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Coach and Horses, Covent Garden

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user reviews of the Coach and Horses, Covent Garden

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

GBG entry, so I was here to get my tick.

A locals pub in the heart of Covent Garden - complete with dog walkers.

Amazing.

Irish pub with plenty of whiskies, "the best Guinness in London" and a decent pint of Tribute.

Visit blogged at http://bit.ly/2kkezym
Mappiman - 2 Feb 2017 09:13
I always try to find time to visit this little diamond; like many of my favourites it is small, friendly & seemingly out of place in its inner city location. A couple of bantering locals, an efficient & equally bantering bar person & a great pint of Tribute (4.10) made for an enjoyable half hour.
Queenslander - 30 Aug 2016 22:25
I stumbled across the C&H after a night at the Opera House, I was only looking for a quick nightcap and my expectations were low. However what a little gem was uncovered. Whilst waiting for my Guinness to be poured properly, the landlord, Jimmy was very engaging and very chatty. The Guinness was as good as Jimmy promised. For a 73 year old he was full of life and good banter. I had to stay for another which again was poured perfectly by Sean and delivered to my spot in the corner. Sean had a great customer service ethic about him and I wasnt surprised to learn he is Jimmy's son. The pub is not "Oirish" but is a small but perfectly formed proper pub run by a proper landlord who happens to be Irish. The Coach has now overtaken Bradleys as my favourite "wee" pub. The physical size of the bar and the limited amount of real ales will disappoint some but I feel the service and ambience make it an oasis in a renowned desert (tourist) area and I will certainly be returning especially as Jimmy stocks the world's greatest crisps : Tayto
lennytheredlion - 7 Apr 2015 12:29
Great little place with top notch Guinness. However, I cannot say the same for the nobs at the bar who seemed to regard the whole place as their own and refused to get the hell out of the way for people looking for a drink. Would def go back though.
TommyRogers1979 - 17 Nov 2014 21:42
Called in yesterday mid afternoon, astounded to find a proper friendly local pub in the midst of all the tourist traps of the area. Highly recommended.
Aztecgoat - 19 Oct 2014 09:36
Nice little pub with a good feel to it in amongst the tourist traps - but couldn't they get a bit more choice than Courage and Spitfire?
djw - 10 Sep 2014 00:27
I was hoping this would be a fine pub. A group of 13 of us needed our half pints here for a monopoly pub crawl, unfortunately this is a pub that didn't want to serve beer in large numbers. A very sad policy. I'm not sure my group of friends could be any more friendly. A quick drink and we would have been off. The barman had poured half the drinks before he announced the policy, therefore discarding good beer. Pretty pathetic. Nice pub but watch out.
balfour_78 - 4 May 2014 19:32

I'm certain that the last time I visited this pub was either on my 21st birthday or very close it...either way it was over 20 yrs ago!

Now has an entry in 2014 GBG...again another pub that beer wise I was expecting a little more, but this is a lovely little place. Has a very homely feel and the Irish barmaid was very friendly.

Spitfire and Courage Best on hand pump...my spitfire was very good...no complaints on the beer front.

As mentioned above it does have a homely feel and I sharnt leave it another 20 yrs before returning.

