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George, London Bridge

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user reviews of the George, London Bridge

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

As you approach this square, with the pub on your right, as shown in the photo, the setting is very attractive - it reminded me of Shambles Square in Manchester. But then if you turn to your right it's all quite ugly - though there is a decent view of one of the large new City constructions. It's a nice traditional boozer though and the house "George" Ale, was excellent. Seating outside was very pleasant though not enough of the area was catching the sun for my liking.
dyyony - 8 Aug 2017 12:29
Got to come here at least once in your life.

A living piece of history.

Sadly, the beer is usually ghastly. Although on my last visit - the nutty hen was in good condition.

Some photos at my blog - http://bit.ly/2cYVT2P
Mappiman - 18 Sep 2016 12:09
Not sure that a summer Saturday early evening is the best way to judge The George.

Packed out (more so out than in). Reasonable choice of real ales (not all Greene King) but at a price. Rather liked the off-sales place where you got served through a window.

It is an historic pub, I suppose we all ought to go there once.
boblarkin - 17 Aug 2016 21:42
Historic and a worthy tick on the bucket list, but horrifically expensive. Had a standard lager for £5.30 (!) before making for the Market Porter across the road for a good pint at £1.50 less. It was nice enough, but I won't be back in a hurry. Sam Smith's don't cash in on the stories their places tell. Why have they felt the need to here?
R3NW5 - 21 Jan 2016 16:08
A quick pint in the famous George, several years since I was here but even though the outside area was packed it's always worth a stop here for a pint.

Barely a spare seat at any of the large amount of bench tables but the inside bar was pretty quiet and very easy to get a pint.

6 pumps offering a mix of ales however 2 had just run out so my choice was easy, a pint of Southwark Harvard, a new beer for me from this very local brewery. A decent pint but pretty strong for its %.

Not much more to say about this pub, the interior is superb as is the history, a bit too touristy? Of course it is but that's never been a problem for me.

For anyone reading this that's never visited before then make an effort when in the area and get it 'ticked'.
lezford - 22 Jul 2015 16:49
A rare historic survival of London's old galleried coaching inns, The George is, i'm afraid, a rather poorly-run pub in a fantastic building. It is well worth visiting in order to experience having a drink in a 17th century building. Beer and food is generally OK, but service can range from cheerful and friendly, to surly and unhelpful. What I found unforgivable on one visit in winter was the bitter cold in one of the bars – the National Trust which owns the pub really must look to its laurels about this kind of thing. A pub should be a warm, welcoming, happy place where you get the impression they are glad to see you. When I was there last, a group of tourists were shivering with the cold. Not good. To sum up, then, rather like Dr Johnson, I'd say it is worth seeing, but not worth going to see.
Antiquarian - 29 Apr 2015 10:59
If you're looking for history, here's the place. The last remaining galleried pub in London, it's like stepping into the middle of a Dickens novel. One half expects Mister Pickwick and his cohorts to sidle up alongside you and order some punch. Except for the rooms on the courtyard, the interior is fairly dark with a number of cozy alcoves that afford one some modicum of privacy. During the warm weather months - and perhaps even the cold ones - picnic tables and benches allow for outdoor seating. Several Greene King beers available including the George's own (most likely brewed by...Greene King!) Decent if unspectacular food - fish & chips and steak and ale pie fine considering the outstanding atmosphere. Always happy to visit but not necessarily to linger.
aerodrome - 23 Mar 2015 23:06
What a strange Pub, but in a nice way, its a bit like a maze inside with rooms and bars all over the place, and I know its a VERY old place, and it shows with uneven floors, and stairs which are weird to get up, BUT what a lovely atmosphere on the Saturday night we called in, it was really busy with the beer garden totally packed, and people all over the place just having a drink and really enjoying themselves ( total contrast to the Barrow Boy Pub we had just left ) which was lovely. We stayed for a couple of hours and had a great time all round........
DuncanDisorderly - 21 Dec 2014 22:02
Well worth a visit, if only for the chance to drink in a really old pub. Didn't have any food but there was a nice selection of ales. They even have their own brew which is pretty good. A bit over priced but it is the centre of London I suppose.
LennyBanter - 23 Feb 2013 12:56
Delightful pub and clearly very historic, but no excuse for the ludicrously high prices - £4.50 for a pint!!!
Scousefire - 14 Nov 2012 16:00
Full of promise but badly let down by the staff, from the rude bar staff to the over-zealous and patronising bouncers. Be prepared to be swept out by bouncers by 11.15pm regardless of whether you've just been served a round. It was never as good as it it might have been... and now it's worse than bad.
djangocat - 21 Oct 2012 03:21
What a shame, since the 80s my friends and I would always have at least one drink in the George when we were in the London Bridge area but all the old benches and tables seem to have gone with the recent refurb, replaced by high tables and stools that make this place look andd feel like an All Bar One.
blondini - 14 May 2012 10:14
Historical building, good pint, well worth a visit if you're in the London Bridge area.
jfrebrycn - 2 Mar 2012 18:25
The staff upstairs in the gallery bar particuarly one lady were so helpful,the food is good english pub food at a very reasonable price.All piping hot and very tasty.The real ale is is kept superbly with avery good local pint.One slight criticism would be there aren't enough puddings on the menu! Would thoroughly recomend for quick bite to eat or an evening drinking with friends,have eaten here twice in the last 2 months once with 12 and once with 4 and couldn't fault the pub in anyway!
jenni444 - 9 Jan 2012 17:09
The location is good and it's worth a quick pint, but as mentioned already it is hard to get served and the beer isn't brilliant.
toorantom - 16 Dec 2011 12:37
The pub itself is quite a nice old establishment. However the lamb steak that I ordered was very tough and utterly tasteless. When I raised the matter with a member of the staff, she would do nothing-not even let me have a complimentary cup of coffee.
thunderer - 4 Dec 2011 19:20
Currently CLOSED for a refurb - due to re-open 17th August.
BobOs - 4 Aug 2011 21:48
Goty picked up here by some mature heaver on the pull for a young Brute a good few summers ago. She didn't mind me supping ale all night and liked a martini or two herself. I took her over to near the HMS Belfast area and the dog was given it's bone down a back street there. I'd say about 14 stone - heavy front plummage and soft Kent accent with business job in St. Thomas's area. i drank Landlord and shje moved onto the wine later on (which probably accounted for the night scoring a healthy 27/38). I haven't seen her fora while but it did leave me with the thought that this pub is an accidental pulluing joint on the quiet. Pity because the ale is good and it's a grand old place. My sinmgle days are through though.
Mcloj - 13 Jul 2011 13:17
It's a shame given the lovely architecture that the staff at The George conspire to make it such a poor experience for the drinker. It takes ages to get served and the bar staff are surly and unhelpful - it seems that they know this historic pub will get a steady stream of tourist custom so there is no need to be nice to locals to keep them coming back. The bouncers are extremely aggressive in clearing the pub after 11pm, repeatedly hassling customers to move before the 20 minutes drinking up time is up. Overall an unpleasant evening.
JoP - 6 Jul 2011 16:18
a london institution, from outside anyway, full of tourists, beer (greede kerchink), very poor, don't stay inside it's crap, outside is good to sit and think about history, (and pour your beer down the drain) and walk round to a decent pub
littlecon - 12 Jun 2011 11:01
Best pub in London - there's no doubt about that. Very good steaks.
stevefromharlow - 8 Apr 2011 16:08
I desperately want to like this pub more than I do. I'm a sucker for London history and it looks fabulous from the outside, the surviving buildings having changed little since its days as a famous coaching inn. And as a fully paid up member of the National Trust it warms my heart to see them looking after a few historic pubs and not just spending all their money on tapestries and stately homes. Unfortunately with a steady stream of tourists to keep The George in business, neither the standards of service or the quality of the beer are particularly high. I've been here a few times and never had a decent pint, and last week I got a rancid Greene King offering that I couldn't even finish off. Within the last year or two the middle section of the pub also looks to have been smartened up in a bland modern style that doesn't befit the rest of the place. My advice? Take a few photos of the outside and drink somewhere else.
rob1981 - 24 Mar 2011 16:24
Surely must get a high rating for it's architecture, history and unique courtyard. beer is average and food expensive.
Mappiman - 13 Mar 2011 21:21
Called in Saturday PM. Courtyard was full of footie fans who were loud but no problem.Inside was full of tourists but got served quickly despite the crowds. George ale was pleasant with a Abbot Ale taste.Food seemed expensive. Nothing more can be said about the historic architecture, which is excellent.
covman45 - 2 Nov 2010 16:26
Historic, large courtyarded tourist trap. Nice when the weather lets you sit outside, horridly cramped when it doesn't, so let the sun shine (please!)
andrewjones1949 - 21 Aug 2010 19:24
Seriously historic pub, obviously, and worth visiting just for the half-timbered interiors. A good range of beers, and plenty of bustle. The only problem with the pub is that the bar space is very small for the size of the crawd the pub attracts, so getting served can be a bit of a challenge (though the bar staff are very good).
unreal_thing - 31 Jul 2010 20:34
It's summer. An ideal time to wander round the streets sauff of the river. Especially when there are so many in close proximity around Borough Market.

