skip nav  

Magpie, Bishopsgate

back to pub details

user reviews of the Magpie, Bishopsgate

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

A Saturday evening visit with a few pals.

I have only been to this Nicholsons pubs once before and that was to tick it from the GBG a few years back.

I like Nicholsons pubs, they are generally older style pubs that had been sensitively restored with the old features brought back to life, their ale choices are pretty good as well with a lot of smaller national breweries generally represented, the Magpie is no different with 6 ales on the 10 hand pumps. I had a couple of pints of Sharps Rising Tide, a very drinkable pint @ 4.2%.

Fairly busy with mainly tourists here for a few drinks and food, though I didn't see any good being delivered or eaten.

Quick service from the bar staff, usual Central London prices, a good place for a few ales, I like the Magpie and will use it again.
lezford - 31 Oct 2016 14:10
Stopped in 8.30 ish last night. great city pub indeed, busy but good craic...well worth stopping by if you're in the area.
harlequin - 31 Jan 2014 07:48
A very fine pub.Was made most welcome by Anna,and offered samples of drinks.Having people like her behind the bar is a breath of fresh air.The suits were out in force,but most are friendly and accommodating;they just want a decent pint and chat,in a decent pub.If in the area,make a special effort to try this place out.
delstefan - 26 Sep 2013 09:37
I like this City pub and pop in when I can. It's one of the better examples of a Nicholson pub and the manager is a fantastic bloke, the bar staff are also friendly and ultra efficient too. The choice of real ale is good and ever changing.

I've had two occasions when my enjoyment has been somewhat spoilt by the behaviour of rowdy tanked-up "Loadsamoney" types knocking into me and spilling my beer (and not even bothering to apologise) but they're still thankfully in the minority here on a Thursday or Friday night. I prefer to drink here earlier in the week when it's less rammed.

In the hot weather you can enjoy your beer with a bit more space outside in the street without anyone minding.
Beer4Daddy - 2 Jun 2013 16:03
Came in on a Thursday evening with 2 colleagues from work.

Pub was rammed but we only waited 5 minutes for a drink.

10 pumps with 10 different ales in this excellent Nicholson's pub. I had 2 pints of London Porter from the Red Squirrel Brewery and it was excellent.

The majority of the clientele were office workers / bankers. Atmosphere was very friendly, service was good and attentive.

All in all a quality little pub.
lezford - 18 Jan 2013 13:41
Had a very strange pub experience here the other night when it was very busy. Had a tab running and ordered some food. Turned out the barman didn't know the kitchen was closed as the chef wasn't there. No problem with that. Easy mistake but asked to see the boss as we wouldn't have had the last drink otherwise.

Boss comes in looking quite scary. Then apologises for the barman's mistake, refunds the food money, asks if I have a tab, which I do (3 or 4 rounds worth)insists on clearing it himself so no charge. Then asks if we're still looking to eat, which we were. Offers to go over the road to a sister pub, order the same food, which he does and pays for himself, and puts a round of drinks behind the bar, and makes sure we are well looked after. Way beyond the call of duty.

Top bloke. 10/10
alan_latchley - 5 Jul 2012 15:06
Love this place - Bar Staff always helpful and happy to suppy a sample sup! Plenty of seating - But then I only go in on our irregular Real Ale jaunts on a Saturday (Husband uses the Magpie on a regular occasion during the week when it can be packed to the gunnels)
Ale kept well, easy trip down the alleyway back to Liverpool St Station - toilets clean - bar staff friendly - Management great! - Plenty of Ales on offer - What more can you ask for :)
dawgeo - 1 Apr 2012 10:18
Unremarkable dark wood City pub, handy for Liverpool Street station and a drink after helping ruin the global economy. Good selection of beers, those I tried were fine.
djw - 25 Jan 2012 00:52
Very busy City pub handy for Liverpool Street station. I enjoyed the Sharps IPA (which I believe has now been taken over by a much bigger predator) and the Steak Pie was good quality. Crammed with suits at lunchtime slinging it down their necks - I thought most of us weren't allowed to drink at lunch time these days! Anyway, good to see these City types stimulating the economy!!
JBGatelad - 26 Mar 2011 10:03
A splendid Nicholsons pub on a narrow road of the east side of Bishopsgate. This area of the City really is good for pubs with the Shooting Star, Williams and Dirty Dicks also within a stone's throw of here.

