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Albany, Great Portland Street

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user reviews of the Albany, Great Portland Street

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

Beware £5.50 a pint few signs of the prices, Regular M&B dominant in the area. Average food and pricey beer and little character in my opinion.
dnw - 25 Apr 2016 18:27
My once a year visit while the art fair is on at Regents Park on a Sunday tea time.

The inside layout has changed from my last visit with more open floor space after the removal of the banister type railing that used to be near the bar.

Plenty of bar staff on ready to serve. I was a tad disappointed to see only 2 ales available across the 5 hand pumps. Purity UBU and my choice which was Sunny Republic’s Red Bus @ 4.8% which was a decent pint.

Busy with the rugby world cup on the TV’s, most of the punters were tuned into this with the average age being early 30’s.

A nice enough pub, it’s handy for several tube stations and the ale is decent I just have no other opportunity or reason to use this place other than every October.


lezford - 12 Nov 2015 11:17
Came in for a beer just before closing time on Tuesday evening.

Choice of 5 ales, with regulars like Doom Bar & Pride I went for a pint of Hopdaemon’s Skrinshander IPA @ 4.5%. A decent enough pint.

Earlier on (9.30pm) the place was mobbed but after 11pm it had almost emptied.
2 efficient bar staff.

A decent pub with good beer choice.

lezford - 15 Oct 2014 15:24
Decent gastro pub. Empty on my visit on Saturday lunchtime. Not surprised as the Sambrook's Lavender Hill was £4.10 a pint.
rpf1955 - 13 Aug 2014 20:30
This was once the venue for the legendary Heavenly Social club night run by Heavenly Records in the nineties and so has a storied history, Much changed now though and smart in a gastro pub kind of way. I enjoyed my beers - Summer Lightning and Harbour while they also have Doom Bar and a few continental lagers of the premium variety. Otherwise, a little unremarkable.
BoehmBawerk - 30 Jul 2014 08:14
I had never been in this pub right by Great Portland Street station until a week ago and now I've been 3 times in a week as I was working in the area.

On all of my visits there 5 ales 1st visit the beers were Doom Bar, Moles Mole Catcher, Leeds Brewery Gathering Storm, Itchen Valley Belgarum Black, Windsor and Eton Knight of the Garter. 2nd visit 3 of the beers had changed and by visit number 3 all beers except Doom Bar were different...a great choice with ales from all over England..Northern and Southern breweries both well represented.

During visit number 1 on a Sunday tea time there were lots of tables laid for food, the other 2 visits were later at night and therefore the tables were back to normal.

This is a trendy version of a nice old Fashioned pub, the beer is not expensive for the area and just for the ales alone is worth a visit.

On my last visit the bar maid who was on her own decided she would flirt with a punter for a few minutes rather than serve me and a couple of others..bit annoying so say the least but I got over it.

Worth a trip

lezford - 24 Oct 2013 14:13
recent visit at the weekend just gone. Suprised at the good range of beers - I asked for a Guiness to be told they had run out but had another stout on tap, which was excellent. Bloody pricey at 4.20 a pop, but thats central London for you. I was watching a band in the basement bar, pretty decent venue. OK enough to pop into for a 1/2 hour for a quick pint. I would rate higher but the price of beer ranks it down.
mally_drinker - 12 Dec 2011 17:34
Woeful staff. Completely incapable of working a busy bar. (And the Staropramen tasted like the pipes needed cleaning)
owen_b2 - 17 Aug 2010 11:51
Did not go into the pub proper, but to the downstairs bar. A good atmosphere and a couple of interesting bands playing about half an hour each. An enjoyable night let down by a lack of ales.
LennyBanter - 27 Sep 2009 16:29
Am in pub right now. Ordered some beers they told it was going to me 10 minutes as they were changing the barrel. Half an hour later... Only staying because we are with people and it's a tick.
GuideDogSaint - 25 Sep 2009 19:32
Ok pub,beers not bad,staff ok,down stairs function room,dj on weekends.
Trojan_1 - 20 Sep 2009 10:54
Large corner pub round the back of Great Portland Street tube Station. Not sure if its just a bad photo or they have given it a lick of point since it was taken, as it is a quite shocking purple colour from the outside and from that point of view not very welcoming. But it improves when you move inside and has plenty of comfortable seating and an OK space for standing round the bar.
But the single area inside and high ceiling does make it quite cavernous and when busy, as it was went I popped in early evening, it was like drinking in a noisy barn. So will concur with the comment below that it is not an ideal place for a relaxing beer.
Beer was OK though. Plenty of foreign lagers for those who like that sort of thing and a decent pint of St Austells Tribute for me.
Good enough place for a meeting point around the GPS area, but I wouldnt like to spend an evening here ..

