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Salisbury, Leicester Square

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user reviews of the Salisbury, Leicester Square

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

Nice architecture, good beer, quick and friendly service even when it's busy. But 4.75 a pint???
djw - 17 Dec 2014 21:43
Third pub of the 2014 northern hemisphere tour. Glorious looking place and well managed, in my limited experience. Last year a bloke who may have been the landlord gave me & the few who were there a history of the place, and this year the same bloke found me a perch at the crowded bar. Class. A pint of Bombardier was 4.05, first four pound plus pint of the trip, but I was soon to pay more, at dumps with nowhere near the attractiveness & ambience of the Salisbury.
Queenslander - 19 Aug 2014 22:56
Crying in my beer. Been coming here for 30 years. Now some genius decided he knows better than 250 years of satisfied drinkers. Thanks marketing men. A wether spoons wannabe
mbealing - 30 Mar 2014 16:43
Love this pub - have reviewed it before but having gone in last night I just wanted to say how much I still enjoy it!

Good beer, atmosphere and a fantastic location to watch the world go by! Visit!
Miker1234 - 13 Feb 2014 16:59
Beautiful pub-a must see for the interior alone. Add to this very friendly and efficient service and a good range of very well kept real ales and you have the best pub in the entire West End.
strangetorpor - 9 Jan 2014 15:35
Lovely Pub Ruined by Dodgy Bar Staff...

I used to use this pub a lot and love its Victorian interior and West End buzz, but just had one of those nights where you wonder why you bother. If you find yourself asking the barman for the full change for your round cause he keeps "forgetting" to give you your 5 or 10 pound notes in change, well you've been warned. Its only because we conferred afterwards we realised what he was up to. He tried to do me for a fiver and my friend for a tenner - dodgy bar steward... If you do intend to use this place watch your change especially later on when you've had a few drinks.
Neem - 7 Mar 2013 00:05
.....well, as a frequenter of this ale house for a few years now, I don't believe there's much you could possibly knock the Salisbury for except for the fact it's not local to my home. The landlord is probably the friendliest chap you could ever hope to meet & that ethic too is certainly evident in the chatty bar staff. Service is superb. The pub's mirrored decor is quite eye caytching although I think it a tad dark throughout @ times. The ales, if not the most exhilarating, are always very well kept & you'll find a pair of guest ales on regularly. Granted, I've never sampled the pub fayre so I couldn't possibly comment but if you're looking for a drink or two in friendly surroundings then do head here - it won't disappoint.
PS. Fuller's "Black Cab" Stout coming soon!
stampeder - 27 Feb 2013 13:48
A good sized traditional pub with plenty of original fixtures and fittings. The main bar is mostly one room arranged around an oval bar counter, although there are some divisions to make a small snug at one end.

The flooring is old wooden boards that have been worn down to a smooth finish over the years and there is maroon paintwork on the ceiling. There is some quite ornate etched and frosted glass around, as well as a number of etched mirrors. A wooden porch protrudes in to the pub and this also had etched glass. There were a number of black and white photo’s on the wall that may have been stars of the local theatres. The wood panelled bar apparently has a marbled counter top according to the fairly detailed history of the pub displayed on the wall, although that was not in evidence on the part of the bar that I could see. This was to keep your pint cool in the olden days.

There is red leather bench seating up the left hand side arranged in to small semi-circles, and behind these are some ornate brass lamp stands. The snug at the rear was quite cosy with an old brick fire-place, although this was not in use, green paintwork and more etched mirrors. An interesting collage of musical posters is on the walls as you go to the loo. A large vase of fresh flowers was at one end of the bar, and several jars of different nuts were on sale behind it.

Good choice of beers on tap with Tribute, London Pride, Black Sheep, Deuchars IPA and Timothy Taylor Landlord. The solitary cider was Magners Golden Draught.
Blackthorn - 22 Feb 2013 14:39
My first visit to this pub for around 15 years and was chosen as the place to meet some family from out of London as the pub does food and is child friendly while food is being eaten.

Large pub right in the middle of Theatreland.

Normally central London prices for drink but the food was good for the money and well cooked and not spoilt at all.

To echo the previous review the place does look a bit tired inside but it does the job and the decor is great for tourists to our Capital.

lezford - 6 Jan 2013 14:41
This is my favourite pub in London. Starting now to look a bit tacky with gaffer tape on the edges of the carpet and on other various bits.
My wife said the ladies had no locks on the doors and no Loo roll. At the prices they charge you think they could sort this out.

Food is very expensive for small portions. Go across the road and get a slice of Pizza.
This is still my favourite pub in London.
chavsum - 25 Nov 2012 23:12
What a lovely old traditional and well-preserved London pub - just marvel at the beautiful old timber and etched glass panels. Good range of real ales and excellent service. A jazz trio was playing and, whilst it is not really my kind of music, it added to the overall ambience and was not in the least bit obtrusive - you could talk and still enjoy the background music. Highly recommended.
BazzersTravels - 21 Jun 2012 17:43
From the outside this pub hasn't changed since I first visited it in 1979 or 1980, but the clientele and the atmosphere inside is completely different. I've spotted the interior of the Salisbury in three films: Basil Dearden's VICTIM (Dirk Bogarde as a homosexual barrister who fights a blackmail ring), Ron Peck's NIGHTHAWKS (a semi-documentary account of gay life in the late 70's), and Tony Robinson's THE ENTERTAINER (Laurence Olivier as a failed music hall artist who comes up to the West End to meet his agent). A pleasant place to drink peacefully in the afternoon, but if you're waiting for someone later on, make sure you save your seats. By about six or seven, you sometimes literally can't move. It can be very touristy, and the basic food is popular. If you're lucky enough to get into the snug bar around the corner, you might be stuck there for life. And the cosy cubicles around in the main bar soon fill up too... (there's a photo in the NPG of Marianne Faithfull sitting at one.) The music can occasionally become a bit too loud, but the bar staff are pretty swift and efficient. Prices are high, but what do you expect in St. Martins Lane? The landlord knows the customers (in how many West End pubs can you say that?) In its previous existence as an exclusively gay pub, the Salisbury was a pick-up joint - with deeply unfriendly straight staff, and strange men staring at other strange men in the Victorian mirrors. The Dive Bar in the Kings Head was much nicer.
donaldking - 26 Feb 2012 19:09
A truly great pub. One of, if not the best in the West End. As other posters say, it is worth a visit just to enjoy the Victorian gin palace decor.

Every time I have been - quite a few times - the service has been fast and efficient, and the atmosphere busy but pleasant. They also have excellent doormen on in the evenings who understand that they are there to help and be nice to ligitimate customers as well as keep out the numerous beggers and other problems that their location causes.

There is an outside area that is heated by radiaters for smokers, or just for overflow (but be warned - no matter how good the doormen are you will be bothered by people asking for money, cigarettes etc).

A decent selection of lagers and beers from the main brewers is available. Not groundbreaking, but I would be very suprised if anybody couldn't find something they enjoyed there.

