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George IV, Holborn - pub details

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Address: 28, Portugal St, London, WC2A 2HF [map] [gmap]

Tel: 0871 951 1000 (ref 5923) - calls cost 10p per minute plus network extras

Nearest tube stations Holborn (0.2 miles), Temple (0.3 miles), Covent Garden (0.4 miles)

Nearest train stations London Charing Cross (0.6 miles), City Thameslink (0.6 miles), Blackfriars (0.7 miles)

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> Current user rating: 6.0/10 (rated by 22 users)
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other pubs nearby:

Ye Olde White Horse, Aldwych (0.0 miles), Pitcher and Piano, Holborn (0.1 miles), Bierodrome, Kingsway (0.1 miles), Pagliacci, Holborn (0.1 miles), All Bar One, Holborn (0.2 miles) - see more nearby pubs

user reviews of George IV, Holborn

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

5 most recent reviews of 14 shown - see all reviews

While on a bit of a session in the area with my cousin a week or so ago, we ventured into this pub by chance as we were en route to a known-to-be-excellent hostelry over in Covent Garden. The building's exterior is not unusual but is well-preserved and implies that the interior should be of aesthetic and architectural worth, which happily it is, albeit with some latter-day encroachments which are arguably doing no favours to the pub's hitherto-nicely-preserved character. I am surprised I must say to hear that the place is owned and operated by the LSE, as one might surmise there is more money behind the pub than any university could make available.

Saying all that however, the actual experience of the George IV, when one factors in the drinks, service and all other elements, was ultimately unremarkable and although not unpleasant, I left with no inherent desire to make a return visit any time soon. The cask ale range was uninspiring (only 2 handpumps available if I recall correctly), albeit that the London Pride I sampled was found in reasonable condition. My cousin sadly does not share the same palate as myself and is happy to quaff low-strength, ersatz and mass-produced fizzy lager, although even he found a restrictived choice on the taps. Service was via the now-customary foreign employee and was efficient but impersonal.

We did observe a reasonable mix of clientele; although clearly accented towards a younger crowd, there were groups of friends, couples, and people alone of both sexes which suggests some broader appeal. But of course breadth of appeal does not necessarily indicate a superior pub; what it often means is that pub offers a by-numbers, predictable, undemanding but comfortable experience that is enough to capture less-discerning passing trade, but will never be a 'destination' venue for any one aspect of its operation. A 'jack of all trades and master of none' if you will.

Let's face it pugoers, there are innumerate pubs of this kind in and around the capital, and so many of them yield anything that would draw you back in, unless you were passing the pub again and just fancied a quick pint on the off-chance. It isn't doing anything appallingly wrong but equally does nothing so right that it is deserving of a glowing tribute on sites like BITE. I'd still rather pubs like this remained viable and open, and I do hope that it's in safe enough hands to ensure it does not become just another derelict premises. But for my money, it just isnt' working hard enough and will need to rely on as much local passing customas it can - perhaps that's where the students come in?!

TWG - 30 Mar 2012 13:17
Very few poeple in when I visited: only one beer on (Everards Tiger): barmaid could have been a bit more "alert" but the worse crime was being comitted by the electricians who were fitting new light pendants and chandaliers and screwing metal ceiling boxes into the wonderfully decorative ceiling thus detroying what the original architects had obviously taken time and care installing!! Absolutely disgraceful. I blame the LSE who are obviously more interested in financial matters than the history and decor of their pub!! Such a shame - I shall not return.
mcroyal - 5 Jan 2012 12:50
Owned and run by a uni, not publicans, says it all really. Cheap though.
shipper - 14 Nov 2009 01:37
I am sure this hostelry used to have a sign up saying "No Students". But that was a number of years ago and now the hotbed of radicalism that gave the world the third way owns this pub.

Interior is charming and un-spoilt. The beer is kept ok but a bit too cold. Lager range uninspiring. If you like Carslberg or Carling you would be spoilt for choice.

Nothing remarkable or memorable.
terenced - 16 Dec 2008 09:43
I was standing outside here finishing off my cigarette before entering and I noticed the open to staff, students and members of the public sign. It had me scratching my head until I walked in and spotted all of the students and the big London School of Economics sign hanging from the ceiling. This was a first for me, but everyone seemed pleasant enough, although there were a couple of strange blokes contemplating which I made a point of avoiding.

The prices are very reasonable and various lagers are available along with Landlord (which was very nice), Adnams and Bombardier.

My student days are over so Ill probably never drink here again, but I didnt really find any other fault with the pub.
Strongers - 28 Oct 2008 09:08

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