As other say, and you can tell from the pictures, this is not a 'new' pub. It's split over many levels and rooms, with a great courtyard laid out with tables. Ideal for a drink in the warmth.

Downside is that smoking is allowed outside, and with the other buildings (out of character with this) form a sqaure to trap the smoke. Something we are not used to these days with a smoking ban inside of pubs in place. However, there are a number of tables.

I have not yet mentioned the beer. Ah. Choice of around 4 on draft plus range of lagers as usual. There is even their own badged house ale. You will have plenty of time to admire this whilst waiting at an empty of customers bar, with staff just wandering around 'doing things'. It made up for the short measures when eventually someone could be bothered to serve, which as it tuened out was fine. As the beer (we tried 2 different ones) was brown. We did not finish them.

GREAT location/venue to see as a tourist/local and admire. A MUST on this score. But if you want a drink, there are plenty of others nearby having this on tap.
zakman - 13 Jul 2010 15:06
Apparently NOW owned and operated by the National Trust? It became their property in 1937!

Agree with the rest of the last review, it's really a tourist trap but should be visited for the experience.

Always seems to be abysmal slow service and dull beer range.

Thank goodness the Market Porter is nearby.
TiaMariaJim - 31 May 2010 16:12
Apparently now owned and operated by the National Trust, this is another one of those pubs that lays claim to being 'the oldest' in England. It has a sun-trap Courtyard which means it fills up quickly whenever the temperature peeks above 18C and a narrow, low-ceilinged interior. I seem to end up visiting this place quite regularly with friends but I nevertheless have two main gripes; One, the service, which is always slow, and two, the ale selection, which being Greene King is always quite limited. Its still worth a look but I wouldn't say its a London classic by any stretch.
ChrisP87 - 31 May 2010 15:32
Nice place, very large - interesting interior - great history to the place. Busy as you might expect but very nice - would go back.
adamwalsh - 23 Apr 2010 07:52
A stunning old building that doesn't seem to be used to its full potential, but with a certainty beyond all certainties, this will be PACKED in the summer, has a great little serving hatch on the outside so you don't have to queue inside at the tiny bar and you can make use of the huge courtyard. But is a courtyard worth sacrificing pleasant service and good beer??? Thats for you to decide......
Imabittermanmyself - 9 Apr 2010 23:02
Oh dear. I bet this pub was great a few years ago. Dreadful beer selection. Wines looked good, mind. Resting on its reputation. Very sad. This place could be so great.
dry_riser_inlet - 12 Jan 2010 23:47
Despite it being a greene king pub I had an exccellent pint of george here ( a beer brewed for this pub by gk I was told) lovely little pub.
Mattclary - 11 Jan 2010 15:20
As others have mentioned this is a lovely building with large courtyard that one wouldnt expect in Central London. It was very busy during my visit and the small bar was unable to cope with the hoards of people waiting to be served.

