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Shakespeare, Victoria

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user reviews of the Shakespeare, Victoria

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

this pub isnt the best but it is ok
becks007 - 27 Jan 2018 15:16
Called in to see if is as bad as people say.
It was ok but nothing special. Gave it a 5.
This Randolf anus is a multiuser that has slagged off this pub under several user names. He should be pitied.
fozzy123 - 22 Jul 2017 20:55
Awful place - by every analysis. So bad - hygiene, service, food/drink - it is a vile pub. Outside Victoria...
randolf7 - 21 Jul 2017 22:25
I wouldn’t agree with the previous reviewer that this is the worst pub in London there’s certainly a lot worse than the Shakespeare.

It was packed with food being as popular as drink, lot’s of tourists plotting up here for lunch and to get out of the rain that was falling very heavily.

4 ales on the hand pumps, all fairly standard choice, I tucked in to a few pints of Westerham Breweries 1730 which is a decent session ale at 4.0%.

With no where to sit we stood at the corner of the bar for the next 90 minutes or so chatting and enjoying our drinks. The service was good, with all of the staff seemingly from Eastern Europe, you weren’t always guaranteed a smile 

As I say I have been in much worse pubs that this, it’s convenient for the station and sells decent real ale.
lezford - 11 Jan 2017 13:21
Worst pub in London? Undoubtedly.

Opposite Victoria Station, and fails under all headings.

Including staff (untrained), hygiene (awful) and beer quality.

tradervic - 4 Nov 2016 16:02
They has absolutely no awareness of anyone with a hearing and speech disability and have made no attempt to help. A friend went to this pub with this disability and was thrown out as they saw hand gestures as being drunk and aggressive without understanding that it was recognised sign language even though the person concerned had already written this down on a piece of paper for them to see. Appalling treatment and the large population of the deaf community have vowed never to set foot inside this pub again!
Lirva - 14 Aug 2014 10:27
The comments are about this pub are a bit harsh , its a busy pub so the staff have to deal with alot , its a tidy pub, nothing exciting, lager was ok, id have another cheeky beer in there, wouldnt rush back though

htid - 15 Jun 2014 16:31
I don't think you can ignore the post, because it really is one of the worst pubs I've ever been to.
Pat_Bateman - 31 Jan 2014 09:27
Ignore the post below, it is B.I.T.E.'s WHINGER at WORK .A full time Wayne Kerr.
slerpy - 31 Jan 2014 08:18
London's worst pub, perhaps - under every heading. Hygiene, staff, food and beer quality; all awful. The owners know that because of its proximity to Victoria Station, people will accept lower standards. Needs a visit from Health and Safety people, soon.

The 2+ rating is far too high; -2 would be generous.
croydonpeer - 30 Jan 2014 11:13
Big Taylor Walker pub right opposite Victoria station. This place is in great need of a refurbishment as the decoration and furnishings are in a bad state. This makes the place look a bit dirty though that is probably only an impression. It gets very crowded and later in the evening there are too many people who have over indulged. Somewhat to my surprise, given the unpromising beginnings, the real ale was actually quite good and we were served quite quickly and efficiently.

The dining area is separate from the bar area which is a good thing.

The pub needs a lot of money spending on it and a stricter serving policy. The location is obviously very good but there are better pubs a short walk away.
Beerscout - 30 Jan 2014 09:58
Think the reviews on the site have been a bit harsh. Sure it's never going to win a following as a cosy local, but it is opposite victoria station and in the heart of touristland! Buzzing when we went in, and the staff were friendly and efficient.
mozzzzzz - 8 Dec 2013 19:29
Could smell the toilets from the bar. The Polish bar staff closed an hour early (1am advertised). Shit beer, and nobody spoke any English. The poor tourists didn't know what was happening. I had to direct an American couple out of the place to a bar that was open. I'm an Englishman, and tonight was plain embarrassing.......SORT THIS DUMP OUT
greg1 - 26 Apr 2013 00:56
Sycura - see your Vet, as soon as possible.

oaktreedog - 11 Oct 2012 22:11
I think the reviews regarding Shakespeare are not giving a fair image of the pub, neither the picture as it is very old. Now the pub looks a lot better.
If it is so bad why so many people are going there? And I am not speaking only about turist, recently there are more and more locals using the pub especially for a drink after work.
I find the atmosphere great and the energy of the place is brilliant.
Yes, if you are the kind of person that likes a quiet place, then that is not your pub.
It is not the classic british pub, but if you want to experience the London cosmopolitan culture that is the place to be. Always busy and with a lot of different people.
sycura - 11 Oct 2012 21:56
The worst pub in London by far - a BITE rating of 2 is 6 too high. Avoid, at all costs.
oaktreedog - 11 Oct 2012 09:56
A shithole. Nothing more. Nothing less. No points.
turbohorsebox - 11 Oct 2012 08:15
Much Ado About Nothing.
nokegthanks - 12 Jul 2012 16:25
That's sarcastic.
Tuna - 12 Jul 2012 09:28
Well, seems that some people didn't understand my last post about this establishment. People may look at it like just another rough-ish pub by a station (a hub pub). Take your time and look closer and you will be pleasantly surprised, what you will find, if you just try, is a pub where the lonely find friendship, the sad solace, the confused answers, the junkys drugs. Where the rich and poor rub shoulders and share a drink after waiting an age to get them, where no one cares about your colour or creed, all are equal. At worst people will say its a 'Social experiment gone hideously wrong'. But I personally think it is the closest thing on earth to 'Utopia'.

