Mr Fogg's Tavern

Bars and pubs, Pubs Covent Garden
Recommended
4 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
(17user reviews)
1/2
2/2

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.

By: Emily Watson

Posted:

Venue name: Mr Fogg's Tavern
Contact:
Address: 58 St. Martin's Lane
London
WC2N 4EA
Transport: Tube: Leicester Sq/Covent Garden
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Static map showing venue location

Average User Rating

4.1 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:7
  • 4 star:4
  • 3 star:4
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|17
2 people listening
tastemaker

A pub unlike any other.

I went there for my birthday and we had the Sunday roast and punch. Firstly the food was incredible classic cooking no need for fancy tricks just good cooking. The drinks were delicious, I tried each of the four punches and they were all different and unique. unlike other unlimited/bottomless drink places we never felt we were told to slow down or ignored, in my opinion it was the opposite on some occasions getting the next round with a full drink.

The service was the cherry on top made us feel special as he was always checking in and even gave me a birthday cake at the end.

This place is going to be a local stop from now on and excited to try new food and drinks at this place.

tastemaker

Really enjoyed the vibe in here, and the food is good. It’s quite expensive, but that’s what you expect in this part of town. Great boozer for a casual early evening drink or a date-night.

tastemaker

It always seems to be really busy in this place and I've never understood why.  The interior is pretty awesome but the food and drink is fairly standard and wine by the bottle is more than I'd comfortably pay normally.  Service can be slow and it due to how small it is it can feel quite cramped and noisy.

tastemaker

We visited here for our Christmas work lunch so thankfully had booked well in advance however with a group of 10 I would say it was tight on space, it is very small in there. However the traditional decoration is really cool and there is constantly something to look at. The food was nice but the drink choice was a little limited for me and quite expensive (but for the location, that was to be expected!) It was a nice place to spend a Christmas lunch but I wouldn't say I would rush back necessarily.


From the moment, you step into Mr Fogg’s it transports you back in time, as the bar is built on old English wooden panelling, and is decorated with paintings from historical events and ornaments from the past. This makes the experience much more enjoyable as the scenery itself is entertainment, and is a great tourist attraction. 


For starters, I opted to try all the starters on the menu, so I could taste all the dishes they had to offer. For the first starter, Fogg’s flaked smoked haddock kedgeree was presented, I have never had kedgeree before, and so this was a new dish for me to try. The Mr Fogg’s version consisted of chunks of Haddock, wrapped in curried boiled rice with the boiled egg lying on the top. I was a little sceptical at first but was pleasantly surprised, how well seasoned the rice was and how tasty this little dish was.


When I read that grilled frog’s legs were on the menu, my immediate thought was ‘What the hell?’ However, I was willing to give it a go as you only live once! Nevertheless, be warned, as the Frog’s legs do look as if they are about to leap off your plate! I am amazed at how good the frog’s legs actually tasted; it has quite a rubbery texture to the tongue and tastes like exotic chicken. The banana sauce accompanying the legs does make them taste even yummier. I would recommend the Frog’s legs as it definitely breaks the norm and it is always a good idea to try something new- if not, there are always the sweet potato wedges that also come with the legs to nibble on instead.


Next to try were the crispy herb tempura prawns, which are accompanied by a spicy dip. This dip absolutely makes the dish, as the dish uses more savoury spices rather than sweet spices. The spicy dip does not set the taste buds completely on fire, but rather it enhances the taste of the prawns, makes them yummier. This dip was everything, which leads me to also try it out with the frog’s legs. 


Can you believe that all these dishes were just starters? Our main had not come yet. 



Therefore, for my main, I chose the lobster and avocado salad, which is drizzled with zesty grapefruit dressing. To be honest, I did enjoy the salad, but the grapefruit dressing was too citrus for me as before the dish my palette was quite savoury, which unfortunately aided in enhancing the zest. The salad was well prepared and very refreshing.


