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The Only Running Footman, Mayfair

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user reviews of The Only Running Footman, Mayfair

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

Pub number 2, a 30 second walk from the Coach & Horses to the renamed Footman that was previously the only pub in London named The Only Running Footman!

Another pub I have never been in and after this visit I’m unsure I’ll visit again.

Internally there’s wooden flooring throughout, plenty of seating for diners & wine drinkers all to the back drop of a neutral dull decoration, all in all it’s a bit poncy really. Oh and the smell from the toilets was overpowering, there’s clean and there’s the strong stench of bleach.

Now onto the beer choice, being a Greene King pub the choices were limited with IPA, London Glory & the brewed for the pub Footman's Best @ 3.9% on offer. I went for the Footman's Best, it was an okay pint but served a little too cold for an ale.

Not much more to add about this pub over what I put above.
lezford - 17 May 2016 12:35
Not a good pub for beer - mainly a restaurant with a small bar area. Having said that it was packed and luckily for a September evening, the weather was good so the crowd spilled out onto the pavement. Limited selection of ales and only one was on. Not rushing back.
Beer_Hound - 14 Oct 2015 00:37
Very disapointed, if you only want to have a drink in what is meant to be a pub!! you are forced to take one of the very limited stools around the edge of the room, they definately welcome dinners more here!!
nicnocs1 - 28 Dec 2011 19:47
Shame, I was a regular here between 1998 & 2001. What a great little place it was, a good crowd of regular drinkers, top quality bar staff who were always looking to provide a great service,and the passing tourist trade seemed to enjoy it also.
Still looking for a venue in this area to replace it.
referee - 23 Jun 2011 13:14
I went to this pub looking for a drink in the afternoon - sorry I'm not a real ale drinker but 15 for 2 small glasses of wine is ridiculous. Im sure the food must be wonderful for the prices they charge but lets face it, this is no classy restaurant. You sit on fold up chairs reminiscent of the local community centre, at tables situated in full view and a couple of yards from the toilet door and with all the ambience of an elderly aunts front room. I cant comment on the food itself but if you just want a drink go to the Audley instead
smejo - 18 May 2011 23:02
They had Youngs Bitter and Old Speckled Hen on handpump. There was a third pump bearing a Bombardier clip, but this one had a toilet roll draped over the top of the pump. Im not sure whether this was a subtle comment as to the quality of the ale, or a novel way of indicating that the ale was off. Anyway, I had the OSH which was OK (i.e. it tasted like OSH usually tastes). I only had time for a quick half, which was just as well as at 1.80 (3.60 a pint presumably) it was an over the top price.

I remember when this was a real pub, but sadly its not really one now. Frankly I hardly recognised it as the same pub. The main part of the room consists of tables set for diners, with some stools at the bar and at ledges round the sides for the use of drinkers. According to the menu its a Meredith Group pub, which I have to admit is a new one on me. There is no decoration on the walls other than a chalkboard in the dining area advertising the days specials. There are hundreds of these minimalist overly made-over pubs in London now. I cant see me returning unless Im again meeting friends in the area and arrive too early for the Coach & Horses to be open.
RexRattus - 24 Nov 2009 15:24
What a tired shoddy establishment, all the more surprising that it is in Mayfair
Hobgoblin666 - 17 Nov 2009 12:46
This is a small pub that has been ruined by reserving the larger rear area of the pub for dining. The Old Speckled Hen, Bombardier and Ordinary are tucked away behind the entrance door that had people standing in it waiting to get to the badly placed bar.

I didnt find the staff to be that welcoming and I wouldnt bother returning if I was to walk past.
Strongers - 1 Sep 2009 13:23
Such a shame. This used to be a cozy little pub when I used to be a regular in the mid to late 80s. Good food, nice little fire going on, good customers, juke box, etc.. Revisited in 2001, and it was beat up.

I am amazed how pubs can go in the toilet. I will always remember the Footman as it used to be.

Joe USA
Joseph65 - 5 Mar 2009 18:49
I used to work round the corner from here, we all called it 'The Running Sore'. A minute or two's stroll in any direction will land you at a better pub.
tcooked - 5 Mar 2009 18:26
Bad before the "makeover", much worse after.

