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Ye Olde London, St Pauls

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user reviews of Ye Olde London, St Pauls

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

This Greene King pub is hardly a destination in its own right, but if you like me go to a concert in St. Paul's Cathedral (or simply are sightseeing), you will surely be thirsty afterwards. As there are not so many pubs in the immediate vicinity of the cathedral, this one might be your best bet. The usual GK suspects on cask - including the seasonal Starry Night, which was remarkably good. I did not eat.
Sigmund - 13 Feb 2018 21:45
Watch out! I think this place has changed management. It's gone from OK to terrible.

I went along with a couple of friends for a lunch and drink (Friday lunchtime). My food was OK but the key issue was the 45 minute wait for it to turn up - even then only after prompting. One of my friends did not get her meal at all. After 54 minutes she went up to the bar to get her money back which begrudgingly and rudely the bar staff gave. There was no sign of an apology or compensation.

My other colleague was ripped off on the food: a dry and unappetising plain veggie burger plus about seven chips for £10 served on a wooden plate which looked to me like it had not been properly washed.

In all we suffered utterly appalling service which I find totally unacceptable. I will never be using this pub again. Our lunchtime was ruined. We complained to Taylor Walker, the owners of this pub.

My advice is give this place a miss.
StudioM - 26 Apr 2013 15:11
Didn't go downstairs, but the upstairs is cramped and grotty. It was staffed by one surly barman who tried to give me a pint that had been stood there god knows how long, and was doing nothing about the mentally unstable vagrant shouting at customers.

Needless to say, I shan't return.
catbert - 3 Feb 2013 18:40
Second visit here but only just bothering to review as nothing really stuck out in my memory on my last appearance.

On the last visit on Sunday afternoon, my mates and I delved a little deeper into what this obvious tourist trap has to offer the more discerning and more local punter. Whilst the overall impression was one of a pub-by-numbers with no great departures from a tried 'n' tested formula, it was not as naff and medicore as one might expect.

Ale-wise, there is a choice of only 2 on the top bar, but lurking downstairs is a rather larger affair with a bigger bar, which accommodates a third cask ale, along with additional other tapped/kegged fodder. The Young's London Gold was well-kept despite the humidity of the day, and it was served reasonably well by the barman, who was pleasant enough.

The bottom bar yields much more seating both indoors and out, with patio doors leading to a somewhat cramped and gloomy garden, but in this district any al fresco option can be welcome so they'd done their best with limited space. We chose not to seat ourselves outside however as the air conditioned atmosphere inside was far cooler and on a sweat-plagueing day this was most appreciated. We whiled away an hour quite happily.

Few people arrived during our visit to help create a bit of a buzz; an older couple were enjoying lunches (food looked passable) and tht was about it, but then maybe Sunday is not the best time. Fortunately we weren't over-run with tedious tourists, so that was a blessing.

All in all, I'd chalk this up as a convenient possibility when in the Cathedral area and in need of a quick drink to enliven the spirits. Otherwise, I wouldn't say Ye Olde London is a destination pub, as it just could be anywhere in the capital and lacks any real 'edge'. It is of greater relevance to foreign visitors who probably swallow all the (mostly contrived) history they've dug up for the place. But in my book. this is often preferable to what passes for "Ye Newe London".
TWG - 20 Aug 2012 14:31
There is a sign behind the bar which says "If you think the head on your beer is too large - tell us - WE WILL GLADLY TOP UP YOUR GLASS". This isn't strictly true. First, the bar staff will try and argue that standard pint glasses are actually oversized, when there is no line on them, and when that fails, they will not gladly do anything. We will grumpily top up your glass might be more apt.

