Princess Louise

  • Bars and pubs
24 Love It
Alys Tomlinson / Time Out
Alys Tomlinson / Time Out
Rob Greig / Time Out
Alys Tomlinson / Time Out
Alys Tomlinson / Time Out
Rob Greig / Time Out

Let's be real: it's a Sam Smiths pub, which formerly signified excellent value but now indicates only middling value, along with bearable beverages. But let's talk instead of old Louise's ground-floor saloon, which is truly, incredibly, spectacularly ornate: a warren of Victorian frosted-glass booths, each with direct access to the bar; mirrors; buffed wood panelling; a fire; and all the other decorative touches you'd ever care to appreciate.

Trying to rendezvous with a drinking companion amid the nooks and crannies can prove a bit of a challenge, although it does mean you'll inevitably have the chance to explore properly. (There's a simpler, larger room upstairs, but where's the fun in drinking there?) A preponderance of stools and bright lighting give the Princess a post-work rather than pre-night-out vibe, but much like breakfast, there's no reason not to make your first pint of the day the most important one. 

Venue name: Princess Louise
Address: 208-209 High Holborn
Opening hours: 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
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Average User Rating

3.3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:5
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:2
  • 1 star:3
1 person listening
Poppy L

This is a brilliant central London pub! I'm a fan of Sam Smith pubs and this wasn't a disappointment. The staff were cheerful and the drinks were incredibly reasonable (as is the case with all Sam Smith pubs)! I'll definitely be back again. The toilets were a 6/10!

Adrian H

This is a beautiful and ornate pub with very little else going for it. The male toilets are seemingly original, straight out of Victorian London. The pub is separated into a warren of booths, which can hold 10+ people in each, relatively comfortably. All of this is worth a visit but the other offerings less so. The downsides are the increasingly poor Sam Smith's lagers, beers, and ales, over-stretched staff leading to long waits at the bar, over-crowded booths leading to feelings of claustrophobia, and tatty/worn furniture that is no longer very comfortable to sit on.

Overall I don't think the generous Sam Smith's prices and wonderful interior of this pub outweigh the negatives so I would advice people to look for alternative venues in the area, of which there are plenty.

Dan B

Great little after work pub! Perfect place to let the rush hour fly by.

Laura G

This gem of a pub close to Holborn is a must go to place in London. With a very British atmosphere, detailed decor, and a series of mini, almost private bars on the ground floor, this place has another plus: prices. With a pint costing less than 4 pounds, and drink choices made from their own distilled booze, this will wow any visitor that you might want to entertain in the city. It is top 5 of my pub choices!

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.