I did manage to steal some of my friend’s oven-baked salmon, which was topped with cheesy leeks sauce and served on a bed of spring onions mash. Delicious and the salmon pieces were well seasoned and melted in my mouth.



The desserts came; at this point, I was completely stuffed. The only disappointing factor was I could not try all the desserts because of my intolerance to certain dairy products, but I manage to try a bit.


First, to try was the trio of ice creams vanilla, chocolate, pistachio. The chocolate used is dark chocolate, is very rich, and therefore needs to be tried with other flavours as each flavour compliments each other. The pistachio is quite savoury and therefore calms the richness of dark chocolate. The vanilla ice cream is quite bland, so the dark chocolate enhances the taste.


Next to try were the glazed drunken figs, served with mascarpone cream. The initial taste was nice but annoyingly sweet, so it is best to serve as a sharing dish as the taste is quite intense and unique for one person. The figs have an acquired taste but if you have a sweet tooth, this is for you! I would recommend trying this dish first as the taste is quite complex but the more you taste the figs, you will also taste different flavours of the figs.


Lastly, the strawberry jelly parfait, which is a British traditional favourite, and immediately brought back childhood memories. My friends and I started to reminisce over childhood party memories whilst eating this dessert, which was a great way to end the brunch.


Now the question on your lips, whilst reading this review is- ‘what do the punches taste like? Well luckily, I tasted all the punches, which seemed to be a good idea at the time, but perhaps not for the rest of the day. 

The punch of Bison was my least favourite but only because it is vodka based and is citrus, which is not my style. Zubrówka Bison grass vodka, Belvedere grapefruit vodka, orange juice, earl grey tea and honeydew melon syrup was used when making this punch.


One punchy G&T, which consist of Bombay London, dry Gin, homemade lavender syrup, and fresh lemon juice and grapefruit tonic, topped with sparkling wine. This is a great punch if you love Gin and want a refreshing Gin punch to accompany your food.


Punch-Gin above one’s weight; A cinnamon infused star of Bombay London, dry Gin, lemon juice and cranberry juice, topped with Rose lemonade. This punch not only looks beautiful but also tastes amazingly sweet. A girly gin cocktail that goes down a treat!


However, of course, my favourite punch had to be rum based; Bacardi Carta Oro rum, Luxardo maraschino cherry liquor, pineapple syrup and lime juice, topped with soda water. This drink was made very strong but with just the right amount of sweetness. This punch was called the Rumpy Pumpy punch.



Price: ££

(3 courses for £38, including 1 hour and 31 mins of punch)

(3 courses for £32)



What to wear: Casual



Ambience: Traditional British feel with staff that are very informative and passionate about Mr Fogg’s.

tastemaker

Quirky little pub in the heart of Covent Garden with fabulous decor! Had a great Friday night drinking all things gin. The guys behind the bar were friendly and the cocktails were delicious. Will definitely be going back!

tastemaker

I was so so so drawn in by the amazing fit out of this place - the array of random cool objects attached to the ceiling was enough to give me neck creak and envy!

Sadly though the staff and quality of the drinks really let the place down - it has so much potential but with a sour faced, grumpy waitress who was not only slow but also the queen of resting bitchface the place lost its shine very quickly.

I was with a group of four and we decided in such a beautiful and quirky atmosphere we should go all out and order one of the cocktails to share between the four of us. What was I expecting? Well something funky with silly garnish....what did we get....a bottle of what looked like lemon squash and 4 warm small half pint glasses. Needless to say I didn't think this was worth price tag!! It's amazing what difference presentation makes. To be fair the drink was nice but the service just left a lacklustre taste in my mouth :(

I would recommend heading there to have a look at the fit out - it's super cute, but head to the bar yourself and grab a pint. Leave the extravagance to somewhere who knows how to do it well!

