The choice of real ales is always surprising and regularly features Harveys Sussex Best and Timothy Taylors Landlord. They also are excellently conditioned and best complimented with an O'Hagans Sausage. The staff are always friendly and willing to help and the landlady is always at hand, which is a rareity in most chain pubs which lack that homely atmosphere these days.
A top class, local pub in the heart of London.
anonymous - 4 Aug 2006 10:46
I always find it disappointing when having to report what was an otherwise lovely pub on previous visits, being let down on my attempted visit today : Sunday 30th July at about 12.50pm.
Basically, I only discovered this pub through the positive remarks through this website and went for the first time about 2 weeks ago. I have recommended the pub to mates aswell. The beers were great (Harveys), and I had a good talk to the wonderful landlady who excels in customer service and providing beer in tip-top condition.
Anyway, went in at a quiet time, waited for the bar-girl to finish serving the guy ahead of me, then expected to be served my pint ! Instead, all i got was the girl nodding in the direction of her drink and she continued talking to someone else, totally ignoring me. I dont normally like to complain, and rarely have bad service because I generally visit decent pubs that serve fine ales away from places where you kind of expect 3rd rate bar staff: hence the joy of finding the Harp !. Needless to say, I walked out to find somewhere else this fine afternoon, perhaps annoyed at myself for not having a go at her, as she was in the wrong. I couldnt be bothered to have a scene.
Anyway, like i said,i have been to the Harp several times over the last few weeks and intend to make it a little after work stop over etc. I was there the previous friday eve for instance and all the girls serving then were nothing short of excellent. I know today might just be a one off, and the landlady was no where to be seen (ironically, i saw her enter the pub about 1 minute after I left), she takes pride in her venue and I know she reads the stuff on here. The girl who lacked in customer facing skills was about mid 20`s, brunette, definitely foreign probably eastern european. I dont want this to put me off a future visit, because like i said, this is a fab place and i havent had a problem with staff here: Unfortunately the landlady doesnt have eyes in the back of her head and cannot account for the behaviour of her staff in her absence. Therefore i will remain anon on this, despite giving a glowing review recently on bite. I just cannot tolerate bad or rude service especially when I didnt say anything to justify such stand-offish behaviour and just wanted a quite sunday afternoon drink !
anonymous - 30 Jul 2006 13:43
Great place - staggered to find a pub like this so close to Trafalgar Square. I like it more and more each time I come here, which unfortunately isn't as often as I would like.
JohnBonser - 19 Jul 2006 13:19
First visit recently, was very impressed. If like me, you prefer a quality ale selection (esp an immaculate Harveys), decent food, polite and friendly service, interesting decorations and summer views outside a flower drenched frontage, this place could be the place for you. Will visit again for an hour or two and watch the world go by.
darloexile - 18 Jul 2006 13:25
One of the best pubs in the area with an ever changing selection of guest beers. Get there early at lunchtime for the full selection of sausage sandwiches. Down-to-earth landlady is always good fun and sometimes there's a barmaid to drool over.
draughtbeer - 17 Jul 2006 18:55
I used to work in the Charing X area and the Harp was the best pub in the surrounding area to have a lunchtime drink in the summer sun. Superb. Fair enough, you are spilling out onto the pavement, but with beer gardens few and far between in the Charing X Leicester Square & Covent Garden areas, I would certainly come here for a couple at lunch and watch the cosmopolitan female talent (and tourists) stroll by!
Searching_for_H_Files - 12 Jul 2006 16:32
Excellent place. Good boozes. Busy and the staff were still really friendly and made an effort to help out or speak to you. Still haven't got round to eating the sausages!!! A favourite, this one.
mitomighty - 12 Jul 2006 13:52
The best pub in Covent Garden. Has character, extremely friendly staff (a very rare thing in London) and unusual cask ales for London (Elgoods, Lancaster bomber, Archers - need I say more?)
realalemadness - 3 Jun 2006 15:46
Very Nice pub. The upstairs part is very bizarre though I think!
anonymous - 1 Jun 2006 01:59
She certainly does read the comments and they are all, of course, well earned. Would definitely visit more often if I lived nearer.
Phucough - 31 May 2006 18:34
The landlady of this pub happened to mention to me she reads the reviews of her pub on this website regularly. So be nice!

My pint of Harveys on my last visit was excellent. The place does tend to get packed but that is hardly surprising.

