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Cock, Oxford Circus

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user reviews of the Cock, Oxford Circus

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

The Cock is a Samuel Smith’s pub that I haven't visited for over 14 months but that changed when I came in late on a Wednesday afternoon.

It was pretty busy with hardly any seats available but plenty of standing room. Amazing tiled floor throughout and attractive ceiling roses also.

Full range of Sam Smiths ales and lagers on with other choices being available in bottle form. I started off on the Old Brewery Bitter, always a dependable ale and kept me going for most of the evening!

I stayed for several hours with some colleagues and it only got busier and busier.

The Cock has always been a central London favourite of mine but I really don't visit often enough, it really is a cracking pub and is internally stunning.

An absolute must visit for any London ale drinker and historic pub enthusiast.

lezford - 10 Feb 2015 12:51
Sam Smith's seem to be champions of preserving Victorian pubs and good on them for doing so. The Cock is not the most opulent example in their inventory but still worth a look if you like this sort of thing. Many original features are in place including, most noticeably perhaps, the snob screens. A decent pint of Old Brewery Bitter at £2.90 a pint !! Staggeringly acceptable price for any UK city , let alone London.
tarkatherotter - 11 May 2014 16:46
My 2nd visit to The Cock was about 15 years since my 1st visit!

Came in here yesterday afternoon, the pub was a quarter full with one bar man serving.

Being a Samuel Smith's house their full range was on offer. I opted for a bottle of Organic Chocolate Stout...a great drink but not sure this should have been kept in such a cold fridge.

Original tiled floor by the doors as you enter, wooden bar with privacy screens above some of the pumps.

Decent Central London pub, made better in my opinion by being a Sam Smith's tied house.
lezford - 20 Nov 2013 13:07
Been working in the area for the last three months and have enjoying going to this pub, good value for money and very pleasant staff
thaiscubadiver - 22 Jun 2013 10:11
One of the better options in a woeful part of London to get a drink, this is of course plagued by tourists and office workers but has a grand Victorian interior and a large bar upstairs to accompany the ground floor one. It'sa Sam Smiths pub so has the benefit of being inexpensive while the ales are pretty much what you expect - Old Brewery and Sovereign are nowt special really but eminently quaffable.
BoehmBawerk - 15 Dec 2012 10:00
Great pub that has consistently given me great beer at a reasonable price, in a nicely laid out pub with nice decor and great atmosphere. My only question is if Sam Smiths can do this from his brewery in Tadcaster how do Youngs mess this up so regularly from their brewery in London?
theoneandonlyjoe - 13 May 2011 00:12
great pub, the staff are really friendly, cheap as chips toom haven't tried the food yet though! Worth a look if you're in the area and don't want to be ripped off
specials87 - 2 Mar 2011 21:16
nice enough pub, nice sams OBB but hasn't got the atmosphere of the dover castle round the corner
littlecon - 21 Nov 2010 11:30
Typical Sam Smiths. Cheap but only OBB on handpump. They have some great looking pubs just wish they had more beers on handpump.

But if money is tight worth a look.
TheHorsesMouth - 27 Oct 2010 14:22
Situated on the next street corner going northwards from The George ( on which I have just posted ) is The Cock Tavern, an archetypal Sam Smiths pub

Immediately noticeable as you approach the pub are several splendid glass lanterns outside. A blackboard by the entrance greets us with the words " The Cock - making people laugh for over a century", although on my recent Saturday lunchtime visit, the sullen barmaid obviously hadn't read the script.

Inside we find a fairly typical Sam Smiths "Victorianisation", with fake snob screens, a colourful re-tiled floor, much dark wood panelling and comfortable leather banquettes.There's an upstairs lounge bar doing food at certain times.

On my visit, it was very noticeable how relatively empty and quiet the pub was compared with The George a block or so away and from where I had just come.

The Sam Smiths OBB is on handpump at the standard price of 1.99p.