lezford - 11 Feb 2014 13:33
A proper old fashioned working class pub. A small one roomed place with only two standard casks - Pedigree and Courage Best. Does very good Salt Beef sandwiches for £5 and has over 70 whiskies. Great atmosphere. Only fault is the limited beer choice and limited seating. Brilliant place.
SilkTork - 26 Nov 2012 22:28
A fantastic little boozer in the heart of Covent Garden - an area notoriously jammed with tourist traps and [email protected] service. This place definitely doesn't fit into that category, thank God.
To be fair, it's not really a Real Ale place as others have mentioned, though they do have a couple to choose from. My pint of Guinness took longer to pour than it did for me to drink - and if you know Guinness, that's meant as a compliment, by the way !
Great service as well and the prices were in keeping with the area (so average for london, bloody expensive if you live north of Watford!).
It's no good if you want a massive selection of ales and / or a nice sit-down meal but if you only need some liquid refreshment, you'll struggle to do better than this in Covent Garden.
Cover_Point - 20 Sep 2012 11:13
"Jimmy's" bar to those who know. One of the cleanest, friendliest, well run pubs in the London area. Tip-top bars staff, Michael, Sean etc. Always a place that I head to, for a relaxing drink, smoke and banter with Michael or Sean outside on their break.
By the way; has my good mate, Cashie, the bearded one been in of late chaps? A highly recommended pub.
Limehouselover - 11 Aug 2012 01:21
excellent pub, very well run by an irishman called jim, great guinness limited menu but good all the same,def return to this one.
spring - 7 Jun 2012 19:34
I have been to this place before but not for around 2-3 years. I have to say it was lovely. A great atmoshpere, not as touristy as you may think considering the location! I had the Guinness which was one of the best I have had in London for a long time - really really impressed, keep up the good work!
Miker1234 - 10 Apr 2012 18:15
Excellent little pub which is spotlessly clean inside - every bit of glass and brass is gleaming (I would reckon that this pub is run by an professional Irish licensee as they very often have super standards when comes to the appearance and upkeep of their pubs - and of course the Irish bric-a-brac/pcitures reflect this.)
Only two beers on handpump (Courage Best and Shepherd Neame Spitfire) both in good condition. Its amazing what they actually cram into this bar - never mind the beer fonts they have a small carvery area for their very tempting sandwiches. Two barmaids working when I visited and quick efficient and polite service. Beer prices are what you would probably expect for this part of London but this place is well worth a visit and is a great escape from the hustle and bustle of nearby Theatreland and Covent Garden.
mcroyal - 5 Jan 2012 12:18
A great place to spend a few hours. Its small with only stools around the walls so you might not get one to park your weary self.
Great Guinness. A very comfortable pub to be in, in Covent Garden.
rpf1955 - 6 Nov 2011 18:30
Small and lovely!
ilfaccino - 24 Oct 2011 15:39
Nice little cosy place - seemingly most of the customers looked like they were on the way to the theatre - the older crowd drinking wine and a few suits etc - not a place to get drunk "with the lads" for example!! not bad though.
adamwalsh - 31 Oct 2010 19:39
The Coach and Horses is a small, welcoming, traditional pub in the heart of Covent Garden's Theatreland.

An attractive exterior, featuring hanging flower baskets and retaining Watney Combe Reid etched glass windows, leads into a small single room. Reflecting the landlord's Irish origins, the walls are decorated with Guinness memorabilia, together with golfing and hurling photographs.

A fine moulded ceiling and a large Coach and Horses pub mirror add to the traditional feel of the cosy and carpeted interior. Notably, for its location, it's not a tourist orientated pub and it's got a genuineness that better known pubs such as The Coal Hole and The Wellington, with their transient tourist emphasis, can never hope to achieve. Indeed, on my recent Sunday lunchtime visit, a band of obvious regulars were engaged in friendly banter with the jovial Irish landlord, Jim Ryan. Perhaps inevitably, Guinness is popular here and a framed undated newspaper article tells us that it's one of the few pubs here to serve Guinness that comes from Dublin. This is certainly no tacky Irish theme pub.

Beers on were Spitfire and Courage Best. The Spitfire - £ 3.20p - was reasonable, but I doubt there's much real ale trade here. A hot food counter serves a limited menu.