Tastemaker

What and Where: Only a few minutes walk away from Covent Garden tube station, Mr Fogg’s tavern is an old style English tavern themed around the Victorian explorer Phileas J Fogg serving good old English pub grub.


The Look: I have a penchant for all things quirky and Mr Fogg’s certainly fits that bill. From the outside, it looks like the entire premise had warped through a time portal and plonked itself onto the street of 21st century London.  Inside, the theme continue to delight with patriotic union jacks dangling overhead and ornate Victorian painting


First impressions: The Tavern is pleasingly alive with energy and noise. What’s not so pleasing is the room: it’s a bit crowded for my liking. Nowhere near as big as The Residence. But then again, what do I expect at such a popular bar/pub in Covent Garden? If you’re lucky, you might bag yourself a table or a cosy corner. It makes a big difference if you do. I know there is an upstairs gin parlour, but sadly I never got the chance to see it.


Food, menu, service:Classic British pub grub that you really can’t go wrong with. It is limited but then this is first and foremost a bar, not a restaurant. Come here for a drink, not a meal. Here, you’ll find sandwiches and salads. The staff at Mr Fogg's are brilliant. They are very friendly, great to chat to and full of energy. If you have a table, you don’t have to move to the bar to place your order. Grab the attention of one of the staff, dressed in Victorian attire, and they’ll take your order to the bar for you including drinks.


What I ate and drank: Standard Mr Fogg’s Cloudy Apple cider and Blonde Ale at your standard price of £5 per pint. I then went for the standard chips and a sausage roll. This is where my biggest disappointment came. For £5 you only get 2 bite size portions of sausage roll. Hmmmm.  Delicious as it was, it hardly represents good value for money. Very pricey. Chips were good though.


Final words: Going to Mr. Fogg's Tavern, I had high expectations having previously visited Mr Fogg’s Residence. Whilst it’s still a very cool tavern, it doesn’t quite achieve the same level of satisfaction as its sibling in Mayfair.

Tastemaker

I wish I would take my Tastemaking duties seriously enough to take photos of my food, BUT if it is good food (which this was), chances are I'm usually halfway through before I even THINK about that (and no one wants to see a half-eaten plate)...so alas here are pictures of pink Gin cocktails (hmmm gin), the eccentrically decorated ceiling with bunting and ships obvs, the quaint outside, the bar man all dressed up - TOP MARKS - and the loos (sorry I know, where's the food Claire?!?). Anyway, my excuse is that my brain was fully addled by gin cocktails because our food was delayed so they brought us an extra jug thing FOC and we were More Gins More Grins TBH. The food was really good - we sat in the bar bit downstairs and had booked thank god as it was super busy on Sunday afternoon. We had the three course Christmas menu - starters of sausages, salmon and salad followed by traditional Christmas dinner and a cheesecake. I did in fact take a picture of the cheesecake but it doesn't do it justice so you'd better just take my word for it that it was delicious. Word to the wise though - watch out for the Gin. My friend Kate was so drunk that when she left she was going on and on about how famous she was with her strong digital footprint - I don't think it was her digital footprint that was strong ;-) #gin

tastemaker


First things first, it's very cool inside. It's tiny so if you go with a large group don't expect to be able to get a table. Downstairs is their pub venue which is amazing, great decor, delicious food and bucket sized cocktails for reasonable prices. 


We arrived with a large group of us and asked if we could possibly go upstairs to the gin parlour without a booking. The staff were immensely kind and accommodated us in this request with the caveat that we would only have an hour. 


The gin parlour (upstairs) is just as unique as downstairs but has a more reserved vibe. Think afternoon tea vs a raucous pub. 


The menu upstairs is different - a lot more expensive but so much choice! you're presented with a huge book of cocktails ranging from around £11 to £100. 


We all ordered fairly quickly, knowing we only had an hour, however the drinks took around forty minutes to arrive which meant we had to drink up pretty quickly. That's not necessarily anyone's fault, we turned up without a booking - just stating a fact. You don't want to be rushed so making a booking is a good idea!