Overall it is an excellent pub.
Loki - 10 Feb 2012 16:47
Located behind the hustle of Leicester Square station lies this delightful large Victorian pub. With its elaborate Victorian furnishings throughout it attracts both local employees, residents and tourists of all ages. The horseshoe shaped bar stocks a good variety of drinks, ales and beers. The service I have experienced has been friendly and excellent. There is music tapes playing in the background, an excellent genre of 60's to 90's music played at a volume not to disrupt a conversation. Table and seats occupy the periphery of the pub which face towards the bar and there is a cosy back room . There is also a snug bar behind the main bar which was not been used when I visited. There was an assorted menu and the food looked agreeable. The toilets were accessible down a staircase whose walls were adorned with TheatreLand posters. There is a pleasant ambience and maybe it could just do with a few more tables and seats to fill the concourse of this historic pub. Definetly worth a visit.
Cricklewood.draft - 8 Nov 2011 19:03
An important Victorian pub. The exterior with its etched and polished glass and carved woodwork to the window frames gives some idea of what to expect inside - an abundance of etched and polished glass which creates a glittering atmosphere. There is an original central island bar, partly with a white marble top, and some particularly elegant art nouveau lamp statues of nymphs. The building dates from 1898 and was named after the Prime Minister of the time. On my most recent visit I was unfortunate enough to be there at the same time as the east European barmaid who was intent on chatting to her mate. After several minutes waiting, and this being early afternoon with me the only other customer, I had to attract her attention by banging on the bar. It also turns out that she is completely unaware of the cute English custom of paying for a full measure of ale and expecting to get said full measure. Similarly, that other cute English custom of 'topping up' appeared to be completely alien to this alien. Despite the shoddy and cavalier service, I still rate the building 8/10 simply for its wonderful interior.
BobOs - 28 Sep 2011 11:58
A must see when you are in London. Great interior (listed in CAMRA's National Inventory of Architectural gems) and the beers are usually OK with a selection as well as the old favourites (Doom Bar and the like).
mcroyal - 10 Aug 2011 18:41
A little gem tucked away not far from the tourist drag of Leicester Square. Lots of original fittings from its time as a Victorian gin palace and quirky theatre related posters forming a collage on the stairs.

Been here a couple of times and its always been clean and with a decent selection of well kept ales. Doom Bar and Tribute both seem to be regulars.

Has a good buzz as befits its position in the middle of Theatreland but never seen it so busy it wasn't possible to get a seat reasonably quickly. Never tried the food but looks like pretty standard pub fare.
lazybeer - 24 Jun 2011 14:50
Lovely Victorian pub right slap bang in the middle of Theatreland/Chinatown.

I was taken here by my son who was keen to show me his words " Nice friendly pub in the middle of London that cheerfully served good ale in a magnifcent oak panelled (or was it mahogany) interior."
He was not wrong...I have been here several times since and always got the same old friendly prompt service and well kept ale.

Why have I been several times since? Easy...because once you enter time slows up and you just don't want to leave. Currently my favourite London contest.
drinkingdad - 2 May 2011 17:35
Visited here with a couple of German friends on their first visit to England, last Saturday. The place is one of the few London pubs with the original Victorian fittings. Polished wood, glass and mirrors everywhere. Good selection of beers, the Wells Bombardier was superb. The service was second to none, whether it was "locals" or tourists, UK or otherwise. My server was keen to let my friends, (uneducated in the way of the real ale) try the beers on offer, the food was good, hot and quick, and I could see that all the staff were happy to talk to customers about what they want, not just throw lager at them.

By the way, my German friends thought the Bombardier was excellent.
Lord_Jeffers - 28 Apr 2011 08:32
Great service, very professional. Food was good with lots of choice. There are a lot of pubs in this area, but not many that match The Salisbury for excellent service and good quality food and drinks. I must say the Italien and Aussie guys behind the bar are the most friendly staff in the west end.
belle1 - 29 Jan 2011 13:54
Beer (real ale): OK. Quality and variety decent, but certainly not outstanding. (Earlier beer comments for the second half of 2010 all seem pretty fair. I do personally feel that the sparkler - installed on all real ales here - is ultimately a disguised means to sell a short pint.)
Food: Sub-standard. Cold, undercooked chips. Compressed, factory burgers loaded with garlic. Tomatoes grown and subsequently sliced way too long before they are served. Fish thick with batter fried to indigestible heaviness. Fried onion rings so tough that they would not crumble if you stood on them. (Loaded with tourists, this pub serves food that, sadly, gives visitors plenty of material to go home and tell friends, family and coworkers just how bad British pub food can be.)
on_tap - 5 Jan 2011 09:10
USP hear is the stunning Victorian interior - currently done over with garish Christmas decoration. The clientele is unsurprisingly dominated by a mixture of office workers and tourists, and is often extremely busy most weeknights.

The beer on offer is of fairly good quality, and one expects the turn around is fairly quick. The best of the picks on recent visits has been Purity's excellent Mad Goose, interestingly served through a sparkler, which will no doubt spark debate amongst the beer geeks that frequent this site.

Worth a look if you’re in the area.

Misk. - 2 Dec 2010 15:37
the interior of the pub is amazing. a wonderfull example of a victorian (i think?) pub. the huge amount of cut glass and the ornate detail all over.

during the day, it suffers from a lack of atmosphere, despite its beauty. it feels a little like a high street wetherspoons. many 'lost' tourists from leicster square dont help the atmosphere either. but in the evenings, when the chatting and laughing noise levels pick up, and the pub fills out with revelers, the atmosphere and the interior are spot on. a great evening pub. often come here when in the area at night.
CHELSEA_on_tour - 18 Nov 2010 13:22
Nice interior and beer was good.Staff pleasant and efficient.
covman45 - 25 Oct 2010 17:37
Bogporn, I certainly care what MEthinks even if your addled brain cannot cope with intellectual activity (as your posts appear to demonstrate clearly). Your vocation should have been a rat catcher (and chasing your own tail).
mistsiren - 11 Sep 2010 07:44
I don't know whether your comments were directed at my posting, Chris, but please let me reassure you that I am NOT said Mr Foghorn in disguise. I agree 100% with your comments about this moron.
mistsiren - 12 Aug 2010 07:20
Mr Foghorn, very apt name! I am actually a Londoner born and bred and not a northern-no-brains as you put it. I note your comments of "getting off your tits" just about sums up what you believe a visit to a pub is all about! Get a life, Foghead!
Chris.CFC - 12 Aug 2010 06:36
A typcially comprehensive and intelligent review from JohnBonser, methinks. Morons who like making loud noises in reduced visibilty (myself excepted, of course) should kindly take note....
mistsiren - 12 Aug 2010 04:49
Occupying a prominent street corner position on St Martins Lane in the very heart of London's Theatreland is The Salisbury, one of London's most impressive reminders of the Victorian age of ornate pub interiors.

Inside we find many splendid etched glass mirrors, an original central island bar, partly with a white marble top, and some particularly elegant art nouveau lamp statues of nymphettes with arrows. Note the different entrances indicating that this was a multi roomed pub. Despite the loss of a partition on the right of the main entrance ( note where the white marble bar top ends ), something of the original layout remains in the form of a separate screened snug with an entrance on the side street. Carved mahogany and a fine dark red plasterwork ceiling complete the picture. The pub is listed in CAMRA's book of London Heritage Pubs.

A blackboard inside the pub details its history, although surprisingly, it makes no reference to an earlier name of the pub - The Salisbury Stores - even though some fine window glass bearing the initials SS remain. We learn that the pub has featured in several films and, not surprisingly, is popular with the theatrical crowd. In recognition of this, the walls leading down to the downstairs toilets are covered with theatrical posters.

The pub proudly advertises itself as the "West End's Official Sports Free Pub" and people wearing football colours are not admitted. I have also previously seen male only groups being turned away, although, on my most recent Saturday lunchtime visit, a large group of a dozen or so northerners ( all drinking John Smiths Smooth incidentally and not the real ale !) were allowed in. The absence of TV's in a pub like this is welcomed by many, but, rather incongruously, background music now seems to be played continuously.

I was rather surprised to see that the pub now holds poker nights - "Texas Hold Em" - on Tuesday evening. Even having regard to the current economic climate, I wouldn't have thought that a well known tourist magnet pub like this in a prime Central London location would have any difficulty getting customers through the door without resorting to putting on poker nights.

The enthusiastic and friendly manager of this Spirit Group pub, Jaspal, takes pride in his real ales. Beers on were Bombardier, Youngs London Gold, Tribute, TT Landlord, Purity Mad Goose and Golden Sheep. Both the Landlord and the Mad Goose were in good condition. It seems churlish to be critical, but I did notice that all 6 beers were of similar gravity ( between 3.9% and 4.3% ) and this could usefully be reviewed by management.

