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Lowlander, Covent Garden

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user reviews of Lowlander, Covent Garden

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

One of my favourite bars for beer and food. Can get busy weekends so you need to book or get there early if you want to eat. There is always something different on draught to suppliment the extensive bottled range of Low Country beers. I tried two Troubador beers, Obscura and IPA, both on draught, while my wife went for the Chimay Triple and Rouge. Food was superb too. Of the many dishes on the menu that I fancied I went for the Pulled Pork, while my wife had Sirloin Steak. Very good value considering the quality and rarity of the beers. Will be returning in a couple of week!
Mothroy - 16 Apr 2013 22:49
Great selection of beers, not too expensive considering the rarity of some of them and the location. Food smelled nice but I didn't have any
SGA - 14 Aug 2011 17:48
Awful food and service, questionable claims to "freshness".I went for lunch with 2 colleagues yesterday, one of whom cannot eat garlic. She asked is she could have moules with no garlic in the sauce. "Yes" was the answer followed by "no" 10 minutes later. The menu said that each dish was freshly prepared so we couldn't understand why the chef was unable to simply make a white wine and cream sauce without garlic. She admitted defeat and ordered lamb instead. 10 minutes later we thought we'd better check whether garlic was in the lamb. Waitress looked annoyed at having to go back into the kitchen once again, and there was no apology when she had to admit that yes, it also had garlic (how did she or the chef allow the order to go through?). OK how the steak? No that's got garlic. OK so please prepare one without garlic. No it comes like that. OK so get a piece of meat out of the fridge and don't put garlic on it. We can't do that for just one person. So how exactly is this dish freshly prepared? To cut a long story short, my colleague ended up with salad and chips. The salad went straight back as it had live insects crawling around. No apology from the waitress but lots of laughing with other waitresses - they didn't even wait to have their laugh in the kitchen. My other colleague said her Moules A La Biere sauce tasted tinned. To my amazement, nothing was taken off the bill apart from the salad.
SimonM67 - 13 Aug 2010 09:10
I have mixed feelings about both this place and the other comments on BITE about it.
Yes you could just come here and have a couple of pints, but this place is more
about having something to eat and drink.
The bottled beers are expensive, but what pub sells cheap bottled beer ?? - plus
these are unusual (in the UK) beers. Other reviews have turned these prices into per pint, which I think is unfair.
The basic (and decent) pilsner can be had from about £3.50 a pint on draught.
The food is restaurant price (around £15 for a main course) but is not good enough quailty for the price.
This bar is also slap bang in the middle of tourist London, so it's never going to be cheap, but if you're a bit canny with both your beer and food choice it's a good destination.
beer123 - 4 Jul 2010 15:51
We agree with one of the earlier comments about the prices here. We had one pint of Zot and a bottle of Westmelle (which we collected ourselves) and paid the princely sum of £10.70. Another point is that the layout of the pub resembles a school canteen which doesn't really help the atmosphere.
multiplexor - 8 Nov 2009 10:12
The selection of bottled beers is getting worse - Holland is poorly represented which is criminal given the plethora of decent beers to be found over there (Molen, Prael, Ij, etc). They may as well just call this a Belgian bar.

Food has always been good - just a shame about the beer choice...
eddierowles - 2 Nov 2009 10:55
This is one of only a few pubs/bars in London with such a wide range of Belgian beers. There is an extensive - and changing range - on draught.
NorthernBloke - 26 Aug 2009 07:37
We were in the Lowlander the other night, and I remembered why I hadnít gone back after my first visit; itís ridiculously expensive. It worked out at something like £5.40 for a pint of average wheat beer, which is just criminal. Iím happy/stupid enough to pay £4 Ė 4.50 for a pint, elsewhere, but £5.40 is just taking a liberty. And once you add on the 12.5% service charge for the waitress to fetch the beer from all of two feet away, youíre looking at £6 for a pint of Grolsch Wiezen. If you try and order your own drinks, youíre ignored until the point that you give up, and rely on the waitress service. Itís a nice-enough place to have a beer, but itís not £6-a-pint nice.
Haringey_White - 5 Aug 2009 15:15
Not truly a pub; more of a Belgian restaurant with an impressive beer list. If you are looking for a night of real ale and football, not the place. If you want to pay a bit more for some interesting beers and more of a dining experience, check it out.
Mr.Matt - 4 Apr 2009 19:26
not really a place to drink as everyone was eating, some confusion from the bartender as to wether we could order drinks from the bar and sit outside, when we did get our drinks (grolsch blonde and the missus regular grolsch) they both tasted off so we left...
sprungmonkey - 21 Oct 2008 16:49
Well don't organise a party here, booked a table here and they lost the booking even though we booked well in advance and confirmed many times. Then when they found the booking we were told that they didn't expect us ALL to turn up so booked a smaller area! As a result it messed the whole evening up as we had nowhere to sit. Maybe good for a drink or two but not for a party booking.
josh_acton - 4 Oct 2008 01:09
Certainly not cheap but a great choice of beers.
If you want cheap and cheerful there are plenty of JD's and Sam Smiths in the area.
Plenty of character with an authentic continental feel.