Gann - 29 Aug 2009 09:18
great selection of beers and quite a lively bar..... there is a great new band called Degrees Rising playing there a week tomorrow.
theginjaninja - 30 Jul 2009 13:02
..i mean 'relaxing drink'!
mozzzzzz - 15 Jul 2009 12:50
raucous pub with great collection of beer and so-so food...not the place for a relaxing place
mozzzzzz - 15 Jul 2009 12:49
A huge collection of beers on tap (more than 15).
Inside is nice but a bit noisy.
Two tables outside but near of a crowded street.
Toilets are very clean ;)

Eric_LA - 12 Jul 2009 18:23
Do not eat at this pub! Food is appalling and very overpriced for what it is! I ordered goats cheese salad and the lettuce tasted like it had been washed in dirty dish water! Paid 5 for 15 approx nachos all stuck together with cheese. My pal ordered veggie platter with burnt dough balls, overcooked wedges etc. The most unappetising food I had ever seen. If only Gordon Ramsey had been there...! We got our money back on most of the food we ordered as I didn't trust they would get it right a second time!! My friend's Pimms was not very nice and but cider was fine! We will not go back again. I will give them 3 points for the nice bar staff and the fact we got our money back. Sack the chef!!
Suse2482 - 5 Jul 2009 14:41
They are starting to have some different beers in here, on Friday there was Wooden Hand Gribben Ale and Brains Old Brewery Bitter.
GuideDogSaint - 14 Jun 2009 11:33
On my recent visit Pride, Youngs Ordinary and Piddle Artist were all available alongside a selection of premium lagers. The staff were nice enough, but I had to leave after a pint as there were groups of students screaming at each other across the tables and I started feeling the urge to bang some heads together.

I will give this pub another go when next in the area as I liked it and would have stayed longer if not for the din.
Strongers - 10 Jun 2009 07:07
Dont eat here!

very overpriced and small portions of moderate quality.

We had scampi (6 pieces for 8.50!)
chicken baguette (about 7 cubes of chicken)
lasagna (just enough to fill you up for lunch, despite being described as a 'big plate' and costing 7.25!)

Apart from that the location is good and there is a nice vibe - good for a few drinks.
xanderd - 5 Jun 2009 15:04
I think this must be under common ownership with the King's Head in Crouch End; certainly both have identical food menus and a similar look generally. This pub seems to be aimed at a young and trendyish crowd and reminds one of Mitchells & Butler's efforts in that vein (see e.g. the Volunteer at Baker Street), with the usual combination of OTT decor, chalkboards and randomly assorted furniture.

