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Princess Louise

Alys Tomlinson / Time Out
Alys Tomlinson / Time Out
Rob Greig / Time Out
Alys Tomlinson / Time Out
Alys Tomlinson / Time Out
Rob Greig / Time Out

With half-a-dozen ornately carved, sumptuously tiled bar areas under one high, stucco ceiling, the Princess Louise is a classic example of the kind of Victorian public house in which drinking was segregated according to social status.

Today, it’s an across-the-board Sam Smith’s pub, with the mediocre beer priced to fly (a pint of Old Brewery bitter goes for a shade over two quid, almost comical by the standards of the area). The full Smith’s range is available by the bottle in the fridges behind the horseshoe island bar; Organic Lager is probably your best bet.

Sandwiches and pub grub satisfy hungrier diners, who are also accommodated in the upstairs bar (mealtimes only). London buses roll past the frosted glass windows as American tourists tentatively sample the strange dark ales at room temperature; across the bar, regulars pass carefully calculated coinage over the counter without looking up from the racing form.


Venue name: Princess Louise
Address: 208-209 High Holborn
Opening hours: Open 11.30am-11pm Mon-Fri; noon-11pm Sat; noon-10.30pm Sun. Food served noon-2.30pm, 6-8.30pm Mon-Thur; noon-2.30pm Fri
Transport: Tube: Holborn tube

Average User Rating

3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:3
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:3
1 person listening
james t

Paid a visit on monday with an old colleague of mine for a catch up and was petrified. the staff are not happy and it is obvious as i was shouted at and death-stared on two occasions! they've got to make profit so expect a pint full of head! any aspiring bar managers should pay a visit to see an example of how not to be run. Beautiful interior and bar was spotless but i won't be back, for sure.


Never experiences customer service like this in my life! So called standing manager was beyond rude and so aggressive, didn't how to talk and was throwing a massive tantrum. They have dodgy, made up house rules - just an excuse to show authority and shout at people.


I think this pub is excellent great beer and food... see u on the 10th of nov


I have honestly never been to a ruder place in my life!! After spending several hours and several hundred pounds) in the bar, we got screamed at by what appeared to be the landlady for singing happy birthday!! Speechless!!!


Lovely bar, shame about the rude and ignorant staff. Ordered a shandy and was given lemonade with a shot of beer rather than the 50/50 I requested. When I mentioned this, I nearly had my drink thrown at me by the bar maid, who then ignored me then when I got her attention by speaking to another (equally rude) member of staff she said that she didn't care as it was her last shift. I wouldn't go again.


A great pub. Beer is fine, prices are excellent. A word of caution: my bag was stolen from under my feet from this pub three weeks ago. Whoever it was clearly knew what they were doing. Watch your stuff like a hawk!


Really unfair to describe Sam Smiths Ale as 'mediocre' their bitter and their best are both superb cask conditioned ales. Sure if you're a larger drinker there isn't going to be your usual selection of homogenised high strength 'imported' (read brewed under licence in the UK) beer ... but then that really is no bad thing. A great pub, with great beer at a sensible price. And no annoying background music either. Could a pub get any better? Oh - i forgot to mention the open fires in the winter... so yes it could. Really one of the finest boozers in London.