Princess Louise

10 Ratings

Type: Bar, Eatery

208 High Holborn
London, England, WC1V 7EP
United Kingdom

+44 20 7405 8816 | map

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Added by texashammer on 02-14-2006

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 10 |  Reviews: 7
Reviews by rarevos:
Photo of rarevos
3.93/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Visited on 2/22/07. The quintessential Victorian pub. Huge horseshoe bar in the center downstairs, surrounded by mirrors and ornate carvings in the walls and ceilings. Didn't look upstairs, so I don't know what the layout is.

This is a Sam Smith's pub, and there aren't terribly many beers on draft. The Stout, Sovereign Bitter, Alpine Lager, Organic Lager, Cider...and that was pretty much it. The rest of the Sam Smith's line was available in bottles, as apparently the Taddy Porter is never kegged? That was news to me. Didn't recognize the bottles of spirits, but didn't really stare at them that much either.

Service is the same in all London pubs: there isn't any. You order at the bar, including food. No one checks on you. I'm not docking points for this, obviously. It's culturally consistent.

Price was OK: half pint for 1 pound 75 pence, full pint for 2 pounds 50.

It's on a very busy street, and tends to get crowded. Lots of seats at the edges, but no barstools or seats at the bar. Kind of a waste of such great space.

By far, visit this place for the atmosphere. The beer was the exact same beer you can get at dozens of other Sam Smith's pubs. But the decor is great: there really isn't anything like it on this side of the pond. Definitely worth hitting for a mid-day pint or two.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of tobelerone
3.84/5  rDev -1.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75

Photo of Georgiabeer
3.94/5  rDev +0.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4

A very busy Sam Smith's pub with beautifully restored Victorian architecture below with lots snugs and nooks, and beautiful glass work. The same basic beer and food menu as at most Sam Smith houses, here with good quality. The upstairs serves dinner and is less spectacular, but the food was a cut above other executions of thee same menu we had. A busy place, but worth checking out.

 384 characters

Photo of Themsen
4.86/5  rDev +24.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75

Photo of 322wingedfoot
4.75/5  rDev +21.5%

Photo of spointon
3.99/5  rDev +2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75

My wife and I visited the Princess Louise during the evening while on a recent trip to London.

The interior is really something special, with a lot of Victorian era character - i.e. woodwork, glass, mirrors, and various "snug" spaces created by partitions. I get that many don't like this look/feel but it is authentic and charming in many ways. If you are worried about this, visit this pub at a less busy time and you will find it quite charming.

Having said that, we visited on a busy evening and we were able to get right in and luckily, find a 4 person table with only 2 people at it. These folks immediately agreed to share their table, a common thing in a society living in tiny spaces :-)

The beers were delicious and well presented and cheap! I had a few different options, but the standout was the Extra Stout. Really delicious.

The bar staff was friendly and fast.

I highly recommend a visit to this place as it is beautiful and the beers are good.

 965 characters

Photo of alfrantzell
2.14/5  rDev -45.3%
vibe: 2 | quality: 2 | service: 3 | selection: 1.5

I should not have expected much since most of the reviews raved primarily about the interior, but I like Sam Smith beer. I did not like this place.

Unnecessarily convoluted barchitecture that involved every five feet of space being partitioned with decorative doors, ornate walls, and fancy windows. I just wanted access to the bar and the toilet. I suppose in the Victorian era this was considered an impropriety.

The bar itself had but one beer on cask - the bitter. The Alpine Lager and Old Taddy Lager were on tap, along with the cider, but it was the real ale I was after. £1.99 paid for a pint. Pretty cheap, as the bartender himself said.

Bitters, as I understand it, leave themselves open to interpretation. But apple juice? In smell, taste, and mouthfeel, juiced apples were exactly what the beer reminded me of. The only area in which it fell short was drinkability.

As I drained the glass, the beer left behind what resembled a Rorschach blot in the lacing. It looked like a wasted opportunity.

 1,010 characters

Photo of PartyBear
3.89/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4

Went in on a Saturday night, so it was quite busy. The decor was fantastic! Samuel Smith's has a habit of taking over pubs and keeping all the original feature in place, and this is a perfect example of this. Classic Victorian pub, with mirrors, decorative carving, and lots of little cubbyholes. Well worth a visit just for this.

The beer is as you would expect from a Sam Smith's pubs, the full range of bottles, as well as the normal, bitter, pure brewed lager et al on tap. People do tend to criticise the the choice but the Sam Smith's range is a damn sight better than what you will get in 99% of London pubs.

Service was crap but this is par for the course in London on a Saturday night. Ordered a Oatmeal Stout and got a Wheat beer!

If you are in the area, this is a pub where you are guaranteed to get superb beer.

 829 characters

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.86/5  rDev -1.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

If you are into mirrors, this is the place for you, if you like mirrors and cut glass, it is even better for you, if you like mirrors, cut glass and cheap beer, move in!

What a wonderful pub this is, ornate, Victorian and intact, brilliant.

The centre bar is also a wonder in its self, the wood carvings are just lovely.

Sam Smiths beers, only OBB is cask mind, the rest bottled or keg. Like all Sams pubs, they only sell their own spirits, so no Bacardi or Gordens Gin in here, but I believe their own brands are fine.

Re-visited in Aug 2008. The ground floor has been revamped, the bar and mirrors are still there, but small snug boards have been erected to brake the room into little bite size chunks. Not sure I like them. The great old toilets (downstairs) haven't been altered thank goodness and the upstairs is now a posh lounge type design, mostly for food or a quiet pint.

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Photo of texashammer
3.86/5  rDev -1.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3

this bar is in a nice, old building. the interior is Victorian almost to the point of caricature, with cut glass and an ornate carved and painted ceiling. we found a nice fire going on a cold winter day, and some very comfortable but limited seating. this is strictly a Samuel Smith house apparently, but with two bitters on cask along with the "extra stout", which is neither the imperial nor the oatmeal I know from the states, but a third, at 4.5%. our bartender was very helpful, and hooked me up with some Sam Smith schwag for a friend back home, while risking some sort of trouble with his manager, apparently.

 616 characters

Princess Louise in London, GB2, United Kingdom
Place rating: 3.91 out of 5 with 10 ratings
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