Like the King's Head it has a basement room used for comedy and club nights (there's a good monthly 90s indie night which I went to a while back). There were three ales on when I visited: a couple of boring regulars including Bombardier, and Brain's Milkwood on as a guest, which was quite good. Not a brilliant pub, but if I were meeting friends around here, I'd probably choose this place.
grecian - 14 Apr 2009 10:09
Surprisingly quiet when I dropped in here to meet a friend on Sunday evening. Only about half a dozen customers in the place which didn't do much for the atmosphere. Nice pint of Spitfire though and they tasted even better when the landlord sent us over 2 pints on the house! Thank you sir! I didn't find the place grubby at all, and was actually impressed at how tidy the bar is. Amy, the barmaid is a gem.
The_Inspector - 21 Oct 2008 18:47
Big dark hole of a place with a lively crowd, last night anyway. Mostly 20 's and 30's ish types out for the night, not post office (not a suit in sight). Lots of drinks, but expensive well served by staff. Club downstairs had comedy on last night, good crowd in to see female stand ups and the excellent 'Slow Country' sketch duo.
gonetolunch - 31 May 2008 08:12
I've been going to the Albany for a while now, not for the beer/food (although they do have Belgian fruit beer on tap, certainly downstairs) but to a club downstairs called 13th Floor where they play 60s psychedelia and related stuff. Worth going to for that club alone, but when are they going to fix the gents' toilet downstairs? Getting a bit fed up with jostling with the guys to get into the ladies...
sueg - 12 May 2008 19:54
I really like this pub!! I always go there when u first get into London, great place for a nice social!!

And the bar-maid with glasses aint half bad either..
bobotinks - 22 Apr 2008 02:00
Gets far too rammed for comfort.
UrbanGenieThing - 3 Apr 2008 13:37
This place is close to work for me. Probably the best of the very local pubs, good draught foreign beers - including Liefmans Frambozen, Franziskaner and Scneider Weisse, Paulaner Original Munchen and dark Budvar. A couple of real ales usually on too. Reasonable atmosphere, main drawback is the price. Worth a visit.
GuideDogSaint - 25 Sep 2007 21:33
The bar is in a good location, but the staff on duty last night were in my opinion, inattentive, unable to pour a decent pint, and in some cases rude. The beer was also not very good. All in all I would say give it a miss as there are other bars in the area which you should visit first.
jsdf - 20 Jul 2007 10:04
Dirty, grubby and grimy feel (and smell) to this place, which didn'd inspure confidence when I got there. Seating had a worn and ropey feel to it to. Food was equally disappointing - the 'chef' hadn't mastered the art of frying eggs, as both arrived broken and dried, chips were saturated in oil and the gammon was paddling around the plate in a pool of its own grease. When we complained that the chips were far too oily the lady shrugged and told us "That's England" and walked away. Well, pardon us for eating in our own country, madam - it's just that France was a bit friggin far to go in our lunch hour. Clientele was young/trendy and somewhat studenty. Beer was reasonably priced, but that didn't make up for the grubby experience of this place.

thebunster - 8 May 2007 16:45
relaxing but not so quiet place - Taylors Landlord and Blacksheep Bitter on draught plus numerous imported beers.
moclips2002 - 2 Feb 2007 19:50
Plenty of fancy / pricey beers and interesting bar snacks (wasabi peas?).

We went on a Sunday afternoon when it was chilled out and comfy and it's well worth a visit then. I hear it's packed-out during the week.

Thumbs up for the bloke behind the bar yesterday who stayed cheerful despite all the pumps going on his trenty beers yesterday.
MrScott - 6 Nov 2006 14:47
thank you Martini for the history about The Albany. much appreciated.

Boveman - 7 Jul 2006 23:46
From about 1994 to 2000. Never really took off and it was not surprising to see it revert to being The Albany. Incidentally, for fans of psycho ciders, The Albany sometimes has Addlestone's. Good stuff.

Other ex-Firkins in the area include The Court in Tottenham Court Road, which was the Flintlock and Firkin, and The Rocket in Euston Road, which was the Friar and Firkin. Both of these, as keen Fitzrovians will know, are part of the Scream chain: but fortunately not all Firkins went that way.
Martinl - 6 Jul 2006 20:36
does anyone know when was The Albany Pub called the 'Fitz and Firkin'? that must have been a long time ago.