And if you think thats sarcastic then i will change my user name to Professor Sarcastic Mikey Monkey Balls
mikeyshakes - 12 Jul 2012 08:15
dolphox, I think mikeyshakes' post was an exercise in sardonic wit.
EnfieldTaaaanBlud - 11 Jul 2012 15:23
Mikey is on the white powder again.

This is an awful pub with untrained/foreign/agency staff.

One of the worst in London. The pubs in Victoria Station are in a much higher league!!

A BITE rating of 2 is far too high...
dolphox - 11 Jul 2012 13:29
Hey Regis, have you never heard of irony?
cellarbuoy - 10 Jul 2012 20:30
No, it's not snobbery, mikeyshakes; it's to do with well-kept beer and good service, neither of which you get here. And as for recommending a pub because of its 'tremendous rail links' :-)

The place is usually full of tourists, so there is no incentive to improve it, is there? Avoid!
Regis - 10 Jul 2012 19:15
I cant believe what I have read on this sham of a website, The Shakespeare is one if not the best pub Ive gone to in London, the beer is generally nearly cold and comes in glasses, which are more often than not clean, and the staff are professional and at least one of them behind the bar at any given time can speak English and almost knows how to pour a drink. Know one seems to have mentioned the live music policy on Fridays which, I can honestly say, is like nothing I have heard before. It is safe due to the usual Police presence outside, with tremendous rail links.
Im fed up with the snobbery on this site and would like to applaud The Shakespeare (aka Shaka-la-ka-boom-boom) for the numerous (twice in three weeks) drinking experience. You guys rock!
mikeyshakes - 10 Jul 2012 14:47
So tired, packed full of tourists, staff need training in the beer they serve as they don't seem to know what they are serving or how to serve it. Shame as they actual had some nice Hobgoblin on tap. Won't be coming back
rosco_uk - 12 Nov 2011 23:33
Omg,surely the worst pub ever to grace this planet...........cant find the words to describe the horror show that the hordes of tourists who fill up this place have to go through,this is a Taylor Walker pub who run a couple of great boozers within a few hundred yards of this toilet and how can they let this happen?
A complete and utter shithole which reminds me do not head anywhere near the loos,breathtaking.........
What must the tourists think ? ashamed to be British!
jackbar - 3 Nov 2011 19:22
I came here 12th July 2011, and I must say, this is the worst excuse for a pub I have ever had the misfortune of drinking in. Why you may ask?
Well, first of all the beer (London Pride) was off, and served with very large head, which I must say they were efficient in replacing the pint with one of Young's Summer Gold. The Young's was however also on the way out, with a distinctive twinge of line cleaner. The head was around three fingers deep, and on request of a top up, the bar girl claimed it was 'Just that sort of beer'. Wrong. If it were a Belgian beer for example, it would be 'that sort of beer', but an English ale, with a head that large, just no. No.
I would not recommend this pub to any person. Not even to a fan of dreadfully kept Wetherspoon's beers (which Wetherspoons do a far better job of keeping their ales, despite being over a pound cheaper per pint than this dire establishment).
Simply put, the worst pub I have ever been to.
hughbertesq - 12 Jul 2011 13:37
This is the worst pub I have ever been in. Beer is repeadadly off. The staff decide to serve ale with a 2 inch head, cos 'its that type of beer'. No.its not. Deeply unpleasant interior, with the worse forms of society inside. Dire pricing. Dire beer. Dire Service. Please never ever come here.
chubtank - 12 Jul 2011 13:29
my god, the only reason I have registered on this site is to warn people do not go to this place, unless you stand right at the till and wave your hands in the air you will NOT get served, with a half empty bar area we waited for 20 minutes and still didn't get served standing a few feet from the till in the middle of the bar, the 3rd time this happened the 'duty manager' who spoke no or little english told me she hadn't seen me. Come on guys just sell up or change the staff, another barmaid who did the same as the duty manager told me she didn't like the way the place was run and was hoping to leave asap, nuff said i reckon
ExeterABC - 8 Jun 2011 22:45
Popped in for a beer the other day, oh dear, what an awful excuse for a pub. Poor quality beer, crappy chain pub microwaved food, doorman that look at you as if they wanted to kill you or start a fight with you. Clientel that want to fight you also, scummy suits types, chavs and low-lifes. YUK!!!
Never again....SERIOUSLY AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE, there are much better Pubs to go to.
I think the brewery that owns this place has gone past the caring stage.
thaiscubadiver - 19 Mar 2011 22:30
Popped in on way home from a course and found it to be a pretty naff pub. Being St. Patricks day you would have though there would have been a few special offers but alas no. Didn't try the food but the beer was not impressive, overpriced and the place was pretty messy.
TheTrooper - 17 Mar 2011 21:30
Me and the gf nipped in for a swift half but decided to stay when I saw they had Doom Bar on. Sadly, it was a flat mediocre pint but we thought we'd stay when they changed the TV screens over to BBC for the England v. Italy in the Six Nations rugby. I asked one of the staff if the sound would be on when the game started. She replied, 'Friday'. I tried again but she said, 'Two o'clock'. It was ten past. I asked another member of staff who didn't seem to understand why anyone would want to hear the TV. As we left, I noticed the chalk boards outside inviting punters to watch sports. Yeah, watch but don't listen.
soulfella - 13 Feb 2011 15:27
Yes, I was a fool to go in here. And yes, the beer was rank.