If you like the Sam's style of pub, you're pretty sure to like this one, but it's not a pub to go out of your way to visit.
JohnBonser - 16 Jul 2010 13:35
Usual sam smiths ( marmite, you love 'em or hate 'em) but good pub & agian just off oxford street, not the tourist tarap it could be. Been popping in for years & not bad. Can be a few to many Top Shop worker types but that can be good for a laugh :)
JimmyJacksonJones - 31 Oct 2009 14:57
Another of the many Sam Smith's boozers in this part of London, the Cock has, typically for the chain, retained an unspoilt interior, which is to be admired. However, as with certain other of their outlets, the overall effect is rather dark and dismal, like a 1920s drawing room, so be warned. Bitter (OBB) on handpump still available here, and the clientele was an odd mixture of students, tourists and one or two dyed-in-the-wool locals.
grecian - 21 Sep 2009 10:04
Decent enough for a stop-off on the way from A to B. Frequently busy but there's always a seat available. Service from the tousle-haired youth behind the bar was mute but efficient. Not the best Sam Smith pub in the world, but not one of the worse ones, either.
Albert_Campion - 12 Jan 2009 14:34
On a saturday afternoon this place was busy without being overcrowded which made for a pleasant buzz of an atmosphere. It was a little on the cold side, but this minor gripe is outweighed by a typically ornate dark-wood interior, perfectly maintained as always. A real find in that area of town and no doubt one that gets incredibly popular later in the evening.
ChrisP87 - 11 Jan 2009 10:06
Im still not a big fan of SS pubs, but I am warming to them as I have developed a taste for OBB (which is very good in here) and I also like getting change from 2 for a pint. Unfortunately I didnt stay long as the pub was heaving with 80 odd people in the upstairs bar that was being run by one barmaid. The downstairs bar had 2 barmen and around a 100 people packed in.

If I had a friend that liked these pubs Id go back, but as I dont Ill probably miss out.
Strongers - 17 Dec 2008 09:19
Sam Smith's pub in London. Does exactly what it says on the tin. Well kept Old Brewery and a good quiz machine, who needs anything more.
silentbob9484 - 27 Aug 2008 09:18
This is a fairly good Sam Smiths pub just a stones throw from Oxford Street. It retains some original Edwardian features, and has benefited from a tasteful refurbishment that is typical of the Sam Smiths chain. Obviously youll only get the usual Sam Smiths range of beers, but they are of course excellent value for money. I was surprised that a pub in this area would be relatively empty (as it was) on the weekday lunchtime that I was in here. They do food at reasonable prices, but only in the upstairs bar. I was the only person up there and I have to say that I would have preferred to eat in the main bar where there were at least a few other punters. All in all a decent enough pub, and although you would not want to go there for the beer alone (unless of course you are a Sam Smiths fan) it is a welcome respite from the hell of Oxford Street. There are many much worse pubs in the area.
RexRattus - 30 Jun 2008 22:59
Inside, no real surprises for a Sam Smiths pub in London (i.e. dark wooden decor and the like it or loathe it beer at low, low prices) apart, perhaps, from the unusual lack of stink from the gents toilets! Outside, there are the rather remarkable lanterns overhanging the on-street smoking zone. Overall, not too bad at all.
rpadam - 23 Apr 2008 20:59
A pub for people who work in the area so expect a mix of meedja (sic) and fashion types as well as some more salt-of-the-earth types. Musky, dark interior which seems incongruous and sad in the post-smoking era but I wouldn't change it, such character must be preserved.

Well-priced Sam Smiths considering its location in the heart of the consumers' London. Easy to see why crowds flock here from midday toward the end of the week and why many stay long into the evening on a Friday.

smorgasbord - 12 Apr 2008 19:02
This is a great basic sam smiths pub with OBB on handpump in excellent condition, & it's cheap
lovesong - 21 Mar 2008 12:10
cheap prices, good beer, nice place.
Billgates1 - 4 Feb 2008 11:41
Best kept beer in the West End. Unpretentious pub - great!
bloodwags - 1 Sep 2007 02:55
being from up north and having tasted sam smiths in tadcaster, the ale isn't great here... well it wasn't when i visited, the food served upstairs was pretty good really, proper sausage and mash for 5.95 is a bit of a bargain considering the location, shame about the flat ale mind
martinm - 8 Aug 2007 13:29
Great both upstairs and downstairs. Sometimes very busy (but only as busy as all pubs around here) and pints for 1.99. The clients are usually people who work in the area or live in london rather than tourists.

