Worldwide icon-chevron-right Europe icon-chevron-right United Kingdom icon-chevron-right England icon-chevron-right London icon-chevron-right Harp


Bars and pubs, Pubs Covent Garden
5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
(21user reviews)

The colourful windows on the front of this unsuspecting boozer bring to mind the stained glass of a church. Coincidence? We don't think so. Inside, the Harp is a shrine for beer buffs, spread across two narrow floors and invariably rammed with punters. This often makes the place appear smaller than it actually is, but squeeze past the crowds and you'll find there's plenty of space to sit and sip while marvelling at the impressive collage of beer badges stuck above the bar.

The range of ciders and ales on offer here is outstanding and the prices are blissfully low, both of which have helped to cement the Harp's reputation as a destination for true ale-ficienados. And it's not just us who thinks so: Camra named this place National Pub of the Year in 2011. Amen to that.

By: Alex Plim


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
Do you own this business?
Static map showing venue location

Average User Rating

4.8 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:17
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:0
2 people listening
1 of 1 found helpful

The Harp isn’t exactly a secret. Due to its cramped quarters, drinkers often spill out into the street in waves on a regular weekday evening. To say it’s popular is a bit of an understatement, but there’s a reason that a multitude of demographics congregate here: ten of the best maintained cask lines in the city are found here to appease cask fans, speedily rotating kegs of local breweries alongside macros draw in the hopheads; and a remarkably hospitable landlord is on hand to keep service ticking over, despite how many punters are lined up on the bar.

The cask selection and pint quality are unparalleled- if you’re not terribly familiar with cask ales, the quality of the beer dispensed relies on its proper storage and cleaning almost as much as it does on its recipe and brewing. The beers are keg tick over very quickly and will usually have a London brewery, such as Kernel, represented. The crowds that frequent the Harp range from young craft aficionados to suited businessmen and CAMRA types, all unified by a love of good beer.

The atmosphere is cosy and you’ll likely be pressed against a ledge or wall and always in the way of someone passing by, but there’s no shoving or temperaments here. There are some tables hidden amongst the surges of people and a small sitting area/event space upstairs. As the evening goes on, the crowds do thin out. The bar is decorated with a mural of pump clips from former sessions.

Situated just off of Trafalgar Square, this is simply the best spot for a beer around these parts of London. The Harp oozes charm and will leave you enamoured.  And if you’re looking for a reason to drink cask, it’s an absolute must.

1 of 1 found helpful
Staff Writer

Awesome find. Nice alley out back to drink in too. An overwhelming amount of beer pump covers above the bar. Huge selection of beers and ciders. Enjoyed a few pints of Cornish Orchard!


I am just in love with this pub! So authentic, so central, so full of good choices! These people know their ales, and always have a lovely huge selection to try Britain's finest. Don't know where to start? The friendly staff will give you a helping hand in guiding you through the flavours of the day, always served at the perfect temperature. This place is a true gem, and a must visit to pub lovers everywhere. 


Great pub in the heart of central London. Massive selection of beers, I love their beer mat decoration. They have a cosy interior with more space upstairs, or an alleyway just to the side which they have license for you to stand and drink in (no chairs but is a covered alley) 

Great tip: sign up to their newsletter for an instant free beer! Then come back on our birthday when they send you another free drink!

I only recently discovered Harp and was enchanted by the warm attractive interior and the friendliness of the staff and--of course--the quality of everything on offer.


It's really hard to find genuine places in Central London, right in the middle of crowds of tourist...the Harp was a wonderful surprise. Nestled between Charing Cross and Trafalgar Square, almost hiding behind its colourful entrance, this cozy place is always my first choice whenever I go central for a drink.

With its wide selection of beers, it can certainly please even the most picky ones. Inside it is usually full of people chatting and sipping their pints, it almost looks like a place from another century, or one of those pubs described in Harry Potter :) I love having my drinks at the back, outside in the little alley. When it's cold, the room upstairs is just perfect. I took a bunch of friends there and they couldn't believe how warm the pub is, it feels like being at your auntie's house. 

Best beer in London! Big choice of small independent real ales. Proper unspoilt pub with great genuine friendly staff. No gastropub nonsense. Choice of sausages or pork pie if you really need something to soak up the beer

We called in this wonderful pub twice while visiting this week. What a cracking place. Beer perfect, staff very friendly just a all round fantastic place 10/10 highly recommended


What a nice place to get all types of brew! Get you drink on and savvy ordering skill ready. This is always crowded with locals and tourists.

A real friendly 'local' place to have a drink and catch up. A very busy bar in the evenings especially Thurs/Friday/Saturday nights. Staff are friendly, efficient and no one has to wait long even though the bar space is tiny. Beers are well looked after and plenty to choose from!

The locals 'local' bar none, Sarah Bird of Fuller's has taken on Binnie's mantle and whilst change is inevitable it is evolutionary and sensitive. At heart of any pub is the attitude and commitment of the person in charge: this permeates the whole crew and team, quality of service and products. The real ales are exceptionally well kept, with Karl and Sarah keeping a close eye on he cellar. Choice, variety and change as well as experimentation remain vigorous and exciting. Whilst it's no longer a largely all-woman crew, the warmth and friendliness of the welcome remain the same. Whether you are a small party, by yourself, young, old, male or female, the Harp embraces you all - for a snack, a glass of wine, real ale or cider, or a short, and a quiet read in he corner, or to relax in the non smoking smoking lounge upstairs (now more prosaically additional seating). And full marks for the improved toilets tho' they will always be a long haul up that mountain.


A wonderful haven in a sea of tourist traps in Central London. Amazing beer selection and even better outdoor drinking spot. Great place to go before a show or if sick of navigating through tourists in Trafalgar Square. 

Staff Writer

If you're into your ales this is the place for you. Fantastic selection and knowledgeable staff. Little space inside but everyone congregates on the pavement of fairly quiet back streets. Also close to the station so ideal for that quick pint on the way home.

No longer an Irish bar. Now run by Fullers and most of the friendly staff have now gone. 

Not what it used to be. We miss you Biddy.

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.

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.

Snap up exclusive discounts in London

Time Out's handpicked deals — hurry, they won't be around for long...