I spotted five Greene King ales along with a standard draught selection and Peroni that is found in most GK pubs. I found the barmaid to be frostier than the weather outside; maybe she was grumpy about having a busy night.

This place is worth a look, but now that I have been I doubt that Ill return as there are better pubs in the area.
Strongers - 10 Jan 2010 21:32
Very attractive setting, but I think it makes it's money on tourists, not repeat business. Expensive, poor service, very clinical and nowhere near as good as it could be or perhaps thinks it is.
mps77 - 17 Nov 2009 15:49
As others have said, this is a fabulous building this numerous rooms and loads of atmophere. I also agree that it is expensive but not hideously so and the staff are slow but friendly and pleasant. I would never make it my local but will be happy to dip in again in the future.
gdm - 7 Oct 2009 17:13
Superb building, rip-off prices. Drop in for a half as an excuse to look around, then head off down Borough High St for the Royal Oak in Tabard Street.
E17Bee - 30 Sep 2009 15:24
good pub lots of seating outside and a great pint will be back soon!

usualdog your drinking in london if you want a cheaper pint go to a spoons
Gunner1 - 31 Jul 2009 10:37
Nice looking place that gets overcrowded and the barstaff can't cope or prioritise who to serve next.

Also the most expensive pub I've ever been to. I ordered a pint of Peroni and half of Guinness (for the lady!) and the barmaid said "Six pounds something" I said "Sorry it was half of Guinness" and she said "I know, Peroni is 4.20 a pint". Speechless.
usualdog - 14 Jul 2009 15:55
I do like the George and usually pop in for one when Im in the area. Its worth it just for the building and its history, as it is London's only surviving galleried coaching inn and Dickens allegedly drank here. The ground floor is divided into several connecting rooms with a wealth of lattice windows and oak beams. But the best bit is the courtyard, which really comes into its own on a decent sunny evening like last Thursday.
Its a great historical pub only marginally let down by the boring beer choice and sometimes-iffy service. Although this evening, despite the fact that the outside area was rammed without a spare seat to be taken, I had no problem being served as there was only one in front of me at the outside serving hatch.
Beers available were the usual GK fair (IPA, Abbott, Speckled Hen), but I went for their own George Inn Ale. Yes I know its just another GK brew in disguise and I really shouldnt pander to this tourist nonsense but Hey Ho, at least its not IPA

Gann - 21 Jun 2009 12:54
A really tremendous old coaching inn building wise and in a prime location for London Bridge Station, Borough and the South Bank. But, unless you visit first thing in the morning, it is always crowded. Must agree that the courtyard can get a bit lairy.
flashharry1965 - 29 May 2009 15:59
Good beer garden, worth a visit just to say you've been but do not eat there - the kitchen is disorganised and can't handle more than one order on one ticket number. The table staff tend to get very stressed and defensive if there is a problem. My food today took nearly 40 minutes but was ok when it arrived (nothing special, though).

Good for an after work drink in the sun as long as you're not there for a quick bite to eat.
angeles80 - 29 May 2009 15:07
Gets very busy and like most pubs around this part of town isn't cheap! Great building, reasonable beer, staff are mostly ok.
konarob - 26 May 2009 11:26
Gets very busy and like most pubs around this part of town isn't cheap! Great building, reasonable beer, staff are mostly ok.
konarob - 26 May 2009 11:26
I went here and it was OK. A bit expensive, however nice beer and pretty. Worth a one-of visit for the historic aspect.

There are now 3 bars, one in each 'room' (though one is a wine bar). I had a pint of 'their' bitter and it was OK, nothing amazing but perfectly smooth and thirst quenching.

A few odd types hanging around the garden area (drinking plastic bottle cider and eyeing tourist handbags) and odder types in the yard of the poncey wine bar next door.

Yes, there were tourists here however if those who are enraged by that, I hope, have never gone on holiday themselves, and if so, have never gone into a traditional bar or bistro once they go there (because let's face it this place is the real McCoy). Otherwise they'd just be being glib hypocrites mouthing off about something that keeps a lot of Londoners employed/pubs open and isn't really THAT inconvenient to us, wouldn't they?


squizita - 16 Apr 2009 19:47
Very famous and rightly so. Close to the mainline train station and tube, a wonderful frontage that is every inch the classic English coaching inn, complete with sagging floors, and yet somehow this place doesn't quite live up to expectations. The crowded nature of the nearby Market Porter means that this is still a great option and the outside seating area is copious but the slightly half assed food and mediocre beer policy, as well as the gangs of tourists means it avoids top ten status in any London pub inventory.
BoehmBawerk - 4 Mar 2009 17:56
Old ramshackle pub consisting of a long series of 5 or 6 rooms with a couple of bars. I first drank in here in 1990 and I'm pretty sure it hasn't changed in the slightest since. Unfortunately the bar at the front end of the pub was closed and hence if you wanted to sit in the front (ie closest to Borough High St) room - which I believe is the most comfortable - the a trip to the bar required a walk outside to the middle bar. Said bar was quite crowded - probably would be better to have both open.

There's a lot of tables in the courrtyard outside although at this time of year they are redundant for all but the hardiest of chain smokers.

The unique nature of this place makes it worth the occasional visit but not somewhere I'd make a special trip to get to.

murgatroyd - 7 Feb 2009 15:21
This must be a popular pub as when my crew tried to enter the pub, several drunk bastards blocked our entrance, one belched and pulled on my hat, I was sober, so that guy was spared a taste of his bloody lips on my fist. I suggest you go early and leave early as this is one drunken spot.
coloradojoe - 20 Jan 2009 16:19
I used to work here a while ago. It was a good mixed pub but after work hours [say, 5 til about 9pm] it was full of thick city pricks. No wonder there is a global financial crisis if people like that were in charge.

Once this guy bought 2 pints of John Smiths or something from me and complained about the price. He said,

"That's more than the last time...last round it only came to 5.65!"

So I pointed out,

"How did two pints of the same beer come to an odd number of pennies? Was each pint two pounds eighty-two and a half pence last time?"

He shut up after that and felt silly, having been corrected by a lowly barman.

