Edís Central London Pub Directory

WC1 Bloomsbury & Holborn

London Pubs, Bars & Taverns in Zone 1 from

PUBNETWORK.COMô and the barstool of Ed Vidunas



Posted November 2004


The District of Bloomsbury and parts of Holborn and St. Pancras

Bloomsbury is so much a residential village yet it has a good blend of business that you can live your entire life here without ever having to leave.Across from the Museum Tavern is the British Museum and just north of that is London University.Charles Dickens House museum can be found on Doughty Street. I usually end an evening at the Lamb on Lambís Conduit St. The northern corner of Bloomsbury is St. Pancras where you can find some good collection of pubs. St. Pancras is the patron saint of children, having been executed by the Romans in 304 AD.


If you are looking for some afternoon reading in a pub try Literary Villages of London by Luree Miller, Starrhill Press, Washington D.C.


The Pubs

††††††††††† The coordinates [123 A1] locates the area in the Geographer's AZ London Street Atlas, the small book.That is page 123 and grid A1.


Apple Tree

45 Mt. Pleasant WC1

Mt. Pleasant Street is south of the Mt. Pleasant Postal Sorting Office.

Phone: 020 7837-2365


Bear & Staff Soho due to the side of the road [140 B9]

37 Charing Cross Rd (West Side) WC1 at Bear St

Leicester Square Station


Boot (Charington) Bloomsbury/St. Pancras [140 C2]

Speedy Pl. WC1 off Cromer St


Bull and Mouth (T J Bernard since 1998) ()

(Formerly the Falkland Arms under Scottish-Courage)

Bloomsbury [140 C6]

31 Bloomsbury Way WC1 at Bury Place

Phone 020 7405-2342

Holborn Station


Bung Hole Holborn (Davyís Wine Bar)

57 High Holborn WC1V 6DX, entrance in Hand Court

Phone & Fax 020 7831 8365

Holborn Station

The bar is open Monday to Friday from 1100 to 1500, then 1700 onwards. The Wine Rooms are open for coffee from 0830 to 1100.


Calthorpe Arms (Youngís) Bloomsbury [140 F3]

252 Grayís Inn Road WC1 at Wren

Calthorpe Street is the next street south of the pub

Phone 020 7278-4732

Russell Square Station


Carpenters Arms

105 Kings Cross Rd WC1

Phone: 020 7278-2120


Citie of Yorke (Samuel Smith) Bloomsbury/Holborn [140 141]

22 High Holborn St WC1 between Gray's Inn Rd and Chancery Lane

Phone 020 7242-7670

Holborn Station

Old Brewery Bitter is served from an oak cast which adds to the ambiance to the pub. A triangular fireplace is in middle of floor and has no chimney. Can you guess how it works?This place looks medieval with its high wood ceiling. As in all Samuel Smith pubs you will feel comfortable with some of Englandís finest ales. This is a must see London pub. Closed Sunday.


College Arms [140 A6]

This was the University Tavern prior to Jan 2003

18 Store St WC1 between Tottenham Court Rd & Gower Street

Phone: 020 7436-4697

Goodge Station


Crown (Samuel Smith) Bloomsbury [140]

51 New Oxford St WC1

Tottenham Court Road Station

It may have closed as of 1995.I walk past it all the time and I can't tell if it is open or closed.Somebody help me on this. Someday I am going to try the door.


Dicken's Inn Bloomsbury (status unknown as of summer 2003) [140 F4]

16 Northington St WC1

Chancery Lane Station

The Charles Dickens museum is just up Doughty St. This pub is closed to make way for a new development, or so I thought. As of the summer 2003 it became Johnsonís of Bloomsbury then Callaghans.


Dolphin St Pancras [140 C2]

Hastings WC1 at 47 Tonbridge

Sr. Pancras Station


Dolphin Tavern Bloomsbury Holborn[140 E6]

44 Red Lion St WC1 off Theobaldís Rd

Holborn Station


Duke's Head Bloomsbury, now called Solutions [140 B6]

Great Russell St WC1 at Bloomsbury St

Holborn Station

This hotel pub was undergoing a refurbishment in January 2000 and has re-opened as Solutions. I am sorry to say that it may no longer be a pub. Now what did that solve? What was the problem with the Dukeís Head that a solution had to be found?


Duke of York (Inn Business) Clerkenwell [140 4]

7 Roger St WC1 at John's Mews

Roger Street comes off Gray's Inn Road

Chancery Lane Station

††††††††††† Very much a local. It seems they have been influenced by Any Warhol as some of his posters are hanging and the piano is painted bright red.