On the plus side, the beer was nice and the downstairs bar was pleasantly cool thanks to the open patio doors.
J_R - 19 Apr 2011 17:38
Encouraged by the Cask Marque, dropped in on a cold damp Saturday afternoon after looking round the City.
The beer was fine, a choice of 3 upstairs and 5 downstairs. We tried the Doom Bar & Youngs London Gold, both very pleasant and (for a London pub so close to a major tourist attraction) remarkably good value.
If you sit upstairs you can watch the tourists going by on the open topped buses, all cold and wet while you're sitting in the warm enjoying a very nice pint.
Trequites - 21 Mar 2011 21:20
Well, she's not been anywhere else.
The_Final_Arbiter - 20 Mar 2011 22:30
Why so anti with such a short posting history ??????
kevmac - 20 Mar 2011 21:00
This pub is the worst, most awful, rotten, foul and disgusting place to stay, eat or drink.Probably the worst pub meal i ever had ,,served cold and inedible.......rating,,....0.....again ... -1.
jessie13 - 20 Mar 2011 18:32
My pint of Doom Bar bitter was fine and the pub was OK. Nothing more or less. I visited during the afternoon of the Lord Mayor's Show so the streets outside were still closed to traffic. Nice and quiet.
Paul_Rochdale - 15 Nov 2010 20:10
This pub is on the site of "The London Coffee House" (1731-1867) where Old Bailey juries were often sequestered (locked in) overnight, masonic meetings were held and bigwigs such as Joseph Priestley, Benjamin Franklin and George Peabody were clients.

On Thursday lunchtime they got me and two pals.

First the plus side:
It was busy, but we got our drinks quickly and both the bitter and the lager were fine.
The bar and gents were clean. No ladies in our party so cannot comment on their loo.
An enormous bonus was the lack of TV and/or piped music - utter bliss.
The staff who dealt with us (mainly Ian and Rosie) were affable, efficient and fielded moans about the food tactfully and with good grace.
The smokers' terrace (actually the bottom of a light well, it's about twenty feet below street level) was great - clean, tidy, part sheltered from rain and deffo of the better sort.

Now the minus side:

No sign of the famous Tony, so will have to go again.
The grub was awful. A 35 minute wait and when it came two of us got mash instead of chips and it had to be changed. Portions were tiny and the lamb and mint pie contents had the texture of india rubber. The worst value pub meal I've had for ages.

If you want a pint or three with pals without the intrusion of TVs, etc it is great. If you want grub - forget it.
Gore.May - 30 Oct 2010 12:10
Have been in this pub on quite a few occasions and always found the bar staff to be friendly and efficient. The beer is generally well kept: haven't had a bad pint here. Food is OK but not great. Downstairs bar is fine - the ground floor one looks very uninviting.
StudioM - 2 Aug 2010 13:08
one of the worst pubs in london. the guy behind the bar was rude and asked us to keep our voices down even though we had spent over £150 in food. i would never go back in here again. the picture of him on this website shows him to be the misserable git he is. never again.
dsuter - 29 Apr 2010 16:09
VERY hit and miss.

Last time I was here the sausages had a plastic wrapping on them and previously we'd had rude staff taking plates before everyone had finished.
RiseburyCrisis - 14 Dec 2009 12:47
I really love this pub, staff chatty service good real old fashioned landlord, the beer we had was top notch.What more can one ask for.
anonymous - 14 Dec 2009 10:21
A quality little drinker is the Ye Olde London......And what can I say about Tone the Moan....A legend in his own bathtime. Throwing out one liners such as these golden oldies......."I dont mind if I do" & "I'll just have an half" as he fleeces you for yet another beverage! They dont make em like Tony anymore....
Wolfgang_Overhang - 18 Nov 2009 11:50
I went to this pub last night and was very impressed by the service by the staff. The way the reviews are worded on here it sounds like Tony is rude. I found him to be quite the contrary. I recommend this place and I agree the fish and chips are good.
Winkleman - 18 Jul 2009 13:51
Very nice pub !! If you ask for tea or coffee, Tony will attent you that you're in a pub. Order a Guinness and a big grin comes on his face!!
He serves truly the best fish and chips in town !! And the chicken wings were also very good. See you next time we visit London.

