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Speaker, Westminster

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user reviews of the Speaker, Westminster

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

Change of ownership more a bar than pub, now has music and T.V., still OK, but
58Londoner - 30 Dec 2019 22:19
Quiet corner pub in the back streets of Victoria/Westminster. Cheapest pint of the day in three pubs visited. £4.90 for a good pint of Landlord.

Nice pub.
Mappiman - 17 Feb 2019 11:20
One of my favourite pubs, others posting have got it right, but..... that evil lying barstool Farage drinks there occasionally. That kent should stay in Kent.

Not yet put it to Dennis that it his Farage or me. One has to go.
baggydave - 4 Sep 2016 19:51
After an unpleasant stop at the hopelessly up itself Sanctuary House I was in need of some pub normalcy: this place is as normal as a pub gets. A couple of small groups chatting, a couple of singletons reading newspapers, friendly service. My pint of Timothy Taylor Landlord (4.50) was more than satisfactory. Sanity restored.
Queenslander - 1 Sep 2016 22:18
Amidst the gloom and despair that shrouds the hospitality industry there is the shining beacon of light that is The Speaker. Whilst other establishments flounder and sink, this happy ship continues to sail merrily on and on and on. Manned ably by Yuri and staff and with the tireless Dennis' assured and steady hand on the tiller, this is THE pub to visit in Westminster. One can happily chillax away an evening (or three!) in this place knowing that there is no length these guys won't go to to meet your every need. Just where do they get the energy!?

Warm atmosphere. Check!
Attentive service. Check!
Home crafted food. Check! (the beef sandwich is sex on a plate!! )

Say yes to this place, visit at least once before you die!

PS - don't go on weekends to avoid disappointment, it's closed sadly! )-:

PrinceGeoffreyofDover - 4 Dec 2015 17:36
This is a nice pub, situated away from the bustle of VIctoria street and catering to an eclectic mix of punters. The manager (Yuri?) is a real treasure, friendly, efficient and on-the-ball. There's another older gentleman who works there occasionally (the assistant, maybe?) who's also great fun. I love hearing all about his ailments! ;-)

I recommend this place, it's quirky and friendly. The Thai food is to die for! Literally!
aljazeera - 3 Feb 2015 22:06
Much loved corner plot pub just off Victoria Street.

It was busy the evening I visited, with the majority of punters being local workers.

Very snug inside but there's a handy standing area to the front of the pub....its called the pavement!

Attractive interior with wood panelling on the walls and a lot of political drawings and charactuiers.

5 beers on with the majority being locales, Ascot and Tring were represented. I went for Trings, Colleys Dog and @ 5.2 it was a good wholesome beer.

Nothing negative to report for this pub, so to the landlord keep up the good work and to the regulars keep supporting this gem of a pub.

lezford - 4 Oct 2013 14:10
Crowded on my visit with diners and drinkers alike. I had a Hexamshire Blackhall Stout at £3.65 I think? and a Woodefordes Wherry at £1.85 a half. Less choice than I expected but both beers were in good order. Friendly staff and patient staff too in having to deal with a rather stubborn nay arrogant Scandanavian chap during my supping session.
ng10 - 22 Jun 2013 06:57
Good beer, nice food, interesting place.

We used to pop in for lunch if working nearby, and it was always a pleasure, making the rest of the day a bit of a drag, naturally.
eddybeer - 15 Jun 2013 11:41
Worth searching out. It was quiet when I was there, on a miserable Wednesday lunch time, so some warming dark ales went down very well, as did the freshly prepared sausage sandwich. Not as small as I'd expected and certainly no problem getting a seat but, as I say, the weather, was probably a factor. Seems a bit churlish to be critical on the choice of beers, with 5 handpumps including Leeds, Goachers and Thwaites, but would have been nice to see some local beer too. Having said that, their selection of bottled beers included both Meantime and Camden, as well as the usual (but welcome) suspects from German, Belgium and the USA. A very pleasant way to keep out of the cold!
Doob - 14 Mar 2013 11:58
renzarov - Because of where it is, the pub does not open on a weekend, it being off the beaten track for tourists and there being very few local residents. Does sometimes open on a Sunday for the marathon, Remembrance Sunday and over the Jubilee but mostly closed. Worth popping on a week night though.
WillfromWandsworth - 23 Jan 2013 17:46
My mate & I eventually found this back-street pub 4pmish Sunday afternoon, only to discover it was closed...
I thought I'd mention this, but don't know if it's a seasonal thing, ie this is standard for the winter, or for any other reasons, eg lack of Sunday trade or renovation etc.
This was a bit of a shame, as the place sounded excellent in reviews & looked quite nice inside on peering through the windows!
We eventually rocked up at The Strutton Arms; q.v!
renzarov - 17 Dec 2012 19:57
A beler. Been going to the Speaker for years. Always have a decent range of ales on and Dennis and his staff are always friendly. Not very big, and being off the beaten track not too many tourists and a good number of regulars. A real gem.
WillfromWandsworth - 18 Sep 2012 16:51
lovely old london pub off the tourist trap of victoria/victoria street. friendly govenor and staff. peaceful with 4 handpumps serving landlord and youngs and two guests, all in top order. good selection of world beers. several themed beer festivals furing the year. ipa/ wheat beer on during my visit.
great simple food freshly prepared.ploughmans to die for.
a pub worth searching out, a proper pub.
lawrencesmith - 15 Sep 2012 13:08
A good real pub agreed,but if Padderborn thinks this is the only real pub in London he/she should get out more.
Picasso09 - 6 Jul 2012 20:54
This is the last real pub in London, by which I mean one that's for conversing, reading or just quietly enjoying a pint. It's tucked away off the beaten track and is not a very large establishment but it's got that long lost pub atmosphere that went out when the 1960's decreed that we must have inclusiveness (i.e. the lowering of standards to the lowest common denominator) and reduced all pubs to noisy exhibitionist yob shops. The greatest selling point is its no music or TV or any other unnecessary distraction and this attracts a better class of drinker. The gentle buzz of real conversation creates a civilised atmosphere that is not to be found elsewhere in London and there's a regular clientele that sometimes gets a little crowded but are not the loudmouth low life that often frequent Wetherspoons pubs.
The beer is well kept and the service friendly and although it's more expensive than some other pubs it's well worth the extra just to sample that long gone atmosphere of what a real pub should be about .
Padderborn - 6 Jul 2012 20:39
Understand from Dennis the guvnor that the 5th handpump will be dedicated to dispensing a LocAle.
defrakev - 6 Mar 2012 13:50
Had a drink here today, they have a new ale pump (so 5 ales on now!). Had Hammerpot Woodcote, very nice, set me back 3.40 which is quite reasonable really for this part of the world. Food seemed good as well, there was a group eating Thai curry of some sort.
papillon - 2 Mar 2012 00:39
Not a great beer pub on the night I went.
bedfont - 12 Dec 2011 17:16
Meeting finished early, had some time to kill and popped in here yesterday lunch. Never been in before. I was quite impressed. Basic but comfortable, with four ales on - T Taylors and Youngs Ordinary, plus two guest beers which I think is the norm. The guests were a stout from the Deeside brewery up in Aberdeen and a fruit ale from a brewery I forget. Over the next few days and weeks the guests will be stouts and fruit beers, and they have a sheet with the 20-odd that'll be on offer. Lunchtime, so I stuck with the Ordinary which was pretty good. Seems that the focus is firmly on the beer here and most punters were tucking into one of the ales.