Easton (formerly Queens Head) [141 G3]

22 Easton St WC1X 0DS

Runs parallel to Farrington (east side) at Rosebery

Australian country-style food

Farrington Station


Enterprise Holborn[140 F6]

38 Red Lion St WC1 off Enterprise

Phone 020 7242-8040

Holborn Station


Falkland Arms (Since 1982 but now the Bull & Mouth) (Scottish-Courage)

Bloomsbury [140 C6]

31 Bloomsbury Way WC1 at Bury Place

Phone 020 7405-2342

Holborn Station


Finnegans Wake (Scottish-Courage) (Formerly the Sun Inn) Bloomsbury [140 E4]

Called the Perseverance since

63 Lambís Conduit St WC1 at Great Ormond St

Phone 020 7405-8278

Russell Square Station

This was The Sun until 1995 when S&C striped it of its ales and honor. My visit in January 1996 was disappointing. Once known for the best selection of real ales it now has few and the decor is no longer in the classic English style. In the Mid 90's a trend was started to convert find English pubs into fake Irish bars. Many of the taps were removed and the only draft beers were Guinness and Murphy's. The chalkboard was covered over with fake newsprint and the lovely wood was painted over. This was done to cater to the younger crowd.Maybe when the lads grow up the pub will be given back its splendor.


Friend at Hand (Scottish-Courage, formerly Chef & Brewer) Bloomsbury [140 C4]

4 Herbrand St WC1 at Colonade (between Guildford & Bernard)

Phone 020 7837-5524

Russell Square Station

This is a well-worn, everyday pub, which means that it is quite active day and night. It can get lively at night since there are many hotels near but the crowd is well behaved.


Golden Lion St Pancras [140 E1]

2 Britanna St WC1 south of Pentonville Rd between Grayís Inn Rd and Kingís Cross Rd.

Phone: 020 7837-3113

Kings Cross-St.Pancras Stations


Goose & Granite (Just So Pub Co. Bass) (Formerly the Marque of Cornwall)

Bloomsbury [140 C3]

31 Marchmont St WC1 at Corham St

Phone 020 7837-6072, Fax 020 7278-2783

Russell Square Station

This pub reopened in Dec. 1996.They have a good selection of ales on tap.With respect to pub history in London this one is still considered brand new as it opened in December of 1966.It has a touch of art deco and neo-classic looks.It also has a young and vibrant crowd that is always well behaved.There are several good and interesting pubs on and off Marchmont Street and this should one of your first stops.


Hansler Arms

133 Kingís Cross Rd WC1

Changed to Finnegans but now closed as of summer 2003.


Harrison Arms St Pancras [140 D2]

Harrison St. Surpass House off Grayís Inn Rd

Phone: 020 7916-3113

Kings Cross-St Pancras Stations


Ivy House Holborn [140 E6]

8 Southampton Row WC1 at Fisher

Holborn Station


Jeremy Bentham (Scottish-Courage, formerly Chef & Brewer) Bloomsbury [139 M4]

31 University St WC1

Phone 020 7387-3033

Warren Street or Euston Station


Kings Arms Bloomsbury [140 F4]

11 Northington St WC1

Chancery Lane Station

††††††††††† I respect the pubs that members of CARMA, North London Branch patronize But, I was amused when I read that they celebrated their 30th anniversary in this pub on 27 July 2004. This says a lot about the pub but what about the North London pubs?


Lamb (Young's) Bloomsbury [140 E4]

94 Lambís Conduit St WC1 at Guilford St

Phone 020 7405-01713

Russell Square Station

The old snob screens are still in place but you won't find old snobs in the Lamb.I could say more but see this Victorian Pub for your self.Named after Mr. Lamb, who built a drain under the street in 1577; thus Lambís Conduit.The Lamb has a sunken drinking area that leads to an outside courtyard.You can even buy Lamb flavored potato chips here.This pub is listed in everyone's pub guide but what they never say is how nice and quite it is here even at peak drinking time. On Sunday they closed mid-day.


London Pub (Bloomsbury-Russell Sq)

Royal National Hotel, Southampton Row

Russell Square Station

††††††††††† North London Branch of CAMRA has this pub on Bedford Way. That is the address of the Royal National but the pub is on Southampton Row. To be fair, that may have been the old location, which is the always closed Captainís Table.


Lord John Russell Bloomsbury

19 Marchmont St WC1 near Leigh St

Russell Square Station

It seems that the typical crowd of drinker is of college age.The appearance of the place looks run down but it is clean.This is really a fun pub.

I have been staying in Bloomsbury since the early 90ís and have always enjoyed this pub. It is a basic pub for college lads as well as the locals. It is a nice place and kept clean. It only has a few ales but usually some very good ones and not usually the same run-of-the-mill beers every other London pub carries. It also has Czech Budvar on tap, and that alone is worth going for.