Another time I saw a sleazy city slicker physically harrass one of my colleagues - a feisty Italian girl - and before I had the chance to intervene she'd already lamped him one. He didn't come back.

Other clientele include coachloads of Germans/Japanese who come in for a half-pint of "real English ale" and then promptly leave again. Thankfully the tour leader paid for everything in one go, and they tend to be in the afternoon.

I used to have a good laugh here, we worked hard and served well. Haven't been in for years but I presume it's still got the old charm.
LexRicky - 27 Dec 2008 19:01
Been here a number of times, but unless it is the summer and you can sit outside I will probably not bother going anymore.

The building is lovely, no argument on that front. The staff are not particually good and spend too much time messing around and not getting the beers out. The bar is always crowded, probably due to having to wait. And even after the wait it's not great beer.

Personally I quite like Greene King beer. Try visit the brewery and see what it should be like. I think it comes down to the staff not looking after the beer.

The place is heaving in the summer and makes the whole prospect of trying to get drinks even more of a chore. Never had any problems with the security so cannot comment nor have I tried the food.
its_begun - 17 Dec 2008 15:21
Noisy, uncomfortable, not particularly good beer and high prices. Not sure what clientele they think they are getting with the addition of the burley bouncers on the gate.
Worth ten minutes of your time having a look around the building, but little else to entice.

mrse1 - 2 Sep 2008 16:07
The heavy-handedness of the security on the gate to this pub can be annoying, but really doesn't justify the moaning on a few of the previous reviews. The history of the pub is already well documented, and it's great to go and have a pint and look at the building.
The ale is in reasonable condition, but I was there on a busy Friday night and the service wasn't fantastic - only two people on the main bar most of the time, which is an oversight by the management.
Expect to pay London prices - if it is your local, it's unfortunate, but the way the industry works now, and no about of complaining is ever going to make a pub lower its prices.
Great place to take visitors to London, it's what everyone wants to see and experience.
redjim73 - 19 Jul 2008 09:48
Went for a pint here on Saturday after a stroll in Borough Market, only to get refused entry at the gates because I had a pot of olives in my bag. It was 2 in the afternoon and I was sober as a nun, so I assumed the bouncer was pulling my leg. It didn't take long to realise that levity was not a failing of this power-tripping fool, and we were promptly sent on our way. If this is where drinking in London is headed I'm going back on the crack.
xyrion - 18 Jun 2008 10:22
We had a Pie Club night here a few months ago and it remains one of our All Time Favourites.

We had a private room - the service was excellent, and they had created a huge s[pecial pie just for us.

Top marks.

We will most certainly return!
pie_club_of_gb - 24 Apr 2008 18:18
Really now just for tourists!!!!
TheHorsesMouth - 10 Apr 2008 13:27
Nice old building the beer was acceptable.
Womble - 19 Mar 2008 08:50
I'm afraid I agree with the recent comments. Went to this place on Tuesday lunchtime with my Parents and 9 year old daughter. Because of my daughters age we were told that we could only sit outside (Cold & heaters not on) or at the far end room (Wine Bar???) where the kitchen is located. Having ordered our food a couple of students came in who obviously new the staff on duty and engaged in kissing and hugging each other before engaging in conversation whilst they should have been cooking our meals. In the end had to wait 30 mins for coldish food. Won't be back!!!!!!
Chris.CFC - 15 Feb 2008 15:44
Worth a visit if only for its history - Apparently, the last remaining galleried coaching inn in London. Beer is standard Greene King fayre but drinkable - they have their own GK house ale which was ok.
roderick_alleyn - 14 Feb 2008 09:46
Wonderful wonderful folk night first Monday of the month, second if the first week has a bank holiday)

Wonderfully historic pub

Spoiled by dreadful GK dross, hint get the Newkie Brown, on Budvar, or anything else (apart from Bulmers whatever that is nowadays)
baggydave - 5 Feb 2008 00:18
We have often visited this pub on our trips to London, but I think yesterday was the last time.
It's a hell hole now unfortunately for a beautiful pub like this.
The beer was almost undrinkable, and not just because it is Greene King, expensive and the Staff really couldn't be bothered. We will leave it to the rucksack wearing tourists in future.
imdownthepub - 1 Jan 2008 09:22
If your gonna go here, expect:
1) Really silly tourists spending 15 minutes ordering two drinks
2) Expensive (not nice) beer
3) No tables (except outside)
markyhb - 19 Dec 2007 09:02
I've spent a couple of OK early evening sessions here in the summer, but after the way we were treated this evening, I'll never be going back here again. The pub was very happy to sell us drinks at 22.55, but then started trying to move us out at 23.10. At first this was polite, as in "we're closing this room, please move to the next room", but within three minutes of complying with that request we were instructed, abruptly, to leave that room. When we went outside, we were moved on twice, pushing us closer to the road. At 23.20 one of the "security" (?) staff tried to take the drink I had paid for out of my hand, when I asked to wait until my friend had finished her phone call. This was after both of us had sought to point out that, if they didn't want us drinking at this time, they shouldn't have sold us long drinks just a few minutes earlier.
junket - 9 Dec 2007 01:10
This place has taken a bit of a slating from previous reviewers, and they do make some good points, but personally Ive never had a bad experience here. Its certainly got character and the beers pretty good (not as good as the Porter though). Location and billing as an old coaching inn isnt it meant to be the pub that the pilgrims in Chaucers Canterbury tales begin their journey in does mean it gets busy, and popular with the tourists. All in all Id go back there.
pnorton - 5 Dec 2007 13:24
Vastly overpriced, dodgy drinks, rude staff and - since the smoking ban - the inside seating areas stink.

