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Plough, Bloomsbury

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user reviews of the Plough, Bloomsbury

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

Like so many London pubs, a lovely interior and superb location are utterly wasted by Greene King. The food didn't look at all great - typical British style School Dinners fayre I did have a guest ale from redemption but It only just passed muster in its keeping.
BoehmBawerk - 27 Oct 2016 08:52
Nice pub, a good range of beers on. Used to host Science Fiction fans meetings and so in honour of that our beer was Hammerton Life on Mars.
rainlight - 9 Apr 2016 09:25
not a great deal right or wrong with this place pub-wise, but the set of beautifull Bar Maids are worth the visit alone. this place certainly has a strict employemnt policy.
CHELSEA_on_tour - 7 Nov 2012 09:01
Uninspiring pub, pleasant enough for a quick pint (my Pride was a touch crappy but the end of the barrel happens, so benefit of doubt given) but somehow you know this is a pub-by-numbers operation.
curioushistory - 6 Jun 2012 17:12
We had a pub lunch there in Feb. and it was very good. The Taylor Walker salad was excellent. Nice range of beers. Brains SA was okay.
endoderm - 5 Mar 2012 16:39
Good pub, upstairs seating perhaps best if eating, food was good, piping hot and delivered quickly.
assortedcreams - 29 Feb 2012 17:00
I liked this pub. Came in from the rain and it was warm and dry.
Had a few good pints. I wanted to stay but i had to venture out into the rain again.
rpf1955 - 6 Nov 2011 18:14
Desperately in need of refreshment after a long day in the museum. Chose this one, as there was available seating outside. Like a lot of London pubs - not much that's unique - the beers were good, the food was standard fayre, even the buildings around it all spoke volumes of London.
Mappiman - 18 Apr 2011 16:52
Overpowering smell of chips when we went in. Beer was OK if uninspiring. Nice chatty barman.
LickeyEndBooze - 2 Jan 2011 19:36
This is more like it! A pub in Central London with an imaginative and large range decent well-kept beers, bar staff that can actually converse in coherent English and enough room to find a table, spread out and converse with friends. An upstairs lounge next to some minuscule poky toilets adds to the fun.
agnes_guano - 24 Sep 2010 12:36
First visit yesterday - beer was good - particularly the Youngs London Gold. Not a bad pub at all.
Alfnoax - 17 Jun 2010 17:32
Have been to the Plough on and off for a few years when in London. The range of ale is not the most exciting, but I have no real complaints about the quality of it. Have only eaten there a couple of times, it's been okay. Good with TV's showing football, although lately the staff have seemed a little uninformed about what's on (even though they have been advertising the game outside). Service is a little on the slow side as it seems there's always someone brand new behind the bar, but in my experience this is a common feature for a number of central London pubs. Seems to attract a good few tourists.

Not a great pub, but not a bad one either.
Billy4 - 30 Jan 2010 16:46
Run of the mill central London pub. There was a very odd smell when we walked in. Moving to the back, the smell dissipated. Not as good as the Museum Tavern, but still had 4 real ales - London's Reinbeer Christmas Ale, Brains Reverend James, Fullers London Pride and Greene King Abbot Ale.
blue_scrumpy - 1 Jan 2010 22:23
OK pub with TVs showing sport which is quite rare in this area. Not too much more to add.

The Museum Tavern over the road is better but, if this is busy, do try the Plough as it is good enough.
Oakman100 - 14 Oct 2009 12:10
Traditional ub near the British Museum that, whilst not being as pleasant as the Museum Tavern still offers convivial surroundings once the tourists have gone. There's three or four TVs in here so sport watching is on offer (rarer than you might think around here).