Trudie, Guus, Ad
Breda, the Netherlands

tealady - 13 Aug 2008 09:04
Thank God for this place. One of the few, maybe the only pub in the area open all weekend and with a nice enclosed courtyard to boot. Good traditional British grub at reasonable prices nice staff and six yes six trad beers not lager and bottle mad. Thinking of booking the basement for my fortieth birthday and its free to hire.
blackharry - 7 May 2008 16:36
Is that Tony still alive? He's like a cockroach, everytime the ethnically cleanse the staff and management he survives. God bless you Tone, in a world of 30 question bar staff, (What kind of lager would you like? Would you like chips, mash or...etc? Any side-orders sir? Large or small sir? Everything alright sir?)your screw you attitude is a wonder to behold. I don't want to talk to you either, please and thankyou will do. Keep up the good work.
spaceman - 30 Apr 2008 14:22
In all my travels, never have I felt more at home. Grumpy, er I mean Tony and his irascible humour put me in my place time after time. We sure do miss you Tony! See ya next year!
Canuck1 - 20 Apr 2008 03:21
I do like it in there; it's friendly bar staff and a pleasant business style atmosphere. I also have had food in there and it was to a very good level which also was priced well enough, it has a good range of ales in their downstairs area with is big enough to accommodate around 200 people, I donít agree with the review that says that the manager is rude.
halo2 - 17 Apr 2008 22:14
Really nice food and good sized portions, great pint of adnams.
Billgates1 - 6 Feb 2008 12:34
One of the rudest managers I have ever come across - poured a flat pint, and when it was poined out, he just poured it into another glass! What an attituse problem! All other staff have been fine, tho.
scarydragqueen - 4 Jan 2008 12:34
Nice enough beer (Youngs Best) and friendly service. We were in the ground floor bar and we were served quickly and efficiently. Mrs Simes reported a G&T with a lot of the latter than the former. Had a bit of food - chips, onion rings - generous portions.
simes69 - 1 Oct 2007 18:04
I second what others have said about the downstairs bar being a surprising size. Until recently I'd been in here on a number of occasions and didn't even realise there was a downstairs! Also the grumpy barman's usually upstairs (he definitely still works there) so the service'll be a bit better downstairs!
grecian - 5 Sep 2007 22:18
I know what previous reviewers are saving about the older chap behind the bar but if you give him the time of day he really is fine. He always remembers our round and pours an excellent pint.

Management has changed since the older dated reviews and the young lady who runs it is very pleasant. A lot of people tend not to venture downstairs and therfore get put off by the small upstairs bar, whereas downstairs is quite large and has an outside area for those who still like a smoke.

It's nothing amazing but it's good enough for a few beers and the food is fine, (big helpings), also fun to watch the tourists......
SJohnson - 4 Sep 2007 16:49
I popped in here for a couple of pints on Saturday afternoon. The pub is pretty small upstairs, but donít let that deceive you as the downstairs bar is very big (seating for 120 I think).

I went for the Fosters as Iím not a fan of Kronenburg, it was well kept, but a bit of a let down after the Amstell, Staropramen and San Miguel I was drinking earlier in the day.

If the cubicles in the menís toilet were any smaller Harry Houdini would not have been able to escape once he had locked himself in.

The barman was actually very friendly, so I believe that the staff may have changed since the comments below were posted.

I wouldnít say that this was a great pub, but itís not that bad for a stop off.
Strongers - 18 Jun 2007 13:55
Hello I have been in this pub one week ago with fiev friends and it changed management(its a young woman now)
Service was superb beer was very nice(not hudge but good choice) and great food the only thing that was wrong they didn't have any heaters working in garden.
Over all probably best choice in the area.