My companion (an unrepenting premium lager drinker) opted for Carling. For once I wish I had joined him. At least it was better than the cloudy, flat pint of Young's I was served up. Lesson learnt.
Misk. - 23 Jan 2011 22:22
I popped in with my wife for a "great british pub lunch" this week and ordered the traditional fish & Chips and Whitby Scampy & Chips - it took a while to get the food, but it was lunchtime, the scampi was not cooked, cold and wet with loads of breadcumbs to mask it. I sent it back and a fresh meal arrived which this time was cooked. The fish & chips were warm, not hot. The meals were kid size portions. We did not leave a tip and wont be going back.
joecool66 - 14 Jan 2011 09:15
I've been here quite a few times, don't see what the problem is...aside from the toilets, the place is alright. Can get a little bit busy...but as pubs go, it's a decent place to go to spend a few hours waiting for your delayed train!
chalkey79 - 7 Dec 2010 14:28
DASA - 12 Nov 2010 01:19
As a past employee who worked there in the mid 90's I googled this pub for nostalgia. Some of you may be shocked to know that I whole heartedly agree with the vast majority of comments posted here.
I'd just like to point out that the toilets in this place are not frequented by the staff, so the disgusting state they are in is directly attributable to the patronage. I was one of the poor unfortnates given the task of cleaning the gents and the memory has scarred me for life. Urinals that overflowed continuously and toilets so bad that even the shit was creeping up the sides of the bowl trying to escape (well at least that's what it looked like) One customer asked me once "do we get a free pair of wellies with every pint? 'cos we need them for your toilets"
Serving the food to people was embarassing to say the least and the beer was always the most expensive in Victoria. Definitely not the best fish and chips in London!
Let's just say, the staff never frequented there and neither should you!
KaveDiwi - 7 Oct 2010 05:42
officially the worst pub in London
TheGP - 22 Sep 2010 20:32
I hate to leave a review with nothing constructive in it whatsoever but this must be the worst pub in the world. Awful, awful food. Fizzy lager was flat. Staff can't speak English. Just dire!
bigbadbeerboy - 28 Jul 2010 19:59
Well, with the assumption you can actually enter this place:
The beer is bad. The usual slop is produced - Green King, John Smiths, etc. This is yet another soulless pub that doesn't need to rely on any repeat-custom because of its location.

Malaria appears to be growing in the toilets.

The food will probably kill you.

Now, entering this place is somewhat difficult. Especially if you're unfortunate enough to encounter the doorman who calls himself 'Maj' - apparently that is his real-given name. Whatever. This chap is a genuine knuckledragger. He does have a unique 'magic word' system going on though, in which he asks you "what is the black hole?" failure to get this right means you're not allowed into this hell-hole. Which is actually a blessing really as there are plenty of other nicer pubs in the vicinity. The George, The Phoenix. If you can be bothered to walk the extra 10 minutes is The Speaker. Probably the best Ale pub in the area.

Avoid this place like the plague. No, really do.

alexwilson - 14 Jun 2010 17:01
Having worked around the area for many years I can honestly say that this is the worst excuse for a pub in Victoria.

The food is vile, the service either rude or non existent and the doormen have quite obviously missed a whole series of evolutionary steps that would go some way to explain the Neanderthal behaviour they exhibit.

Give this place a miss and walk around the corner to The Victoria or The George instead.
justtheonethen - 14 Jun 2010 16:29
Oh dear; having visited this place once or twice (the last being February this year), I was fully-aware that it fails to impress or excel in any area one cares to consider as a measure of what constitutes a "good" pub. I know this because my eyes were open.
However, perhaps I was more fortunate than many recent visitors, as I didn't experience the dreadful customer service, poor drinks service/quality, neanderthal doormen or petty theft from punters! Naturally you may choose to defer to the earlier comments as the more reliable barometer of this pubs shortcomings, but for my part, I have to say it is terminally average; nothing more, nothing less. The service I received was reasonable - nearly all foreigners with dubious English but one learns to expect and tolerate this in London nowadays, and they were pleasant enough. Also the bar in the main part of the building was noticeably over-staffed, if anything - I counted 7 barmaids including a manageress as I sat waiting for friends to join me, so it would've been an achievement to not get served quickly.
As for cask ale range/quality - always top-trump for TWG - it was utterly unimaginitive and predictable: GK IPA and Fuller's London Pride. I had the Pride, and notwithstanding the exorbitant price-tag, it was kept well enough and wasn't the worst I've sampled in the capital.
Interior-wise it is by-numbers, with various seating areas for drinkers and diners alike, with a sort of half-arsed sub-contemporary decor which jars somewhat with its Victorian exterior. It was clean, though.
Plainly this is run by a large pub-co concern which cynically assumes it has a natural captive audience of unsuspecting local and tourist customers by dint of its central location opposite a major railway station and adjacent to theatres. One doesn't expect much, but really, if there is even a quarter of truth in the comments on this site, they really do have their work cut out to improve overall standards to acceptable levels. Even based on my own experience which was passable, would I go back? Not unless I had no choice.

TWG - 13 May 2010 11:59
We went into the Shakespeare before our show and had a bottle of fizz downstairs in one of their booths. The barmaid looked quite bemused as though she'd never sold Cava before! Had to get glasses from upstairs, be asked for an ice bucket and had difficulty opening the bottle (I did it before anything could go wrong).