The interior is mainly dark wood with plenty of seating and the street outside offers plenty of space for outside drinking in the warmer months. The ale range is impressive - when I was in the offerings were Pride, Landlord, Doom Bar, Tether Blond, Morland Original, Acorn Old Moon Porter, Cotleigh Tawny Owl, Harvieston Bitter and Twisted and Skinners Pennycomequick. I doubt whether any other pub in the area can match this although Woodins Shades does come close.

Clientele was heavily male dominated and as you would expect most dipping into the impressive selection. I have to admit to being a bit unimaginative and having a pint of Landlord but it was in very good condition.

I can really recommend this place particularly for the ale lover.
murgatroyd - 29 Oct 2010 01:59
A welcome relief from the horrors of Hamilton Hall, this is my favourite spot for a beer in the Liverpool St vicinity.

Good selection of beers in good condition. The place can get packed but service is fairly quick and if it's not raining there's plenty of space to stand outside on the semi-pedestrianised street.

Right next door to Bishopsgate cop shop and probably popular with coppers, so not the best venue for those intent on buying / selling dodgy wares... ;-)
CountVonCount - 26 Oct 2010 17:44
Decent enough boozer just accross the road from Liverpool Street station. A Nicholsons pub with 10 changing beers on offer from £3 upwards. Beer quality was good yesterday and service quick and efficient even though it was busy with suits just after lunchtime.
cheshirecat - 29 Sep 2010 09:47
Good selection of well kept ales. Decent city boozer and you can drink outside.
ShatnersBassoon - 17 Sep 2010 12:28
Handy for Liverpool St station. Tucked away down a sidestreet, not easy to find but well worth the effort. If you go in late afternoon/early evening it will be full of office workers. Nevertheless I usually manage to find a seat as often there are more people outside than inside.
Customers without suits are easily outnumbered by those wearing them!
The staff are friendly and there is a great choice of ales. Usual suspects such as Landlord and Pride alongside less familiar brews. You get a chance to sample any you're uncertain about by being offered a tot.
I wouldn't cross the city to visit the place but if in the area it's the one to go to, especially if you like your real ales.

outtamehead - 17 Sep 2010 09:50
Typical "painting by numbers" pub - nothing special but ok for a quick pint - nice music playing. Full of suits of course for this area.
adamwalsh - 15 Sep 2010 21:02
A few minutes walk across the road from Liverpool Street station with a nice topped bar, reasonable service and decent ale. It's a bit 'tube train' style - as in mainly standing room and very few seats but as it gets a lot of transient customer it is probably right for this particualr place. Had a decent pint of Sambrooks Wandle. Best place by far in the Liverpool Street vicinity though not somewhere to go out of your way too much to visit.
anonymous - 22 Jul 2010 21:53
The Magpie had the best drinks selection out of all the 12 City pubs I visited on Thursday afternoon/evening - Thornbridge Jaipur IPA, Sharps Doom Bar, Brakspear Bitter, Fullers London Pride, Oakham JHB, Ringwood Forty Niner and Otter Ale. The Landlord was off. Addlestones cider was also available. The place has an excellent location near Liverpool Street station, yet has the feeling of being a little off the beaten track, being located down a quiet side street. The street outside was busier than the inside where drinking is generally done standing up. There are very few tables. But there are a few stools around the edges. Music was being played at an inoffensive volume. I would definitely come back here again. My only gripe was the service. After serving the only other person waiting at the bar, the barman proceeded to leave the bar area to wander around collecting condiments from tables before finally returning to serve me. I didn't quite see the need for this. Two other staff ignored me and continued stacking glasses. Albeit for the service, this would probably have been my pub of the day. But I'll reserve that award for the Swan.
blue_scrumpy - 22 May 2010 13:11
I'd never come across this pub before as it's in something resembling a cul-de-sac. However, a colleague recommended it so I went looking for it. The place was packed - a football match showing on the TV. Mainly, the place was full of office workers even at 8pm but it was hardly surprising. Some excellent choices of real ale - in the main the ones noted in previous comments. Felt very much at home here and lingered over two pints. When I left I was amazed that the road was so quiet despite seeing Liverpool St Station in the distance. A good find.
ButchEgg - 1 Apr 2010 12:33