It was busy with folk from a Remembrance event at the Abbey nearby and it seemed many of the old serviceman and woman make this a regular call after the service. Certainly the engaging barman, I suspect landlord, treated them like old friends, noting as one group left 'see you next year!'

Well worth a stop. A good, proper pub which has things just about right.

barlick - 11 Nov 2011 12:35
Quirky little pub. 4 ales on when I visited. very friendly service and the pint I had was spot on. Well worth a look.
TheHorsesMouth - 7 Nov 2011 12:51
Decent basic pub. on 25 August they had Landlord, Young's Bitter, Hydes Swift Delivery (3.40) and an Allgates beer that had just gone off. Helpful barman, worth a visit.
GuideDogSaint - 4 Sep 2011 13:59
Light and airy one room pub - as they say on the signs: no big screen, no music, no fruit machines. Four ales on tap: today TT Landlord, Youngs Ordinary, Youk Blonde and another blond (real lager? not Schiehallion). I had the Blonde and the Landlord and they were tip-top. For food sandwiches and such and today's special was Sausages and Mash with Onion Gravy. Yum.
SimonM - 23 Aug 2011 15:45
As mentioned it is off the beaten track, you certainly have to seek this one out.

Very good pub with a good selection of beers, the landlord (barman?) was knowledgeable and knew how to pull a good pint, offering to exchange my very slightly cloudy pint for a new one if I didn't like it, it actually setteled very nicely.

Will certainly be back.
kevmac - 8 Jul 2011 19:26
Excellant ales served by friendly staff and landlord. Home made food and fresh made sandwiches. Off the beaten path. Why did it take me 6 months to find a place like this 5 mintues from my (current) office? I'l be going back, often.
JohnFromCanada - 10 Jun 2011 13:34
jeremyb & nokegthanks, the guest ales prices range from 3.30 - 3.70, depending not necessarily on the strength, some beers are more expensive than others, especially if they have to come from far away. there's also young's bitter for 3.20 and timmy taylor landlord for 3.40, which is very reasonable for central london, not to mention a good range of spirits for very good prices too.
papillon - 3 Jun 2011 12:16
Nice pub, friendly and a good range of beer.
hillsidepaul - 29 May 2011 14:59
jeremyb, what a waggy supper you are. 3.70 for a pint of piss in central London is cheap surely, don't southern tossers pay through the nose for everything else, why not beer then?

Well until you lot are paying a fiver for a pint, not long now.............!
nokegthanks - 27 May 2011 00:22
A great pub and constantly changing ales...but 3.70 for a pint of 4% Mild (very good admittedly) is a bit OTT don't you think??
jeremyb - 26 May 2011 22:24
Continues to have interesting guests - but getting so rammed at key times that it is difficult to get in. Always good quality beer and friendly even when full.
meurglys_iv - 24 Feb 2011 17:11
Dont usually post on sites like this but have been encouraged to sign up by my mates! Have been drinking here for many a year. Yes the Landlord, Dennis, is both odd and funny at the same time. He doesn't mean to offend but admit sometimes he gets near the line! Two guests from breweries around the country and not usually seen in other pubs in the area. If trying something different isn't your thing there's always Youngs and Spitfire to keep you happy. Lager drinkers are well catered for with Pilsner Urquell, Carling, Grolsch and Kronenberg on draft and a range of bottled ones too including Czech Budvar. Cider drinkers can enjoy Stowford Press on draught or Magners in bottles.
beerwomble - 22 Nov 2010 10:54
Looking at the last review I would suggest you will find most pubs at 10pm pretty quiet that far away from the main streets. At the weekened it is like the City of London and there is no point in opening with next to no custom. As to New Years Eve. It used to open but the cost of extra security etc made it not worthwhile. As to the comment about the Landlord, he is both friendly and odd!
I have been using the pub for maybe as long as the landlord has been there, the beer is excelent and you always find a couple of guest beers on
lightman51 - 14 Nov 2010 14:32
Strange one this, popped in on a Tuesday about 10pm, about to close but stayed open for us. Completely empty, chatted to landlord, couldn't really decide whether he was friendly or odd. Gave the tube strike as the reason for being empty but seemed to pride on the fact he closes early on a Friday, doesn't open weekends and is even closed New Years Eve. Seems to rely on office workers, certainly knows his regulars. old feller came in and he knew his order, including beef sandwich which he made himself in the bar. Worth a visit if in the area but wouldn't go out of my way. Beer was very good.
phill1110 - 8 Nov 2010 23:22
Interesting, big political day, PMQ's, Tutition fees, etc and yet this place is empty at 2pm...?? Decent pint of some beer I'd not come across before. Sandwiches a little small but not too pricey for London. Barman needs to think about his sense of humour, his jokey comments about my friend came close to being unfunny and the barmaid needs to reign in the volume given its size!