The upstairs room - which is presumably intended as an overspill - is odd.
anonymous - 30 May 2006 19:13
Just been for a visit this evening after a gap of several months. I can honestly say that the Harvey's I've just supped was the best pint I've ever had in London.
Albert_Campion - 13 May 2006 01:24
Landlord, Black Sheep, Thoroughbred, Greyhound & Harvey's Best on offer in a crowded typical central London long and narrow single room pub. Genuine woody and wholesome atmosphere with a well heeled and relaxed clientelle. A conversation pub. Has a definate appeal. Upstairs room is quiet and smoke-free, but lacks the character of the main room.
SilkTork - 7 May 2006 22:05
Continues to be the only real local in the area, and consistently Binnie and her staff are friendly, welcoming, and serve a good range of well-kept cask conditioned beers, including my favourite Harveys Best.

It well deserves the CAMRA listing - and its popularity with CAMRA West London.

It's not overun by bearded real ale enthusiasts though - a plentiful and varied crowd is to be found. And a recent feature is a comfortable upstairs no smoking lounge.
zorrodp - 2 May 2006 17:28
Have been using this pub now for over two years, though not as much as I would like to. Always had a great welcome here. Good selection of well kept ales, and an above average selection of spirits. A good selection of hot sausages served, but get in early....they usually disappear very quickly. Varied clientelle, and always a good atmosphere
MX321 - 29 Apr 2006 12:33
Another satisfying visit to the harp. friendly barmaid. next time i'll have a sausage
mitomighty - 24 Apr 2006 16:54
Afternoon visit was fantastic. 5 less usual real ales, a wonderful hostess, and cozy atmosphere. 8/10.
Real_Al - 17 Apr 2006 21:33
Mmmmmm.... St Peter's Golden Ale and Jennings Sneck Lifter on today, both in excellent condition.
Millay - 16 Apr 2006 21:28
Great selection of beer including Timothy Tailors Landlord, Black sheep and Harveys, 3 top beers, shame its so smokey.
chrismm - 9 Apr 2006 13:22
Saw the good reviews so thought it would be a good thing to pay a visit. Yet again it had to be on a Thursday evening so the place was rammed. However, we eventually got a pair of stools beisde the ledge parallel to the bar and settled down to enjoy some top beer. It really was that good, and the selection was excellent as well. The bar staff are outstanding, friendly yet efficient. Not normally keen on the West End but if you find yourself there this is about as good as it gets............
Joe_Cundy - 1 Apr 2006 22:08
The bar was crowded and rather smokey on Saturday evening, so I tried upstairs for the first time. What a super room - surprisingly stylish, with an interesting view down Adelaide Street - and no problems having my sausage sandwich served there. The Harvey's Bitter was excellent, building up a hoppy fragrance; two guys in the bar were also well pleased with their pints of Crop Circle.
Basileus - 26 Mar 2006 19:31
Great little pub.Has Harveys and Black Sheep as regular ales so you can't really go wrong.
TonyAle - 21 Mar 2006 13:04
considering its location this place is supringsly good, excellent beers and sausages, worth dropping by anytime.