Taking things as a whole, The Salisbury remains one of my favourite London pubs and you really should try and get there if you haven't already.

JohnBonser - 10 Aug 2010 17:58
Visited as part of a pub crawl yesterday with my mate MUFC. Nice pub with a good drop of Bombadier. Very polite staff. I actually at one point thought I heard a fellow customer speaking English! MUFC had the steak and virtually licked the plate clean, although he said, not the best steak he's had but it filled a hole!
Chris.CFC - 14 Jul 2010 09:22
Clearly a tourist trap although also perhaps surprisingly not a bad pub at all. Friendly staff (who seem to care about what they are serving up, ale-wise); good selection of ales; even found somewhere to sit down. The food was okay but a bit of a shocker iro price.
Ordinary - 9 Jul 2010 23:12
Excellent cask conditioned ales and good food too but we went mainly for the heitage of the place and were not disappointed. There was a choioce of 5 ales, Tribute, Bombardier, Goose welll all excellent.

very friendly staff told us all about the history and a quick tour round

children were welcome and were made welcome which was nice.
GarmischP - 4 May 2010 15:12
Went into this pub for a pint on Sunday afternoon and ended up staying for three. Very rare for central London the manager whose name is Jaz I believe was all smiles, greeted customers and said farewells, was passionate about his beers and the pub trade. Was I really in the West End
bob55 - 4 May 2010 10:23
Ive been going to this place for over a year now, most Sundays I pop in for a pint or 3 of Leffe with my brother. Always good, always grat friendly staff, usually same guy gets us (short shaved dark hair, tattoos) and he always remembers what we want with a smile. Great place.
adamwalsh - 31 Mar 2010 22:13
Called in early saturday afternoon. Good looking pub interior, chose a pint of tribute, service was quick as it wasnt to busy. There is a sign behind the bar saying if you feel the head on your beer is to large we will happily top it up. We'd orderd 6pints they all needed topping up. It was nothing to do with large heads they were short measures, they were happily topped up. I just wonder how many people dont ask. The beer itself was ok apart from being far to cold. This pubs ok for a pint if your into interiors, if its for a drink experience i personaly would'nt bother again
Picasso09 - 28 Mar 2010 20:27
I was quite impressed with this place. My wife and I came here on Sunday afternoon (7/3/10) for a few drinks and ended up coming back in the evening for another few drinks even though there are so many other places we could have gone to. My wife was particularly impressed with the barmaid that served us in the afternoon because she was quick to serve us and poured our drinks perfectly. Everybody in the pub seemed really happy and I noticed how well the staff were dealing with the foreign customers (we had some next to us who barely spoke any English, but they never lost their patience).

When we came back in the evening around 8 and it was totally different staff, but the atmosphere was the same as it had been earlier in the day. It was slightly less busy than earlier and there were more bartenders than earlier so we were served right away. The manager was a bit overbearing but the new staff were just as friendly and helpful as those that helped us in the afternoon.

I would definitely recommend this place to anyone looking for a good place to have a few relaxed drinks, or even a meal. It was very typical pub food, nothing spectacular but that's exactly what we wanted. It's so nice to just eat a pub and not be bothered by anybody, and the Salisbury can definitely provide that.
tkillam3 - 8 Mar 2010 10:26
Went here on Saturday the 13th of February in the evening with some clients and I must say we were very impressed, the building is amazing and the atmosphere was superb. We waited about 5 mins for service but the place was packed and the staff were all serving away like there was no tomorrow, when we got served the big chap behind the bar recommended the land lord which was excellent, we also ate when we eventually found a place to sit and the girl who bought the food over had a good laugh with us. The security on the door was also a welcome site and made my clients feel relaxed, all in all the Salisbury was a superb experience and I will be taking clients there again.

Would have been ten but for the fact that it was so busy !!!

simon1 - 5 Mar 2010 01:00
Went here on Saturday the 11th of February in the evening with some clients and I must say we were very impressed, the building is amazing and the atmosphere was superb. We waited about 5 mins for service but the place was packed and the staff were all serving away like there was no tomorrow, when we got served the big chap behind the bar recommended the land lord which was excellent, we also ate when we eventually found a place to sit and the girl who bought the food over had a good laugh with us. The security on the door was also a welcome site and made my clients feel relaxed, all in all the Salisbury was a superb experience and I will be taking clients there again.

Would have been ten but for the fact that it was so busy !!!

simon1 - 4 Mar 2010 20:01
Went here last Thursday 11 Feb. Took about 15 mins to get served as the staff only looked directly ahead of them and when its busy, such as Thursday night, this makes it difficult... When I did eventually get my pint, thanks to a bloke who pointed out I'd been waiting for a while, there was no apology for the wait - even though they knew I'd been standing there for some time and when I was given my change it was slapped into my hand as if I should be grateful for the barmaids attention. Our group had one more drink and my ffiend had a similar experience so we commented appropriately and left. There is no excuse for this crap service. Beer itself was OK, not stonking, but drinkable, although there was an excellent selcetion. 6/10 at best due to bar staff.
Bernie5 - 14 Feb 2010 12:12
Oh where have you gone my angel?!

You all know the one behind the bar, small, big bust, huge laugh, always on top form, witty, funny and just a little bit dirty. An other member of staff told me the manager had had a bust up with her and she quit. Well done you, you just lost the best barmaid in the west end.

If anyone finds her please post here where she has gone. That sounds a bit stalker-ish but she was so much fun to chat to over a beer.
thirstyboy - 29 Dec 2009 20:48
I emailed Punch Taverns about the hideous "pint" measures they were pouring, and I was advised that, "The staff have now been retrained", and that there are "signs in the outlet", stating that they will willingly top up your beer if required. I doubt they have done either but we shall see. My suggestion is that if you want a pint, wait for the head to settle and get it topped up, and if you buy the Budvar, DEFINITELY ask for a top up!
GaryM - 10 Nov 2009 18:41
The Salisbury is one of the most ornate and richly preserved of London’s pubs and a fine example of why the late Victorian era is widely regarded as the golden age of pub building. The current building dates from 1898 and was named after the Prime Minister of the time. It stands on the site of a previous tavern called the Ben Gaunts Head and later the Coach & Horses. Historically the pub has had a fairly seedy past when it was originally at the forefront of the bare knuckle boxing scene. In more recent times, serial killer Dennis Nielson used the place to stalk out some of his victims and at the time it had the reputation as a rather seedy gay haunt.

The interior is a palatial collection of Victorian indulgence with a multitude of the finest quality etched glass and mirrors all magnificently brought to life by the tasteful lighting and richly upholstered furnishings beneath a burgundy ceiling. The island bar covers quite a large area and at one end is a small snug bar with a handsome fireplace and fine etched glass screen dividing it from the main bar. A sweeping staircase leads up to a private area whilst a narrow set of stairs plastered with theatre posters leads down to toilets. At the very rear of the pub is a small room with large ornate patterned mirrors. Getting a seat is difficult as it seems to be busy at any time of the day so you may end up on a stool at the front ledge where you can watch the world pass by outside. There are no TV’s (it proudly proclaims itself to be a Sports free pub) and the unobtrusive piped music is a bit bland.

Despite being an obvious tourist target, it is easy to forget that apart from its exquisite interior, they do a healthy range of decent quality beers although service can be a bit faceless and the regular short measures need to be addressed. There are usually 3 regular ales (Youngs, Bombardier and Deuchars) and 3 guest ales (Doom Bar, Landlord & Cornish Buccaneer on my most recent visit) although expect West End prices. The pub grup menu is fairly reasonably priced considering the surroundings.