As an aside the posters proclaiming no TV or music are a bit needless IMHO.
loveleedshatebates - 3 Nov 2010 22:31
Continues to sell two guest ales from a wide portfolio and has recently installed Pilsner Urquell in place of John Smiths Smooth @ 3.60 a pint
defrakev - 25 Oct 2010 16:25
I thought that I saw David in here well after his apparent departure. But maybe I had had one too many?
MeurglysIII - 19 Sep 2010 08:15
I must admit that the sudden departure of David, the long standing (and smoking and drinking!) barman has come as bit of a shock to all of the regulars. The resons for his departure do seem to be unclear at the moment. (I do hope that Class52 (below) is wrong, and that the parting of the ways was amicably, and correctly, handled).

For all of his, sometimes, absent-mindedness David is a nice fellow - always friendly and helpful, and, from the customer pov, efficient He will be sore missed by his many friends in the pub and hopefully he will soon be "behind the ramp" in equally pleasant PH surroundings.

(Notification of any sightings would be gratefully received by this contributor) correspondent
glennsin - 3 Aug 2010 11:35
A shame to hear about the departure of David, the excellent barman and cellarman here. His shoddy treatment by the management is surprising and disappointing.
Class52 - 2 Aug 2010 23:03
Interested in all the positive reviews for this place. It ought to be great - it's yards from my office, has an interesting range of real ale and doesn't have a telly or noisy sound system. But somehow, it never works for me. Partly, it's because it's small, and can get unfeasibly crowded. Partly because the layout is pretty awkward - you always seem to be on the route from somewhere to somewhere else, and it's really difficult to get past the regulars sitting round the bar to get served.

But mostly, it's because I've always found the place rather cliquey. Assuming you can get to the bar, you seem to have to wait for the landlord and staff to finish a chat with a regular before they'll deign to serve you, and I've never really felt welcomed (in contrast to other posters, who must have been luckier). I think they should make more of an effort with new and passing trade, as well as keeping the regulars happy, if they want to be a really good pub.

All this is a pity, since most of the other pubs around Westminster and Victoria are rubbish.
paul154 - 7 Jul 2010 11:37
I've visited twice in the last couple of weeks and will definitely be going again as we got a really friendly welcome from the landlord and the ale is nice too!
james32 - 28 Jun 2010 18:31
My first visit and it was a brief one. I was impressed: attentive service, excellent beer quality. Guv'nor thanked me for my custom on leaving, which is appreciated and noticed by discerning drinkers. Pricey but where isn't in central London these days?
Beerwulf - 8 Jun 2010 21:32
A pub that should be commended for its commitment to being a "real pub" above all else.
Friendly place. Not going to surprise you with beer selection but well worth the visit when in the area.
Dimple_mug - 1 Jun 2010 14:10
Fantastic pub,best in the area. Great range of beers, shame its not open weekends.
willothewisp - 29 May 2010 06:39
Finally made a welcome return to this pub after a 6-7 year hiatus. And welcomed we were; Dennis - who I feel I could still be on first name terms with even if I didn't get back for another 6-7 years - was most gracious and as previous commentators have remarked, very inclusive. Nobody is made to feel irrelevant and anyone can be part of the low burr of conversation at the bar, where D gently dictates the pace of proceedings.
Even more crucially, he seems to know his beers, and will be one of the few licensees able and willing to look far afield to stock his pumps with weird and often wonderful examples of fine brewing. There is only 4, but that will suffice and those sampled by yours truly last Tuesday were on song. D has, and will have festivals and clearly shows much alacrity in this area.
Otherwise, a cosy yet still understatedly classy atmosphere pervades, with wood pannelling, several sets of tables and seating areas, and a stylish semi-stained glass series of windows letting in just enough natural light.

This pub has much to commend it, and the only sadness is that it shines the spotlight on the tragic averageness of so many of its London peers. This place shouldn't be exceptional, but in its context, it easily qualifies for that status.
TWG - 22 Apr 2010 17:03
Well done Denis and co for gaining the top spot in the 100 pubs today
andrewkitney1973 - 26 Mar 2010 10:32
Excellent little boozer within walking distance of Voctoria station. Efficient friendly bar staff. 4 real ales on offer - yesterday from Rudgate, Nethergate, Youngs and Falstaff. Well worth seeking out.
cheshirecat - 11 Mar 2010 08:54
confused by the comment by robin53, one of the nicest things i've noticed about dennis is the inclusivness in his pub, including seeing a guide dog roaming in the bar and his attention to wheelchair users a beacon of good practice. i hope this does not deter anybody from visiting this very friendly and inclusive pub. the beer and food are both excellent
TimothyB - 26 Feb 2010 20:28
As a regular in the Speaker I feel that I must take issue with Robin53 below.

The landlord is in fact one of the most friendly and outgoing I have encountered in 35 years of pubbing.

Wth regards the incident referred to (and I was present at the time): the disabled customer in question is patially sighted and as they were leaving the landlord, very kindly in my view, went to move an item of stray furniture from impeding her progress. There was certainly no attempt either deliberate, or accidental to knock her over and I think Dennis is slightly upset at this reference.

As Robin53 was also present, and seems from postings here to be at least a semi regular, perhaps we can discuss this further over a friendly pint or two - they will obviously know me
glennsin - 25 Feb 2010 09:18
Good beer and food, but a very unfriendly landlord. He was extremely rude to a disabled customer and almost knocked her over as she was leaving! After she left, he berated her to his cronies.
Robin53 - 22 Feb 2010 17:45
I've been to The Speaker a fair few times, and I'm always glad to be back. The beer on tap is good quality and nicely kept, and the food is excellent. The home-made pate is great, but my favourite is the ham ploughmans - just the job after a tough day at work.

Dennis is always friendly, and happy to have a chat when it's not too busy. He knows his beer too, and will dish out recommendations for his upcoming guest ales. I'm yet to be disappointed.