I have often ended up at this pub on my way home from work, and it is always disappointing. But after my experience last night, I am never going again. I was sitting with an almost full pint in front of me when it turned 11pm, and immediately three heavies started doing the rounds of the outside seating area telling people to drink up and leave. There was none of the normal courtesy shown whereby drinkers are granted twenty minutes to drink the pint they have only just been sold (at an inflated price). The message was clear: we've taken your money, now get out. We were told four or five times within twenty minutes that we had to leave, ending with a face off between myself and one bouncer when I insisted on remainig seated until twenty past eleven. This kind of treatment of customers is appalling, but the bar manager, when we spoke to her about it, really didn't seem to care, and was more interested in closing up the pub so she could go out clubbing. It's a shame so many people are prepared to put up with this treatment, as this pub really doesn't deserve the custom.
penelopegprice - 16 Sep 2007 12:55
Last time I went me and my mate ended up standing on the deserted balcony outside the locked dining area, probably the best place to stand and good for (hem-hem) 'people' watching. . The beer and staff are both poor though. The Old Kings Head has much the same beers and is better in every way apart from courtyard.
bradwan - 19 Jun 2007 20:42
Ok, so this place gets a bit of a slating, but you can't overlook the reasonable score. And why?

Well, it has a huge outside seating area, nicely heated, and great for a proper night out. Probably not so good if you want a really tasty pint or want somewhere to while away that special afternoon though. Take what you will
thebigbosh - 19 Jun 2007 19:13
I think this pubs lives on its reputation or just its age.Perhaps for some that is enough but I found it pretentious, crowded and noisy. the service was poor and the ale indifferent. The building promises so much that is just not delivered - from outside it looks great. The clientele were a mixed bunch but too many hooray henry's with more money than sense and tourists mixing with "real" Londoners.
I am sorry but with a little bit of work to create an atmosphere and better service this could be fantastic. For now I will find somewhere with better beer nearby.
writtleman - 19 Jun 2007 14:31
Maybe not the best, especially when compared to the other 'oldest pubs' it competes with, the Propect of Whitby and the Cheshire Cheese, and the fabulous Boot and Flogger just down the road - but certainly not the worst. Lovely in winter, when you practically expect to turn your head and find Bill Sykes and Fagin plotting their murderous deeds at the table next to you (though those tacky Wetherspoons-esque advertising posters on the walls really need
to go)

At busy times, they layout means that the bar can seem a bit cramped, but bearing in mind that it's heritage listed and under National Trust care, I doubt there's much can be done to change the building structurally so that the layout copes with modern needs.

The one thing I will fault is that I don't think it stores its drinks properly. A couple of times I've been there and the on-tap tonic water in my G&T has been completely flat and a bit odd-tasting. A friend has said the same about his soft drinks as well.


Comtesse - 17 Jun 2007 00:56
First time to the George and left disappointed......... From the outside i thought it had potential but this was rapidly dashed by the poor bar staff and even worse beer. Shame really as i think with a few basic changes it could be an ok boozer.
anonymous - 7 May 2007 18:45
this might be an historic place but I dont like it.
The old kings head just up the road is much better.
becks007 - 9 Apr 2007 20:26
Some good points in the recent reviews - the pub smacks of complacency and - sadly - the apparent contempt for the customer that characterises far too many pubs in "touristy" locations. Beer is ropey, food terrible and staff disinterested.
marqueemoon - 29 Mar 2007 17:36
Just a word of warning - I had my handbag stolen at this pub last night! When we mentioned it to the bar staff they said it was a regular occurence however they have no CCTV or any sign saying to be careful. I left my bag with a colleague underneath our table and there were at least 15 people I knew there and still someone managed to get it! So I would advise you to be very very careful of your belongings if you go to this pub!!
anonymous - 9 Mar 2007 15:01
For a pub with such an impeccable pedigree it seems to me that it should be a better pub than it is. It looks great from the outside, but inside it does not look anything special. Pretty ordinary beers, expensive food and staff required to wear mosleyesque black shirts detract from the potential character of the establishment. But there are many worse places around - it's just that I feel it doesn't do itself justice.
RexRattus - 22 Feb 2007 00:04
There are some statements that, no matter how justified and true they may be, will inevitably get you lynched by your peers. A magician who tells people how tricks are done. A historian who suggests that perhaps not everything Hitler did was pure evil & insanity. A member of the Labour Party who admits the party might have made a mistake at some point, somewhere.

I know I risk getting lynched for this, but.........I don't like this pub.

Yes, yes, I know, it's the last galleried pub in London, and is truly a pleasure to look at from the outside. However - the beer selection is pants, and not just for ale drinkers, the lager selection is poor as well. The bar is difficult to get to because there's only one for the entire pub and courtyard, and the main bar area is quite narrow. There's nowhere to sit inside, because the entire upstairs area is dedicated to being an overpriced restaurant that rarely gets used, and the oldest bar area downstairs is almost always reserved for some function. This means that the pub cannot be enjoyed when the weather's poor...ie. most days.

My idea of a good pub isn't one where you need to sit outdoors on a wooden bench, drink poor beer, huddle around a patio heater (if they can be bothered to fill it with fuel and light it), gaze at private parties enjoying the place, and use an unheated outdoor toilet. This isn't far removed from a tramp drinking a can of Skol, sitting over a ventilation grate in the pavement for warmth, and staring at a fancy office block.

.....still....it's better than going into the Heeltap and Bumper.
topdog_andy - 3 Jan 2007 12:58
Hmmm, of course that should be spelt 'agitated' Don't know what I was thinking.
f90x - 31 Dec 2006 16:37
So.. along with a larger round I order a single Jack Daniels and coke and when it arrives it is in a tall glass filled to the brim with coke. Now, I thought that if you worked behind a bar you should know how to serve drinks. Not only did this stroppy student not know this, but when I 'politely' explained that rather than fill the glass to the brim with coke he should only put a dash in it or ask the customer how much he/she desires he got adjitated, blurted out that no-one else has ever complained in an annoyed manner and strutted off. Now, why do I have to put up with stupid kids who don't have the first idea how to serve drinks and are rude to the customer for no reason. The rest of the barstaff are not much better. If you're going to employ teenagers and immature twenty something students at least teach them how to do it properly.
f90x - 31 Dec 2006 16:35
I've heard a lot of good things about this place in various pub guides, but found the pub as a whole very average.
There are far better places to drink in and around the area.
anonymous - 29 Dec 2006 15:46
Interesting venue. Visited on a colder evening and sat outside, and can positively say the heater lamps are a good touch to keep you warm...