The size of the pub means that seating is largely limited to bar stools around two sides of the room, which doesn't make for much in the way of comfort. Despite this, and the limited ale selection, I think this pub is worth seeking out
JohnBonser - 2 Sep 2010 18:03
A JOY, A JOY, A JOY! ENJOY!
WILLIAMSTEW - 23 Jul 2010 09:16
Great little pub, with fantastic Guinness.

kilkenny1cat - 27 Mar 2010 11:07
Acceptable proper (but slightly uninspired) pub that doesn't make too much effort to reel in tourists. very friendly bar staff. well worth a stop.
mozzzzzz - 25 Mar 2010 13:04

Drinking off -piste (not in GBG 2010) is always dangerous

Spitfire and Courage best .£3.10. uninspiring

Nvertheless a proper boozer and a genuine feel to it. One to be enjoyed by the Guinness and Lager crowd.
Polypinmath - 19 Mar 2010 10:16
Where do your other half drink? Brixton,Ford, The Ville,Bellmarsh? Ha,ha,ha.....
Must agree, a very nice watering hole in central civilization.
DEPTFORDDUTCH - 17 Jan 2010 11:33
Half my former clients drink here.
OldBaileyHack - 10 Jan 2010 20:01
A spiffingly nice place,full of true colourful characters. Makes a change from having to rub shoulders with Middle class, Grammar school oiks in the crush bar at Covent Garden across the way.
DAVIDCAMERONTORY - 9 Jan 2010 22:07
Good pub-not too many in the vicinity
sadies - 6 Jan 2010 19:31
A haunt of heavy Santas too;ho,ho,ho.
HarryHarryHarry - 31 Dec 2009 22:31
Give us a song Michael! Mine's a double; just poping outside for a smoke with Cashie.
BoggieJim - 30 Dec 2009 17:16
Whose that Irish geezer who reads the news on the telly? You know? Does the Egg head program on BBC2, with that Fat, ugly bloke who used to be a Tube driver (how'd he get in a train?), and that old male model who looks like something the Pyrimid builders played about with on their day off?
Dermot "what's his name"? He drinks here. Nice bloke. Ask him to read the food list out behind the counter? Very News at Ten.
CityBobby - 30 Dec 2009 14:21
Fine small traditional pub in an area where you need to look hard to find such establishments. The room is small carpetted and with a mall bar serving Spitfire and Courage tucked into the left hand corner. TVs are mounted high on the walls and I had the pleasure of watchig Jeff Stelling's silent animation as Man U went down to another defeat when I was in.

It's a respite from the horrors of the West End and well worth searching out if in the area.
murgatroyd - 24 Dec 2009 06:05
Very nice, clean and traditional house.
AlecaDiamondGeezer - 16 Dec 2009 21:01
Great pub with quality staff and products. Beer is good quality and the Guinness is always spot on. I like to stand outside on a summers evening and watch the world go by!
mrbunter - 13 Oct 2009 19:01
Always fantastic, if a bit pricey. Well done, only pub in London that gives Ye Old White Horse a run for its money!
camraman123 - 3 Oct 2009 16:07
Courage Best and Spitfire on handpump. The Spitfire was good, and at £3.10 a pint not overly expensive for the area. This is a small one-room pub; so small in fact that there appears to be no room for any tables. Furniture consists of stools at ledges round the sides of the pub; at the bar; and at a tall drinking pedestal in the middle of the room. The windows look as if they have been there a good few years – if the “Watney Coombe Reid” affiliation is anything to go by. I didn’t eat there on this occasion, but the sarnies looked a good bet – pick of the bunch being the hot beef or Irish ham at £5.75 a throw. On the face of it this has the look of a pretty ordinary pub, but nonetheless it remains one of the more friendly and welcoming pubs around – in an area where they are not exactly thick on the ground. I think this is the nearest thing you will get to a backstreet boozer right on top of Covent Garden. Definitely worth dropping in for a pint if you’re in the area.
RexRattus - 27 Aug 2009 22:22
How pleasing to come across such a well run, clean and welcoming pub in the very heart of London. Lovely, jolly staff. Happy, characters for customers. Good food, beer and banter. A home from home. Can't think of anywhere nicer apart from the Harp (and the landlord there drinks here). Good show.
TALLTORQUIL - 30 Jun 2009 19:40
With the ratings I expected something a bit better than average!
The beer was good but not a great choice.
It's small and certainly is more of a pub than most around but did not have anything to make me go back out of my way!
writtleman - 28 May 2009 21:18
Friendly,little Irish pub,the best food!!! (Great sandwiches- try salt beef) Friendly staff ,very well loked after.Michael nice Irish man,always good service and very nice blond bar maid Marta!!! Good Atmosphere,great location. THIS IS MY FAVOURITE PUB IN CENTRAL LONDON
c.london - 19 May 2009 20:59
This certainly has to be rated one, if not the best pubs in central London. The landlord of the Harp the other side of the garden drinks here, so knows a good pub too. Run by good old Jimmy and his lady wife, son Sean and assisted by Michael; one of the best bar man this side of the Irish sea. A great pub. Don't miss it!
anonymous - 14 May 2009 17:06