Positives:
- Great beer
- Great food
- Great bar staff
- No TV/quiz machine/slot machine distractions

Negatives:
- It is a bit of a faff to find if you don't work in the area (although well worth the effort)
- It's only little, so can get pretty packed in the early evening, although tends to quiet down again later on
- It's not open on Sundays (I was distraught to find this out this weekend, having promised my girlfriend's parents some tasty food)

All in all though, this is definately one of the best pubs I've been to, and easily the best in the area.
steej - 25 Jan 2010 13:42
Good pub;gay friendly,especially with Dennis 'behind' the bar;looks better than he does in the Saunas.
Gingerqueerboy - 16 Jan 2010 22:07
Best pub around these parts, except the Cask.
WinnieSChurchill - 3 Jan 2010 00:45
Good pub - nice beer, reasonably priced, usually busy and no TV/music which is great!
mally_drinker - 17 Dec 2009 17:04
The Speaker continues to be a haven of very well kept, interesting ales - there's a couple of interesting festivals coming up in the near future. Always a friendly welcome from Dennis upon arrival.
Dartitis - 12 Oct 2009 17:03
The Speaker is the best pub in the area by a considerable way. Located in a quiet back street it is a single room comfortably furnished without the intrusions of loud music or fruit machines. There is a good beer selection and the atmosphere is very relaxing.

Definitely the place to head for in this neck of the woods.
murgatroyd - 12 Sep 2009 09:27
One of the best traditional pubs around. Good, well kept beer selection and unpretentious food at reasonable prices. Yes, the landlord does wear loud shirts occasionally but this brightens up a bad day at the office.
Sussexcrawler - 1 Sep 2009 15:18
My favorite pub in London very well kept beer simple but good food and no silly piped music etc. A gem.
lepidocrocite - 21 Aug 2009 11:32
Having had a meeting at New Scotland Yard yesterday, I thought that I would take advantage of being in the area and having a driver at my disposal, to enjoy the delights of a drink or two nearby.
This place used to be called the "Elephant & Castle" years ago, I suppose for obvious reasons, being in Victoria, instead of Newington in South London, they changed the name to the "Speaker". In many ways, it's like the present Speaker of the nearby House of Commons, small, unknown to most, but popular amongst a given choice few. I liked it myself. A good selection of Ales. Clean. Well served. The landlord seem's to know his stuff, staff and punters. Not certain about his taste in shirts however? Hawi 50 surfing shirts in this part of town? Book'im Dano; "Dodgie Dennis". A pub worth going out of your way for or adding to you pub crawl list.
Princemonolulu - 21 Aug 2009 10:09
I am surprised this pub doesnt get more good reviews, its an excellent pub ran by a genuine old school eccentric landlord.
Northcoteboy - 30 Jul 2009 15:35
Following on from the previous post, the choice of ales in the pub is excellent. Yes some people have particular likes and dislikes but the diversity of beer styles that come through the two guest pumps gives the customers something different to try. If you're not sure about a particular beer ask for a taster. Dennis looks to get unusual beers in for his festivals and in most cases tries not to have them twice. In between the festivals it is true to say he has a number of regular breweries he features. That is why since he did his first festival in January 2007 he's had around 700 different beers.

Picking up on fartingghosts comments, I'm dissappointed that BITE allows comments that demonstrate prejudice and are also offensive to individuals. First and foremost BITE should be used to post reviews of pubs and bars, good and bad, and it needs to be recognised that they are comments from individuals expressing personal taste and experience. I'm guessing Fartingghost isn't a CAMRA member. Perhaps he should join if he loves his beer and pubs so much. After all it was CAMRA who fought against the tide of bland keg beer so successfully in the 1970s that he can now enjoy the range and diversity of British beers he does in the Speaker.
defrakev - 30 Jul 2009 13:12
Have to take issue with the comment down below concerning the choice of ales in this pub. There are two ever changing, daily, guest ales (and that proves the popularity of the the place and the quality of beer). and if you see the same guest twice in the same month I'd be very surprised! They are always interesting, and quite often come from micros. You might not like all of them but that's down to taste - if we all liked the same thing we'd still be drinking Ben Truman or Grotney's RB.

Also, in response to another post, as a suit wearing "Deadhead" I object to being compartmentalised as a Tory! Don't judge a book by its cover as Mr Lydon said.
glennsin - 29 Jul 2009 11:05
The Speaker is like a local pub away from home! Excelent beers and wines and a very friendly atmosphere. And if you need feeding a great selection of home made food
lightman51 - 28 Jul 2009 21:12
Youngs Ordinary and Shepherd Neame Spitfire appear to be the regular beers. These were complemented on my visit last night by Hogs Back Hop Garden Gold and Moorehouse Premium Bitter. When the Moorehouse ran out it was replaced within five minutes by Twickenham Summer Gold! All three guests were in excellent condition, and about 3.05 a pint. No obtrusive music, a warm welcome, and the food was fine and good value... would definitely return soon.
cestrian - 28 Jul 2009 11:45
There's no denying that this is very good pub. Lack of music, good honest food and decent clientele considering the scum that you see coming out of the jc across the road.
My only problem is that I like real ale very much and the ale here is clearly chosen by someone who doesn't drink real ale. Perhaps a suggestion board which customers could make requests on would be a good idea as I've visited this pub on a few occasions and never fail to be dissappointed by the ale choice.
chinakitty - 25 Jul 2009 06:58
This is what a typical small street corner alehouse shouild be like. No blaring music, no blaring brats, decent beer and reasonably human people populating both sides of the counter. You often find a porter or mild here on draught as well which is rare enough anywhere let alone in Central London. Only non traditional thing is the trudge upstairs to the toilets. Another pub in the top 20 that actually deserves to be there.
anonymous - 21 Jul 2009 21:57
Good pub and the English beer was excellent. However, I was disappointed at the reluctance of the barman to serve food. A female customer kindly showed me the specials board and was glared at by the baman who swore under his breath. When I made my choice, the barman told me he would serve me when he had finished cleaning the shelves. I felt obliged to leave and eat somewhere else.
Robin53 - 21 Jul 2009 18:28
Grantus what is wrong with suits? People who do office jobs in London usually have them. There an English and indeed local London invention, introduced by Charles II at the Palace of Whitehall down the way in the 1660s. Read your Samual Pepys sir. What do you wear? A smock, straw hat and a piece of straw in your gob? God forbid your a typical CAMRA member: Fat, bad breath, BO, bearded, T shirted and torn old M & S tweed jacket from the 1970s!
And the Conservative party HQ is not just around the corner; it's a fair trot down to Millbank where they all fester. I would doubt very much whether they have the honest,good taste to visit the Speaker for a pint of good English ale anyway; the same goes for the New Labour litter and Liberal Democrats Dodos too. No old chap, what the lucky visitor will find at the SPEAKER is a likewise, friendly and tasteful band of British beer drinkers, who know a bloody good English pub when they see it. Wonderful stuff!
too
FARTINGGHOST - 21 Jul 2009 14:52
All true. But beware - The Conservative HQ is just round the corner, and this is the heart of Civil Service land so the pub is usually full of suits.
The homemade doorstop sandwiches are excellent too, they make them up in front of you, using fresh uncut bread.
Certainly one of the best for this part of London.
grantus - 17 Jul 2009 10:55
If you haven't been to the Speaker, in Westminster, you're really missing something. It's been said on this site before that the beer is excellent. It is. That you can go in on your own and have an enjoyable time. You can. But there is an under-lying enthusiasm from the staff, and sepecially the manager which creates the unrivalled ambiance. The beer festivals never stop and there is a feeling that the place's whole reason for existance is to make your life better.
TheManager - 7 Jul 2009 14:07
Friendly real ale pub with almost village style feel in relaxed rustic atmosphere in Westminster. We enjoy the sarcastic banter and quick fire innuendos with "Dennis the menace" behind the bar, not forgetting the charming Dublin diamond and her "huge door-stoppers" by that I mean her simple tasty sandwhiches!! The beauty of this pub is its pure simplicity and takes you back to about 1969 only downside are 2009 prices but you never know?