Certainly not a pub.
Flaneur - 16 Jan 2009 11:29
Food oriented outlet that seems to consider serving beer a necessary evil. Was surprised that they even have real ale, though what's there is overpriced, boring and poorly served. Had the misfortune of eating with group of friends from the Xmas Menu - 40 a head for some pretty shoddy fayre, bumped up to 70 head after wine and coffee. Without a doubt the worst 70 I can remember spending in recent memory. Rubbish.
thomashenry - 8 Dec 2008 11:43
Great atmosphere and food downstairs in the bar, but don't bother with the dining room upstairs. The staff are so unhelpful and have no concept of what 'customer care' means. We booked a table for a family celebration but found the dining room menu really limited - 2 members out of our party of 7 couldn't find anything that they wanted to eat (eg. no vegetarian options at all but was told the chef could 'rustle something up'!)and so we asked for a couple of dishes from the bar menu downstairs. The waiter said no, despite the fact that the dining room was empty - we were the only people there. In the end we left and went to The Automat which is very nearby and we had a great meal there in a fantastic atmosphere.
Howard1 - 5 Jun 2008 10:37
Never really seen anyone eating in here, effectively half the space is wasted with the "dining area" which if you sit down when not eating (bear in mind it's a small pub and gets crowded) staff get v.stroppy about. Agree it's a pub with an identity crisis, so many good eating options in the area, it should just focus on being a pub.
mps77 - 8 May 2008 17:03
This is pub is just around the corner from my office and so frequent it regularly with colleagues purely as a matter of convenience. It has been recently refurbed and seems to not know whether it is a pub or a restaurant. Half the very small floor space in the small pub area is taken up with tables covered in white table clothes. If I want that I will go to one of the dozens of fine dining restaurants in Mayfair.

Never have I been to a pub which has less impressive staff. They are seeming led by a South African gent who feels that dancing, singing and socialising behind the bar should take priority over serving customers and a woman who seems to be the maitre d (is this needed in a pub). The other night I was at the bar along with about 10 other customers waiting to be served and the maitre d lounged at the end of the bar talking to other staff while the bar tender joked and chatted with another member of staff who was standing polishing glasses while the customers had to wait. There is just no urgency or customer focus.

I would strongly urge that no one ever go out of their way to visit this poor excuse for a pub. You will get better service from the worst of the Weatherspoons chain!!!

Caper - 5 Feb 2008 10:25
Appalling, (and expensive) beer. Awful service. Undercooked (but still expensive) food. A khazi.
dan76uk - 21 Dec 2007 10:33
Used to be a decent little boozer now just another shitty gastropub

murgatroyd - 4 Nov 2007 01:36
So now it's October, and the Running Footman has just re-opened, some couple of months late. What a change! This pub is now really a restaurant with a gastropub attached. On the ground floor is the bar, now packed with tables bedecked with white linen, with a few bar stools lining the perimeter. 3 decent bitters including Youngs & Bombardier at a very good value 2.75 a pint. Good range of lagers, but seemingly expensive starting at 3 a pint. The price of bar food has stabilised since my last visit at 12 for fish & chips. Waitress table service has been introduced. On the 1st floor is a more expensive restaurant, 2nd floor a private dining room, and in the basement - believe it or not - a cookery school! Stripped of all soft furnishings the bar is extremely noisy; but overall not too bad, and certainly not as bad as I had expected.
marmarth - 2 Oct 2007 11:12
stupid name, I think it speaks volumes no need for a detailed review
theregent - 30 Jul 2007 14:18
The Running Footman - affectionately known as the "Running Sore" in my office around the corner - is currently shut. It was always a bit grimy - I should know, I've been popping in for the last 10 odd years - but at least it served a decent pint and it was near work. After changing hands in December 2006, it had a quick spruce up with a lick of white paint, pulled out the juke box, and laid white linen tablecloths on the tables. The menu started to charge 14 for fish & chips. It's now completely shut, and a sign says that it's undergoing a mjor refurb and won't reopen until July 07. I walked past last week to see workmen chucking lumps of concrete out of the windows into a skip. Goodness only knows what will happen next. Fish & chips at 30?
marmarth - 28 May 2007 10:37
Went in at the weekend before Christmas and I couldn't really recommend it - very expensive menu and beer wasn't up to much.
pubcollector - 3 Jan 2007 18:21
This place has really changed, they have done a small refurb and are running a very cool, cute little pub - definately worth a look. They also have plans for a major refurb which looks very exciting.
anonymous - 2 Jan 2007 17:26
To the one who posted the anonymous comment, they are totally spot on - I also worked there around 1988 and it was a 1st class happy and smart little boozer. Have been back on most visits to london and it is now run down dirty and should display a sign saying under No Management rather than under New management.
Damianhavlin - 17 Dec 2006 21:44
They appear to be under new management (changed over on Friday 8th Dec apparently), and quite eager to please (on the phone at least.)

