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Leicester Square

Where once fine and varied sausages were the main selling points of this well-hidden pub near Charing Cross post office, now it’s sought-after ales. The board outside details the current selection, while around a bar counter that's eminently suited to being propped up, obscure beer mats tell of ales from yesteryear.

It’s not only ales – ten at any one time, but Sambrook's Wandle and Harveys Sussex Best are regulars – but traditional cider and perry too. Sausages still sizzle away on the hob beside the bar, where cheery regulars chat with the staff or study the racing form. Decor is provided by portraits of long-forgotten personalities lining the  walls of the narrow main bar, and signature harps glazing in the front windows, which open out completely as summer comes. There's also a quieter upstairs room.

Venue name: Harp
Address: 47 Chandos Place
Opening hours: Open 11am-11pm Mon; 11am-11.30pm Tue-Sat; noon-10.30pm Sun
Transport: Charing Cross tube/rail

Average User Rating

5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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1 person listening

Definitely one of the best pubs in London. Huge selection of beers and uber-friendly staff (the guy even started giving me advice about University!), lovely crowd cheering on the lower floor and a more silent, relaxing atmosphere upstairs, where only few tables are available. Oh, and don't miss the details that make the Harp fascinating: paintings on every inch of the walls, coaster glued as decorations on the counter, dark wood, beautiful coloured windows and gorgeous flowers that welcome you when you open the door. Me and my partner stumbled in this magic place by chance, after seeking with no luck for a day seat at one of the nearby theatres, and were easily relieved of our pains by two pints of good ol' Guinness. Worth a visit, then two, then who knows, it may become one of your favourite spots in Central London.

Finton Stack

Absolutely fantastic pub, definitely my favourite in Central London and probably second only to the Southampton Arms in Gospel Oak as my favourite in the entire city. Fantastic atmosphere, wide range of real ales (including regulars from Dark Star), one of the best cider ranges in London, and very reasonably priced as far as Covent Garden ever goes (£3.45-£3.65 per pint). The only downside is that it can get extremely busy from five to seven, but that's a badge of its quality.