Enjoy!
steviewonder - 2 Jul 2009 16:27
Wonderful bar for the lone drinker to sit, listen or read and enjoy a pint or two. Must agree;it's one of the best pubs in London
MRLONDON - 30 Jun 2009 11:52
Wonderful bar the the lone drinker to sit, listen or read and enjoy a pint or two. Must agre;one of the best in London.
MRLONDON - 30 Jun 2009 11:50
Excellent beer house and a must for anyone seeking happiness in a glass in Westminster!
anonymous - 27 Jun 2009 11:04
Had to meet up in the Westminster area with an old director chum, so thought of THE SPEAKER; between Strutton Ground Market and Marsham Street and wedge in the midst of Horseferry road Peabody buildings. What a marvellous drinking house this place is. Clean, bright and friendly. Super range of real ales, one of which I'd never come across before, Midsummer Witch. Very nice indeed. And charming, warm blonde Dublin lady behind the bar. Pointed out new beers on tap and gave me a taste; always a sign of a good bar person. Highly recommended Ladies and Gents, if in the area. A1!
WILLIAMSTEW - 27 Jun 2009 09:41
Made my first ever visit last night and will go again. Beers on when we got there were Youngs Ordinary, Spitfire, Nethergate and Hopback East Kent Golding. We drunk the Hopback dry and it was replaced by Harvest Sun from Williams Bros of Alloa. Not something I've ever seen before. It was a very quaffable 3.9%.

They also do basic-ish food and were all-round very welcoming. It's hard to believe you are just off Victoria Street. It had the feel of a friendly, back-street, pub.
Roodeye - 23 Jun 2009 13:02
Just a heads up that Dennis is aiming to put 60 milds through the two guest pumps during May which everyone knows is mild month in the beer calendar. A list of the first 37 will be available at the bar from noon on Wednesday 29/04 when the first milds may start to appear. And a quick reminder in view of Lovesong's previous comment - the pub does not open anytime at weekends.
defrakev - 27 Apr 2009 17:28
!!!!IT'S CLOSED ON SATURDAYS !!!!
lovesong - 12 Apr 2009 13:04
This is a nice enough boozer with an experienced governor and barman. Spitfire, Ordinary, Blessed Thistle and Helmsman were all available alongside Standard lagers, Guinness and Stowford Press Cider.

The food selection is very basic with sandwiches, ploughmans and baked potatoes making it a great pub with no sign of any jus drizzled anywhere. I had a packet of jalapeno pepper crisps which were fantastic, especially as they are from the Real Crisps Company and the last time I had some in another pub I was charged 2, but in here a mere 60p.

The pub is not very big and was barely comfortable on my visit, but that is the price that must be paid when finding a good pub and I would make an effort to revisit at a quieter time.
Strongers - 25 Mar 2009 11:26
Not a regular haunt of mine, but one where I've always found well-kept real ales and polite service. My latest visit last Friday was no exception. Definitely one of the better pubs in the Westminster area
MINTYBOOM - 9 Mar 2009 12:07
I echo the opinions of a few previous reviewers, this is a welcoming and relaxing spot to spend an hour or so, a pleasant street corner single room pub, lots of wood panelling, caricatures of politicians in keeping with the location. A couple of more unusual display cases, one of a range of corkscrews and another more strangely of quarrying explosives! Perhaps this is a Guy Fawkes link....Large windows all round give a clear view of life passing by outside. Youngs Bitter, Spitfire, Marlow Rebellion Mutiny and Tring Jack o Legs on yesterday.
Maldenman - 14 Feb 2009 07:44
This is my local in London when I visit the Home Office just across the road about once per month. Four handpumps, one is always Youngs Bitter and there are always at least 2 guest beers on. Very friendly place that is packed in the early evening, but quietens down after about 7.30. Has some interesting pictures on the walls as well. If you want to go to the toilets upstairs you need to check that no-one else is coming down as the stairs are certainly one at a time (unless you're a size 0 supermodel). It's a really good place. My only negative is that sometimes you simply can't get into the place as it's so small. Can't blame them for being popular though.
ROBCamra - 6 Feb 2009 11:14
Last reviewed this place over two years ago, but I'm pleased to say that very little has changed . You'll always get a good pint here, and they make an effort to get a good range of ale in (as well as having regular beer festivals). Had an excellent pint of Edwin Taylor's Extra Stout today. Can get busy, but deservedly so.
rpadam - 29 Jan 2009 00:24
Certainly my favourite pub in SW1 - good beer and usually friendly even when busy. The choice of guest beer is enterprising and I have never had a pint here in less than excellent condition.

Indeed, scored extremely highly with a mixed group of people just before Christmas. Well worth a visit. No music, no machines means it's a great place to chew over the meaning of life.
meurglys_iv - 26 Jan 2009 17:38
Since the sad down-grading of the Buckingham Arms in 2008 the Speaker is now, by far, the best "ale drinkers" pub in the area.

The guest beer policy is excellent; regular changes in the two guests and they are always served in top notch condition.