Badger350 - 29 Jun 2008 16:10
Excellent choice of European beer, no British real ale. Service is ok, though fairly slow when busy. Good point is that you don't have to pay for every beer and meal before you receive it, but downside is the size of the bill when you do get it. Very expensive, even for Central London. Also they add 12% "voluntary" gratuity to the total, so beware!!
Steve45 - 23 Apr 2008 20:53
Don't bother going unless its to eat AND drink beer. If thats your plan then its well worth a visit as the range is superb and food informal and nice too. But not really a prop up the bar for a quick beer sort of place.
BobBoiston - 17 Apr 2008 18:18
This place reminds me of the grande cafe's of Belgium or Paris, so on that front they have done their job, Im sure that there will be people who have spent more time over on the continent who will tell me that Im wrong for such and such a reason, but its well decked out, the atmosphere is lively so its a fun place to go.

The list of beers is immense, and it would certainly take more than one visit to try them all, but what is worth a go, if you are unsure, is to get a "plank" of tasters, the staff are very helpful and from my experience know what they are talking about and can give good recommendations. As far as the food goes I have only ever eaten the moule et frites which I cant fault.

all in, because of the prices I see this as one of those sorts of places that you go once in a while, for something a bit different.
trickydisco - 17 Mar 2008 11:54
Great range of Belgian and Dutch bottled beers. (I wouldnít bother about the stuff on draft, it can be had in most All Bar One type places and is just plain expensive.)
The decor is nice enough, although the rows of tables get so busy, that you can barely get past to the loo or the exit when it is full, as it was the other night. Also, the high ceiling makes it incredibly noisy.
Itís worth a go, especially if you like Trappist beers, but not somewhere for a quite quick, or inexpensive drink.

mrse1 - 14 Mar 2008 15:51
Visited a couple of weeks ago and had a bite of food and several beers. Beer menu was extensive with about 12 ales on draft and loads more in bottles. All the beer was continental, mostly Belgian, with some Dutch as well.

Beer was well kept. Decent enough food, and service was OK considering it was busy.

Very pricey though, between £4 - £6 per pint for the stuff on draft. It is central London though so I suppose that is probably the norm. Us country folks just aren't used to paying that sort of money for a pint.
Aaron95 - 5 Mar 2008 14:11
Spent the first part of last Sunday evening (10th Feb) here. Had a few drinks and some food. Cannot remember the names of the bottled beer but also sampled the draught. Had the Kasteel Kriek and the Duc de Burgoyne (or something like that)both nice if you like fruity or tangy beer.
Food was good, meat platter and chicken for me, burger for my partner.
The place was quietish so service was good.
mikelynn - 13 Feb 2008 13:34
Marvellous. A good atmosphere that gets somewhere close to the genuine article of this kind of establishment as one might experience it in either Belgium or Holland.
Range of beers is not as vast as in some other places in Town but there are some unusual ones to try and there should be something to tempt even the most fussy drinker.
Service isn't quick, but is polite and spot on when it arrives.
I had a delicious coconut fruit beer which was served in a plastic mock-up of a coconut shell which was a bit tacky looking but went down an absolute charm. The draft Kriek is a darker ale based affair that is extremely pleasing and drinkable. They also do a range of flavoured Jenevers (a Dutch/Belgian spirit that is effectively the pre-cursor of Gin)and the Chocolate one is a very nice way to close off the evening.
Food is very good and not too expensive if a little bit less generous in terms of portions that would be ideal (I had the Toulouse Sausage with mashed veg which came with two admittedly thick sausages, where three would have been a much better feed). The Moules Marinaires for starters were delicious as well and I'm reliably informed that the soup was very good too.
Not sure that I'd go here just for a drink as it is definitely geared up towards the food side of things, but it's well worth taking your time and having a good meal as you sample some of their fine range of beers. Oh the Mango Fruit Beer is also excellent for cleansing your pallette after your meal.
All in all very good and worthy of repeated visits.
Mr.Monkfish - 13 Jan 2008 00:36
The food and service have always been excellent.

Visited recently after a gap of a few months and was disappointed to see the range of bottled beers has been reduced - I was told that they were going to rotate a selection of the beers so maybe not all is lost.

My only gripe with the place is that in the beer menu when I was last there, there were over 60 Belgian beers listed but only 11 Dutch beers.