Inside sounds bigger than I saw of it, as I went just to the left and the bar there, didn't seem to stretch on that far, but it was fairly packed and the service was fast...

Toilets outside interesting touch. Dunno how much of a jog that would create though! Nicely old fashioned!
the_original_rawnsleys - 30 Nov 2006 18:55
Could do with re-designing the seating lay out especially in the rooms furthest from the road. It's currently difficult to get a seat most of the time, and as an earlier reviewer mentioned - there's no atmosphere down that end. Shame, it wouldn't take a lot to turn it around, as well as a bit of barstaff training!
tallman - 17 Nov 2006 16:19
Great pub: an old coaching in, now owned by the National Trust. As soon as you step into the courtyard you feel like you've been transported back in time. There is plenty of seating out in the courtyard if the weather is good, if not enter the pub itself and explore the long rambling building with its various little cosy rooms. Good beer on the hand pumps. Great place!
Crow_Valley - 7 Nov 2006 23:04
A lovely looking pub, with a couple of handpulls and some (expensive but enjoyable) food available upstairs with the crusties.

Worth it for the venue, but not much more.
Quinno - 15 Oct 2006 00:43
I think Tom Angel must have been having a bad day! I visited this pub last night and was relieved to find it hasnt changed much since my last visit about a year ago. Its a fantastic old building with a large outside seating area just right for an after work drink on a warm evening. They had 4 Greene King ales on and although the bar was crowded the service was fast and the staff polite. A pint of their George Ale was 2.80 which I dont think is unreasonable. The branded uniforms make the staff look smart and professional. I dont think a black shirt with a small Stella logo on the sleeve is anything to complain about. No sign of any security guards either
djburns - 22 Sep 2006 11:49
Terrible. Lovely building. But the bar staff have NO idea who is next. They are inexplicably dressed in matching t-shirts advertising Stella. Why do pubs feel they need uniformed staff, it isn't McDonalds. The choice of lager is Carling, Fosters and the ubiquitous Stella, (how ground breaking!)London Pride is no longer sold. To top it all the bar is pine (in an otherwise oak paneled pub) and there are two security guards at the entrance. Why?
There are no regulars and no sense of community. Compared to the Wheatsheaf of the superb Southwark Tavern it is absolute rubbish. Have a look at the historical building, but avoid paying any money for overpriced distinct lack of choice.
TomAngel - 20 Sep 2006 13:42
What a fantastic place! The ancient galleries above the yard give a wonderful old-fashioned atmosphere (just don't look at the ugly brick backside of Guy's Hospital at the end of the yard!!)There must once have been hundreds of pubs like this around London, but now this is one of the only ones left, hence it is owned by the National Trust. Good beers, plenty of space to sit outside and the Borough is becoming a fantastic place to grab something to eat too. What could be better!
oxenhillshaw - 6 Sep 2006 13:06
Just for reference, there are gents toilets inside the building too at the far end from the courtyard entrance.
Rich66 - 28 Aug 2006 23:42
good in the summer as spacious outside. bit cramped inside so not sure what winter will bring here. a seasonal pub i would imagine.
servemenow - 28 Aug 2006 21:52
Disappointing to see only two real ales available on our recent visit. Luckily the pubs own beer was pretty good because the only other option was the ubiquitous Greene King IPA which isn't my favourite. Don't often see outside toilets these days but that's where the gents are situated so wouldn't fancy visiting during inclement weather. However, the weather was reasonable on our visit so we were able to sit outside. Hold that glass up straight Jamie!
johnkn7 - 14 Aug 2006 13:32
Excellent pub. Great original decor and good selection of real ale. Huge courtyard as well with outdoor toilets. Its a shame the food lets it down, which is standard pub fare, including the obligatory soggy veg
Banner - 2 Aug 2006 12:41
A fantastic weekday lunch in the sunshine; the pub's own beer isn't bad and it came with the best scampi I've ever eaten. A great find.
stargull - 28 Jul 2006 09:48
The first time I went in here, I thought quite highly of it; I guess because I went at a quiet time with some decent ale on. Each progressive visit has deteriorated my opinion of the place from a good pub to a distinctly average and overcrowded pub.

Bar staff were friendly enough although really struggled in pouring a decent pint of ale with a very frothy head in all but one instance. The selection was not particularly remarkable, with Greene King IPA and the pubs own ale, alongside 6X, which was the better pint, although most people were drinking lager and the awful faddy Magners stuff.

Still, the ye olde worlde background to it makes it quite an important place in pub history terms, although it would help if the place tried to drag itself out of the quagmire of the mediocre.
AleKing - 20 Jul 2006 09:41
Four comfortable wooden rooms, seating in courtyard, three or four real ales including Wadsworths 6X, very pleasant on a Sunday evening.
clissold345 - 17 Jul 2006 19:21
Best visited on a warm summer evening, so
that you can sit outsde... great! otherwise
nothing special...
GIVEBLOODPLAYHOCKEY - 2 Jun 2006 20:01
what a cracking boozer..walking down Borough High Street and stumbled on this one. they had Morris Dancers struting their stuff. had a drink with them after..said they'll be back next year..top pub for St Georges day next time around
teflon33 - 14 May 2006 18:49
A pub owned by the National Trust, strange!
Nice pint though in a very interesting building.

My Rating 8/10
fat_beer_badger - 11 May 2006 15:03
Got to agree with Hodsthorn and Albert_Campion here: The George is a let-down. And the comparison with a Wetherspoon is not far wide of the mark at all - JDW have occupied (in the invading army sense) numerous old buildings and routinely manage to suck the soul out of them. It's mildly diverting to think that Shakespeare perhaps maybe possibly reputedly chewed his quill here, but it's not enough to make you want to settle in for more than ten minutes. And the intricate interconnecting rooms arrangement is far less charming than it might sound. Hm.
iceinthecider - 25 Apr 2006 18:29
Had a meal at the George at Christmas which was excellent, as was the mulled wine we had with it. Usually go here when the session in one of the downstairs rooms is on.
dryvam1 - 14 Mar 2006 17:11
Strangely cramped for such a big pub. Lots of interconnecting rooms means there's not much space to sit down. However overall I'd say a nice place, though the beer selection is fairly limited.
amphalon - 12 Mar 2006 16:27
Pleasant enough pub which certainly wasn't overcrowded or full of tourists when I visited and the 6X perfectly drinkable (compared favourably with several Wiltshire pubs that are much closer to the Wadworths brewery). I should imagine the courtyard is a great spot to be on a sunny summer's afternoon - on a damp evening in March however best to stay indoors...
tim_eyles - 10 Mar 2006 19:45
A well located pub with loads of history. Always worth a visit but go there expecting it to be a bit hectic. The bar is too small to cope with the amount of people that drink outside so you will often queue, especially in the summer.