This pub has got to be one of the best in the area.It's a good traditional family run pub & the publican & his team are superb.The salt beef sandwiches I'd give 10/10 for ,the service is excellent & the beer is very well cared for providing the customer with the perfect pint! A must for anyone who's looking for tradition rather than a large noisy gastro pub.
lolarose77 - 22 Apr 2009 20:39
Spent a really enjoyable Sunday afternoon in this pub with my friend sitting by the window watching the world go by. Good beer, friendly staff and speedy service. Music playing in the background seems to have a good mix of tracks but the volume isn't overpowering.
dom1995 - 31 Mar 2009 16:45
A lovely friendly little pub. Well-kept beer and delicious freshly-made sandwiches - try the salt beef on rye, you'll be back for another.
Moderate_Nige - 20 Jan 2009 14:46
Best pub in the area. Although small, it’s lost none of its charm or atmosphere over the years.
Always good service and one of the best pints of Guinness in the capital.

mrse1 - 13 Dec 2008 00:35
I liked it in here even though it is very small. The mirrors make the place look bigger and busier, but unfortunately they don’t add any extra square footage.

Spitfire and Courage Best were available along with John Smiths, Guinness, Strongbow and a couple of standard lagers. There is a sign up on the wall boasting of over 70 whiskies available.

I found the barmaid to be nice and they have the worlds smallest plasma screen up on the wall.

I’ll probably pop back in here again next time I’m in the area.
Strongers - 24 Nov 2008 15:57
Super staff, superb beer & wonderful location!
anonymous - 30 Oct 2008 00:26
The only good bar to go to for beer in the West End! Michael got a good singing voice too.
anonymous - 29 Sep 2008 01:32
Small? Yes. Expensive? Yes (but what would one expect for the area?). Decent pub? Yes.
rpadam - 20 May 2008 23:28
Pub 6 of a Friday night crawl. Previous reviews some this place up, nothing to like/dislike about the pub. beer was good, service was fine. Nothing much else to say.
TheHorsesMouth - 12 May 2008 08:42
Bit on the small side, but has a quaint feel. If your with your other half or one other person, suits well
the_original_rawnsleys - 28 Jan 2008 12:39
Smart, decent pub with a friendly atmosphere. The Marston's was decent.

Nothing outstanding as such but a decent pub in a part of London where much around it serves the lowest common denominator.
terenced - 28 Jan 2008 08:47
Always enjoy coming here after work, has a 'proper' pub feel to it unlike the usual themed pubs in this area, great to sit in for a few hours while the rush hour(s) die down.
TalulaJ - 23 Oct 2007 07:53
This is a standard, non-descript, half decent pub. The beer is OK, but at Covent Garden prices. There seems to be a running theme about cleanliness which is lovely to hear about - however since this isn't How Clean Is Your Public House, let's briefly discuss the obvious

1. It doesn't have much of a range of beer
2. It's Oirish. That means it has authentic Dublin prices (ie. very high)

Apart from that, the only place where you might get a seat in the area. And that's its redeeming feature.
rampantwurzel - 24 Jul 2007 13:26
You're kidding me! Third best pub in the country? This isn't even the 3rd best pub in Covent Garden.