OK, Belgian beers are very well regarded but there's a lot of decent Dutch breweries which have come on the scene over the past 5 years or so. Let's have more of them on offer here please!

eddierowles - 30 Nov 2007 13:40
Great food and beer. The steak was superb and (unfortunately) no brazillian barmaids.... just a surly lass from Lancashire. We eventually extracted a smile.... but the beer, food and atmosphere here is so good not even she could spoil the evening. double thumbs up.
ceebee1 - 25 Oct 2007 11:32
Went here 2 succesive nights earlier in the year. Fantastic range of beers. Was with an Aussie (who didn't rate English beers at all) who was very appreciative of their vast choice. Food filling but not exciting. A busy, busy place with a good ambience.
Nessie - 1 Jul 2007 15:06
Excellent and very wide choice of European beers, the Belgium abbey beers are especially nice. Decor of the place is also beer orientated.
Not cheap - little change from a £5 per beer, though you do get service at the tables.

We went in nice and early (4.30pm) on a Saturday and it was busy but we still managed to get good seats.
dyyony - 28 Mar 2007 17:47
Nice boozer. Been using this one loads recently.... partially due to the vision of Brazilian beauty that works behind the bar. Fit as the proverbial butchers dog.
tanderson7 - 16 Mar 2007 12:52
Absolutely rammed every single night. No room to stand at the bar either really. Beer second to none though and a cracking atmosphere.
Sharp - 16 Feb 2007 12:05
I met some friends here for lunch. We all agreed the food was pretty good, although as I was sticking to the softies I can't speak for the wide range of continental beers, which looked very tempting. The interior is very pleasant and the service was good. I would definitely go back although I can imagine it would be difficult to find a table in the evenings, given the beerkeller style seating.
grecian - 18 Jan 2007 12:05
This pub is my absolute favorite--many memories of my friends and me celebrating. The best belgium chips in London, and for the girls--the best Fruli Strawberry in town.
posbasso - 6 Jan 2007 01:10
Good range of beers, food's good but it's expensive and packed beyond belief - Far better to save up your money and go sample the real thing - Try 't Brugs Beertje, Bruges as a starter!
Phantom_Raspberry - 12 Dec 2006 13:04
An astonishing range of beers and some decent food, but you will be surprised how quickly your wallet empties. £4.50 for a 25cl bottle of beer is something around £9 a pint. They aren't all as expensive as that - the premium price attaches to the 9% brews and the like - but it is not cheap.
Certainly somewhere to go for a special occasion though.
beeronaut - 9 Nov 2006 09:39
Benelux theme the name suggests. Not a bad spot really. All the obvious beers on offer Leffe, Duval etc and a few more obscure choices too. Food is decent too.

One major gripe. Too much furniture. No room to swing that cat you brought out for a beer.
anonymous - 26 Sep 2006 13:24
Excellent range of beers - for those who appreciate them. Godd food (if a bit pricey) and good service - Compares well with the bierdrome bars - at least the staff know what they are serving & how to serve it

loftur - 1 Sep 2006 13:36
have since been back during the day and it's still a real let down!
little_alec - 9 Jul 2006 15:04
This really is a tourist rip-off place to be avoided at all times. Getting served is a task and the food is of the lowest standard possible. I would not recommend this place to my mother-in-law!
Knocker - 23 Jun 2006 16:03
very pleasant but not very cheap way to chill out for a few hours
moclips2002 - 19 Mar 2006 18:30
The Lowlander is a fantastic place to drink. The food is very good and the staff are polite and very friendly.
NormanSpoonBender - 14 Mar 2006 15:34
I don't agree with the last review. This isn't a "Dutch theme bar". Its a large modern bar serving beer from Belgium and the Netherlands from an extensive list. Its good if it isn't too packed but it often is.

A specialist beer shop is a wonderful thing but this site is about pubs and not about drinking at home (much as I love drinking at home, meths on a good night, that fuel you put in trangers when I'm on a downer)
Grinerine - 4 Mar 2006 23:51
Dutch theme bar. Expensive, uncomfortable, very loud and with slow service even for just a beer. People come here out of curiousity, as part of a "around the world in one night" pub crawl round the theme bars of Covent Garden, or because of the beer range. There is a large beer list, and a number of the beers are not commonly seen in British pubs. But the ambiance is uncomfortable - like being in a doss house kitchen on giro night when everyone is tanked up. A better way of exploring unusual beers would be to visit a specialist beer shop.
SilkTork - 4 Mar 2006 22:15
An accurate rendition of a Dutch or Belgian grand cafe including
both the long benches and the long waits and the horror at
anyone daring to approach the bar (I was told off for
this the firt time I visited Belgium). Don't go expecting a standard pub experience.
Uncle_Dunkel - 27 Feb 2006 02:13
The Lowlander has a huge selection of beers and a fair selection of cocktails.