Experiment: To prove a pleasant drinking environment exists near to Liverpool St
that is more upmarket than Hamilton Hall

Method : to have 3 ales during a lunchtime visit , in pints and half pints
testing different barmaids

Apparatus: Straight glasses, Jugs actively encouraged/advertised- 8 handpumps
Liquids- JHB, Black Cat, TT landlord , Gloom Bar, Hydes, Stonehenge

Conclusion: The Best pub near Liverpool st by far.Beer prices were reasonable
£2.85-£3.15.Pleasant customer base. Helpful bar staff

Return ? Yes

Polypinmath - 19 Mar 2010 14:47
Pleasant pub, welcoming staff and good real ales. A good find on my wander round
keith253 - 16 Mar 2010 11:25
One of the better Nicholson's offerings in the area. A proper city pub tucked away down a side road opposite Liverpool Street station. Outside is usually void of traffic so OK for outside drinking, which helps as this is not a big pub and can get rammed with the early evening after work crowd.
Usually good and varied beer choice at reasonable pricing levels . For our visit this week there were ten ales on which included the usual TT Landlord and Golden Best, and Fullers London Pride, but several seasonal ales from smaller brewers (Davenports The Fall ) and some Micro’s such as Springhead Polar Bear.
All the beers we tried were in good condition and the only gripe was that there was some serious short pulling going on during the early evening busy period, and tops ups had to be requested more times than you should have to. Fortunately this improved as the pub quietened down.
But in conclusion a decent city boozer close to Liverpool Street station. And to concur with other comments below, why you would choose to go in The Hamilton Hall , unless you only had 10 minutes before your train, when this place exists across the road, is a complete mystery.

Gann - 28 Nov 2009 18:05
Very disappointing service this week, been going here for several years and normally ok but waited over 20 mins to be served, politely asked to be served, got very short shrift from barmaid "I'm on minimum wage you know" who then ignored me for 5 minutes, asked her again politely how I'm supposed to get served if I've been stood there for 20 mins without attracting the staff's attention, to which she said "that won't help" stopped serving completely and left. Normally this pub is 7/10 for me, but this week 0/10 I took my business elsewhere. Will give it one more try but if they carry on like that then I'll be going elsewhere, permanently.
bethnal_green - 17 Sep 2009 22:01
Hellish noisy. They play muzak. Otherwise as a pub quite nice. Don't try to conduct any business via the phone in this pub.
mycetes - 12 Aug 2009 14:01
Good service. Food good for price/location. Excellent range of beers and the ones I've had all well kept. Fun standing outside watching the 'scenery'! The best pub in the area.
ChrisM62 - 2 Jul 2009 16:43
first time in this back street pub with emz and what a lovely pub, real quality service nice wines and great company.. travelled thru liv st many years and never knew this was here will defo visit again .
corcaigh - 13 Jan 2009 02:58
Nice friendly pub, situated out of the way of the busy throngs which makes it feel quite quaint. Prices are reasonable for being in the city too!
lulululu - 1 Jan 2009 16:11
Full of City types still hard at it in the pub well after 2 o’clock. Well, it is Christmas, I suppose. They had Landlord, Pride and Santa’s Tipple on. This is clearly a low-ceilinged old pub with lots of character although it has been given the usual Pubco’s London makeover – cream painted ceilings with names of beers painted on the “beams”.