I have never had a bad time in the pub.
Badgers - 23 Feb 2006 12:20
Eh. A place more interested in selling itself as an historical pub than in preserving itself as one. And the beer selection isn't much to take note of either. Probably worth stopping in at sometime, just because of its age and importance, but once you've seen it, go have a pint somewhere else.

Overall, a real shame and a missed opportunity.
Hodsthorn - 30 Jan 2006 23:02
I have mixed feelings about this pub, have visited many many times and the experience is always a bit hit and miss. If they have good staff on and the beer has been looked after this is a really nice pub with a historic frontage and a very nice courtyard where you can sit and enjoy the sunshine. In winter the front room of the bar is your best bet, they have real fires and a lovely atmosphere. However if the staff are slow as they often are and the beer is not good it can ruin the whole experience. The courtyard is often standing room only especially when a coachload of tourists come in. Never tried the food as it always looks pretty vile. Despite its size it doesn't have much seating inside so it can be a squeeze. Take a chance and try it especially if you have overseas vistors, they usually love it, if everything goes smoothly you'll have a good time there.
Tryp - 10 Jan 2006 16:56
Hmm. I was a bit disappointed by this pub. The place has an air of complacency about it... the tourists are going to come anyway, so why try too hard? The bar staff were unsmiling but efficient, the beer was just a bit less than OK. The atmosphere was akin to a Wetherspoon. I'm no expert, but the building's interior and exterior have been over-restored to my eyes. Despite the great age of the place there's just no 'soul'. Worth a look if you're in the area, but not one to linger at. I expected better of somethimg owned by the National Trust. The NT should get some advice from The Harp near Trafalgar Square on the right way to run a pub in a tourist honeypot.
Albert_Campion - 5 Jan 2006 15:14
Should be brilliant - but the beer selection is rubbish and I just don't like the atmosphere or the staff.
anonymous - 3 Jan 2006 13:26
Beautiful outside. Quality first room but surely they could do something better with the rest of the place. Suddenly the atmosphere disappears as you walk through the place. Heard they served leather food but couldn't vouch for that! I did rather enjoy the GEorge's own Ale and will definitely keep going back for more. It's not half as decent as it could be.
mitomighty - 29 Nov 2005 15:27
Nice pleasant place to vist in clement weather so you can sit outside, people watch & admire the frontage!
Beer was average, well served and promptly so. Lunch-served through hole-in-the-wall arrangement at end of the pub. All that can be said of that is that it was "nourishing & substantial". Worth a look in.
almost_an_old_git - 16 Nov 2005 12:48
Atmosphere ok in the summer when you can get outside. The bar food from the hatch in the end bar is dire - the worst pub food you can imagine, served surlyly to tourists who don't know any better. The National Trust need to sort their tenants out otherwise this pub will wither on the vine
jonnyboy122 - 3 Nov 2005 17:39
The last of the galleried inns in London. Sservice is not its strong suit - just soak up the atmosphere. Decent beer. A must see.
jorrocks - 25 Oct 2005 02:08
Definitely worth a visit. Like something out of Shakespheres time. Popular with tourists, so gets rather busy especially in summer. Beer OK but dear. Go for a quick pint and then visit the better pubs around Borough Market.
TheHorsesMouth - 20 Oct 2005 14:11
I like this pub. The staff are friendly and competent without being anything special, but I think it's the aura of the place that is so attractive (well, that and the beer.....). I'm not sure that it is the oldest pub in London though. The Prospect of Whitby and Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese are both regularly put forward as the holders of that title!

Would defintely come back to this tucked away pub, and well worth a visit.
womble54321 - 17 Oct 2005 21:48
what a great pub - let down sometimes by the service as many others have posted on here - not necessarily the quality, more the lack of it.

employ more staff! how hard can it be?

otherwise spoils what is the best pub in the area by a mile.
TheGP - 25 Sep 2005 13:41
Useless staff, ages to get served, too many morons about - but its lovely to look at. Have one and then leave.
anonymous - 1 Aug 2005 16:47
First visit last night to what I am told is the oldest pub in London (is this true?). Thought it & the pub was alright. Felt sorry for the poor sods who work in the offices in the square who spend all day looking down on the drinkers. Ha ha.
Darren_in_the_City - 22 Jul 2005 15:44
Poor service and overun by large groups both tourist and office workers, also overpriced for the area.
carterse9 - 30 Jun 2005 13:43
I find myself agreeing with most of the recent remarks below. A pub with a lot of character but prone to invasion by large groups of suits and tourists who take ages to get served. It's a shame the buidings on the oposite side of the courtyard are so ugly to look at too.

Generally a decent selection of ales in reasonably good nick but you won't get much change from three quid for a pint of anything.

