The Princess Louise, Holborn - pub details
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Tel: 0871 951 1000 (ref 194) - calls cost 10p per minute plus network extras
Brewery: Samuel Smith's
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please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.
5 most recent reviews of 257 shown - see all reviews
|If you're hosting a foreign visitor, he's inevitably going to have 'typical pub' at the top of his viewing list. I've long given up on the notion of 'typical', because as a pub enthusiast the plethora of ensuing ideas causes chaotic indecision in my mind. But I'll gladly have 'historic' as a near-synonym. And then I think of this place.|
The layout and décor are first-rate. Stepping in here feels like warping back to the 19th century. The panels and side booths give an air of old-fashioned intimacy. The flooring eclectic as would be expected of the era. Yes it's been restored and refitted a number of times. But I wonder what the state of the wood would be like now if it had been left untouched since 1891...
So classic layout, check. The following point is common to all Sam Smith's houses, but it feels especially appropriate in tandem with the layout. The tied-ness of the place and restriction on beer availability also makes it classically English. Proper tied houses are a dying breed in the UK. Taylor Walkers and Nicholsons don't count. Every time I walk past a Watney's or a Charrington sign I wonder what pubs would be like if they had survived the lager wave.
All kinds of complaints fly about regarding the beer, and that is admittedly a bit of a minus - but there's also an excellent Wetherspoons round the corner catering to your real ale thirst. Talking of real ale, the cask OBB here isn't actually that bad, and at £2.80, is still under par for the area.
Busy at weekends but the bar staff are excellent. Emphasis on food just right - they do little things, which is how pubs used to be and should still be.
So perhaps not typical of today, but certainly classic and historic, and an absolute gem at that.
R3NW5 - 24 Mar 2015 13:32
|Architecture still as beautiful as ever. Beer, still as pish as ever. And since when did Sam Smith's go up to £4.40 for a pint of their organic lager.|
Well worth a visit for the experience. Better places to drink.
Mappiman - 21 Nov 2014 18:07
|Visited this marvellous pub 3 times on my latest UK pub crawl. I was surprised at the lack of customers on each visit this year (and in previous years). Different bar people each time, the last being a friendly Kiwi bloke, who effortlessly coped (& chatted) with the four or so groups who were in, scattered among the snugs & front bar. Glorious interior, Brewery Bitter (2.90) was cheap & tasty; this pub may be swamped at knock off time but is otherwise quiet & and an ideal venue for tourists wanting to see a traditional pub.|
Queenslander - 20 Aug 2014 22:45
|Went in one door and out the other...shame as absolutely packed.|
Next stop the Holborn Whippet instead and luckily got a seat.
Oh yes it is beautiful inside but I have been there before.
drinkingdad - 8 May 2014 10:53
|Called in yesterday afternoon before the Arsenal game, beautiful Victorian Gin Palace, even the lager drinkers with us enjoyed the Sam Smith's lager. The landlady, the lovely Caroline?made us welcome, put up with our attempts at flirting and managed to serve 3 people at once,cracking pub.|
DNADAVE - 3 Nov 2013 14:34
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