I have always found the Salisbury a little impersonal and tourist driven but as a pub spectacle, it really is must visit pub for anyone in the West End.

RogerB - 2 Nov 2009 15:47
I waited 15 minutes at the bar and then left - without a drink!
Greegor_F - 19 Oct 2009 10:56
Visited The Salisbury last night. The pub is nice inside, very decorative etc. Shame about the bar staff. I was drinking Youngs Bitter, so no problems, but a young woman was buying a round of Lagers and the heads on these were fully 3 cms! I queried it saying, "That's a big head it's not a full pint", and the man showed me the CE mark on the glass and pointed at it like it was the "Pint Level". He then ran away! So I mentioned it to another woman and she said, "People like to drink it through the head"! I then measured the glass with water from my pint of bitter, and low and behold it was a pint up to the brim! So they are selling 3/4 pint or thereabouts, as a pint. What a RIP OFF! But the tourist clients won't complain because they think that's normal! Shame on you Punch Taverns!
GaryM - 16 Oct 2009 14:18
When this pub isn't heaving it is a fine place to have a beer. When it is heaving its sadly best to avoid. What you do have though is a beautifully presented pub and the staff are fine. Deuchars was in top nick last time out.
Oakman100 - 25 Sep 2009 20:19
beautiful pub to be in : should be listed really in case some property developers get their hands on it. Good smattering of tourists both sides of the bar . Ales not always reliable.
shakedown1979 - 15 Sep 2009 09:32
Lovely looking pub, all brass and mirrors. Good pint of landlord in an obviously busy part of town. A good few tourists trying a pint.
rob372 - 13 Sep 2009 17:45
When the bar staff argue that a pint of ale with nearly an inch of head is "normal" the pub loses a lot of points. Sure, short measures are expected practice in London - but don't argue about it. Other than that, the Doombar and Deuchars IPA were in perfect condition, and the pub a pleasant stop on a Tuesday afternoon.
yvan - 25 Aug 2009 16:24
I'm from Cape Town. We are not allowed to drink on the pavement. This pub is great to stand outside on a summers evening and watch the world go by. Over 3,50 for a lager. In CPT that is R47,25. A pint lager here is R15 or 1,11 pound. It's about 7,5p for every rand so quite steep. Nice tourist trap, but what the hell,..I'm a tourist. Can't wait to go back. August next year.
Kyer1 - 18 Aug 2009 08:24
Further to my recent comment, I popped into the Salisbury tonight (Thursday) and found the place packed to the gills. The noise from the customers was such that a dull thumping sound, which I took to be 'music,' could not, thank goodness, be heard above the din. I bought a pint of draught Leffe and departed about 15 minutes later. Question: Why have 'music' going when absolutely nobody can hear it or is remotely interested in it?
I shall not be spending any more money in this pub despite the fact that the interior is very attractive.
Padderborn - 24 Jul 2009 00:05
Some years ago, I decided to visit this pub because I had read about its extraordinary decor. However, unbeknownst to myself, it was at that time a major homosexual hang out and they were literally wall-to-wall. Some years
later, when speaking to a colleague about the experience, he told me that they had all moved out to the Brief Encounter across the road. It would seem from the comments here that they have given up entirely on the Salisbury. In which case, I might give it another try sometime.
Padderborn - 22 Jul 2009 00:40
Lovely proper Pub. Bit difficult to find a seat early on but clears out later, worth hanging on. Had some good bar food in here and the efficient and friendly staff even gave us a spare dish nobody had claimed (we do a good impression of hungry). Good choice of ales, including two of my favourites, Deuchars IPA and Landlord.
Dan65 - 20 Mar 2009 21:55
Had a lovely pint of Timothy Taylor Landlord in here yesterday. Servce was prompt and very friendly, in fact almost spot on. £3.05 a pint was a bit excessive but I suppose it is to be expected given the location. Good friendly pub and I will most certainly be back. Well done all!!
bish80 - 17 Mar 2009 11:22
A well preserved interior, a nice old horseshoe bar splits the main area effectively into two spaces. Lots of etched glass in the front windows, interior screens and mirrors. Carpetted with a mixture of seating. There is another small room to the rear of the left side. Stairs lead up somewhere but this was roped off. The walls of the stair down to the toilets are covered in theatre flyers, reflecting the location. A sign in the window states "Sport Free Pub, no TV".
Very busy but well staffed and no issues with the service apart from needing to prompt for a top up.
6 pumps in two banks of 3, each side, serving at the time Bombardier, Youngs Bitter, Deuchers IPA, TT Landlord, Doom Bar and Brain's St Davids Ale, curiously priced at £3.09.
Maldenman - 1 Mar 2009 08:50
What a wonderful building! Bar staff cheerful and helpful, Youngs beer very more-ish (I must be one who prefers the north of London taste) and I enjoyed the sausage of the day. Highly recommended!
JBGatelad - 27 Feb 2009 19:05
Fantastic little pub, a great pint of Youngs Special on offer here and also a nice range of guest ales, including a very well kept pint of Landlord earlier this week. Can get busy which results in a lack of seating, but the barmaids low cut top certainly makes up for the fact you might have to prop the bar up.
The_D_Man - 27 Feb 2009 12:23
One of my best three so far! Wide selection of ales, very good and warm service, nice atmosphere and the very nice pub interior. Worth going!
Martin_from_Prague - 12 Feb 2009 02:23
Visited yesterday lunchtime and no doorman to be seen, but probably not needed for a Monday lunchtime. Can only concur with the posting below that I found the Salisbury warm, comfortable, relaxed, and friendly, and best of all sporting six handpumps. These included those mentioned by the poster below and also January Sale, which I believe is a Wychwood seasonal ale. Tried the Deuchars IPA and the Doombar and both were very good. Also can’t fault the service , especially one chirpy barman who had the patience to assist an American tourist who came in and requested to try an English Beer… bless him …
Gann - 27 Jan 2009 20:09
Busy this lunchtime with a mixture of visitors and the work crowd. Very reasonable selection of Bombardier, Deuchars, Rockin' Robin, Landlord and Sharps Doom Bar available, although my pint of the latter was fairly ordinary. Decent prices considering the location and a well preserved interior.
ChrisP87 - 27 Jan 2009 18:45
Nothing special pub which will always be busy because of its location. Absolutely packed when we were there on a Saturday night and it's a lot smaller than you expect.
Nothing really wrong with it though.

lovely_m - 20 Jan 2009 21:41
Warm, comfortable, relaxed, festive, friendly....the list goes on.
psark - 9 Jan 2009 00:47
This pub is amazing, it's not a big pub by any means or the type of chain that would encourage large groups of people. So if you are on a stag / hen night or a big pub crawl maybe not the place for you.

Great service, a welcoming place for all ages and a wide selection of drinks.

It has the feel of a good local but in the heart of the City.

The perfect place for a nice drink and a chat with friends and long may it stay this way.
dribbs - 8 Jan 2009 16:25
I was there yesterday lunchtime - no doorman, bouncers or "smug idiots".

This is one of the West End's top pubs - beer is consistently in good nick and there is nothing wrong with the staff at all.

If they don't want to show sports, that's the management's prerogative. Judging how busy the pub invariably is, it's a policy that a good number of people favour.

Ignore the previous gripes - go and visit this pub if you get the chance

JohnBonser - 2 Jan 2009 12:14
Decent beer, pretty decor, but an attitude that stinks. Anti sports fans (especially football fans), a farcical dress code - who do they think they are? A 100 other pubs close by have equally good beer/decor but don't treat 12 respectable, thirsty customers poised to spend £120 plus just before Christmas like scum. Doorman is a smug idiot. Will never return.
Binman - 22 Dec 2008 19:58
Whilst the all football fans are scum policy this place has is bad enough, it now has a dress code and a bouncer with a bad attitude. Avoid like the plague.
MatthewByrne - 15 Dec 2008 13:40
Great place and very glad that there is no sports. Can get busy - but that's because its so popular. Well recommended.
DickiedeVere - 1 Dec 2008 16:35
I have been using this fine pub for around 35 years when visiting London. It has not really changed much apart from the landlords/landladies. This pub used to be Michael Caines local years ago.
jockthenoo - 28 Nov 2008 08:03
I have been using this fine pub for around 35 years when visiting London. It has not really changed much apart from the landlords/landladies. This pub used to be Michael Caines local years ago.
jockthenoo - 28 Nov 2008 08:03
I had far too many pints of Peeterman Artois in here.