anonymous - 5 Apr 2007 22:08
I pop in here occasionally and would agree that the level of service is not what it might be. There's only ever the one guy behind the bar (not sure if he's the manager or not) and he definitely does have a bit of an attitude problem - likes to take his own sweet time; always takes pains to be as grumpy as possible. That said, for whatever reason I actually find it quite amusing. I think it makes fundamentally a boring pub more amusing.
grecian - 25 Aug 2006 14:09
OK! Where do I start? I went here with two work mates and had the lunchtime from hell. The old fart behind the bar is basically as old as the fixtures. He found it necesary to lecture us on our swearing, beer and general dress code. The guy is an idiot and completely ruined our lunchtime. We spent £40 between four of us and i'd love the money back. It would have been better spent on the 15:15 at Newmarket (50-1 odds). Why this guy felt it necesary to p!ss off possible punters is beyond me. We were all suited and ordered food and drink (a landlords dream). I can now undestand why there were only about 10 people on the premises. I give this pub a 1/10 rating (and not 0/10) due to the fact that the beer was cold and there the toilets were clean.
dansuter - 24 Aug 2006 16:51
I've been in this gaff 3 times now, outa desperation, on those days when i have to work in the city on a Saturday (of which this is one!), and have left on each occasion without being served! I cannot tell you what a dispicable cnut that landlord is! He just left me for a good ten minutes, standing in front of him with a tenner in my hand, whilst he perused some supposedly vital paperwork, whilst slumped across the bar! After about the 4th or 5th minute i asked him whether it would be possible to get a pint at any point, and he said "Yeah, in a minute" and got back to examining his slip of paper,.......fcking w anker! Now normally, in this situation, i would wait it out, order my drink, and fck off without paying, once it had been poured! But fck me,...this geezer broke me, and i was forced into the All Bar One next door. Similar thing happened to me on the two previous occasions,..and believe me, its not the case that the landlord has somekind of personal vendetta against me,..he wouldn't know me from Adam,...He is just an absolute fcking disgrace. Consequently, i can't comment on the beer cos i've never had one,..but i'd have odds on, that the foods sh it,..the fruities been interfered with,..and that hes got some hidden cameras rigged up in the birds bogs! CNUT
kmcs - 6 May 2006 17:37
A strange pub, but for the City it's a decent choice. The staff were friendly, and although my first pint was a bit dodgy, the manager readily poured me another which slipped down nicely.

The decor is, as has been mentioned, bland to say the least, but the downstairs area is pretty huge and we had no trouble finding a table on a Friday evening. Calling the outside area a beer garden is a bit of a joke - it's tiny, and all you can see is high-rise buildings around you, and the place could do with a clean, unless there's a cigarette butt collection scheme going on.

All in all, I wouldn't go out of my way to come here, but it's a hugely viable alternative to the other pubs around the area.
womble54321 - 6 May 2006 11:09
Ye Olde London was the name of this pub long, long before it became yet another fly-by-night themery. See those WM Younger windows? And a very fine pub it was too, until the Eerie "pub" company violated it with their teenage goff shitery. Haven't been into the re-incanated version. Probably won't.
Albert_Campion - 25 Jan 2006 12:12
Both the name and the interior have changed - its now called (sigh) Ye Olde London, or something equally inane, and inside its open and wooden. Fairly bland and inoffensive - which is something you could never say about its previous incarnation.
anonymous - 1 Aug 2005 13:48
In an area teeming with morons in suits, swigging bottles of continental lager and braying about profit margins, this place is a godsend.

I always said that I'd rather stick plastic forks in my eyes than go drinking in a city pub, but this establishment has given me a way out.

It's one of those odd little gothic chain pubs, but it's awfully nice with it. Decent beer, friendly staff, nice atmosphere. What more could you want?

What's that?

You want to tell me about your profit margins?

Get out.
Slipperduke - 1 Feb 2005 11:54
Was a great experiance. Wasn't there long, but the pub left a lasting impression on me and I will be going again soon.
Christopher - 14 Jun 2004 16:42
Unique kitsch gothic pub in the heart of the city. Makes a drastic change from drinking in bars which look rather like ikea. Very fun, great booze and great food- and not too expensive especially considering the area. Friendly staff. Recommend to anybody.
Josie - 6 Apr 2004 16:38

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