But it’s OK as it goes – there are many, many worse places to have a drink in the City. London Pride at £2.60 a pint is pretty good for this area as well. Certainly worth dropping in for a pint if you are in the area.
RexRattus - 13 Dec 2008 11:30
I like to think of the Magpie as "Bravo Two Zero by Andy McNabb" (which gets better with every read)

8 on 10

Harvor - 20 Nov 2008 12:04
Excellent, bit off the beaten track, which is good. Good drinks, ok food, large space and good staff. V nice!
megazilla - 4 Sep 2008 16:43
Nicholsons, Landlord, Pride, GK IPA and Batemans Thirsty Work. Batemans and Landlord were good. Central bar, reasonably large drinking area and can overspill into the street.
GuideDogSaint - 20 Aug 2008 00:29
"It's full of suits, blah blah blah.... Here's the news - No suits drinking during the week = No Magpie !
It's the city for goodness sake, what do you expect ?
Smashing pub, that's well run, with above average beer & service. A treat to stand outside summertime, with no traffic flying past. Well worth a visit, considering the dross surrounding the Liverpool St area.
steve2136 - 14 Aug 2008 16:24
Went here last night for the first time. And I've got to say, it was like a breath of fresh air. Good surroundings, good people and also reasonably priced beer which is surely a first for City pubs.

My friend Trev came with me. He's a man of the cloth and had a craking time. He had as many forks as he could handle, without staff even batting an eye-lid.

All in all, good pub. I'll definitely be going back. 8 on 10.
Harvor - 4 Jul 2008 09:34
In last Friday and for some reason no where near as full as usual. Service is still as good as ever and the landlord must be one of the best in town
Wheel154 - 6 May 2008 12:12
I notice I first reviewed the Magpie in September 2004. Things have not changed, full of suits but swift service, excellent Tim Taylor Landlord and still a good alternative to the Railway, Hamilton and the Bull.
danrkelly - 18 Mar 2008 16:09
Great little city pub with an authentic atmosphere. Good selection of real ales - Timothy Taylors, London Pride, Greene KIng's IPA and presumably a guest beer which was Adnams Bitter. We were there on a Monday night and after 7pm the place was not at all crowded.
jamessquire - 12 Feb 2008 09:06
A short distance from the hell that is Hamilton Hall on a Friday night, it was a pleasure to come here. Yes, it's very busy mainly with 'suits' but you know that the beer you'll be served with from the efficient staff will be in good order. Timmy Taylors Landlord is always OK, as was the current guest beer Everards Yule Fuel.
canastajim - 15 Dec 2007 09:53
Im lucky that this is a great pub so near my work. I think the staff are excellent, the food is damn fine too (pickled eggs if you fancy them 2). Not a poncey place in the slightest, is a genuine old fashioned pub and reasonably priced, I dont drink the traditional beers but hear from many that they have a good selection. Only moan is it gets a bit busy in there - fine in the summer when we can all hang about outside but not so great when it is raining and people are treading on your feet.
munners - 29 May 2007 16:34
A good pint of Landlord, and several other real ales on offer. The pub's a Nicholson's, with all the good and bad that implies.

I was there on a Tuesday afternoon at 1:30 and couldn't move for the crowds. Is it always like this? The guys-in-ties were all over the place, and frankly I was sick of their conversation in about five minutes. The staff were doing a good job to keep up with the orders, but finding a space to relax in once you'd got your pint wasn't an option. A nice pub, but try to hit it when it's less crowded.
Hodsthorn - 28 Feb 2006 14:44
Ah those days of watching Aerobics Oz style on TV on a Friday lunchtime then tucking into a few pints of Pride and an all-day breakfast!
That was 10 years ago and it's good to see the pub is now under the management of Ross who runs it to the same high standard as he did at Williamsons.
Tim Taylors Landlord was excellent and, according to my drinking colleagues, so were the other available ales.
Friday evening was busy at first, but thinned out as the evening went on. First class.