To just comment briefly on a recent review: The Landlord takes great pride in his pub, its beer and its environment: (It was unfortunate that he got caught out in Thailand during the recent travel problems and that certain standards fell between the cracks in his absence. If you were disappointed at that time - try again it's worth it.


glennsin - 29 Dec 2008 14:58
Working in the Westminster Area there isn't a more friendly pub than this. - the blond Irish barmaid is very friendly and likes to have a joke with you. The food is great, home made english dishes ( + chilli and lasagne).

Two guest ales + spitfire and youngs

Landlord can be a bit miserable but that just adds to the character of the pub.

Well worth a visit.
MaltesePaul - 10 Dec 2008 15:36
Didn't really live up to the entry in the Good Beer Guide - somewhat lacking in atmosphere - however, two interesting guest beers from Microbreweries and both in good condition. Barmaid not friendly and Mrs said the women's toilet filthy. Not worth going out of your way for but if in the area .....
Dandillus - 30 Nov 2008 16:22
This place goes from strength to strength. Caters for all tastes. For the ale drinkers there is Spitfire and Youngs Bitter permanently available supplemented buy two ever changing guest beers from a portfolio of over 200. During its themed weeks they typically have around 15 different beers over the week. Over 500 different beers have been through the pub in the he last 24 months or so. Lagers come in the shape of Carling, Kronenborg and Grolsch on tap with Becks, Budvar, Budweiser, Corona and Tiger in bottles. Draught cider is Stowford Press with Magners in bottles. Guiness and John Smiths Smooth also available. Food is good quality home made sandwiches and hot dishes, all reasonably priced. Rumoured to be adding two additional ale handpumps in the coming months. No telly, fruit or games machines make this a very friendly place. A truly remarkable transformation from what was once a very unfriendly pub (as the Elephant and Castle). A must visit if in the area.
defrakev - 25 Nov 2008 16:40
A few years ago going into this place felt like intruding into someones front room but now it feels friendly. Good beer and attentive service, shame some selfish people monopolise the bar stools and make it difficult to get to the bar!!
loveleedshatebates - 11 Oct 2008 08:05
Nice pub with good bar staff who were helpful and friendly. Very nice wooden interior. Had an upstairs but I was too lazy to go up (had a long plane ride earlier and just wanted a few good pints). 4 real ales all in well kept condition. The Buffy's Bitter is a very nice session beer and if I would have had more time I likely could have had several very easily.

Worth a stop if you are in the area!
mrdruse - 2 Oct 2008 18:31
Excellent pub, very good beers in good condition, with unusual guest ales. Nice friendly staff. definitely worth a visit and I will certainly be going there again. Beer a bit pricey but what do you expect in central London.
nich52 - 10 Sep 2008 12:00
Easily the best pub around Westminster/Victoria. They care about the beer. Cosy, friendly, welcoming. My only gripe is that it often seems to be closed at the weekend.
Tom_Goldsmith1 - 7 Sep 2008 14:09
Visited for the first time with a mate last Monday - it struck me quite quickly that it's a place where locals and strangers alike are made to feel welcome and included in the banter. The landlord in particular seemed like quite an outgoing chap and was happy to chat to the customers, in fact I think he might have had a pint on the go himself! The ale was also vey good and first impressions suggest that the place might well merit further investigation
MINTYBOOM - 16 Aug 2008 16:05
Still reamins one of the best pubs in SW1 for range and quality of real ales. Prices are not that expensive for central London. The themed weeks (or longer) are a great success and long may Dennis and his bar staff continue to provide excellent service and banter to boot. A must to visit if your in the area.
defrakev - 3 Jul 2008 01:28
It is an excellent pub, but beware it is pricey with a pint of bitter costing 3.15
Huey - 16 Jun 2008 17:47
A lovely little place and as good a pint as I've had. Cracking fresh guest ales, and a lovely atmosphere. The interior is perfectly kept, faultless all round
cablebasher - 10 Jun 2008 13:20
This excellent pub has 2 milds on during May. Seems to be quite a turnover of these. Last night's milds were from Tring and Buffy's breweries. Quality top class, service very friendly. But it's not cheap.
ed.spbw - 15 May 2008 14:49
As mentioned previously this pub is a little gem tucked away and not far from the Houses of Parliament. Visited at lunchtime where there was a good mix of suits and your average pub goer. Food was based around sandwhiches and these were well priced and good quality. Now the beer is good quality also and from some interesting breweries but I nearly choked at paying 3.25 for a pint!
ranger1485 - 26 Apr 2008 06:44
Recently came across this backstreet gem. Popped in last night to sample ales from the week-long festival - had a particularly good Cotleigh Barn Owl.
It's a shame it isn't open on Saturdays, though appreciate the reduced trade wouldn't make it worthwile.
Note to mib: the Harp in Covent Garden (which can be classed as a decent pub) also has its toilets upstairs!
Dartitis - 20 Feb 2008 14:26
Long overdue inaugural visit from the John Bonser roadshow yesterday. I echo the positive comments of previous posters.

Being Valentines Night, the pub was relatively quiet and I was able to enjoy the friendly and relaxed ambience.

There were 4 real ales on - three micros plus Youngs. The Peat Porter from Moor Brewery in Somerset was particularly noteworthy - tastes a bit like Lagavulin whisky, so Dennis confided in me.

This pub is well worth seeking out - I shall return, sooner rather than later.
JohnBonser - 15 Feb 2008 13:38
Paid a re-visit last week and enjoyed myself. Four ales on, including a Stout which were well-served.

Inside was heaving and it there was barely room to move so took a while to get served, had wave my tenner like a handkerchief in order to get seen.

Had forgotten about the comedy hike up some narrow, rickety stairs to the toilets - bet that's caused a few accidents in its time. Not exactly disability-friendly!

