Ratings: 22 | Reviews: 16 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by TheLongBeachBum:
4.16/5 rDev -1.9%
Stop #8 on a lively Saturday pub-crawl of London was a real find, and a bigger surprise! By now RichLightWeight was working overtime to keep us (me!) on track, for I could have stopped in every single one of the last seven pubs for more than the one Pint that we had, and the The Harp was no exception either.
Now I could have happily wandered right past The Harp and I would have been penalized for my prejudice in thinking that this was just another faux Irish pub. Far from it, though the exterior hints little at the fine selection of Ales inside.
The frontage does have a classic Irish Pub appearance to it, the sign that spreads across the ~15ft width of the Pub is a painted glass one, the words The Harp are in gold and black text set against a dark green background. Carved black painted wooden fittings outline the ground floor frontage. The door sits to the right of what appears to be one large window above a wooden lower frontage - these in turn all sit below a row of small windows just below the Pub sign. All the windows are leaded ones comprised of colored glass rectangles, and the main window to the left of the door folds away to open up the frontage above the lower wooden portion. Against this lower wood paneled frontage two chalkboards advertise the Real Ales on sale. When I visited the main door was wedged open and the main window folded back to reveal a serving like hatch frontage. A pair of large antique street lights and pink and yellow flowers in five large hanging baskets complete the presentation. The overall appearance is one of great pride and personal stake holding, this is definitely not a chain pub.
The inside is not very big, a single main room has the bar area down the left hand side. Décor is traditional, dark woods and thick carpets lend a very homely and comfortable feel. Lots of pictures adorn the walls, Im not sure that there is much room left on the walls for any more.
A warm welcome awaits anyone who steps foot in here. Immediately we entered I recall the woman behind the bar catching our eye and was ready to serve us, sadly we were unsure which of the many beers to order so we paused for a while, not often that happens! Service was genuinely friendly and always with a smile.
Others mention 5 beers, but I counted Six (6) Handpumps serving; Smiles Zing Ale (4.3%), Caledonian Nectar (4.3%), Mordue Workie Ticket (4.5%), Black Sheep Best Bitter (3.8%), Timothy Taylors Landlord (4.3%) and Harveys Sussex Best Bitter (4.0%). Also had a real Cider, Malvern Magic Cider from Herefordshire. The usual keg taps make up the rest of the bar fittings. I dont recall balking at the prices so they seemed to be reasonable. Quality of the beers was excellent and the Landlord was some of the best I tried down South.
Deep in the Covent Garden area, this is a nice change of pace from the usual faceless high end bars and soulless corporate chains. This is a real pub run by real people serving a fine range of well kept real ales.
A small place that you could oh so easily not give a second glance to when walking past, but do not make that mistake, this is a superb locals bar serving high quality Real Ales that you really should not miss when in WC2!
Last Visit: Saturday 24th June, 2006.
07-05-2006 04:03:44 | More by TheLongBeachBum
More User Reviews:
4.73/5 rDev +11.6%
Small but tremendous pub just a short walk from Trafalgar Square. Street level room is long and narrow, a tight staircase leads to the uppr level and additional seating. Very well kept beer and friendly employee's. A tremendous real ale pub that should not be missed.
04-10-2014 05:40:23 | More by Mark
4.4/5 rDev +3.8%
Visited the Harp with my wife on a recent trip to London.
There are basically three spaces to this pub - main floor, upstairs, and out in the back alley. The main (street) level is a narrow and deep traditional pub room with the bar running about half the length of the room. Seating other than bar seating is clustered right in the front door and near the back. Upstairs, there is a room that feels like a Victorian era parlor, painted pink (!), with a scattered collection of seating and small tables. On the night of our visit, there were also a fair number of people standing outside in the alley drinking and smoking.
We initially sat downstairs on stools in the front window area, but we were somewhat cramped and uncomfortable. We then moved upstairs and found a couple of nice seats.
Beers were fresh and well poured and the selection was outstanding. I had some boundary pushing hoppy ales on cask that were amazing.
Prices were usual and normal for London. Service (at the bar only) was excellent and friendly.
Overall, I would recommend this place to anyone. Super pub atmosphere and super selection.
11-15-2013 19:57:44 | More by spointon
4.15/5 rDev -2.1%
This is an excellent pub, especially for its very central location. It's very near to The Chandos, and a decidedly better choice.
The atmosphere is the best part. I came here twice on my most recent trip to London, and found two other foreigners on the first visit and none of the second. Conversations here were fun to eavesdrop on. Obviously popular with London suits, as well as with retirees and a few younger working people. A cozy, comfortable dark wood interior with a large open front window that encourages sitting at the window-ledge stools or standing on the sidewalk if the weather permits. There is an upstairs room, but it looks like a pink, frilly tearoom and was deserted on both of my visits. I would guess that it seats people on crowded evenings.
I found a nice selection of cask beers, most of which I don't think I encountered in any other pubs I visited. Two originals that I wrote down were an Elderflower Blonde Ale and Boggart Ray of Sunshine. Everything was poured nicely, and prices were average.
I didn't try any of the food here, but there are daily specials and the locals seemed to order the daily special sausage plates very consistently.
The service, in my experience, was average. Barkeeps talked amongst themselves, and while I did see the owner briefly, she didn't spend any time behind the bar. No complaints, but nothing particularly positive about the staff.
Highly recommended "boozer," as TimeOut London would call it (they seem to favor bars over pubs). I spent several very pleasant hours here.
07-13-2012 12:38:43 | More by withliterature
The Harp in London, United Kingdom (England)
93 out of 100 based on 22 ratings.