Foolishly returned after the show for a, nightcap but went upstairs where we were ignored whilst standing at the bar. One of three barmaids looking as surly and disinterested as I've ever seen anyone before finally served us after serving someone else who had arrived at the practically empty counter before us. She didn't crack her face (I am well aware of the pressures of serving alcohol all night and know people can be tired) and seemed more interested in something else going on behind the bar than getting our order of three drinks right.
Horribly overpriced for the quality of service, drink delivery and atmosphere. It appauls me that this bar is situated in a prime location and subjects us (as Londoners) and the tourists that support our city to such appauling service and attitude.
RichardBennett - 13 May 2010 11:02
A generous 1/10, absolute dump of a pub, overpriced too. Crap beer, crap food but this is what one expects outside Victoria Station. Pull the place down and start again.
thaiscubadiver - 18 Apr 2010 15:21
Many years ago this pub was excellent, food, staff and atmosphere. Now it is a disgrace. Mysel and my friends used to be regulars then new staff took over. One of the doormen kept pestering us with disgusting comments. We asked him to leave us alone. He then tried to throw us all out. We had bought food and wine at this he said we culd not finish our driks. The food was disgustig, the toilets are terribler. It is not child friendly and the staff ad Manager are the rudfest ihave ever come across in the hospitality sector. Dont bother entering. There is two perfectly lovely Pubs just round the corner on Victoria street worth a visit.
xyzlinda - 29 Mar 2010 20:20
hello there,
just to let you know we were having late lunch in this pub last wednesday on the 3rd of feb. with my husband and my child when a young 25 girl came and sat down behind me and within 10mns she just stole my handbag without anyone noticing it!!
it was a nightmare and it is still one!i had everything in my handbag(we are french) passports,my work pass,money,credit cards,camera,mobile phone,camera,my childs toy,acheque book ,sightseeing tickets witha rivercruise and etc...
really i found this quite unbelievable!!
after i was stolen staff said at least once a week someone has something stolen!!
food was rubbish and the manager still wanted us to pay as even this had happened in his place and we had nothing left!!!
we were disgusted as it is the pubs responsibility to leave some infos for people to know to really look after their belongings because we thought we were safe there.
By the way my bag was left on the back of my chair and it was not hanging somewhere unattended!
thanks to pass this info as i think this is very important.
sybella1 - 9 Feb 2010 20:59
Things may have improved since the other reviews were written, but I still wish I had seen them before having lunch in this pub.

My wife and I were greeted cheerfully by a smart waitress, but she would not let us take a 4-seat table although there was only one other table occupied (at 12:55). By the time we left the tables still weren't fully occupied.

I asked for draft beer and was offered Fosters, Stella or Carlsberg. I had to drag out of her the fact that they also had London Pride. Only discovered they served Leffe after a visit to the toilet. My wife's tea was a cup of hot water in a thick mug - already too cool to make good tea.

We waited at least 20 minutes for our food, and then my wife's wedges were forgotten. They arrived after she had finished the rest of her dinner, so we rejected them and asked for a dessert instead. The toffee pudding and custard was served cold; is this normal? We expected it to be hot. My fish, chips and peas was OK but not of the quality that would make them "world famous" as advertised on the outside of the pub.

This pub is in a prime position and is likely to be used by many foreign visitors - how embarrassing! There are plenty of other eating places around, so how does it survive?
Viridian - 6 Jan 2010 22:00
I thought that the bar I went into a few years back in Port Moresby (Papua New Guinea) was without equal in terms of horror until I entered this monstrosity.

Track-suited, medallion wearing thuggery monopolised the bar area, tourists with bulky bags blocked the floor space, a seedy looking man giggled and sang to himself and did his best to ruin the conversation of an innocent-looking family seated nearby and a gaggle of stressed-out sales reps in cheap suits were having a tequila slammer session nearby and there was this constant waft of marijuana (or so I thought) coming from the kitchens. Dreadful....dreadful beyond words

adamlebon - 28 Dec 2009 18:48
In an area full of crap pubs, this is one of the worst... the pits!
johnnypaleale - 23 Nov 2009 16:19
Do you know what really upsets me? That this place can get away with saying "our world famous fish and chips". This kind of place is precisely why the UK has got such a bad reputation for food. The tourists think that this is the normal london pub but please avoid this place and go for something else. This is a hell hole beyond comprehension. You might be able to score some crack in the rebeccas if your lucky.
Didi - 17 Nov 2009 13:52
This is such an easy pub to find. Just exit Victoria Station, take a deep breath and head towards the stinking toilet smell. If you haven't passed out by the time you enter the bar area, you deserve everything that you get .............
peterwarlock - 7 Oct 2009 11:58
In this day and age it is amazing that such a pub is even on the map. We waited for ages to order food which after receiving our dirty cutlery in a dirty pot took an hour to reach us. The staff were so miserable. Knowing what a tourist hub the area is, our foreign friends must think our pubs are the pits. it should be shut down. Abismal!!!!
dunksmith - 24 Sep 2009 16:46
The first time I was in this pub there was a girl in possibly trying to sell something, maybe even begging. She was manhandled by two employees (clearly under instruction) and thrown out. Literally. She slid along the floor and crashed into a table near the door. It was cowardly and depressing. This was my first and last time in here. Even for a tourist type pub it was dreadful. Try any other pub in the area. I'd rather give up socialising than return.
lochinvar - 8 Sep 2009 15:39

It is without doubt one of the worst pubs in central London.

Everything is bad... i wont even elaborate.

jamesbartlett74 - 19 Jul 2009 19:20
This place is open from 10am until 12am everyday and serves food from 10am until 10pm, not that you would catch me eating in here. I arrived early Sunday evening and I had to wait a while at the bar even though there was no queue, but I was served a decent pint of Guinness. Also available were Pride and Ordinary alongside a selection of standard and premium lagers.

There is a plasma screen, but no sport is advertised, and the music was very loud which I couldnt understand until I saw the state of the toilets and realised that it must be to drown out the screams of unsuspecting tourists who think that they have just booked a holiday in the shithole of Europe.

If this pub was located anywhere else it would have closed down years ago like many other inferior pubs have done.