This isn't the 1950s people; Irish landlords aren't really a novelty anymore. By some of the comments here, you'd think the customers believe the owners are able to put some celtic spell on the place, which makes all the Irish whiskeys & Guinness taste superior to the same products sold in other pubs. They get the same deliveries as anyone else, and the whiskey will taste exactly the same as everywhere else, no matter how many times the landlord dusts the outside of the bottle.

This pub is pretty bog standard (apart from the non-standard bogs).
topdog_andy - 20 Jul 2007 10:31
Great pub! Staff very friendly, good food clean & respectful customers! always a defo visit after a hard days work..
ashcroft32 - 13 Jul 2007 21:05
A proper London pub. Friendly staff, very well looked after, good beer, fantastic sandwiches at lunch time (the salt beef is second to none). Definitely one to go in if, like me, (as I work round the corner every day) you want to avoid the tourists.
anonymous - 8 Jul 2007 00:24
Went here for a brief drink the other night. As most people say it is very clean. The brass pipes in the toilets prove this!
theadz01 - 13 Jun 2007 15:15
You can't knock it. Polished copper pipes in the bogs says it all.
theStickler - 26 Jan 2007 02:44
Came here for the first time last week left impressed but I personally wouldnt go as far the 2 previous have but all the same worth popping into
juzza - 3 Dec 2006 16:47
THE COACH & HORSES OR BETTER KNOWN AS "JIMMY RYAN'S" MUST TRULY BE THE CLEANEST, NICEST AND BEST RUN PUB IN LONDON. IT'S A FAMILY RUN HOUSE; WITH SUPERB SERVICE FROM MICHAEL TOO. THE GLASSESS ARE SPOTLESSLY CLEAN, UNLIKE SO MANY OTHER PUBS. THE LUNCH TIME FOOD OF AT LEAST THREE ROASTS ARE MOUTHWATERING TO BEHOLD. I'D CHALLENGE ANY VEGETARIAN NOT TO BE TEMPTED. AND THE SOCIAL MIX IS SUPERB. PROPER LONDON LOCALS, BUSINESS MEN, ACTORS, TICKET TOUTS, VILLIANS OLD AND NEW, LAWYERS, MUSICIANS, THEATRE GOERS...... THE LIST GOES ON. NO LOW LIFE, NO PIKIES. RIGHT IN THE HEART OF DEAR OLD COVENT GARDEN. THE BEERS ARE BEAUTIFULY KEPT AND SERVED. AND THE RANGE OF WHISKIES MUST BE ONE OF THE VERY BEST IN THE COUNTRY. AND EACH AND EVERY BOTTLE IS TAKEN DOWN AND CLEANED AT LEASTR TWICE A WEEK I'M INFORMED! IF YOU WISH TO WITNESS A TRUELY WELL RUN, PROPER LONDON PUB. HEAD FOR THE "JIMMY RYANS". THE BEST OF LONDON ON OFFER!
anonymous - 11 Oct 2006 15:01
Worth a visit for the salt beef sandwiches alone! They are just plain awesome! Usually well kept Courage and good Guiness add to the appeal. A great place to escape the heat in summer and cold of winter. A favourite pub of mine for people watching from the large front window. Also attracts quite a few celebs looking for a quiet pint during the day and night.
DoubleMax - 4 May 2006 12:33
Despite being situated in the heart of tourist theatre land, the C&H still manages to retain its “locals” feel. Behind the floral laden façade and Watney Combe Reid windows is a surprisingly small, single room, carpeted pub with Irish connections and barely enough room to gyrate the proverbial feline. Just 1 table is all that can be squeezed in and if you cannot blag a seat here then it is stools at the shelf only. The traditional style bar is bedecked with various urns and ornaments and is surprisingly well stocked with bottles and optics filling every available nook and cranny. The beer and food selection is fairly standard (Pedigree and Courage Best for the Real Ale fans) but the beer was well kept and food (sandwiches (£5 hot / £3/4 cold) and ploughmans (£4.75) did look very good although I didn’t try any. Plenty of pictures and a quite impressive Coach and Horses etched mirror. Basically a no thrills pub without any great features to make it stand out from the competition but if you have time to kill and are passing by, it is certainly worth popping into if it is not too crowded