I have to agree with all of the positive comments on here about this pub. It was busy, yet there was plenty of room inside and out. The bar staff were very friendly, as was the inconspicuous bouncer on the door and the beer was excellent.

This is definitely one to revisit.

Strongers - 3 Nov 2008 10:05
Why no sports tops??? thought that type of prejudice had long gone.
kiwiphil - 26 Oct 2008 19:39
Nick is one of the best landlords in London. A good pub.
anonymous - 29 Sep 2008 01:23
Another London pub with a great historic interior although it was spoiled slightly by the red soft furnishings and matching carpet ( carpets are for houses and hotel rooms, not pubs!!). A good range of real ales and as stated below I watched the barmaid go out of her way to explain the ales on offer to two visitors.
tarkatherotter - 10 Sep 2008 15:10
Every time we come up to London we always come to this pub. The beers are well-kept, the food is excellent and the bar staff are all very pleasant and cheerful...if only my local was as lovely all round as this one.
Earlhamcourt - 2 Sep 2008 12:16
As fine an example of a late Victorian gin-palace as you will find in the West End. Fantastic glasswork and bronze art-nouveax (?) lamps. There is usually a decent range of real ales available, and on my lunchtime visit yesterday the barmaid was charming and very knowledgeable about the beer portfolio. This place is well worth a visit.
foghorn - 19 Aug 2008 20:14
Popped in here on Friday nght - haven't been in the place for years

Still a decent liitle boozer rather like the Angel over the road. Good for a pre theatre or cinema drink particularly if you despise holes like AB1.
murgatroyd - 3 Aug 2008 23:04
this is a great place ,real pub real beer ,decent set of staff and even though they dont show any sports which i normally dont like i loved it here.
bs4gas - 2 Aug 2008 20:04
Still one of the best pubs in central London...what a pleasure to be served by barstaff who are polite and the eers and food are all excellent.
Earlhamcourt - 28 Jun 2008 17:52
This is some survivor! Although like many others some tinkering has taken place, it still retains its right/left split, albeit with removed partition. Two snugs are available here and whilst the rear example has decorative mirrors (this pub is all about glass), the real McCoy etched versions are reserved for the main area and what a show. Cop the lamps supported by bronze statuettes. The bar back is particularly fine. Six real ales are on tap and, naturally food. St. Martin-in-the-Fields is at the end of the street but I’d rather be in here!

Alerover - 8 Jun 2008 21:01
Landlord, 6X, Bombardier, Deuchars, Ordinary and Skinners Betty Stogs. Had the Skinners which was very good. Also ate in here and the pie with mash was very tasty and reasonably priced.

Horseshoe main bar with a couple of separate rooms. Lots of wood and mirrors. Bouncer on the door.

Worth a visit.
GuideDogSaint - 11 May 2008 00:42
gorgeous is the only word for this pub, with its stunning glasswork and horseshoe-shaped bar. real ale too.
mozzzzzz - 16 Apr 2008 12:02
Great pub, brilliant pubby atmosphere. Good choice of beer, all pubs should be like this!
steve_on_tour - 15 Mar 2008 15:52
had a couple of drinks here last night, a pleasant central london pub. Staff were very efficient, and it was quite busy. Toilets were a bit on the nose tho'. Only complaint was that we had a jd and coke serbved ina glass that was about the same size as a thimble....... Maybe to encourage us to drink more of them?????
lagerboy08 - 12 Mar 2008 16:26
Nice interior, beer well kept and decent value for money for the area. However given the pub is usually busy it is understaffed most of the time (the staff are fine, but not enough of them) to enough of an extent it's a problem.
mps77 - 6 Mar 2008 13:00
Nice pub with good selection of real ale's, bombardier, pride, landlord, deuchars, etc very friendly staff and good to note no tv/sport just the jukebox on in the background.
david737 - 18 Feb 2008 16:06
Nice interior, the 30’s marble cladding around the fireplace is particularly nice. And the outside area is spacious enough that you don’t feel that you’re about to be walked into by the passers by.

Had a couple of pints of Pride at lunchtime, which were reasonably kept and at £2.50 a pint even better.

My partners, food wasn’t great, overcooked burger and chips, but overall not a bad place for a beer or two.

mrse1 - 18 Feb 2008 14:39
Classic London pub interior, with a good selection of real ales and other beers. Usually busy (hardly a surprise, given its location), but you can usually find somewhere to perch if you look around.
rpadam - 9 Feb 2008 18:26
When up in London the wife and I always pop into this establishment. The staff are so pleasant and polite and the place is always clean and tidy. The food is excellent and as they stock my favourite two beers (Fullers Pride and Bombadier) we shall maintain our 100% record of coming here on every London trip.
Earlhamcourt - 30 Jan 2008 12:07
I’ve always found the beers here to be in decent condition. It’s also nice to walk in not knowing what might be on offer, something that is pretty rare in London with all the cloned Spirit pubs around.

I’ll add to everyone else’s gushing reviews about the interior, there are many decorative screens giving rise to the creation of booths and alcoves for couples or small groups. The lighting is subdued but this adds to the beauty of the etched and polished glass and mirrors that are spread throughout the pub. The walls on the steps down to the toilets are festooned with old theatre posters reminding you of the area that you are in. One tip here, just before you get to the stairs look upwards and you will see a spiral staircase that seemingly goes on as far as the eye can see.

Millay - 13 Jan 2008 11:42
I too am a fan of this place.

The Deuchars IPA early yesterday evening( strangely priced at £ 2.83 ) was basically as good as it gets.

Decent beer, friendly and efficient service, splendid decor - this pub continues to tick all the right boxes as far as I'm concerned
JohnBonser - 9 Jan 2008 12:20
Easily the best pub in that area. The Victorian interior is beautiful (and very shiny), and the staff are friendly (unlike the miserable snotty bastards you find in most of the watering holes round there). Beer's pretty decent too, so all in all one of the centre's better pubs.
matt_k - 28 Dec 2007 13:52
An absolute gem. Have been a number of times and despite the place being full of grockles, these are grockles with a modicum of taste so I'll forgive them. If they had none, the Brewmaster is up the road....

Lovely inside, it's clear there is time and effort spent to keep this place looking as it should do and I applaud the bar staff and landlord for spending the time doing it. Beer is well kept, and while alittle steep is still streets ahead of most of the rubbish pubs in the area (Sam Smiths excluded, I know what I get with you....).

It's odd where (as a smoker) I find a place I actually really enjoy sitting outside of, but there is something satisfying about sitting outside of here and feeling quietly smug you're not int he Polar Bear/Brewmaster/Cork and Bottle etc. and have found a decent ale house with similarly appreciative people.