Rather like the Museum it's one to avoid during the day but pleasant enough later on in the day.
murgatroyd - 28 Jun 2009 19:02
OK, this is for the new manager. I visited your pub with my wife on Sunday 24th May at about 10.20pm. There were two men working there, one was a young lad and the other was you I assume. I asked for a pint and a gin and tonic and the young lad served me and added the words.........."you nearly didn't make it there" so I assumed that you were closing early for some reason. While we were drinking our drinks I noticed that several other customers were served by the older guy who I assume was you the manager so I risked being served again, it was now about 10.35pm. I asked the older guy, possibly the manager, for another round, he served me but also added........." you just made it there mind". As I sat down to enjoy my drink the manager started to do his till, he looked at the till roll and kept looking at us as though we had stolen something from him. he then rang the last orders bell and the younger lad started to collect in the tables from outside then he turned off the TV which I was watching and put some of the lights out. We took the hint and returned our obviously half full glasses to the bar and the manager said " thanks a lot" and made no attempt to get us to stay to finich our drinks even though it was only 10.40pm. All I can say is this.............your pub is not a one which gives a warm welcome to guests and nowhere near as good as it used to be over the years that we have visited the capital. We will certainly not be returning.
bobhaskett - 29 May 2009 17:25
Seemed to be hosting a meeting of 'extreme white people' this weekend...
So extreme that it was surrounded by police observers

scortja - 23 Mar 2009 12:30
£9.36 for a pint of Kronenburg and a white wine spritzer!!
selellis - 2 Mar 2009 11:21
I am the Manager of The Plough. I took over in April. I would ask you to give it a try again. This is a locals pub, but we do cater for everyone who comes through the door. The pub is awaiting a major refurbishment, which will be this year. I would ask you though, that if you do come here, and you have a problem, please ask to see me, Tony. I am extremely approachable, and I want to know what problems you are having. In some of the comments below an "old grey haired landlord" is the manager. I would welcome further information on this, as I have a shaved head!!!
Pleas do pop in.
anthonyhayde1 - 8 Jan 2009 13:21
A below average pub, usually packed with tourists. Service leaves a lot to be desired and food is pretty poor. Beers are OK but nothing special. Overall - go elsewhere as you'll undoubtedly do better.
BobOs - 6 Dec 2008 17:48
Bog standard Spirit Group offering, could be anywhere really. OK for a quick one, helps if you like GK beers. There are much better places than this around here.
nickdavies - 29 Nov 2008 12:02
An unremarkable pub just down the road from the British Museum. As you would expect, the majority of customers were tourists. Four real ales on – Old Speckled Hen, GKIPA, Pride and Bombardier. Food wasn’t particularly good either. It has a good location, but it seems to be a bit of a tourist trap. Not a lot going for it – except the two friendly and helpful barmaids.
RexRattus - 25 Oct 2008 17:23
Oh, one more thing. I don't do 'Have a nice day.' and neither do all Americans... We don't need and expect to be everyone's best friends-sounds like perhaps that's the stereotype as well as we overtip; we just prefer to be treated with a tad of courtesy and civiility if that's possible. Thx.
bluesky12 - 6 Jul 2008 03:17
No. That's not the guy. The one I'm referring to is young and full of himself. Maybe you're familiar with that guy. If so, tell him his attitude stinks next time you see him.
bluesky12 - 6 Jul 2008 03:12
If it's the old, grey haired landlord, I wouldn't worry too much. I've been to the Plough dozens of times and he's never deviated from miserable and unapproachable, and I'm a white Londoner. Don't take it personally, and try other pubs.
That said, we don't do 'Have a nice day's. We do miserable and unapproachable. It's called customer service.
Ruby - 27 Jun 2008 00:03
I do not recommend this pub due to the rude attitude of one of the barmen who I am sure is anti-American and/or anti-Asian. I stood at the bar to have my order taken and the guy ignored me. Six other patrons walked up after me and he acknowledged each of them, took their orders. I had spoken to him upon entering on the procedure of ordering as it was my first time in a pub. He gruffly said to order at the bar, sit anywhere. The other staff members were nice however. What a welcome to London.
bluesky12 - 23 Jun 2008 00:38
i went here on monday night and after eventually being served i was charged £3.10 for a pint of timothy taylor landlord and £2 for a soft drink, i overheard the gentleman next to me charged £3.60 for a guinness. these are the worst prices i've ever come across in a pub in the area and i've been drinking round there for 14 years. they must be hoping that tourists go there from the british museum as they can't want regulars to go back. don't go to this pub as people shouldn't pay these prices.
local32 - 14 Nov 2007 09:53
Visited yesterday lunchtime - only 2 staff serving, one of whom seemed to be a trainee on his first day who was still at the stage where he needed considerable help operating the till.