Boveman - 6 Jul 2006 19:39
I had a grand time at The Albany directly across the road from the ISH. My musically gifted and talented Norwegian friend played the piano and we both sang old tunes ranging from 'It's a Long Road to Tipperary' and George Cohan's WW I classic 'Over There.' As we wrapped up singing the great Cohan song, my Norwegian friend asked me to get refills of our pint mugs so I proceeded to take them up to the bar where I was sucker punched in the face out of the blue.

I want to go back to have a rematch with the Brit who sucker punched me at The Albany Pub on Great Portland Street. He can even have his girlfriend play 'doubles' against me again.

Boveman - 5 Jul 2006 19:27
Fun, better than average theme-esque bar that caters for the nearby advertising execs and sales reps. Always fairly busy, german lager is ok (2.90 a pint), they had Black Sheep on recently (yet didnt taste anything like the Sheep, i know and love). Service was young and attained a c+ for effort.
darloexile - 19 Feb 2006 13:10
Was here a few years ago when a friend was managing a band who were playing downstairs. It was warm, comfortable yet lively - sport on the big screen, food on the table and lots of good conversation. On a recent afternoon visit the place was quiet and empty and there was no cask ales on. The actual atmosphere obviously depends on the time of day and your own mood. The pub itself is OK, but fairly average.
SilkTork - 17 Aug 2005 13:47
3 pints cider and I was on the loo all night long, thats just not right.
Full of suits, hogging the big comfy chairs. Little expenisve. Yugoslavian barmaids, were rather sweet. Didnt know how to put 4-leaf-clover on my Guiness, I mean come on... Ok pub, will probably pop in there again just for the barmaids.

PS keep clear of the Cider (im serious).
Selly - 31 Mar 2005 18:52
Nice'n'cool "All bar one" type of place. Good spite of the office workers...comedy nights are excellent value for money and a great night.
AusseiMatt - 25 Feb 2005 11:47
Although rather pricey this pub is quite cool, its a little known fact that many comedy events take place in the downstairs bar which are usually really good fun. I went here when it was the firkin, euggh! The Albany is much better.
DKavanagh - 1 Dec 2004 12:55
Like it.

Much better after the refit. Worth going in if you are near.
stoichkov - 30 Jun 2004 11:33
Nice atmosphere and a cash machine inside. You could vanish into this place for months before you got the sack for not turning up to work.

The only bad memory I have of the place (from a blunderous pre-airport rendez-vous there) was the few very deep armchairs. They aren't ideal for drinking (I'm a stool'n'round table man, myself), so they do exercise those drinking muscles which you don't normally use. Start yourself off with a long warm-up (maybe a bottle of white wine) when you arrive.
Norn_Iron_Dave - 22 Jan 2004 18:50
this and the queens head & artichoke are my locals and although it does get packed with all the office workers (yes they need a drink too!) it's a cool bar, comfy, relaxed, good music, not too trendy. perfect for a weekday evening booze with a mate.
alisdair - 21 Nov 2003 13:29
Seemed a bit All Bar One at first, but they had Addlestones on, nice!
Pauly - 10 Nov 2003 11:31
that rock'n'rollsoul club is brilliant. been a few times and the music is always cool. nice pub too!
stivbators - 29 Jun 2003 13:52
I'll second the friendly happy staff. Relaxed sort of place. I'm part of the office crowds but hey, we have to get a drink too.
JohnR - 22 May 2003 22:14
Very nice atmosphere, very nice staff and helpful management. Has comedy in the evening, went to see mark little.
Saint - 7 Apr 2003 16:42
They do a superb club downstairs on the first Saturday of every month called Rock'n'rollSoul. 3 to get in, licensed until 2am, soul, funk and 60s music.
Penfold - 19 Mar 2003 11:06
Gets very busy with office crowds in the evenings but the staff cope very well. Could probably make better use of the space available.
Steve - 7 Mar 2003 13:25
Has Leffe on tap. Dammit!
phil - 12 Jan 2003 16:55

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