Very good, will keep returning.
Quinno - 3 Feb 2008 20:33
Very Good Ale. Very Good Service. Offhand can't think of another decent London pub where the toilets are upstairs. It's just not natural. Gravity etc.

mib - 17 Jan 2008 21:53
This pub still remains the best in the area for range and quality of its real ales. As part of Dennis' continuing commitment to real ale he is holding a 2 week beer festival from 13 Jan featuring 20+ beers from around the country, a 1 week festival from Sunday 17 Feb featuring beers from Somerset. A festival is also planned for March, something will be planned for April and in May he hopes to top the 43 Milds he had in May 2007. If you haven't been here before then your missing out.
defrakev - 10 Jan 2008 15:42
Surprisingly this pub is part of a chain ("Pleisure") though to all intents and purposes it seems like a genuine free house. Excellent beer and home-made food and very pleasant staff. I understand it gets very crowded between about 5 and 8 in the evening. Fortunately, being in the week after Christmas it was less so on this occasion.
southdown12jack - 28 Dec 2007 10:55
Excellent pub, excellent service, excellent beer. Crowded but very nice bunch in there. I shall return!
Captain_Swing - 21 Dec 2007 17:28
The Speaker I found this pub my accident and want it to be my default watering hole whenever I am in London. The night I found it, it was pack, no place to move or stand. I walked in and the suits look at me like I was from mars but the beer was perfect, real authentic British ale, properly prepared and properly served, I died and went to beer heaven. Next time I visit this little gem and there will be a next time I will try the grub. The service... perfect, the staff... pleasant.
wumpscut - 12 Dec 2007 19:41
Suits and boots corner pub . Genial landlord who knocks out some good homemade cooking. Obviously takes pride in his beer, the Hogsback T.E.A (2.75) was spot on. Not open on sats. Probably the best ale pub in the area , i.e not a place that sloshs out a london pride for 3.00+.
rob372 - 7 Dec 2007 13:05
Found this place after reading some reviews ... I knew I'd have a couple of hours to kill on a Monday afternoon after flying down to London. Not a bad London boozer, lovely and quiet with just the hubbub of conversation. Tried two beers, a very decent Tring Colley's Dog and a skightly less well kept Moorhouse's Black Cat. Four ales were on.

Ideal if you've time to kill reading the paper, and certainly likes like a good option for a conversation over a few or two. A good pub to have up your sleeve in this area of London.
llamafarmer - 5 Nov 2007 18:33
Decent London pub for proper drinkers and conversation. Does what it says on the window outside No TV, No Fruit Machines and No Music. A good way the landlord ensures the wrong company do not enter his pub. Unfortunately no mild present on our visit although read in the toilet about plans for an Autumn Mild Festival.
The pub has large areas at either end with a narrow part in front of the bar. I would imagine that the drinkers to the left of the bar have to go out that door and go in the other door to get to the toilet easily at busy times.
The landlord yesterday(Sunday)kindly put out some roast potatoes on the bar that were very popular with our large group.

Love_good_ale - 8 Oct 2007 23:36
Have been frequenting this little gem of a pub for a few years now since the Paviours Arms closed. No telly, no fruit machines, no music. A proper pub. Regulars and strangers alike are made welcome by Dennis and his staff, Christine, David, Bob, Jackie and Justin. Dennis has built the pubs guest beer portfolio to around 200 beers with two usually available to complement the Youngs and Spitfire and a Mild is regularly available. The venturing out into the world of beer festivals/themed weeks this year has been a true success, particular the 40 odd Milds in May. Food is also good, particularly the hot salt beef sandwiches, and reasonably priced. Shame I've moved offices so my visits are less frequent now.
defrakev - 21 Sep 2007 11:21
friendly place that lives up to its boast that it is a "proper pub" - ie no juke box, fruit machines etc. good range of beers.
mozzzzzz - 7 Sep 2007 17:56
Popped in on Sunday afternoon, (it opens 12-4), to find a friendly bustling back street pub full of locals enjoying themselves. 4 real ales on tap - Youngs Bitter, Spitfire and 2 frequently changing guests, (Coach House Summer Sizzler and Arundel Summer Daze on my visit), with the Arundel in good nick, (3.15/pint). A pleasant surprise, with fresh flowers on every table and no TV, music or fruit machines. Note the pub is closed on Sunday evening and all day Saturday.
wee_jock - 20 Aug 2007 09:06
Visited about 7pm on a Friday evening and as the weather was nice there were quite a few people outside, leaving plenty of room inside. Lovely pub, has character and charm. Good place to people watch although I suspect that a substantial number of the clientele are attached to Westminster in some way or are civil servants from the locale. Friendly bar staff and I liked the pack of cards left on every table, each card describing a different type of hooch. Will definitely be back.
Pumpkinjuice - 7 Aug 2007 11:22
Superb pub. Been going there for lunchtime sessions with a colleague. Great beer - very well kept. Bar staff great - Denis, Chris, Jackie and David all very pleasant and accommodating. Food - Sandwiches excellent and all home prepared. Hot meals look wonderful - not tried as yet. Atmosphere one of the best central London pubs I have been to. Keep it up Denis and co!!!
andrewkitney1973 - 26 Jul 2007 16:21
Proper pub with proper bar staff and absolutely top class ales. You do get a few suits cloging up the bar but we go there either at the start of a crawl before they have left their offices or at the end of a crawl when they have gone home. Great home made sandwiches for soaking up the beer. Certainly in my top ten.
dagenhamdave - 20 Jul 2007 21:57
Went on a Friday around 5.00pm BIG MISTAKE this place was heaving it does have an excellent sellection of real ales i'd say around five or six at a time but the pub is very small and it was full of Tossers in suits, you know the one's that are a foot away from each other but still find the need to YELL AT THE TOP OF THEIR VOICE because what they have to say is soooo important. rant over suggest going later in the evening.... not on a Saturday, when it's closed ????
lovesong - 31 May 2007 18:36
Good pub. Bar staff chatty and know their stuff. Beer in good nick.
bassaleg - 20 May 2007 15:11
Popped in this evening and enjoyed an excellent couple of beers from Elgoods (rarely seen in London) and Dark Star breweries. Never been here before but will certainly return.
Also enjoyed looking at the two glamorous women in little black dresses who arrived in a chauffeur - driven Bentley, had a quick drink (presumably as a "sharpener" before going on to a function elsewhere)!
Ordinary - 3 May 2007 21:16
Good choice of interesting beers, regular regional festivals & apparently 40+ milds on sale in May. Nethergate Old Growler & Hogsback TEA currently resides, but probably not for long. Last night, the food seemed to be from a selection of cold meets under cellophane, but the beer is the draw here. Definitely worth a visit.
SteveinLondon - 4 Apr 2007 13:58
Like it says in the window, this is a real pub, with no noisy extraneous distractions. Just people drinking, and talking. I had the Cairngorm Nessie Monster Mash the other day, and it was superb. Just the sort of place to stop for a quiet mid-afternoon pint and read a book for an hour or two. There are plenty of other places with TV screens for those that want them. A definite for a return visit.
RexRattus - 26 Mar 2007 17:41
Very handy for where I work but I never seem to find the time to visit. But I did pop in this evening and was most impressed. Still fairly quiet so easy to sit and relax in a nice quiet pub with the company of fellow workers and tourists. Very pleasant lady behind the bar and excellent ale - there's a mini festival of Scottish beers so I could try Bridge of Allan Stirling bitter and Inveralmond Lia Fail. This has to be the best pub in the area.
ed.spbw - 15 Mar 2007 19:47
Pretty decent bar given the area. Our visit on Friday found 4 ales on (including two from Norfolk brewer Buffys) in fair condition.