Worth an occasional visit but I wouldn't come here regularly with so many alternatives in the nearby backstreets.
Rich66 - 28 Jun 2005 11:37
Yeah,..all these comments are right,..which unfortunately means that its the type of gaff where,..when it comes to your round,..you selfishly suggest going elsewhere to avoid having to deal with the ludicrous bar service...If theres no takers you fcked...I've been known to nip round the corner for a pint and a game on the fruity, under the pretext of getting fags,..just so as some other mug gets lumbered with bar duty.
kmcs - 19 May 2005 14:00
A pub that rests on its laurels somewhat. The interior is lovely, although the pine bar is a travesty amongst the otherwise stained dark oak of the rest of the pub- I hope the person responsible has been arrested-its these little things. The prices are also a blatant rip off- there are better places to drink in Borough. The bar staff also tend to ask "Who's next?" At the bar. Isn't it their job to know that?
TomAngel - 19 May 2005 13:41
Great location and nice to drink outside when it's warm, but the service sucks bigtime. The bar staff have no idea who's been waiting the longest at the bar and just serve whoever's next to the person they've just served. Shame really because it's a nice pub otherwise.
elsharpo - 25 Apr 2005 13:38
I love this pub, great atmosphere, good company and friendly staff, just keep an eye on your bag - i had the misfortune of getting my bag stolen form next to me the last time i was there. The staff were really helpful and help me to get everything sorted, will definately go back.
sturpy - 3 Mar 2005 23:45
In terms of history and the like this place rocks. I like it but then the suits arrive and spoil it all, but hey ho they disappear within an hour or so.

I seem to remember that prior to the Great Fire this place was supposedly a quarter of a mile long.

Also it is right next door to guys hospital and the accomodation for student nurses. Say no more!
alister - 30 Jan 2005 12:39
Historically interesting pub - once you've seen it, you might as well go drink somewhere else.
Sigmund - 12 Jan 2005 10:28
Great pub to visit when you fancy a change from the Market Porter. It is also busy though. There are heaters outside so it is still possible to drink outside in the winter. Unfortunately the well-kept beer gets a touch cold...
Spel_Unca - 22 Dec 2004 17:12
Good if you can sit outside, otherwise it's like being in a pack of fags. The queueing system is weird, and makes you wonder why such a large pub operates one tiny little serving area. Maybe its something to do with profits. Try the Britannia at the back of Guys.
Long Lane Loner - 16 Nov 2004 23:45
I thought that short curly haired barmaid was quite cute.
Hope she's still there for the Christmas meet I am going to in December.
I'll share if you want Neo.
Paul1980 - 10 Nov 2004 13:11
Last time I was here they were operating a proper queueing system at the bar (like in a supermarket). It felt strange, but seemed to work. The wine comes in those annoying bottles like you get on an aeroplane. Gets smokey inside. Despite all this, it is a historic treasure.
Pippa - 9 Nov 2004 13:39
A historic pub, tucked away from view. Takes years to get served, but quite enjoyed it nonetheless.
TheGP - 13 Sep 2004 13:24
I loved the george but now it seems below standards every thing is overpriced and cant you get somthing to eat that isnt deep fried?and how about i reasonable priced pint in would cost over 100 in there for a decent nights drink.
matt hardy - 11 Sep 2004 13:08
Me and my family visited the george recently, first I was served by the rudest bar maid ever a short curly haired girl,and when i tasted my bitter it was truly terrible is this rubbish up to standards? I think not i will not be visiting again!
john davis - 6 Sep 2004 18:28
Quaint, but well overpriced try the Market Porter four cheaper and better beer.
Taidg - 1 Sep 2004 19:11
The courtyard is perfect for after work drinks and chilling with your mates in the summer.
Maya - 5 Aug 2004 22:21
what a nice pub. wish i worked in the offices that overlook it
simon - 27 Jul 2004 17:54
this is the best pub in the world. lovely lovely old pub. dickens would have had a few here.
stoichkov - 12 Jul 2004 15:26
A gem, a real gem, especially when city types are not dominant.
We had our wedding reception there in 1998, the then landlord did us a special deal.
A galleried coaching inn in a courtyard just off Borough High Street
Its worth a 50 mile detour once in your life.
TipTopTommy - 30 Jun 2004 00:21
A lovely pub. Both old and new sides are full of charm and comfort. Great beers and good food. Equally fun during summer or winter, and always a decent crowd down there. Give it a go.
Alex - 13 Feb 2004 15:55
Beautiful, historic pub and a must to take non-UK friends to when in town. Room after room yet still retains its cosiness.
Paladino - 23 Jan 2004 21:32
Don't be put off by its prominent placement in most travel guides. The George lives up to the hype.
Jeff - 9 Oct 2003 02:12
Excellent pub can attract the wrong type of person. Watch out for aggressive builders or bag snatchers
John - 9 Sep 2003 17:54
Wonderful architecturally but definitely pricy, 2.90 for Bitter. Try the Grapes 5 mins towards Ldn Bridge station or Market Porter in Borough Market for cheaper beers in 2 excellent pubs
Top Cat - 8 Sep 2003 11:15
I was in there yesterday (28/6/03). It's a well appointed boozer and its inhouse ale is a very decent pint. However, the experience was perfectly marred by the usual hackle-raisers - a dizzy barmaid who couln't keep track of (out of three people stood at the bar)who was to be served next and the ubiquitous and mandatory smart-arse Aussie barman. They are becoming as much a part of London folklore as the Black Death.
Rich - 29 Jun 2003 12:56
The George is London's only surviving galleried coaching inn. The Inn is tucked away in a cobbled courtyard just off Borough High Street. It's one of London's greatest treasures, how wonderful it would have been if it had survived intact.
Paul - BelcherINTREPID@aol.com - 23 Jun 2003 22:04
Cashing in on being listed in tourist guides. Also caters for doctors and city bods. Over-priced. Faux-traditional food. Cute building but there are many proper pubs in the area.
Rupe - 4 Mar 2003 15:19
Very historic quite old boozer, worth a visit especially in the summer. Only downside is the time it will take you to be served when a coach load of Japanease tourist roll up.
Gary - 24 Jan 2003 09:52
Nice boozer. Atached to the hotel. Toilets a bit of a mission to get to down stairs into the hotel but very clean as a result. Staff rotate alot so no continuity there. But very discreet back area which is good for meetings if you need to do a pub lunch meet. all in all good boozer
Paul - 3 Oct 2002 15:47
Quick to get you out after 11 o'clock.
Mark - 18 Sep 2002 16:26
Lovely to sit out on an evening.
anonymous - 4 Jul 2002 10:16
Loads of Doctors and nurses from nearby Guy's Hospital frequent this historic old coaching house
Paul - 12 Jun 2002 17:08

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