They definitely have some bottled beers as I had some.
law2097 - 1 Aug 2007 14:32
Pints of "man in the box" alpine lager at 1995 prices.. Or 1.99 at least. Sam Smiths pub with a wide range of different boozes.. Not one for you if you only drink Smirnoff Ices!
mattylad - 12 Jul 2007 13:39
Nice pub, not too busy either considering the location. Bar staff were nice - I have to say I love The Cock.
doctormince - 6 Dec 2006 10:07
The Cock is pretty cheap and good to drink in too.

I like the beer (not lager) they do and as Jolsen05 said- it's less quid so all good!
lukemarson - 9 Mar 2006 10:14
Listen up louts, why do you go to a pub? To drink beer. What makes beer taste even better? Less quid. Now that we've got that straight, this pub "The Cock" has 1.85 pints of Ayingerbrau (forget that it's Austrian--it's bloody lager). Enough said.
jolsen05 - 9 Mar 2006 00:51
Olde worlde pub selling Sam Smith OBB and their range of lagers, but no bottled beers as far as I could see. Quiet on A Saturday lunchtime but I imagine it gets busier weekdays, especially due to the low priced drinks. Nice Victorian dcor complete with swivelling snob screen windows at the bar. Beer was in good nick. Worthy of another visit if I was in the area.
Chief_IDIOT - 19 Feb 2006 10:51
Good Sam Smith's pub with loads of wood and stained glass, which is the standard for this fine chain. Enjoyed my time there despite the occasional toss-pot drinking in the pub.
MrScott - 9 Dec 2005 15:30
this is a great at very very cheap pub for London....come in on a thursday and say hello to the joinees..!!!