This is not the worst pub I have been in, but I do find it embarrassing that tourists think that we find establishments like this acceptable, even though they are the ones keeping it open.

I will not be returning.
Strongers - 15 Jul 2009 08:56
It beggers belief that such an establishment can remain open and do business in such a cosmopolitian city, and in such a touristy area. It is grubby to say the least, the toilets are in a word "disgusting" with taps missing from the sinks and the doors for the cubicals unable to lock as they have clearly been kicked in and not repaired. The food is utterly depressing and would not under any circumstances eat there again. I odered a simple sandwich which arrived to my table with bread that you could have hammered a nail with. I complained and was given a replacement sandwich which was also made with stale bread. I asked to speak to a manager to informed me that it is the bread that comes form the suplier and that they get quie a few complaints about it. I got my money refunded however my companion had ordered nachoes which consisted of tortlllia chips on a plae with 4 ramikins of salsa, sour cream and guacamole and a cheese kinda sauce. Not good! nothing like any nachoes ive ever had before. The staff were very unfirendly and i would defo not return to this establishment unless i was desperate for the loo!!
evilelmo - 2 Jun 2009 22:36
The most digusting pub in London by a considerable margin. A soul-less, unclean meeting place staffed by cretins and patronised by tramps, thieves, thugs, oddballs, random office types who have missed their train and poor tourists who must wonder what sort of country allows an establishment as appalling as this to exist.

Claims to show sport but has only one screen and, on Friday nights, plays deafening dance music so loud that you have to roar your order over the bar (assuming you get served before the smell of sick and piss makes you faint).

The most disturbing aspect of this place is that people appear to eat food. How could anyone with ordinary gag reflexes could eat with the atrocious smell and the dirty (FILTHY dirty) surfaces is beyond me. The basement toilets can be smelt from street outside - in the case of the gents, a blocked urinal trough, a short-circuiting hand-dryer and two cubicles splattered with vomit and shit.

The fact that a stinking dump as bad as this can attract any customers at all explains why this disgraceful place is still in business: the absence of alternatives and the constant supply of new unsuspecting victims from the station.
apbj - 26 May 2009 18:04
Given the current 2.6 rating and many of the previous comments, I must admit that this place (which I have avoided for many years) was slightly better than I expected. Not a lot, but slightly. There was nothing wrong with my pint of Bombardier either (with Greene King IPA also available), but it certainly doesn't score highly on atmosphere or character.
rpadam - 15 Apr 2009 22:23
Food and service was excellent but found the washrooms dirty and very smelly
Kerrybb - 16 Nov 2008 13:13
A tourist trap. The discerning beer drinker will know of of better places and will go to them.
peterwarlock - 5 Oct 2008 12:02
I had lunch and a swift half of speckled hen yesterday - ale in v. good condition. Pride on pump too plus another guest ale I think.
Pie of the day was piping hot (too hot? well i don't work for health and safety so..) and a large portion.

The place looks different from the dump it used to be, must have been renovated. Nice place to sit down for a bit and get off the buzz of the area.
brunix - 29 Aug 2008 12:40
I been drinking at Shakespeare last weekend and I liked this pub. Got some nice barmaids. Service was fine. Food was fine as well.
panca - 9 Aug 2008 21:03
A veritable boil on the backside of London. Smells like a particularly bad gents convenience

I know pubs near stations are meant to be crap but this one really takes the biscuit - manages to make the Wetherspoons inside Victoria look relatively appealing and that my friends really is saying something
murgatroyd - 24 Feb 2008 20:29
this is what our tourists are greated with when they get off the express from Gatwick. the owners should be ashamed of themselves (fullers). what a shite hole.
DanLeyland - 15 Feb 2008 16:18
This place is a complete shit-hole. Dirty, smelly. Full of lowlife scum. Barstaff are crap.

Minesapint63 - 28 Oct 2007 12:41
Met a few friends here for a pre-arranged drink and it really wasn't that bad at all. I'd looked up the reviews beforehand and was fearing the worst.

It's nothing special but service was good and the place was clean.
patmartin008 - 22 Oct 2007 16:00

A very valid point callaigh.

All I would add to it is - Don't drink there, either...
harbourdrinker - 13 Sep 2007 11:37
I went to this pub for lunch while waiting for a train. Service was awful and slow but worst was the Chicken Kiev that was raw in the middle!!
Kitchen staff need training on Food Safety!
calliagh - 13 Sep 2007 10:20

Not quite sure why my comment of yesterday was removed?

So, to reiterate, I gave the barman a twenty, and he gave me change for a tenner. When I questioned this, he immediately handed me the other tenner (which he had in his hand) saying ' Oh, I wasn't sure, so I thought I'd wait until you asked'!

I expect he would have put the other tenner back in the till,obviously....
harbourdrinker - 9 Aug 2007 11:46
A dive
anonymous - 8 Aug 2007 17:12
Oh dear, what a miserable dump this place is! The Shakespeare is not a place Ive ever thought to frequent before and I very, very much doubt Ill be seen in here again. Just what is the appeal? They sell an ale or two and the background was music was pleasant, but honestly, either people go here because they are numskulls or purely because of its proximity to the station. The toilets, by the way, are the worst I have ever entered. The stench was beyond vile. A weaker man wouldve vomited. Err, cleaning staff? Friday (3rd August) was my first and will forever be my sole visit to this travesty of a drinking establishment. Bulldozers, where are you?
HTM69 - 6 Aug 2007 14:40
Wouldn't usually consider writing on these posts but this place wound me up a treat on visiting in our lunch hour today.