moclips2002 - 19 Mar 2006 18:32
Visited 8 March 2006. A proper pub. Great range of beers and excellent service
154e - 15 Mar 2006 16:12
Great cosy, hidey hole type pub perfect for summer or winter. In fact it's annoyingly good - I'd really like to go somewhere else for post-work pints, for a change of scene really, but nowhere cuts the mustard when compared to this place.
pascal - 15 Mar 2006 15:02
Excellent ale and o'hagans bangers.great service even when heaving.
stevenbailey - 9 Mar 2006 11:23
A decent pub if you happen to be in central London. Many years ago I used to frequent it when it was called the Welsh Harp and run by a guy called Nigel whose dad I think ran before him.
Notasaffa - 7 Mar 2006 23:46
Splendid pub - a rare find for Central London. Good beer, friendly locals and attentive staff. Will visit again soon. Highly recommended
JohnBonser - 6 Mar 2006 12:58
A little gem I reckon. The beer was washin down well and it's little and I got a seat on a saturday night - cowa-bloomin-bunga!!
mitomighty - 28 Feb 2006 18:50
A deep, narrow pub decorated in sort-of Victorian style (oil paintings on the wall and bare boards?). Two rapidly-changing
guest ales. A most welcome addition to (very) central London.
It can be astonshingly difficult to find good beer in the
Great Wen. The Porterhouse lies a short way to the east, as do a
numner of other good pubs.
Uncle_Dunkel - 24 Feb 2006 17:15
Quality. A fantastic range of real ales - the Titanic is superb. Friendly bar staff, nice and relaxed atmosphere, all in all it's one of the best.
keep_it_green - 13 Feb 2006 16:32
An amazing find in such a central location. Very busy and noisy on the ground floor but nice and quiet, with plenty of tables, and smokefree, upstairs. Classical music playing in the background; what a refreshing change! Didn't try the food but the pints of Deuchars, Black Sheep, and Landlord, were all very acceptable.
Trev - 6 Feb 2006 13:03
The Harp (formerly the Welsh Harp) is a fairly small pub that can easily be overlooked due to the proximity of at least 4 other pubs / bars within 30 yards. This is probably one of the most homely and civilized pubs in the area with friendly staff and welcoming group of locals. The pub is long, narrow and full of character. Very much a traditional style pub with bare floor, large mirrors, several portraits, brass chandeliers, lamps and stained glass windows at the front (note the harp depicted in the door). Along one side is a ledge with built in tables at the rear. On top of the bar frame are several jugs and urns just asking to be shot at like a fairground stall. Entertainment is minimal with just a basic TV in the corner. There is also a no-smoking room upstairs. The real icing on the cake is the beer. 3 regular ales (Harveys, Black Sheep and Landlord) complimented by 2 ever changing guest ales (a selection of the pump clip-ons can be viewed above the bar). The sausages were very popular although I did not try one. Definitely one of the best pubs in the area for the serious drinker.
RogerB - 19 Jan 2006 09:42
Traditional pub. Excellent ale - especially Blacksheep. Good buzz. Good food. A Must.
Phucough - 10 Jan 2006 02:07
I like this one. Only been there twice, a Friday and a Saturday night. Great atmosphere, low lighting, just nice.
f90x - 16 Dec 2005 23:34
Excellent. Long narrow pub just north of the Strand and Charing Cross Station. A friendly atmosphere combined with absolutely superb beer, makes this a must. Visited last night and had a pint of Black Sheep Bitter which was 100% on form.

O'Hagan's sausages are available at the bar and must be tried.

Staff very friendly and welcoming; locals and other customers warm and accommodating. Overall, this is a quality pub, serving quality beer for the quality customer. Recommended. 10/10!
lad_newton - 15 Dec 2005 12:31
The Harp is becoming so popular that they ran out of sausages on Sunday afternoon! Fortunately there are four other pubs within easy staggering distance (also one of the few Post Offices in London which issues International Driving Permits - in case you ever need one). On a previous visit, I sampled the Timothy Taylor Landlord and found it well up to standard: soft, with hints of honey, rather than the slightly harsh flavour more often found in other London outlets. Full marks to the cellarers.
Basileus - 1 Dec 2005 22:31
Truly outstanding in every way. Friendly staff, great beer and a the pub itself is full of character. Given the location, it would have been easy to have slipped into complacency because the tourists would have come anyway. It's nice to think that visitors to London can find such an excellent example of a real British pub at a major tourist honeypot.
Albert_Campion - 1 Dec 2005 18:48
I called in for a quick pub lunch midweek - they were serving one of the best ales in England: Harvey's Sussex Best Bitter, and probably the best sausage sandwich in London (I chose the Pork and Leek variety) with tasty fried onions, and a perfect baguette, chewy but not too crispy. Incredible value for 5.20 all in!
Basileus - 9 Nov 2005 23:57
Had a great pint of Timothy Taylor Landlord here last night. It is near to my work so is often frequented for a after work drink.
silentbob9484 - 2 Nov 2005 16:23
Gave this place another try and happily the beer was much better (Landlord). they were also serving Black Sheep, Harvey's and a guest from Wye Valley.

I do like the feel of this pub. It's small and narrow but they haven't made the mistake of trying to squeeze in too much furniture. In fact there are no tables as such, just a broad ledge around all the walls with plenty of stools and the bar along one side.

I remember going here years ago when it used to be called the Welsh Harp and the gents toilet was halfway up a staircase, making a deadly trap if you stepped out of the door without concentrating! I didn't get the opportunity to check if it's still like that.
Rich66 - 18 Aug 2005 23:23
I also had a similarly disappointing experience with the beers on Friday night. I took back a pint of Landlord and the woman behind the bar changed it. However she told me that 'Billy' had said it was OK - so maybe others had complained too. The best pint was Harveys Best albeit a touch 'woody', but this ran out after a while unfortunately.