Lucas Arms (Free House) [140 C2]

245 Grayís Inn Rd at Cromer St WC1

Phone: 020 7837-4340

King's Cross-St. Pancras Station

††††††††††† This looks like a lovely pub. As I walked by I took a snapshot but did not take many notes.Look for me to be back.


Mabelís (Shepard Neame) Bloomsbury/St. Pancras [140 B2]

9 Mabledon Place WC1 at Flaxman

Phone 020 7387-7739

King's Cross Station

Mabelís is a nice little place with a good selection of ales.Not being too close to any landmarks makes this a local for the residents of St. Pancras, but you will not feel out of place.

Became a Shepard Neame pub in 2002; prior to that it may have been a free house. It has the old owner as the new landlord and the place looks just like the original pub.


Marlborough Arms Bloomsbury [140 A5]

36 Torrington Place WC1 at Huntley St

Phone 020 7636-0120

Goodge Street Station


McGlynnís (March 2001 Entry) St. Pancras [140 D1]

1 Whidborne Street WC1 at Argyle Walk

Phone: 020 7916-9816

Kings Cross-St Pancras Stations

††††††††††† A very nice local that is out of the way of the main stream.


Monk Clerkenwell [140 F4] Closed

Grayís Inn Rd WC1 off Theobald's Rd

Farringdon Station

This was a link in the chain of Monk pubs.


Moon (no longer a pub) Bloomsbury [140 E5]

18 New North Street WC1 off Theobalds Rd

This may be New North [140 E5]

Russell Square or Chancery Lane Stations

It is under a new name, just like its sister pub the Sun, which is now Finnigan's Wake, or some other name as it changes often. It was always my understanding that the two pubs had a single owner. I donít know if that was one landlord or if they both belonged to Scottish-Courage.


Mortimer Arms Fritzovia[139 M4]

Totttenham Court Rd WC1 at Capper St

Goodge St or Euston Square Stations


Museum Tavern (Scottish-Courage, formerly Clifton Innsí, formerly Chef & Brewer)

Bloomsbury [140 C6]

49 Great Russell St WC1 at Museum St

Phone 020 7242-8987

Tottenham Court or Holborn Station

A good selection of ales on tap and they vary often so you never know whatís on until you get there.It's across the street from the British Museum.You canít say you couldnít fine it.I spent more time here than in the museum.Every other pub guide will tell you that Karl Marx drank there but only this one will tell you that I did too.

Most pubs have a resident dog.The Museum has a cat named Crush.(Jan. 1997 trip)They try to keep him out of the bar area but they often fail.On occasion he will escape to the outside world but this does not worry the bartenders.Crush will visit the nearby shops where he is well liked and well fed to be sure.After his crawl he always comes home. Donít we all?


New Merlin's Cave (Closed) Clerkenwell

34 Margery St WC1 near Amwell St

Phone 020 7837-2097

King's Cross Station

The pub was torn down for a new building per my January 99 trip.


Norfolk Arms

28 Leigh St WC1

Russell Square Station


Oarsman Holborn[140 D7]

2 New Oxford St WC1 at Burry Place

Phone 020 7404-5009

Holborn Station


Old Crown St. Giles

33 New Oxford St WC1 near Shaftesbury Ave

Phone: 020 7836-9121, Web www.old-crown.co.uk

††††††††††† The web-site visit in November 2004 gave a desire to visit the pub. They have a good drinks and food menu but, hey guys, where is the beer menu? Nice up-scale place.


Old Red Lion (Green King) Holborn[140 F6]

72 High Holborn St WC1 at Red Lion St

Phone 020 7405-1748

Holborn or Chancery Lane Stations

††††††††††† I enjoy an evening pint in this small and cozy pub.It is not very large but even with a good crowd it remains civilized.Look for the name GREEN KING in green at the top of the building.


Overdraughts (Green King) Covent Garden [140 E6]

6 Dane Street WC1 off Procter

Holborn Station


Pakenham Arms(Young's) Bloomsbury [140]

252 Grayís Inn Rd WC1

Phone 020 7278-4732

Russell Square Station


Penderelís Oak (J. D. Wetherspoon)

283 High Holborn WC1 (east of the Red Lion) opposite Hand Court

Phone: 020 7242-5669


Percy Arms Finsbury/St. Pancras [140 F1]

26 Great Percy St WC1, near Percy Circle

Phone: 020 7837-1399

Kingís Cross Station†††††††††††


Plough (Taylor-Walker) Bloomsbury [140 C6]

27 Museum St WC1 at Little Russell St

Phone 020 7636-7964

Holborn Station


Porcupine Covent Garden [140]

Great Newport St WC1


Princess Louise (Samuel Smith) Holborn [140 D6]

208 High Holborn St WC1 across from Southampton Place

Phone 020 7405-8816

Holborn Station

††††††††††† Interior or exterior features architecturally impressive.