Unfortunately one of the dishes we ordered didn't seem cooked. Sending it back lead to farcial scenes with 4 different members of staff really struggling to understand that we didn't have much time and a simple request for a spare plate and cuttlery to share another meal went begging. Ended up having to leave. Alas probably some of the worst customer service I've ever seen.
pallan - 25 Jun 2007 16:36
went here for the only reason anybody does - meeting somebody at Victoria - but made the mistake of deciding we might as well get some food. Went to order at the bar but was told that as we were sat in the "restaurant area" it was table service. After ten minutes of trying to get served we gave up on the idea and decided to just finish our pints and go somewhere else. Five minutes later this was confirmed by the waitress finally turning up - to inform us that we had to be eating to sit in the restaurant area.
tomw - 28 May 2007 08:54
well i dont know if things have changed here but visited yesterday and it was busy , but the bar area was deserted got served quickly and was a nice drop of beer didnt really stay too long as was on way to a meeting seemed better than it did maybe i just hit it on a very good day
romfordir - 10 May 2007 14:10
Well, I asked the barman for a pint of Greene King IPA and was informed it wasn't available, so I chose something else. For the next round I asked the barmaid if the Greene King was back on and she said it had never been off, "but he [pointing to the barman] always tells people it is..."
Trev - 21 Mar 2007 15:49
have wrote a review on this place because i thought it would be a waste of time as everyone else has said what i thought in previous comments , been here a couple of times mainly because i couldnt be arsed to walk to the weatherspoons and i was meeting someone , ive got to say ive been in some right shithole boozers all over the country but i have never encountered such a place in london , the staff have no customer service skills and no human skills by the looks of it , only stayed each time for a quick pint which was quaffed very very quickly maximum stay including waiting for a beer was 10mins , what a god forsaken place this really is
romfordir - 16 Mar 2007 12:51
Made the mistake of meeting a friend here.
How did they get this place looking and feeling so souless? The garish fruit machines, beer-sodden carpet and "vertical drinking" areas combine with a clientele of hobos, sales reps and burberry bruisers to make for a thoroughly depressing pint. Factor in the simply disgusting toilets, the cubicles of which look like someone has set loose a family of rabid turds, and the Shakespeare surely MUST claim the crown of worst pub in London.

On reflection it would have been preferable to share a can of White Lightning with the tramps outside.
miguelp - 16 Mar 2007 12:12
Went here before seeing Wicked at the Apollo on the recommendation from a Big Bus Tourguide-wanted the traditional fish & chips meal-was really disappointed........better in the USA! And mushy peas? Very strange.........french waitress not too helpful or friendly. Would never go back
njnkp - 15 Mar 2007 23:09
Interesting to see that the Shakespeare has maintained a consistent level of performance for at least the last 40 years. But it is handy for the station and for that reason will always get customers.
RexRattus - 22 Feb 2007 17:40
Right in front of Victoria station this noisy, smoky pub is full of people waiting for other people, commuters having a quick drink, and bewildered tourists. A place to meet somebody in and then move on to somewhere else as quick as you can.
Greshon - 22 Feb 2007 17:30
Nice pub for a quick beer but not much else, music can get a bit annoying but the down stairs seating area has novel arched hideaway areas. Have one then head towards the Bag 'o' Nails is our recommned ation
DirtyPanda - 9 Feb 2007 06:49
William Shakespeare will be turning in his grave to have a name associated with this boozer.

Alas, I shall visit thee no more!
jimmythefish - 18 Jan 2007 17:48
It doesn't need another review for people to get the idea about this pub but it is poor. I'd even rather wait for my train at the Wetherspoon's in the station, at least you don't expect a pub in a train station to be any good.
Captain_Carwash - 16 Nov 2006 00:18
No atmosphere, plays awful chart music, and is full of lost tourists, posers and bored commuters.
glenfarg - 15 Nov 2006 19:26
I wanted to give a review on this place but everyone has beaten me to it..... The staff are rude, ignorant and ill-trained. The place is a pig-sty and I am sure it hasn't had a visit from the Health and Safety Inspectors in a long time - what a tip!
Astarte - 31 Oct 2006 13:09
I'm told it's good for pickpockets.
anonymous - 30 Oct 2006 23:31
Always very busy, I guess because of its location. On a recent visit, the barman was working wonders keeping up with people's orders, but he really should have had more staff to help him in the first place. Getting a table wasn't easy. There were just two cask ales: Greene King IPA and Pride. It's a place you wouldn't choose to go to if it weren't just over the road from the station.
Trev - 17 Sep 2006 16:28
Overall an uninspiring pub but somewhat redeemed by the good nature and assiduity of the (albeit in some cases inexperienced) staff. Not as rough and tumble as it was a few years ago - the bouncers are well on top of their game. Always good for a pre-train scoop of the black stuff.

HoodedCrow - 15 Sep 2006 13:31
There are a few things in life that can be easily predicted: for example, if you were to cross breed Quasimodo with Alan Sugar the result would obviously be an arse faced lisping hunchback with a limping cockney swagger and a pair of bollocks instead of a mouth. In short, were talking an abomination of Satanic proportions and something that isnt too dissimilar from the stillborn nightmare that is born from the Shakespeares attempt to combine a classy restaurant, a bar, a weatherspoons and one of the busiest areas in Europe.

Picking which deformity to prod first is about the only vaguely interesting and slightly perverse thing about looking at this pub in detail. The most intriguing (because its deceptive) aspect is the greenish restaurant area located (roughly) at the station entrance of the pub. On first glance it looks, and to some extent is, rather comfortable and well turned out, but once your arse is firmly trapped in the chair it all goes very wrong. The menu is overpriced and completely bog standard facts you have plenty of time to appreciate as the walkie walkie staff take hours phaffing around during every point of your far too long relationship with them. Still at least the delay saves you from having to look immediately at the complete crap that eventually turns up on your plate: small, usually undercooked and with a distinct whiff of Morrisions bargain bin. The whole culinary experience would leave any diner with the feeling that while it is a good idea to keep our 12 year olds off the streets, sticking them in a kitchen with a blindfold nailed to their face is probably not the best solution.