Interior looks to have had a refit (I'm hazarding a guess at late 90's), not too bad a job done, and the sympathetic lighting and lack of obtrusive noise from TV's/Jukey made for a pleasant atmosphere.

Clientele almost exclusively formed of the political class (and people who wish they were) but not as boorishly irritating as in other nearby haunts. Our wandering group of scruffs got a couple of funny looks, still it must do them good to meet the proles occasionally...

Would pop in again if nearby, but wouldn't make a big effort to divert that way otherwise.
Quinno - 28 Feb 2007 21:39
Good joice of beer and wine. Good atmosphere. Worth a visit.
WaitorseBoyz - 11 Jan 2007 14:27
Originally called the Elephant & Castle, the name is now more in keeping with the proximity of the Houses of Parliament a few hundred yards down the road. The interior consists of a quite small single carpeted room, comfortable, light. airy and welcoming but not really much to look at architecturally. From the newish wooden bar and furnishings, I would deduce that the pub has undergone a fairly extensive sprucing up in the not so distant past. They take great pains to let you know that there is no music, TV, big screens, fruit machines or the like, just beer and conversation, or in their words, a real pub. The beers are the main attraction with Spitfire & Youngs complimented by 2 constantly changing and interesting guest beers (sometimes a mild). Being close to our seat of government, there are political cartoons and prints and the faade depicts the history of the various Speakers and how the position came to be. There is a collection of books above the bar, a shelf of empty bottles where a TV once presumably sat, a few displays of clay pipes, packs of cards on the tables and, rather interestingly, a few sticks of quarry dynamite, presumably past their sell by date and no longer able to turn the pub into a mini Hemel Hempstead. In summer it can be a bit stifling and a few ceiling fans wouldnt go amiss. The customer base seems to be local office workers and presumably the odd MP (arent they all?). Good friendly and helpful service and definitely one to seek out if in the area if you want a peaceful pint of decent beer.
RogerB - 5 Dec 2006 11:05
The ales are incredibly well kept, the food is home made, reasonably priced and available all day. The guvnor runs a tight ship and the staff don't leave every five minutes (always a good sign).
The only down side is the place gets jam packed with suits for a lot of the day, but this is Westminster after all.
theStickler - 19 Oct 2006 13:42
Real find just around the corner from New Scotland Yard. Ale on offer was Young's bitter, Spitfire, Hog's Back's TEA and White Star's Dark Destroyer. The food was also good quality for the price (4 for jacket potato with home made chilli and a good side portion of salad). Will be back.
andy.c - 11 Oct 2006 23:42
Well worth seeking out - a decent pub with good beer, not far the heart of Westminster. Recommended.
rpadam - 29 Sep 2006 20:20
If you like beer this is a pub for you to check out. Their cask ale is served tip top and they have some unusual ones too . Splendid
anonymous - 29 Sep 2006 13:25
Excellent. Great staff, lots of character, fine ales. What more do you want? Gets a little crowded at times, but so what? Can't fault it, really.
Hzy - 16 Sep 2006 15:32
No music, fruit machines, nor huge telly; just a decent pub with four real ales (some unusual) on tap and an adequate food menu. I liked it.
beeronaut - 26 Jun 2006 13:42
What a great find! Arrived at the end of the lunch period and was on my third pint before I knew it! Staff were very friendly and welcoming, and were especially pleased when I cleared my table for them. Good real ale and food wasn't bad.
Kevinturvey - 16 Nov 2005 10:59
What a fantastic pub! A great find in a desert of decent pubs. I had been using another but have seen the error of my ways. Staff are polite and efficient (even funny at times), the beer is beautifully kept and there is a range of wines and spirits second to none. Shame it's not open on Saturdays.
anonymous - 6 Sep 2005 16:38
Great pub!! Staff are really nice and make you feel welcome. No loud music or tv so you can sit and have a conversation without having to shout to be heard. Very cosy atmosphere. It's small, so can get a bit crowded in the evenings. Still worth it though
pumpkin - 18 Aug 2005 09:33
Nice little pub - very clean and well presented, efficient staff, pretty cheap and good beer.
anonymous - 12 Aug 2005 17:05
A small pub that has recently been done up a bit. Outside repainted, but interior still shabby. A decent pint
tad1 - 4 Jun 2005 16:48
A very small pub which is always busy. Bar staff are very friendly but it let down by the beer which while not bad is not that good either.
Brian - 26 Oct 2004 10:30
Great beer, great staff, no wonder it is so popular despite no really being on a main drag.
Greg Collins - 21 Oct 2004 10:50
Great place find out for your self!
JJ - 14 Apr 2004 16:50
Slightly overrated . . .

Polite Service, Clean, However very Small and no chance of getting a table or Bar Stool [ie. Place to eat] during workdays 12:00-2:00.
Dodge - 25 Feb 2004 14:32
A great pub, NO music,pool tables, TV, Gaming Machines just a good locals pub. Not many around any more.
s norris - 13 Feb 2004 20:32
Good pub, locals and office workers, freindly and efficient staff. Well kept beer. Can get very crowded - no surprise there!
Joe_Cundy - 19 Dec 2003 18:41
I like it, it serves good tucker!
Paul McCartney - 21 Sep 2003 03:01
Nice pub, albeit small.
Caz Donnelly - 18 Apr 2003 23:25

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