This is a big place with a comfortable look to it.The decor is truly "English Pub" with its ornate plaster ceiling and papered walls.The food bar looks inviting also.The urinals in the menís room are large enough to shower in.In fact you stand on grating.Many men talk more about them than the beer.

The Princess Louise was the Evening Standard pub of the year in 1986, which is prominently displayed outside.Then they were owned b Regent Inns, which did many cask ales and had a wide range of beers.Sam Smith took over in 1997.

It became a Samuel Smith in October 1997.What's Brewing. July 1997, page 26.


Queen Charlottes Bloomsbury [140 D5] Oueenís Lauder

1 Queen Square

Cosmo Place WC1 at Old Gloucester St, near the Swan

Phone: 020 7837-5627

Russell Square Station

††††††††††† Cosmos Place can be entered from the East Side of Southampton Row.


Queenís Head


Rugby Tavern (Shepards Neam) Bloomsbury[140 E4]

This was a Fuller's pub but changed to SN per my January 1998 trip.

19 Great James St WC1 at Millman and Rugby St

Phone 020 7405-1384

Holborn Station

This is one of the few pubs open in this part of Bloomsbury on a Sunday night.I usually walk here from the Russell Square Station, as it is not far.


Skinners ArmsSt Pancras [140 C2]

114 Judd St WC1 at Hastings

Phone: 020 7837-6521

Kings Cross-St Pancras Stations


Square Pig Holborn [140 E6]

30 Proctor WC1 just north of Holborn

Holborn Station

††††††††††† Looks to be a new pub and just built for 2002.


Sun Inn (Renamed Finniginís Wake in 1995) [140 E4]

63 Lambís Conduit St WC1 at Great Ormond St

Bloomsbury WC1

††††††††††† Finnigin's Wake is listed above but I feel something needs to be said hear. Many people around the world know the Sun as one of the premier pubs of London. It built a reputation by serving good food, great beer and having atmosphere. Today it lacks all of this. It is a cheap looking Irish theme pub with few beers.The cask ales are gone and so am I. When I drink on Lamb's Conduit Street I bounce between the Sun and the Lamb just up the street. I bounce no more.


Swan (T J Bernard, formerly Chef & Brewer) Bloomsbury [140 D5]

7 Cosmo Place WC1 near Queen Charlottes

Phone 020 7837-6223

Cosmo Place is a narrow alley coming off of Southampton Row and not well marked. The pub is tucked back from the face of the other buildings. It's a beauty of a pub.


Three Cups (Badger-Hall & Woodhouse) Holborn [140 F6]

21 Sandland St WC1 at Three Cups Yard

Parallel to and just north of High Holborn

Phone 020 7831-4302

Holborn-Chancerly Lane Stations

This former Youngís pub has undergone refurbishment since my August 2003 visit and is now a Badger pub. Youngís beers are wide-spread in London and are greatly enjoyed but the beers from Badger should be hunted down. They are very enjoyable and as well as the pubs.


Union Tavern Finsbury [141 G2]

King's Cross Road WC1 at Lloyd Baker St

King's Cross Station

††††††††††† They have more wine than beer as they have a rather up-scale restaurant.


University Tavern [140 A6] this is now the College Arms per Jan 2003

18 Store St WC1 between Tottenham Court Rd & Gower Street

Phone: 020 7436-4697

Goodge Station


Water Rats

King Cross/St. Pancras [140]

328 Grays Inn Rd WC1

Phone 020 7837-7269

King's Cross Station


Wilmington Arms (Green King) Finsbury

Rosebery Ave WC1 at Yardley St

Farringdon Station


Yorkshire Grey (Scottish-Courage Brew Pub, formerly Clifton Innsí)

Reports after my summer 2003 visit say they are boarded up.

Bloomsbury/Clerkenwell [140 F5]

2 Theobaldís Road WC1 at Grayís Inn Road

Phone 020 7405-2519

Chancery Lane Station

Real Ales were brewed on the premises and had poly-pins for draft take away. A short walk from the Lamb, this pub should have been on everyoneís pub craw.

This was one of London's early brewpubs and is more in tune with what a brewpub should be.Unlike the new high tech drinking places, this is a regular style pub. They just happen to brew their own ale in the basement. One of the delights in drinking here is that you will find ales that don't blend in with the more common ales that all the other pubs carry. The area surrounding the pub is more business than tourist trade so you will find Real Londoners downing a pint of Real Ale.

Not to be confused with the Yorkshire Grey 46 Langham St W1