RogerB - 7 Mar 2006 15:03
Great pub, with friendly staff and regulars. Has odd furniture... sort of booths halfway up the wall with a shelf at chest height, and a massive free-standing round table. Also has two doors leading on to the same street out the front. It's USP used to be Guinness from Dublin... but it's all made there now. This pub is clearly much-loved by the owners.
Albert_Campion - 2 Dec 2005 18:00
Seems pleasant enough place,the service was excellent,but I must admit I still haven't had any black stuff to compete with the Plain Porter at the Porterhouse round the corner
EdgarBriggsMI5 - 21 Sep 2005 20:59
This pub is probably the best in Covent Garden - especially if you like a drop of the black stuff! The Guinness here is imported from Dublin. It's rather expensive but then so is everywhere else in the area. A small, genuine Irish pub which always has a good atmosphere. You'll be lucky to get a seat though! The bar staff are some of the best I've ever encountered - often pouring four orders at once but not losing track of them! Thoroughly recommended.
Get_me_some_Old_Tom - 19 Apr 2005 13:50
Great pub, great staff, great craic.
Shandyandy - 11 Apr 2005 13:27
How this place has gone down hill.
When I lived in central London this was my local.
After moving to the burbs, I would always make it my first stop whilst visity Covent Garden.
Never again.
Recently I was showing some visitors to our fine shores some of the highlights of London and as usual The C & H was on the adgenda. I also had in tow my two kids. On entering and approaching the bar I was told that children were not welcome. Fair enough... Most pubs in the area have the same policy. BUT there were already 6 or 7 kids in the place. I pointed this out to the barman but he flatly refused to serve me.
I was neither drunk, poorly dressed or by any way anti-social.
Well done pal,you have lost my business forever.
If you want a decent pint with friendly staff that welcomes ALL kids...try the Lamb and Flag...now thats a good Pub!
PS. I am a publican and know the stresses of the job, but there is no excuse for inconsistancy and plain rudeness.
anonymous - 2 Jan 2005 17:59
Great little pub (biased as I live around the corner). Friendly and a nice place to pop in for one.
Jack Knight - 24 Aug 2004 12:07
Tiny, friendly Irish pub - manages to have a 'local' feel even though it's right in Covent Garden. Perfect Guinness and loads of whiskeys. Haven't dared to try one of the sandwiches yet though...
Ellie - 15 Jul 2004 15:41
me and a friend stubled upon this place 11am on a saturday after a heavy night in soho. 2 pints of REAL guiness and a roast beef sarnie later - we were back on form, didn't leave til 5pm. i'd move in if i could!
john dunaway - 1 Mar 2004 10:25
Visited this pub on the 02.11.03, small and cosy but a really nice place, very helpful and friendly staff. Stayed for a few hours and met people from all walks of life, all up for the craic!!!
Mrs H - 11 Nov 2003 15:13
Yes! A real Irish pub with real Guinness and Murphy's. None of that shamrock shennanigans. Not much room in the place when it's heaving but worth a visit, empty or full. Makes me think of home. Aaaah.
jeremy - 1 Oct 2003 15:28
Very Irish pub. Has got a picture a friends childhood house in Co. Clare and she's the most Irish person I know!
Gary - 30 Sep 2003 08:09
Irish Landlord Irish Guinness and any Irish Whisky you could imagine (100s on offer) Irish Service and Standards. Won't get your bag nicked in here the staff are vigalant. If you like good beer a good friendly atmosphere and a real good "craic" and all that blarney avoid O'Neills come here.
arturo.morales - 1 Apr 2003 10:02

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