Everyone should go there once and befriend a tourist.
rampantwurzel - 14 Dec 2007 13:34
Wonderful traditional pub that refuses to be tacky despite the amount of tourists that must pour through the door considering the location. The Victorian interior is highly ornate and really is something special- worthy of its place in the CAMRA National Inventory. The beer is well-kept and reasonably priced, and the food very good indeed. The service was of a high standard despite the pub being very busy and the owner was very friendly, particularly for a central London pub. Highly recommended.
Carlurmston - 27 Oct 2007 16:59
Great pub and like topdog andy says whats wrong with a few Yank tourists? They realise a special place when they see one. This is superb. Brilliantly run by the way (check out how every mirror shines every session of every day - thats no accident)
BobBoiston - 22 Oct 2007 21:04
You can definitely count me in as a fan of this place - its certainly my favourite pub in the Covent Garden/Leicester Square area. In addition to the Victorian gin palace interior with atmospheric red lighting, The Salisbury always has a good selection of ales in top form. There were 6 on when I was there a few days back, including Jenning Cumberland Ale as a guest. Although its not cheap (a strangely un-rounded £2.94 for a pint if memory serves me correctly), considering the area its in it could hardly be classed as expensive. Very quick and pleasant service as well.
RageofKlugman - 11 Oct 2007 12:26
I have to concur with topdogandy, this is the best pub in Covent Garden. Lovely surroundings, good selection of top quality beer, good service etc etc.
TheBeerMonkey - 4 Oct 2007 12:28
This place is criminally under-rated. I think people give it a wide berth, because it's viewed as a tourist trap, filled with "stupid American tourists". To be honest, I don't understand why American tourists get such a bad rap. Sure, they might not be that worldly to begin with, but the whole reason they're here is because they're trying to learn about London's rich history. Compare this with your En-ger-land-er who goes to Greece to drink as much as possible as cheaply as possible in an English theme pub showing Coronation Street and Eastenders, and then ask yourself who the stupid tourist is.

Politicking aside, The Salisbury is not just a pub to be visited for its history - it should also be visited because it's a fine pub operationally. An excellent selection of beers is available, the staff are quick and friendly, the food (if that's your thing......) is reasonable, and there's no sport, so you don't have to time your visits around the football schedule. Sure, there's a theatre rush, but at least theatre people won't fill up the bar bellowing "AV-EN-UE Q, AV-EN-UE Q, AV-EN-UE Quuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu,uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu!" at the top of their lungs.

To me, it's easily the best pub in Covent Garden.
topdog_andy - 4 Jul 2007 11:54
I had far too many pints of Peeterman Artois in here on Thursday night.

I have to agree with all of the positive comments on here about this pub. It was busy, yet there was plenty of room inside and out. The bar staff were very friendly, as was the inconspicuous bouncer on the door and the beer was excellent.

This is definitely one to revisit.
Strongers - 12 Jun 2007 18:17
Great pub, and a decent meeting place in the West End as reasonably large and easy to find. Lots of decent beer (decent choice of real ale even if it is from all the usual suspects), friendly staff...I echo the other positive comments on here
TheMortyVicker - 23 Apr 2007 17:49
A classic Victorian pub with what appears to be many original features (no doubt someone will say if they are really modern reproductions). Handful of tourists in on a Wednesday lunchtime; staff were very friendly and the Deuchars IPA was excellent. Great pub - highly recommended.
RexRattus - 12 Apr 2007 18:44
The guest ale - Pride of Pendle – was the only slightly distinct drink on offer from the six hand pumps, but it’s nice enough. Still, it the pub had the ever-dependable Deuchars IPA to counter the London Pride, Young’s, Bombardier and OSH.

The service was decent – chatty and helpful – and the staff pulled some decent pints.

There was an abundance of tourists when I was in there, which I suppose ties in with the “traditional boozer” approach of the place. Not that I am complaining too much, it is better that they came in here and sample some ales than go into Yates’s or the Pitcher & Piano.

Overall, I liked the place and certainly would return.
AleKing - 6 Mar 2007 10:38
Highly ornate and well-preserved gin palace, very handy for the theatre.
Greshon - 4 Mar 2007 19:28
Enthusiatic staff, 6 handpulls and great heritage features make this a most agreeable hostelry to sink a couple.

Slightly disappointed that the only unusual beer was Moorhouses Pride & Pendle, more scope to be adventurous here I think, given the prime location.

Perhaps not quite as initially cosy as the Ship & Shovell (I found them very similar interior-wise) but the quality of service certainly helps to make that up.

Definately worth a visit, could well be a contender if the beers are varied more and kept interesting.
Quinno - 27 Feb 2007 23:53
I visited again last week. Slight changes to the menu - the shortcrust tartlets and the like are gone, which is a pity. However, I agree with recent favourable comments. This is a very good pub, and the attitude and diligence of the staff are down to leadership from the front by the manager.
joegreen - 26 Feb 2007 14:27
Went here on 9th feb always impressed with the place,i think JohnBonser is right you can"t fault the staff for their attitude and the amount of work they get through.Even the tourists always seem impressed with the place and the service.The Pride was fine as was the Guinness,only downside the other half lost her hat in there and as is was my fault!! i had to buy her a new one .nevermind still a good night.
winchesterclub - 15 Feb 2007 12:49
Busy decor, very pretty. Quick service and has a tendency to get really busy before the theatre so avoid at these times.
DirtyPanda - 10 Feb 2007 20:27
Attractive horseshoe bar, attractive smiling barmaid, some victorian glasswork and ... six real ales. All boded well as I entered this pub, and so it proved. The beers? Youngs,Pride,Bomardier,Deuchers,Old Hooky,St Austell Tribute. Tried the last two named and Hooky was very good, Tribute excellent. Not keen on this area of town but I'll be back for another visit to the Salisbury.
trainman - 25 Jan 2007 16:41
Still like this place. The ale is reasonable, service pleasant and the surroundings need not be mentioned.
mitomighty - 23 Jan 2007 17:35
Popped in here with the wife Saturday lunchtime..quite busy with drinkers and eaters. Very efficient and cheerful & polite staff and it really is a pleasure to go into a London pub that treats its customers in such a friendly way. I wish this was my local but I will just have to put up with coming here every time I'm up in London...which is'nt too often unfortunately
Earlhamcourt - 22 Jan 2007 12:31
Don't know how the staff remain so friendly in such a busy pub.
Early evening it is packed. Tends to be quiet Sunday lunchtime when you can enjoy the beautiful interiors : engraved glass and lamps. A good range of beers.
spincat - 4 Jan 2007 08:21
very nice interior and the staff were very quick on the ball, and the quality of some of the drinks I tried was spot-on. As you would expect in this part of town, becomes very busy at the usual times.
anonymous - 29 Dec 2006 14:40
Visited this handsome pub two days before Christmas. Found the Young's Winter Warmer and Everards' Sleighbell in excellent condition, and the staff friendly. An amazingly pleasant and relaxed atmosphere, considering the location and Christmas crowds.
foxski - 25 Dec 2006 12:27
I visited again recently, and still rate this as a very good pub. Both Deuchars and XPA were in very good condition. The service was astonishingly good considering how busy they were - the staff never stop - and that is certainly down to leadership from the front by the manager. The food was very good and, given the location, I thought prices moderate.
joegreen - 21 Nov 2006 12:45
A quality pub with great decor, very friendly and welcoming bar staff (Jaz the manager is the perfect landlord), great selection of real ales, fizzy pop and food (highly recommend the pies). An interesting mix of workers and tourists and even some regulars!!!
growler - 7 Nov 2006 11:16
No doubt about the interior, very nice. It looked like all the ale pumps were being served through sparklers, which is nice if you want to smell the beer rather than drink it. It didn't taste like sh*t but wasn't right!! First time I've seen that there.
mitomighty - 13 Oct 2006 19:50
I went back again, and again I didn't like it in here. Very busy on a Weds night, an uninteresting mix of tourists and A.N.Others.

Bar staff were OK when I was given a dreadful, eggy pint of Crop Circle and asked for it to be changed for a Deuchars. Although that was just about drinkable, it was a very poorly kept specimen.

