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Mr Fogg's Tavern

Bars and pubs, Pubs Covent Garden
4 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

A quaint pub on the edge of Covent Garden.

On first impressions, Mr Fogg’s Tavern – a cosy, Victorian-style watering hole specialising in premium ales – seems little different to a traditional pub. It’s warm, it’s crowded and the hooch is cheap (well, by Covent Garden standards). But as you delve further into the story behind this little boozer, you’ll find it’s inspired by the protagonist of Jules Verne’s adventure novel ‘Around the World in 80 Days’, and it’s overflowing with Phileas Fogg regalia.

Look up and you’ll see ageing souvenirs and knick-knacks hanging from the ceiling and taxidermy mounted on the wood-panelled walls. Even the loos are in keeping with the theme, airing old-style commentary through a crackled mic. Despite this populist theme, and the central London location, the exterior is discreet enough to keep the place from swarming with tourists.

There’s an extensive drinks list, but real ales are the crowd-pleasers here. After sampling a few, I went for the Whitstable Bay Blonde lager – a light, floral ale that avoids the bitter aftertaste common in many hoppy lagers. Drinks are modestly priced, served in tankards and pewter cups by staff dressed in aprons and hats, all with a fun sense of humour. You can expect typical pub grub – mini fish and chips hit the spot, but mushroom and potato croquettes were bland and (like most things) could have been improved with the addition of cheese.

This pub manages to pull off the old-fashioned feel without seeming like it’s trying too hard. An hour into the evening, our host Mr Carradine had taken to the piano and begun an unexpected sing-a-long. Before we knew it, we were up on our feet singing ‘Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’, which suited the theatreland setting pretty nicely.


Address: 58 St. Martin's Lane
Transport: Tube: Leicester Sq/Covent Garden
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