Similar experience to Mr Smudge - see posting below on 31 August

After about 5 minutes of waiting patiently, I gave it up as a bad job and went back to the Museum Tavern which seemed infinitely better run and more customer focused.

For those who do managed to get served here, I hope the beer is considerably better than the service !
JohnBonser - 3 Jul 2007 16:58
Popped in one lunchtime. Seemed a decent place and had Abbot on.
tinsoldier - 25 May 2007 20:47
Now this was the eighth pub I visited on this night so my views and memories of the place may be slightly clouded. However for what its worth it seemed nice enough but nothing to make it stand out from the crowd. Beer and service was OK. i preferred the Museum round the corner but it's OK
TheHorsesMouth - 5 Feb 2007 21:18
After years of drinking in The Plough I've finally decided to go elsewhere from now on. I've given the place the benefit of the doubt over the ever-worsening service and high prices (£3 for Fosters!) but last week was the straw that broke the camel's back! Having waited on a relatively quiet weekday lunchtime for well over 10 mins to get served, one of the two barmaids on duty finally sauntered to my end of the bar and asked me what i wanted to drink. Just as i was about to order a tourist came to the bar and asked where she could order food. Lo and behold, the barmaid began to take her food order!! I objected saying that i was next and she replied that she would serve me next! I replied that she wouldn't as I would be drinking elsewhere from now on!! (Try the Crown on 7 dials - much better service and Carlsberg 50p a pint cheaper.) Enough is Enough!!!!!!!!!
smudger69 - 31 Aug 2006 11:22
I have to say, I'm pretty stunned by the bad reviews for the Plough. Having been threatened with the end of TV, they now have two plasma screens & though they could be a bit higher make for a jolly atmosphere - I was there for every World Cup Match and will be there (as always) to see the Premiership. The staff are lovely: Vanessa the manager is very approachable and does her best (especially with all the security guard regulars that work in the British Museum up the road). It's not smoky - if anything, given the air conditioning system, it's not smoky enough!; the seats are comfortable (what were you people thinking of?) and the beers are the same as everywhere else (bar Sam Smith which I love). It's my local and I love it so boo to the rest of you... go to the Tavern up the road if you're so miserable. We love our Plough and the staff!!, x
Boudicca - 4 Jul 2006 11:22
This pub is handy for work. That's the only reason I go in there. Not a bad pub - does have some great ales. But not wonderful either.
edrok666 - 11 Jun 2006 17:27
Ale is poorly kept and staff seem pretty clueless. When a particular beer runs out, they seem to find it too much trouble to even drape a towel over the hand pull or simply turn the sign around so that it isn't facing outwards. Consequently, you get to hear the same exchange over and over again when a new punter comes in.

'Pint of London Pride please'.
'Sorry but that's off.'
'OK. I'll have a pint of Youngs instead.
'Anything else.'
'Yes I'll have a pint of Guinness Cold please.'
'Sorry that's off.'

How difficult is it to indicate that a certain beer isn't 'on'?