Yes, the interior is nice, yes it has proper, interesting guest beers, but they always seem to taste rough as guts when I visit and the atmosphere isn't nice.
anonymous - 5 Oct 2006 14:53
Popped in after going to the Prince Charles Cinema. Had a couple of excellent pints of Hop Back "Crop circle" Always liked the Salisbury especially their sense of humour. (aka The description of Fosters in their Beer guide).
Dave_Bluddax - 27 Sep 2006 13:50
Best pub in the area. Friendly staff and manager, good beers, fabulous Victorian interior. Sure it gets busy at the weekend and on a fine evening after work. Wait for the winter months and head there on a Tuesday night for a proper English evening!
the_facilitator - 20 Sep 2006 22:34
Yes it is very busy. Full of theatre crowds if I am not mistaken on Saturday evening. Managed to find a seat however and enjoyed a fine pint of Deuchers IPA. Another one in this area that I'll be returning to.
giantelf - 14 Aug 2006 14:38
This pub does indeed serve good beer at prices that are more than reasonable for the area - try the Deuchars IPA if it's on.

A must visit pub if doing a crawl in the area, despite the crowds
JohnBonser - 9 Aug 2006 13:34
The Salisbury is maintaining its high standards. Good beer, 4.3%, at £2.29 suggests far better value than jkelly and his Leffe.
joegreen - 9 Aug 2006 13:19
'Laid back Ron' used to frequent this marvellous pub, many moons ago!!
TeeJay - 1 Aug 2006 00:57
A proper pub in central london.brilliant! Congratulations on the platinum award Jas. well deserved for you and your staff.
BeerBuddha - 29 Jul 2006 17:03
Well, it's a classic victorian style pub - cut galss and mirrors, wrought iron and a sticky carpet - probably not original...

On the tourist trail between Covent Gradenand Leicester Square. Staff were hugely friendly and helpful and the steak and ale pie actually tasted of steak and ale - probably the best of about 4 steak and ale pies I've had in my life. If I were showing visitors to London around, especially from overseas, I'd drop in here for a pint of Bomabadier (best said with a Geordie accent).
HarryS - 28 Jul 2006 09:04
One of my favourite London pubs...but best avoided in the evenings. However, at lunchtimes and during the afternoons it is usually quiet and you can enjoy a lovely kept pint and remarkable decor. Foods not brilliant but with good restaurants locally why bother? Just use it a boozer.
draughtbeer - 17 Jul 2006 18:51
Each to his own. Like it or not, it's a classic. Pints of Leffe are notoriously expensive anyway.If you can find a place to serve you a whole pint of it that is! Clientele varies as it can do in central locations. Well worth the visit.
mitomighty - 12 Jul 2006 13:41
If you want to impress a friend visiting London for the first time or just a passing tourist looking for advice on where to go; take them here to see one of the most visually stunning and beautiful pubs you'll ever come across.
The exterior is pretty enough but it's the etched glass mirrors, pannels and windows that dominate the interior which is this pub's most breathtakingly beautiful feature. That said however, a drink on one of the tables in the alley outside on a warm day is also very pleasant.
Add in a cosy yet refined atmosphere, good bar staff and a wide variety of drinks to chose from(about half-a-dozen real ales and at least three different gins, for starters) almost make you forget the overly hefty prices, but not quite.
The pub's location near the heart of theatreland is reflected in a collage of posters for shows plastered on the walls of the stairs down to the toilets.
All in all worth visiting for the stunning decor and a good range of drinks that from my experience were of good quality, but be sure to bring plenty of cash!

Mr.Monkfish - 12 Jul 2006 10:01
Yesterday I went to three pubs. The first was The Salisbury at 90 St Martins Lane here I was served a pint of Lieffe a 6.6% beer at £3.80 a pint very expensive. I was told by a helpful staff member all of whom were Aussies. The customers seemed stuck up so I did not hang around. The décor was gaudy lots of red paint and an aroma of the toilet sealed it for me to leave. I had sat out side a bit and inside so nice beer and staff nice other customers stuck up gaudy atmosphere.

jkelly - 11 Jul 2006 13:28
Saturday lunchtime is a good time to visit - but I dont think it opens until 12.
JohnBonser - 13 Jun 2006 14:35
Further to my earlier review, this place has become a nightmare in the evenings. Far too crowded. Definitely pop in during the afternoon, but if you've got any sense you'll stay away after 5pm. Shame, but I guess that's what happens when everyone raves about a pub.
steve5312 - 27 May 2006 10:11
A wonderfully ornate Victorian gin palace. Four or five real ales available, Young's and the increasingly ubiquitous Deuchars IPA were both in good condition. Only downside was that it was incredibly crowded for a Saturday late afternoon/early evening; you really were struggling to find somewhere to stand, never mind sit. And some pillock had parked an articulated lorry right outside which remained there throughout our two hour stay and spoiled the view of St Martin's Lane.
Rich66 - 7 May 2006 22:59
Back again after some time. Tried half a Theakston's XB. Absolutely shockingly nasty. I think that's it for me and this place. A shame as the interior is stunning.
anonymous - 7 May 2006 21:52
The young camra collective below have got it about right.There are several comments about how busy and crowded it gets which is true but then who wants to sit in an empty pub?
TonyAle - 24 Apr 2006 20:41
I am always suspicious about a pub highly rated by the beer strokers, but the Salisbury is an odd one make no mistake. This is a pub I have popped in and always left rapidly as it is always too rammed. However, I had to spend a whole evening here recently as the Chandos was unexpectedly closed.

The pub is of very traditional decor, an old pub still in it's original decor which is admirable, and the place is in "Londons historic pubs". Therefore, on the basis of checking out a well preserved classic old London pub, I would definitely recommend a visit.

However, whether I would recommend staying for more than one or 2 is doubtful - The pint I had in here was poor, MrsGP also had a very bad pint in here as well. It is really not the pubs fault, but it is also still TOO busy - full of pre-theatre goers getting in the way! But you can't hold that against them, more the perils of visiting a pub in this location.

Therefore, pop in for a pint in mid afternoon and enjoy. Steer clear in the evening.

