Museum Tavern

Bars and pubs Bloomsbury
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Inevitably pandering to tourists who flock to the British Museum opposite – note the £5 T-shirts behind the bar – this attractive, traditional hostelry also appeals to Londoners with a taste for decent ales.

Harvey’s Sussex Best, Timothy Taylor Landlord, Theakston Old Peculiar, Daleside Spring Frenzy, Young’s Gold, Hobgoblin and Fuller’s London Pride line a bar counter also stocked with Hendrick’s gin, Cockburn’s port, Pimm’s, and Glenmorangie, Laphroaig and Talisker whiskies – British or what?

These bottles beckon before a beautiful gilt-mirrored back bar, evidence of the major mid-1800s refurb of this tavern, then the Dog & Duck, which has been operating from the 1700s (when this area was surrounded by marshes, and not crocodiles of cagouled Italians and the stench of over-priced hot dogs). The food – soup, pie, sausage, roast, puddings – exudes homely familiarity.


Venue name: Museum Tavern
Address: 49 Great Russell Street
Opening hours: Open 11am-11.30pm Mon-Thur; 11am-midnight Fri, Sat; noon-10pm Sun. Food served noon-9.30pm Mon-Sat; noon-9pm Sun
Transport: Tube: Holborn or Tottenham Court Road tube
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The Museum Tavern looks a nice old pub with lots character but it’s located directly across from the British Museum entrance and as such, very full of tourists. There are numerous local beers on tap including Truman, Brewdog and Portobello breweries but be prepared to pay £5.90 for a pint. I ordered a glass of prosecco and had already paid for it when the manager came over before I got my drink to say that they don’t sell it by the glass in the pub. The bar tender who had sold it to me by the glass normally worked at another pub, in the same chain, that did sell it by the glass and hadn’t known that this was not the case at the Museum Tavern, which is completely fair. The manager seemed very accusatory when he came over to explain the situation and said that if we looked in the menu it would say that it was not sold by the glass. So I decided to take a look at the menu and it did actually say it was sold by the glass. When questioned on this he became completely unreasonable so I just let it go. It’s too bad the manager acted out the way he did because other than that, it seems a half decent pub.