johnkn7 - 5 Jun 2006 13:35
On the suraface this looks like a perfect London pub. Get inside and at first all seems to be right. Stay alittle longer and you will find the beer is of that variety that runs through you with great speed leaving you wishing you had shares in Andrex. Thick with smoke and a nice line in sticky carpetsand a careworn bar, this place is ready for redevelopment. Someone could redevelop it into something really good, possibly like the pub it appears to be from outside.
Dr_Snuggles - 29 Apr 2006 15:26
Urf, I too sometimes can't remember what I drank in there, but for very different reasons!!!
smudger69 - 6 Apr 2006 15:38
This was a terribly uncomfortable place to be. Seats were uncomfortable, smoke was thick around the bar, and the staff was simply not friendly. We left so quickly I don't even remember what I drank.
urf - 5 Apr 2006 18:23
A great 'proper' boozer with a good mix of regulars and tourists. Recent refurb has improved the toilets (they actually work now and don't leak through the ceiling into the bar!!) and the decor. New plasma screens too. Good choice of beers, well kept and prices are much the same as other pubs in the area. Tends to be pretty smokey though. Biggest drawback is the lack of barstaff! Those who are there are great, but there are not enough of them. Some lunchtimes, there's just two trying to look after and serve food orders as well as serve drinks. Long waits often ensue. Overall however, one of the best pubs in the area.
smudger69 - 3 Apr 2006 14:04
Nice enough pub although there are better in the area. Staff are very friendly and service has always been very good when I've visited. Suprised this pub gets a bit of a slating on this website.
charlottetwo - 19 Jan 2006 11:21
A totally average pub. So much so that I wouldn't have normally passed comment - however to be told that I couldn't have my pint topped up & that the pint glasses themselves (which were standard issue) were oversized to allow for the extra head just indicates the general incompetence of the bar staff.
stadium - 22 Dec 2005 13:54
Many people who review this pub seem to be either blind, tasteless misinformed and/or misconveive the pub altogether - the miserable, balding grey-haired, old guy (Ivan) is not, never was or ever has been the manager of this fine establishment - which is a very friendly pub indeed and certainly the most comfortable pub within this area of Bloomsbury. Yes, it can be a little smokey at times - it's a pub - people do smoke in pubs, so what else can you expect? The recently appointed manager Vanessa is a charming, friendly, bright and bubbly young girl and, in spite of some comments posted, actually keeps a very good pint of real ale. There are also numerous charity events run within the pub - not least of which is a monthly quiz night, which is held on the first Wednesday of each month from approx 7.00pm, onwards - all proceeds from this event going to a very reliable charity called Tools For Self Reliance.
TheAbbot - 29 Nov 2005 21:02
A pub which seems to reinforce the old rule that the nicer a place looks from the outside the more disappointing it will be to step inside. In this respect the Plough is almost as bad as the Newman Arms in Fitzrovia. Similarities include grumpy and ignorant management, staff and customers and a lack of anything worthwhile to drink or eat.
Martinl - 10 Sep 2005 22:48
The plough is my favourite pub for watching the footie in the winter; not great screens (just Tvs hoisted above a mantle)but lovely atmosphere; not macho, friendly and premiere-league serious. Sadly, however, rumour has it from reliable sources (bar staff/manager) that the owners -(brewery? management company?) - are planning to remove the TVs to save costs. As the "owners" also manage the Museum Tavern across the street (which doesn't have a TV), can we have a campaign to stop this please? Let us watch premiere football (and other sport!)
Boudicca - 22 Jul 2005 15:07
For the first time in London, I've spent some good time in this Pub, after BM visit. I had a great food and drank some good ale in a quiet noon atmosphere.
ilfaccino - 11 Jan 2005 15:59
A friend and I wanted to try this place out the other evening, but we were driven away by the cigarette smoke. I'm used to drinking with friends who smoke, but this was ridiculous - you could hardly see across the bar. Horrible.
John - 14 Nov 2004 18:06
Not a very friendly pub. Beer is more often than not, not well kept, which is a pitty as Youngs bitter is one of the best London beers, of course if kept well and your pipes are looked after. Landlord appears to be The Lord. Anyway there are plenty of better pubs in the area.
D Golubic
D Golubic - 25 Aug 2004 12:49
This place is a little gem for those who like their pubs traditional, cosy, and with shit toilets. They sell a variety of ales, lagers and the like, their snacks are of the popular crisp and peanut variety (no £3.50 bowl-ette of pistachios here), they have a £10 minimum card purchase and very intelligently and charitably give you change if you don't quite make the tenner mark, their landlord is bald, greying and not massively friendly, there's the standard dangerously quiet, old before his time lone drunk at the bar, and you can have a good old chinwag with your chums without shouting. Possible deep conversations with random drunk strangers too. Bloody marvellous.
Ruby - 9 Mar 2004 18:35
Not as tourist-filled as the nearby Museum Tavern with a mixture of office staff and the few locals that are left in the area. Standard unexciting pub grub but a good range of drinks makes this a useful meeting place.
John - 8 Mar 2004 16:26

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