Once out of gourmet zero, you step straight into the larger pub area, although since the over loud music and hum of yobs sweeps into the restaurant most of the time, you should be prepared for what greets you a cut price weatherspoons with cluttered cheap light wooden furniture and a general skanky feeling which, to be fair, probably has more to do with the sheer number of stamping customers than the staffs attempts to keep the place clean (it would take an army of multi limbed robots to keep everything rosy all the time). The clientele is made up mostly of the yob and chav fraternity thanks to the cheap lagered taps that are in reality a set of frothing agro guns powering a whole wave of annoyance, angst and the occasional punch up. Pleasant it is not.

And then, we have the toilets. I dont usually dwell on this aspect in my reviews as, well, it is a room full or urinals and bogs surely not that difficult to get right? Well, I was wrong. Everything everything is hanging off the walls or covered in piss, but the real lasting impression comes from the strange gut wrenching smell that makes you wonder just how many dead monkeys are stuffed behind the radiators. Seriously, this is the only pub toilets to date that I`ve walked into and thought Id contracted typhoid just from touching the door handle.

The only mildly nice thing I can say about this whole dive is that as liggi comments, the separate downstairs bar area is cut above the rubbish above, with a cleaner and less cluttered feeling. But this is the thinnest of thin silver linings as its nothing special (being a cheap mimic of a standard bar) and naturally hovers up some arsewits from upstairs.

In end, just as the offspring of Notre Damn and Amstrad would need to be put down, so does this grotesque excuse for a pub. 0/10

anonymous - 18 Aug 2006 16:38
Ligi you clown, take note of my comments from a year ago + ensure that turd isn't oozing out of every Shakespeare orifice.

Also the black goooo still haunts me.

"A half decent Bloody Mary was spoiled by the general lack of hygiene in this pub.

The toilets were in an absolute state with faeces everywhere.

After collecting a small win from the Quiz machine I found the payout slot where my coins dropped to be filled with some kind of black goo.

renewablebumpy - 18 Aug 2006 11:07
Take it you work there or are the Manger then Ligi ??

This places is a dump - end of story !!!
WhoFlungDung - 17 Jun 2006 14:13
Excellent nights to be had down stairs in the Saphire Lounge! It's a great after work pub, reasonably priced drinks seconds away from the station, what more do you need after work?
ligi - 15 Jun 2006 17:09
You're not exactly spoilt for choice with decent pubs around here but you can still find better than this place. I was forced to go in there for the first time in a while the other day to meet someone and it hasn't improved. The only way to make this place seem good would be to have a pint in the Wetherspoon's in the station first.
C.B - 11 May 2006 15:52
Truely awful place - no soul or feel to the place whatsoever. The staff and manager obviously haven't heard of the term CUSTOMER SERVICE or ever have a clue on how to clean a toilet.

Avoid unless you really want to see what hell is like.
CLFINAL2005 - 3 May 2006 09:46
Mixed crowd in here...drinks not badly priced. Was very packed. Mind you was Friday... and pay day.
bubbles83 - 1 Apr 2006 11:42
It would take an absolute genius to think of a way to make this pub worse.
Kinky_the_cat - 6 Feb 2006 20:17
Look up the words - 'Absolute Shite' in a dictionary - and you'll find this place.

Been done up a few times in the past 5 years - but they need to change their staff, clean their loo's (the worst I've ever seen in London)and actually focus on their customers.

Avoid this place like the plague would be my only advice.
FattusBlokus - 5 Feb 2006 11:16
Unusual pub. The upstairs is as you would expect being so close to a national rail station - the clientele are a mixture of lost souls, Wookies, office-types and bums, has the feeling of a tramps refuge, but the little-known about downstairs has is actually quite good, with little candle-lit caves and quite a piano-bar feel. Strange but true! On balance though, if you're in Victoria you can do a lot better.
mikez - 13 Dec 2005 16:22
Worst pub in London - Bar none.
anonymous - 6 Nov 2005 18:35
A huge place to drink. Loud - odd mix of people (not surprising being so close to Victoria station). Staff completely uninterested in their jobs. Did not enjoy the experience at all. Surprisingly my Greene King IPA was well done.
jorrocks - 26 Oct 2005 02:03
If you ever go into this bar then I seriously suggest that you get decontaminated after leaving. The only reason why this pub is always full is because of its proximity to Victoria station. It is a shite hole. The toilets stink, the food is revolting & the staff have got to be among the most unpleasent anywhere. Dont go in there. If your dying of thirst, hold on a little longer and meander in the direction of the coach station. Far more decent pubs thataway.
Mr.Raffles - 2 Sep 2005 13:12
if there were a national trust committee for london sh1tholes, not only would this place be grade I listed, it'd be a must see on any tour of the capital.
tanderson7 - 31 Aug 2005 16:36
A half decent Bloody Mary was spoiled by the general lack of hygiene in this pub.

The toilets were in an absolute state with faeces everywhere.