Tastemaker

Where to start with this place... I've now been to the Gin Parlour upstairs a couple of times and if you like Gin, then this is the place for you...!


Best to book, it's a tiny little bar through a doorway to the side of the building and you're greeted by a gentleman who has your telegram waiting. I've never felt so welcomed! If you're into customer service, then, enjoy!


I've only ever gone for standing room but they've always found me a seat when they've had something available and if you need help deciding what to drink, another dashing gent or a creatively dressed lady is on hand to talk you through the 250 gins or beautifully crafted cocktail list.


My drawbacks... they encourage you to mix your groups (gents and ladies). I don't break rules very often but this one I did break... Twice ;-) 

And the ladies loos are down two flights of stairs so get those legs working...! They're stunning though so it's not so bad (can't believe I just reviewed the loos)


Get yourself there... Even the booking email is fun to read!!


Oh and here's my friend on her birthday enjoying the decor in the 'pub' bit downstairs!

tastemaker

I LOVE THIS PLACE!!!!!!


could be due to the fact that I love role playing and all things to do with fancy dress! but still its a great place and the food is just as lovely!


My sister and I came here and had their fish pie which was just so soft and delicious that I almost fainted from pure pleasure! it was rich and creamy and full of fish!!! it came with a side of kale which was also very delicious. I had an ale which was just a delightful and I know I'll be back! the staff were dressed up and the decor and atmosphere was historic! I felt like I'd been transported back in time when Henry was king! 


I'd like to go back to try their drinks and see how merry one can truly get lol 

Tastemaker

Welcome to Mr. Fogg’s Tavern! A haven for all who seek a little old-fashioned refinement or indeed Victorian eccentricity away from the glare and bustle of London’s streets. Sip on cocktails paying homage to Fogg’s late, esteemed aunt Gertrude, or sample the liquid delights concocted by her devoted housekeeper Fanny McGee. Rub shoulders with theatricals and taxidermy as you imbibe; venture upstairs to embark on a gin safari; place yourself into the hands of the polite and exquisitely turned out bar staff. This wonderful establishment will not disappoint.

Tastemaker

All the decor and buzz of Berkely Square, reopened in Covent Garden. Take part in the caption competitions and explore the world in 80 minutes by perusing their vast selection of tasty temptations. If its your birthday you may even get a special creation

Tastemaker

Interesting decor in a small but buzzing bar makes Mr Foggs a unique and enjoyable place for few drinks. Decent cocktail menu with good service and plenty of beer and wine options. Overall, a kooky, British, fun find right in the middle of tourist land.

Tastemaker

I used to work in Covent Garden so I must have passed this place times and times again over the past three years and yet, I had never, ever seen Mr Fogg's tavern before. I went there last St Patrick's Day, following Time Out's recommandation hoping I would find the best Craic in town... And Craic I found all right! I made an event out of it and convinced lots of my frends to come with – including a couple of my Irish housemates – and we all loved it! There was traditional Irish live music on the night and it looks wonderful: buckets, dolls, buggies, you find it all hung from the ceiling! They serve nice craft beers on tap that are not as expensive as you'd expect considering the pub's location and style. On top of it all, all the staff was really friendly. The only issue was how small the pub is and how busy it was that night but I still really enjoyed myself. They also serve food if you're feeling a bit peckish,

Tastemaker

What a welcome addition Mr Fogg's Tavern is to Covent Garden! Finally an elegant but quirky cocktail place.  I speak of Aunt Gertrude's Gin Parlour, upstairs (beware the parrot!) although the tavern downstairs is also fun, if a bit more rowdy.  Next up on the agenda is going on a gin safari... Be sure to book a table, if you can, as it can become standing room only rather quickly.  Try all the herbaceous libations and immerse yourself in the Phileas J. Fogg, Esq experience.