joinee Hemmestad whos movin to london next year and will join in every thursday finally, after 2 1/2 years so far of being a fellow joinee
proudcitizen - 25 Oct 2005 21:13
Recently spent a decent evening sat outside. Great location and the beer is ok as long as you're not too particular. Prices are ok. Obviously gets busy due to location but not as bad as some places. Staff were ok.
anonymous - 12 Oct 2005 17:11
Good pub. Cheap man in a box (lager). Friendly bar staff. Full of Joinees on a Thursday night, as well as many other nights too.
gatesy4960 - 5 Sep 2005 13:13
Does what it says on the tin complete with the panda popalike cola that'll make your teeth fall out.
I'm slightly concerned about Rico drinking in pubs where you can't move. Squished (eg. The Tottenham) it ain't, granted, but this pub is bloody busy - true you can stand with some room but I find the lack of seating a bit of a pain; get in before 5pm and you stand a chance of being able to put your pint down.
The staff were friendly and charming, to the point of buying 2 or 3 pints and being charged for one! I did point this out to the girl on three occasions and then gave up. I hold her responsible for how pissed I got on a score.
Air-con? I stood in the doorway to catch the draught whipping downstairs towards the toilet if that counts.
Seb - 21 Aug 2005 16:22
Another Sam Smiths Fitzrovia pub. Tiled floor, wood panelling, sculpted ceiling. Single downstairs room with partial partitioning. Upstairs lounge bar. Cask Old Brewery served through a sparkler - fresh and tasty, though a bit creamy from the tight head. Pub is OK, but there's nothing here that really stands out.
SilkTork - 16 Aug 2005 23:13
I went to this pub for the first time on Friday night, there was a very nice chilled out atmosphere, the beers were good and a 1.98 a pint a bargin. I will most deffo be heading back this way again in the near future.
drumsmakenoise - 14 Aug 2005 08:48
Great pub. Cheap as chips with friendly service to boot.
Rusty_the_diplomat - 27 May 2005 12:40
Groovy pub, nice cheap beer, far enough away from oxford circus to not be too crowded, but close enough for the occasional girlie to stray in! Loves it!
rico - 29 Apr 2005 16:12
Lovely stuff. There's not much more that can be said.
anonymous - 16 Apr 2005 18:02
A nice pub - unfortunatly they always ID you in the evenings if u look young enough not to drop dead any minute. beer is pretty standard - it is a sam smith's pub - 1.69 for a pint of bitter isnt bad at all! food is alright. the lanterns are supposed to be the biggest in the capital.
tom_coombs - 13 Mar 2005 13:44
One of the larger Samueal Smith pubs...Nice feel to the pub, and gets very busy on Thursday and Friday nights. Food is good, and upstairs top bar is air conditioned for any hot summer days. The pub seems to be busier in the winter, but maybe it is just the area?
CockAlex - 2 Jan 2005 13:39
Sam Smiths pub, quite packed but has to be the best pub so close to Oxford St.
TheGP - 21 Sep 2004 14:00
Big pub - a pub as it should be, friendly welcome and loads of seating, quality brews.
mike2004 - 19 Sep 2004 12:12
it's so cheap you just can't complain.
simon - 3 Sep 2004 12:42
A big, airy pub which gets crowded in the evening, but is relatively empty during the day. Lots of good beers at extraordinaryily low prices (this pub is slap in the centre of London, and you can get a pint for well under 2 quid!), and they used to serve a huge ploughmans lunch for 5 quid - very reasonable. Not the most comfy pub in London, but definitely worth a visit.
Sam - 23 Jun 2004 16:43
Went there on Friday - bitter at 1.66 a pint! - Gets packed really early but good atmosphere - highly recommended.
PJB - 8 Mar 2004 10:56
A pub that sells cheap reasonable beer in a place you can sit down on the way to the tube. Best in the area in my view
Tony - 23 Feb 2004 09:37
v cheap. v cheap. oxford circus. say no more. good starting place for nicer things on a friday night
Jim - 4 Jan 2004 17:57
Met up with some friends there last Friday - cheap certainly, v. busy unsurprisingly. Upstairs bit is good - but heels alert ladies! If beer affects you're ability to teeter down 2 perilous staircases (to use on the 2 loos!!) then don't do as i did and wear silly boots with 3.5" heels. Not that I can't also fall over in trainers quite efficiently...........
angie - 19 Oct 2003 10:49
This pub is one of the few Sam Smith's brewery pubs to still serve by handpump. Sam Smiths is not exactly my favourite beer, but I have had one or two good sessions with mates here whilst on a "west end crawl". I have found the pub quite relaxing on my visits, the last one of these being at the end of 2002. The price of the bitter represents excellent value for money in London's west end. However there is often a feel after a 2 or 3 pints of Sam Smiths to move onto another ale, shame they don't have a guest beer in this or any of their pubs.
lad_newton - 16 Oct 2003 21:01
Well was in the cock tonight and see they have had a new manager for a couple of weeks. He made a total fool of himself (Obviously drunk on duty)yelled and swore at the staff for no reason just made everyone in the bar feel sorry for them.They where doing a great job and perhaps the manager is the one that should be sacked!!!!!!! Rude Crude and uncalled for!!!!!!! I won't ever go back
Bill - 6 Jun 2003 04:11
Mmmmm. Cock. Who doesn't love it? The antipodean staff are indifferent, and the real-estate agent next door gets shirty when we sit on his stair, but it's across the road, and we love her. (Her? - the cock? hmmm)
fudd - 16 May 2003 18:25
I have found it hard in london to find a beer under 2 pound that the bar tender will actually let me taste before i buy, not a bad pub at all
Sarah - 18 Apr 2003 02:12
went there for a beer a week ago was served by an Ausie guy Mike he was very friendly and had beautiful Green eyes and a wonderful smile too bad he had a girl friend there too although she was also nice am very suprised at the comments made on 14th January as they have obviously had a change of staff since then and I would recommend a visit to meet Mike.
anon - 8 Apr 2003 03:41
I have never been in to a pub and experienced such rudeness from the staff., particularly a barmaid called Josie.
At 10.30pm she started to mop the floor right under our noses leaving us with the pungent smell of disinfectant while trying to sup our beer.
We moved the mop & bucket only to be met with abuse and glares from Josie & her useless colleagues. The 'manager' then came over to our table & told us to 'please leave the pub' and physically started to lift up one of us under the arms. I could go on but really dont want to lower myself to their pettyness.
if staff dont want to work untill 11pm, then bugger off home & let us who have paid good money for our beer drink it in peace.
anonymous - 14 Jan 2003 14:25
This is a good pub and does a great organic larger. Just minutes walk from oxford st madness.
Cyberwitch - 11 Dec 2002 09:25
This is not a good pub. At times I found it very hard to get served and the range of beers is poor. Stroll up the road to the George on the next corner.
Alistair - 29 Nov 2002 13:57
really good chutney popadoms
anonymous - 30 May 2002 15:24

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