After collecting a small win from the Quiz machine I found the payout slot where my coins dropped to be filled with some kind of black goo.

renewablebumpy - 5 Aug 2005 15:04
Really massive, really poor pub. Good as a meeting place for those unfamiliar with Victoria but nowt else. Met up with some mates in here near Christmas and it took the girl about 10 minutes to sort three pints of Guinness. She was scraping the foam off with a straw and all sorts! Woeful!
Nicklaus - 1 Aug 2005 17:39
Staff upstairs need a slap. Downstairs is recently re-vamped and nice though. There is however no natural light down there, which may or may not be a good thing if you're on the lash!

Still probably the best place near Victoria Station, although the other places make Tikrit look appealing.
steveo - 22 Apr 2005 18:38
Popped into the Shakespeare after my tour of Buckingham Place, when they let you tour it. It wasnt that bad, the food was good and so was the service, but I havent been back. From what I remember, it was good, nicked the menu as a rememberance of our visit, plus i got a pint glass too..
theslag - 15 Apr 2005 17:50
yea it's all of the below and more - grade 1 listed sh1thole.

go back 10 years and it was alright. they had 2 decent pool tables in there and a jukey with all the right moves. remember usng it as a staging post for the journey to and from stamford bridge and caning preedy at pool.

that was 10 years ago. today it's just w ank.

shakespeare - in terms of 'toria sh1tholes, you are best in breed
shw500 - 15 Apr 2005 15:59
This pub lacks atmosphere and character. Given the choice of pubs in the area, this is probably one to avoid.
lennie384 - 11 Apr 2005 12:07
Is this officially the worst pub on this website? I think it may well be the worst pub ever..
TheGP - 17 Mar 2005 16:07
In "Traditional English Pubs" you don't usually have to wait for 15 minutes to get served with warm flat lager by couldn't-care-less staff who barely seem to speak a word of English between them.

anonymous - 3 Mar 2005 15:29
I agreed to meet some friends here for a few beers before going to a party in Pacha.

I met some friends here for one drink and went to Pacha totally demoralised about drinking in the West London.

Awful service, awful beer and full of tourists being led to believe it's a traditional English pub.

Shakespeare would turn in his grave.
lancalot - 3 Mar 2005 13:42
How anyone could rate this pub as more than 1/10 I have no idea - what a complete and utter dump.
gazr23 - 3 Mar 2005 13:35
anonymous - 25 Jan 2005 14:26
Standard soulless city pub. Its location means I can understand why you might meet someone here but with so many other pubs around there is no reason to have more than the single pint.
RexJacobus - 24 Nov 2004 09:03
I have been visiting The Shakespeare for the past three months for the salsa class. Everythinme I enter the female toilets I am appalled at the state, sight, smetll of the place! There is always scraps of toilet roll on the floor, however there is no paper to be found in the holders. The toilets look llike they are never inspected - and to top it off - there is a HOLE in the middle of the floor. I can not believe that a central London pub allows itself to be presented in this way. have they no shame. Is it because they have such a prime position and are guaranteed the tourist trade that they do not make any effort?

Do the owners, brewery, council not care?
SB - 25 Oct 2004 13:07
A truly truly horrendous pub on every level.
As it is next to Victoria station, it was full of a weird mix of normal looking people nervously guarding their luggage, Football fans passing through eyeballing people, and total down and out's quietly drinking.
The decor and the SMELL - The toilets and whole downstairs reek of piss.
The service was slow and poor. The pint I had (but did not finish) was possibly the worst pint of Lager I have ever had - Clearly their hygiene does not stretch to cleaning the pipes out either.
Almost the worst pub I have ever had the misfortune to go in. Saw signs advertising to have your Xmas party here - Either they are wildly optimistic or incredibly cheap, because I would rather have my function out with the dossers in the gutter than this flea-ridden piss-smelling sewer of a pub.
TheGP - 25 Oct 2004 12:19
Totally Chav pub, but then it is next to Victoria Station. Packed full of tourists, undesirables and JOCK SHOUTING
TheGP - 14 Sep 2004 14:18
JOCK - 6 Aug 2004 12:03
Handy for Victoria station [obviously]BUT loud, very smokey and the mens toilets are probably the worst I have ever seen in a central London Pub. Leave this one well alone, plenty of better pubs within a few hundred metres
Michael - 8 Apr 2004 09:10
Upstairs is Tourist Central. Tend to avoid.

Downstairs is cool, with loads of cosy alcoves - watch your head.
df - 18 Mar 2004 17:29
Best pub in the area far away.
George - 1 Mar 2004 22:42
it was okay for a few drinks before seeing some friends off home.. it was a little loud, but better than most of the pubs in the area
andy-ru - 21 Oct 2003 20:29
It's one of the only London pubs this California boy remembers by name after nine years.
paul andersen - 24 May 2003 01:21
busy, far too loud and generally lacking in atmosphere. service was pretty poor, but surprisingly the food was ok. Would do if you are killing an hour before the train, but not good for a night out.
kate - 23 May 2003 13:41
I really liked this pub. Extremely busy on fridays, the service was friendly and eficient considering how busy it was.
Joel - 9 Apr 2003 22:44
Completely agree with The Drs comments about the service. There are enough of them behind the bar but they seem to be having a competition to see who can serve the fewest customers.
Stevo - 4 Apr 2003 15:07
Not bad considering that it's usually full of tourists. Service can be slow, but the beer's okay and the food good if pricey.
Steve - 7 Mar 2003 13:10
I found this place far too clinical. It doesn't have any atmosphere. It's full of people who are just waiting for a train. All in all too transitory for my liking.
Alistair - 28 Nov 2002 15:04
Goood pub considering how close it is to Victoria! Downstairs booths are best.
Steve - 22 Nov 2002 17:16
needs a new photo, it got closed for refurbishment and is a different colour now it's re-opened.
Darren - 6 Aug 2002 12:27

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