I've not been in as yet, however, so I can't say more than that for the moment. I rang them to check that they were open on a particular day - we're planning a word-crawl that needs an 'I'... They were keen to impress on me how the pub was under new management and how much better it would be than it has been recently. We'll see - watch for another review early in the new year.
ach - 12 Dec 2006 16:34
Visited last Friday evening for the first time in a couple of years. The pub used to be run by a jovial Irishman who's name escapes me. Unfortunately he's no longer there and the people serving were, like the previous comment, surly and also poorly trained. The beer was still good although every pint I bought was short by a good inch - the bar staff seemed offended when asked to top them up.
TheBeerMonkey - 27 Nov 2006 15:29
Visited on a Saturday afternoon and were welcomed by a very surly miserable barman as we'd obviously interrupted his TV viewing, we were the only ones in there! Presumably it does a trade in the week rather than at weekends. Wouldn't recommend it at weekends!
Hucks - 20 Aug 2006 15:26
Lively atmosphere and good ale selection. Yes, it is small--certainly not the space to be on a Friday evening if you are claustrophobic. But if you like a good atmosphere in a good location, drop by.
Mr.Matt - 14 May 2006 21:12
I worked here in 1988 when it was a Chef and Brewer training house, it was probably was the cleanest pub in London, vastly over staffed, but then that's the only way to get good results. Then Malcolm and Marsha left and the whole thing went south......
juke-box and fruit machines and lack of attention to detail the last time I was there just made me sad!
anonymous - 19 Jan 2006 01:58
This is a great little pub with a couple of very good bitters. Popped in for a pint after work and ended up staying all night. Good quiz machine, nice bar staff and friendly customers too.
The_Black_Horse_Riders - 24 Nov 2005 12:02
A nice pub, small and very friendly..the food at lunchtime seems to be good as the place filled up swiftly with suits etc,Robbie the barman is am engaging bloke who knows a lot about the area and the tall 'Scandinavian(?)' girl that works behind the bar is a real honey!!!
Good beers and well priced for its location I thought.
harlequin - 15 Apr 2005 20:44
A fairly good english pub. A little to much like standing in a corridor (even when not too busy) to make it a comfortable place for an entire evening, but a good port in a storm.
marco_van_penners - 4 Feb 2005 16:02
keep walking to the Red Lion on Waverton street. Unless you like baked beans for lunch.....
mr_lunch - 9 Jan 2005 17:02
Tony - It did improve a little. But when I went back in '01 to find some of the sofas held up together by tape, I knew it went south. I wish I was able to check it out back in the day. Joe
Joseph - 1 Nov 2004 17:48
When I worked in the war office's Berkley Square branch from 1961-62 the Footman was a popular lunch place for the officers and NCOs in our branch. The bitter was served in superb pewter mugs and it was a brilliant pub. An American crime writer who uses the names of British pubs in the titles of her books used the Footman for one of her books. I'm very sorry to hear it's gone to the dogs.
Tony Potter - 1 Nov 2004 03:17
Very dissapointed on how the Footman turned out. Used to be a very hardcore local at this place in the 80s, only to come back and find it in shambles. Used to be one the nicest ones in Mayfair up there with the Punch Bowl.
Joseph - 15 Oct 2004 17:56
I don't have so much of a comment as a question.l I last visited this pub in l989 and had an excellent dinner in the restaurant upstairs. The pub was unique with tons of atmosphere then. I would like to return there for drinks and dinner next summer. Can someone tell me if the restaurant still operates upstairs?
Thanx in advance.
tbeam@sofast.net
Thomas Beam - tbeam@sofast.net - 6 Oct 2004 00:26
Several ales on, very nice place if you're in that part of town anyway.
Pauly - 24 Mar 2004 18:05
Is it in the Guinness Book of Records for the longest pub name in London (or anywhere)? If not, it should be.
P - 12 Oct 2003 12:41
I used to work at this pub in 1996. The customers are mostly local area workers from the casinos and hotels nearby as well as office workers from the posh businesses nearby. The lastest remodel done a year or so ago was a disaster. A lot of the nice woodwork of the bar is gone as well as the traditional upholstery. It still amazingly has a lot of character though. The bar area is intimate, the staff is still courteous. Most cask ales are gone.
Brett - jetboy415@yahoo.com - 9 Jun 2003 06:21
Small, cozy pub located a short block from Berkeley Square. Popular place for after-work drinks during the week. May close early on weekend nights.
Bob F - 1 Apr 2003 21:06
listed as one of the ten most unusual pub names in the UK. Features in a murder mystery novel called the running footman mystery (US print). Beer OK, good guv'nor
robert adams - 27 May 2002 09:42

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