However I will perservere with this pub as the atmosphere was very welcoming and lively, and possibly the beer experience was a glitch.
GrahamA - 13 Aug 2005 21:27
Pub had a nice feel to it and there was an impressive collection of pump clips decorating the bar, indicating the turnover of guest ales they've sold. Unfortunately my pint of Black Sheep Bitter was rather "green", and the pint of Taylor's Landlord I saw someone else served with looked similar. Hopefully that's not typical and I'll still give the place another try.
Rich66 - 11 Aug 2005 23:43
I love this pub, we often treat ourselves to a night in a hotel in town and we come and sit here in The Harp and enjoy the selection of ales on offer, always well kept. Yes it is small, and I guess if you pick a funny time after the workforce and before the night crowd it might not be the same, but I think it's great. First time we went - Pale Island (Ridley's version of Pale Rider), and the last time last Saturday - Summer Lightning. Front all opened out, sun streaming in, watching the world go by. Lovely. Friendly staff, mean sausages in hot dog rolls served 'til quite late ... :-)
anonymous - 13 Jul 2005 17:38
Decent pub with a large front that can be opened out. Sells cigs behind the bar, 20 for a fiver can't be bad.
jaybee - 11 Jul 2005 12:01
Small pub (with two entrances I think??) but friendly and with top ales. Thankfully never find myself around Charing Cross that often, but it's a place I certainly want to try again. If given the chance. Eventually.
travis - 4 Apr 2005 02:53
I've walked past this pub for years and only visited because it's in the 2005 Good Beer Guide. What a great place I've been missing. A proper pub, great beer and friendly staff. I'll certainly be back.
anonymous - 18 Feb 2005 23:47
I'm one of the scruffy Northerners who goes in the Harp but wasn't aware I looked shifty. Sounds like Southern paranoia to me. Keep your eye's peeled for the Anthony Eden looky-likey...he's the spit of our disgraced 1950's premier.
Phil - 18 Nov 2004 17:05
Amazing pub, one of the nicest in London I've ever been to. Last night they had three guest ales, and the staff were lovely and friendly, not cheesy idiots like in a chain pub. Great decor. Shame the lager is rubbish though (Stella).
Daren King - 9 Nov 2004 10:54
Sorry a juke box would not help at all. This is a cracking pub with real beer. and as for Sarah pulls a mean pint of Harveys
stephen Lester - - 25 Aug 2004 15:56
Run by a real character of bloke called hilary.This pub is what a pub should be,spit and sawdust and all!
Nick Hamer - 20 Aug 2004 18:47
There often seems to be a scruffy looking set of Northeners looking a bit shifty in there. Excellent Pub though although a good juke box would be the icing on the cake
Ernie - 28 Jul 2004 10:36
Great little pub, the front windows are taken out in the summer and you can drink in the open air! Always nice to spot all the coppers going to and fro from the police station down the road as well.
paul - 17 Jun 2004 12:55
Great little pub with excellent staff and a good range of beers. A nice relaxed atmosphere and, as someone says below, customers are not rudely booted out at 11.15, as in so many Covent Garden pubs. A traditional pub in a central area which boasts very few of them. More power to its (beer-pulling) elbow.
TJR - 24 Feb 2004 18:25
A really small bar - really rather cramped; Bass bitter. there are better pubs around
andrew1961 - 23 Jan 2004 21:53
Excellent beer and good service - everything a traditional pub should be. Watch the stairs to the toilets, best negotiated sober!
The tip - 28 Oct 2003 13:56
I particularly like the relaxed atmosphere of this pub - I have been in there a few times with friends after work and the staff are very friendly and they are not rushing you out of the door at 11.00pm ... the walls are covered with interesting portraits and the decor is very tasteful and traditional ... I would definitely recommend the Harp - a very good meeting place for a catch up with friends ...

Chloe - 3 Sep 2003 14:50
I'm really not quite sure about this place. The first time I went we'd just seen some music at Queen Elizabeth Hall on the South Bank and sauntered back over the river for a beer. It was a very nice end to the evening. Bar staff were friendly, the front was all opened out cos it was a nice evening, we didn't get frog-marched out of the pub at 11.20pm (as so often happens around there!) and the Guinness was really good.

Second time, the ceiling had fallen in. Oops. No biggy but made us carefully examine the remaining structure before we sat.

Third time, just after work, the atmosphere in the place was really weird and uncomfortable. I don't know why. I couldn't quite put my finger on it. It just wasn't right!

In short, good pub on a nice evening, a bit later and when it's busy. Don't go in there if you're walking past and it looks a bit dead though. The locals are scary.
TheG - 20 Jun 2003 10:48

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