BothamsAshes - 6 Feb 2006 14:14
Probably the best 'proper' pub in this part of the city, friendly staff, nice interior and decent beer (Landlord and Pride).
carterse9 - 24 Jan 2006 09:14
My only real criticism is that it gets way too busy.
anonymous - 20 Jul 2005 07:46
Drinking on the street?! Sounds like my kind of place. I also like that you can book the upstairs and bring your own music. WooHoo! PAR-TAY!
bward - 18 Feb 2005 19:12
This is a proper City pub. Great beer, good food. Suits only (thankfully) - no Dutch tourists with ruckscaks the size of small countries and/or sweaty neanderthal builders
Lee - 21 Oct 2004 11:31
Good service and great beer. (A pity it is soooo popular)
Mark - 3 Oct 2004 17:56
Typical city pub as it is full of suits however the beer is excellent especially 'Landlord'. You can drink outside on the street next to the city Police Skoda estate cars and watch the office totty go by aswell. Good alternative to the Railway Tavern and Hamilton Hall.
Dan - 29 Sep 2004 12:31
This is a superb little City boozer. The (antipodean) landlord used to run Williamsons Tavern for 25 years (well seemed like it to me). Its a "free house" under the Nicholsons banner and keeps good strong lager and Timmy Taylors Landlord (one of Yorkshires finest, and since the Scottish and Newcastle take over of Theaksons possibly THE BEST). The only reason this does not get 10 out of 10 is the fact that it gets very crowded and the journey from the right hand side of the bar to the mens toilet can involve a lot of close encounters with other drinkers (;-)
Cliff - 18 Mar 2004 12:02
I'm with the fox on the subject of windowsills , much better since they've been staightened out for pint balancing enhancement, also good for putting leg on to stretch out those tight hammys after a day at the desk
bobby runwig - 12 Mar 2004 12:01
The new straight windowsills are strange, we used to have a pint balancing challenge, a bit like "you bet" with Darren Day. Its now a simple task.
Fox - 12 Mar 2004 10:32
This pub continues to be the pride of the City. Whereas other pubs are down to their dregs after the Xmas binges, this still has plenty of yummy Landlord. :-)
Darren in the City - 30 Dec 2003 14:22
One of the few places in the area where you can be confident about the quality of the beer. Unfortunately some of my mates drink Strongbow, which they don't serve, so we end up going elsewhere.
Millay - 28 Sep 2003 13:17
Alan Partridge - 12 Sep 2003 09:56
Great Pub, lovely staff, good access for my chair.
Dr. S Hawkings - 15 Aug 2003 14:50
Woohoo! Not only gorgeous Bombadier but Landlord too!! This pub gets better & better.
Darren - 1 Aug 2003 22:16
I was having a lovely evening, supping on a well chilled and reasonably priced dry white wine when to my horror I noticed that my coat was covered in cigarette ash. A word of advice to fellow drinkers standing outside on a friday evening, don't leave your coat on the floor it gets very dirty. thanks Maud
Paul Lewis - 25 Jul 2003 16:24
Wonderful, the pint glasses fit between my fingers like peas in a pod. There is more bar staff than customers and i love the chubby geezer who says waheyy to all the woman. Thank you Alan
BananafingersLoafhair - 25 Jul 2003 14:19
Always a winner although I could hark back to the days before they did this place up and took away much of it's traditional charm.
Pie Face - 18 Jul 2003 13:43
Definitely one of the better pubs in the City. Good selection of real ales always available and wine isn't bad either. Ans, of course, you can stand outside (evening, officer). 7/10
Darren in the City - 17 Jul 2003 08:51
One of the best places in the area for a drink on a summer evening. The fact that most people stand outside means there is room to move inside and you can generally get to the bar OK. Good selection of beers with Timothy Taylors Landlord an everpresent
Millay - 12 Jul 2003 08:10
always a member of barstaff on hand even when busy / lovely pint of stella
anonymous - 30 May 2003 10:00
too hot on a friday inside, so you stand outside and risk being run over by reversing lorries and old bill cars
anonymous - 30 May 2003 09:59

got anything to say about this pub?

Please read our reviews policy before posting.
Only registered users can post reviews. Please log in. If you don't have an account yet, register here.