Yes, the staff aren't amazing and it does have a slight chain feel to it (the seats downstairs are arranged in long rows like a school canteen) but if you want a fun evening sampling beers from around Europe this is the place to go.
PicklePub - 15 Jan 2006 16:53
Not great, not too bad. Uncomfortable. Pretty poor service. You can find a much better selection of Belgian beers in Dovetail, Clerkenwell, with a much better atmosphere to boot. This place is just a bit too corporatised - it is reminiscent of a chain bar even though it isn't.
anonymous - 5 Jan 2006 10:28
I love this pub the staff are friendly and knowledgable, the decor and ambiance is great and each of the beers on teh beer menu is served in its own special glass.

I think its a great bar in which to nurse and then medicate a hangover on a sunday.
Jesper - 12 Dec 2005 17:25
Seemed ok for the first 10 minutes but this was about 5pm. Still took quite a while to get served, though. By the time it got to 6pm, it seemed impossible to get a beer within 10 minutes. Well pricey.
anonymous - 3 Nov 2005 12:26
We were 'told off' in here for going to the bar like we were in school. Stunned, we sat down and waited ages for a waiter in seats that were far too close togther. Won't go back.
concretesledge - 5 Oct 2005 22:18
Another pub with a nice selection of Belgian and Dutch beers.

It has a much more continental feel than De Hems or The Bierodrome.
edrok666 - 22 Aug 2005 22:16
quite a find, cant comment on food. Middle of a Saturday afternoon this is a lovely spot to enjoy a couple of bottles of quality beers - table service, no music/tv screens you could almost be somewhere continental. With regard to the comments regarding price - well this is Covent Garden, a lot of the beers are approaching the strength of wine. Do you really want the 20 something lager guzzling morons who have taken over every high street wrecking this joint...
moclips2002 - 14 Aug 2005 11:33
Nothing special. Doesn't feel belgian. And food isn't worth going for. Nice selection of beers though!
little_alec - 26 May 2005 13:01
Great during the day but don't go there in the evening if you want to be served within 15 minutes of attracting a waiters attention.
Knocker - 24 May 2005 17:15
I went here with friends purely on the basis of the reviews on this site, I'm a big fan of belgain/dutch beers. I am so glad we went as it's definitely one of the best pubs I have been to in London. A huge varitey of beers not just your everyday Hoerrgarden, Leffe and Stella, I had a great pint of Brug. Rows of long candle lit tables, no music & friendly bar & table staff gives it that beer hall feeling. We were so impressed with the beer we tried the food too and the Lowlander burger is truely delicous. It's not the cheapest place admittedly, burger was £11 I think and a round of 3 drinks was just short of £15 but it's a great place to impress visitors with if nothing else. Highly recommended.
RandomJoe - 2 Jan 2005 13:17
I've not ordered a meal here so I can't comment on what others have said on this. However this is the best beer in London by a long way. Try it.
Brian - 25 Oct 2004 18:21
Vast selection of Belgian and Dutch beers on tap, even greater choice of abbey and special beers, excellent food but prices matching the area. And unusual for London, table service by friendly and helpful staff.
Merindigo - 4 Oct 2004 13:50
Impressive selection of Belgian beers for the beer buffs, but usually overcrowded and very slooooow service. Try the Bitterballen and other snacks, they're tasty, but pricey.
Adrian - 18 Feb 2004 20:48
I went to this pub for an office do, we arrived at 12, and my main course did not arrive until 2.20. we waited 45 minutes for the starters to arrive and an additional 30 minutes after the starters for the main course to arrive. I DID get a free glass of wine (not as nice as the wine we had with the meal) and pudding was free, but by that time we had to take it back to the office to eat. The food was nice, but not worth the hour and a half wait!
Germanicus - 22 Jan 2004 16:42
The service I found to be fast on my first visit, but was a touch slower on subsequent visits, when they were busy. The food is great, and the prices fit the location. Excellent range of beers, and a friendly, helpful staff. For anything comparable you'd need to go to Belgium. A favourite watering hole for off-duty staff from the Magpie and Crown, Brentford (where the Hoegaarden is only £2.70 a pint!).
Gordon - 7 Nov 2003 02:14
Lowlander is absolutely great. Fab atmosphere, great beers (huge choice), good staff and... alright prices (considering what you get).
Oli - 6 Nov 2003 01:58
There are many great pubs in the Covent Garden area so no need to go to Lowlander unless you want to pay over-the-top prices and wait ages to be served in the evening.
Knocker - 14 Oct 2003 15:58
Simply the best new place I have visited in ages. Serves at least 10 Belgian and Dutch beers on draught. Food is ok, but far too expensive for what it is. Great atmosphere and within walking distance of Covent Garden.
Dave - 23 Sep 2003 14:45

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