TheGP - 9 Apr 2006 20:24
Exactly how a Central London pub should be: Grand decor; illustrious history; great location; outside seating; real beer (including at least 2 guest ales, both in good shape); a varied menu (predictably quite dear); and a steady flow of varied clientele. Top stuff.
young_camra_collectiv - 2 Apr 2006 18:35
Splendid pub - highly recommended. Unusually for Central London, the staff are helpful, pleasant and attentive - and they understand English. Good range of beers - the Deuchars IPA was in top form. As for the decor - well what is there to say that hasn't already been said ?
JohnBonser - 6 Mar 2006 13:08
Went on Saturday night and it was very pleasant apart from my mates that is.
mitomighty - 12 Feb 2006 21:01
Pre theatre drink on a Friday. Got here about 6ish and managed to get a seat in the no smoking bit round the corner. Very pleasant. Excellent bar staff, decent music but you could still have a conversation. Don't like drinking in the West End but this was a very enjoyable drink.
Lyncroft - 15 Jan 2006 20:27
Amazing decor, but on my last visit ropey beer.
anonymous - 9 Jan 2006 15:31
Hey Hey Hey. This is a nice place. gets busy as you would expect.
mitomighty - 29 Nov 2005 16:15
The perfect pub.Go for a quick one & you will stay for hours.Atmosphere of a true pub in a vibrant location,quality beers,quality staff.
glenn468008 - 25 Nov 2005 22:32
I endorse the previous favourable comments on the decor and the staff. Found it surprisingly civilised at 5.30 on a Friday - even managed to get a seat. Good beer, and decent wine at not too severe a mark-up. Also, red wine at a sensible temperature, not cold as a mother-in-law's heart like many pubs.
joegreen - 5 Oct 2005 13:41
Good beer, "traditional pub" decor, reasonably priced, nice crowd... but the thing that makes this place stand out is the friendliness of the staff. Even at 10.30pm on a Wednesday night, with the bar crammed with drunk people waiting to be served, they were still smiling and sharing a joke with the punters. The other great thing about this pub is the tourist element. If there's no free seats then we quite often end up sitting at a table with a couple of Americans (or Norweigans in Wednesday's case!) and whiling away the evening chatting about each other's culture and the world in general. Combine all the above ingredients together and you end up with a great pub like the Salisbury.
anonymous - 17 Sep 2005 09:46
Encouraged by recent postings I went to The Salisbury on a Thursday night and am pleased to report that standards are being maintained. The beers (we had Tribute and Bombardier) were excellent, the door staff courteous - bag searches were as friendly as it's possible to make them - and we were served within a minute of standing at the bar (not bad for a crowded pub). Add to that the amazing etched mirrors, unobtrusive background music and efficient aircon and it added up to a welcome alternative to other West End offerings.
MarkW - 13 Aug 2005 12:29
Fantastic place. I can't help thinking this place is under different management from when I used to go in about five years ago. Now it has very friendly and efficient staff. Sometimes I have two or three asking if I'm being served but I admit that's not when it is at its busiest. It's crowded because it is so good. There's too much competition to risk being rubbish (even though many places don't care about that). Go. Enjoy. Cram yourself in. Strangers seem to get along in here. And, good door staff.
PeterGoodman - 19 Jul 2005 22:06
Even on a Friday night there is still a quiet corner of the beautifully decorated Salisbury that you can secure and sample their extraordinary range of ales. A rare gem in London's pub lists in that it is both historical and practical, catering for the tourist, the historian and the thirsty and discerning beer drinker alike.
agnes_guano - 15 Jun 2005 19:30
In agreement with most of the other comments, very polite service and interesting decor / architecture.
Was asked for ID which usually annoys me, but the barman in here was so polite about it I wasn't really bothered.
lennie384 - 29 Apr 2005 19:24
Part of a Friday afternoon pub crawl after lunch at Vertigo 42. Have been in there before but the decor never fails to impress. Place was pretty empty (having avoided the lunchtime rush) but it was a pleasure to be served by such happy and attentive staff - everyone coming in was greeted with a smile. Pub cosy and with pleasant background noise of staff laughing and satisfied customers chatting away. The fact that you can't hear cars and buses flying by outside also makes this place seem a world away from the hectic bustle and crowds of London in general and Leicester Square/Covent Garden in particular. Fully recommended.
palser - 20 Apr 2005 16:54
Worth a visit just for the saloon-y decor. Stunning. Does get rammed though so go on a weekday if you can...
invisible - 12 Apr 2005 11:59
Went in on Thursday around 12.45 and ordered the drinks and was pleasantly surprised by the politeness and niceness of the ladies behind the bar. Went into the non-smoking area where nobody was smoking and the three of us then ordered food. Very reasonably priced and served up in good time; and again the lady who served us was so pleasant as was trhe next one who took a repeat food order.

It was an absolute pleasure to meet such charming people working in a London pub and the staff are a credit to the Management I will definately go there again but maybe not in the evening bearing in mind previous comments.

Earlham Court
Earlhamcourt - 8 Apr 2005 12:15
Is in "Londons Historic Pubs" And sure, it's decor is nice. But as far as having a drink in here, forget it - Always too crowded. Who are all these people!
TheGP - 27 Feb 2005 11:05
Historic late victorian pub with etched glass windows and big decoration over the main entrance. Used to be several more rooms than the 3 there are now and has a staicase that goes straight up from the bar like a chimney - which is not too popular with the Fire Brigade so the upper floors are apparently empty. Odd lighting with a mixture of red and amber shades being reflected in the mirrors along the walls which takes a bit of getting used to. Good (although expensive) ales including a guest (St Austell when I was there)
lout_from_the_lane - 8 Feb 2005 13:50
This is a comment of a tourist.
Great decorations and good food. I only didn't understand why the staff let people smoke in the no-smoking area.

ilfaccino - 20 Jan 2005 18:02
Gets rammed in here Friday / Saturday night, but still definitely worth a look, a proper London pub.

Of all the central West End pubs this is one of the most atmospheric. Yes it is a bit touristy, but this is the West End, what do you expect?! Worth checking out just for the decor, there are not many pubs left this well preserved from the Victorian period (first converted to a pub 1898).

A favourite with the theatre crowd, you might spot the odd famous face having a pre / after show beverage in here.

Best position in the pub is the front nook with the tiny bar, ideal for a litte crowd of say 10 odd to plot up in, but be advised, to get seats in there you will have to turn up early doors!
krylon76 - 8 Jan 2005 18:00
Too crowded but a nice atmosphere. Staff can be slow at times and perhaps a bit terse but I am prepared to forgive that bearing in mind the amount of grief they must get.
alistaird55 - 20 Dec 2004 13:18
Ok with great original decor, but crowded, crowded, crowded.
beeronaut - 4 Dec 2004 18:22
Looks good, beers alright but as t'others say, it gets its money from tourists. Couple of Young’s beers on when I was there last night, staff were alright but I remember the sarnies being pretty expensive when I ate there a few years ago.

If you walk to the end of the bar, turn right and through a door, there's a little, hidden snug where couples in the know go to canoodle. Try and have a quiet pint (or loud snog) there.

MrScott - 14 Oct 2004 12:05
fairly standard pub, lovely interior but food and drink are nothing to write home about. Always busy during the week, slower for sunday roast. Food was a bit bland actually. Strongbow guiness, john smith...
Richard - 10 Oct 2004 16:02
The Salisbury is pretty much a tourist pub, resting on it's fabulous Victorian decor, much of which is original. But the food is not great, especially the steak and ale pie. Ale selection is OK. I've been here twice, in two different years and would not go back.
sheila - 14 Sep 2004 23:12
Looks like a marvellous pub - The decor and that. However, not sure about the actual pub itself - Service was very slow, no decent beers and very packed. So obviously popular, but not great.
TheGP - 13 Sep 2004 11:14
A wonderful piece of Edwardian London, with friendly bar staff and the chance to sit where Marianne Faithful sat in the mid-60s for the picture you can buy at the National Portrait Gallery nearby.
Peter - 30 Jun 2004 14:06
Another standard pub in this area.OK the decor inside is victorian and well preserved(would appeal to tourists) but the beer itself is not that good and the bar is toolarge to have any atmosphere.
Nick Hamer - 4 Jun 2004 18:28
The Salisbury is a pub to behold. Sure you have to pay West end prices for a well served pint, but the pub itself is out of this time. Strange to hear indie music in a Victorian Pub. Fish & Chips were reasonable, and the Guiness was smooth... and the service knowlegable
M Larner - 24 Feb 2004 03:51
On my last five visits to this pub I have found the staff to be friendly and attentive. It is a splendidly furnished bar and the Youngs Winter Warmer well kept. One of the minor gems of the West End.
andrew1961 - 23 Jan 2004 21:47
Having visited several times, I would say the food is very good and is served later than other pubs in the area. All London pubs suffer from bag snatchers - don't leave your bag on the floor!
S. Powell - 19 Jun 2003 10:01
Girlfriend got her bag nicked in here bar staff couldn't give damn no manager on site, staff clueless watch out. Also got overcharged £8 on round of 6 drinks so won't be going back(Nowhere near Strand by way St.Martins Lane)
lindsay brewer - 1 Apr 2003 09:46
Brilliant pub if only they could keep the bag snatchers out would be 10/10. Expensive but service excellent
arturo_morales - 18 Mar 2003 14:58
This pub has one of the most splendid Victorian, pub interiors in London. Selection of real ale served but expensive. Adequate bar food. Popular with theatre-goers and tourists.
Barry N Evans - 24 Dec 2002 12:55
Nice atmosphere but there weren't nearly enough people behind the bar, and the ones that were there didn't seem to know what they were doing.
anne - 13 Nov 2002 17:32

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