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Bag O' Nails, Victoria

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user reviews of the Bag O' Nails, Victoria

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

Busy pub with a central location between Victoria Station and Buckingham Palace, a convenient place to brace yourself with a tick or two before heading off for tea at the Queen’s.
Sigmund - 14 Jun 2015 20:47
Popped in with a late drink with a friend on Friday on our way to Victoria. Found the Doom Bar in excellent nick and was most impressed with the atmosphere and the beautiful young Sicilian barmaid. I've always meant to give it a go and will be back for sure in the future.
roobs52 - 23 Mar 2014 13:24
We came in for a pre-theatre drink. Nice crowd of customers, quite busy but there was soon room to sit down as people departed, perhaps for their trains from nearby Victoria. Excellent beer (Taylor Walker pubs are usually quite good) and, for one of us, the draft cider was also thought highly of. Excellent service. The menu looked pretty good but we did not sample the food or go into the dining room.
Beerscout - 30 Jan 2014 09:46
I thought I'd give this place a 2nd chance after barring myself from here a couple of years ago. £3.99 for a pint of Carling, It's cheaper and far superior in The Phoenix around the corner so I think I'll stay barred from here.
thaiscubadiver - 22 Jun 2013 10:07
At best ordinary. The sole real ale (Old Golden Hen) was OK but two empty pumps and two taken with Cider Festival offereings was a bit disappointed. Pie and Mash for 50p shy of a tenner was also a bit OTT.

Not the worst pub in the area but could have had better beers and equal food in one of the local Spoons
twineyboy - 19 Sep 2012 22:18
Popped in on Friday night with a friend who lives in London, both of us enjoyed the pub. Food good a sharing platter for under ten pounds, very nice. Beer cheap for London, a pint of Strongbow and Becks for under eight pounds. Staff attentive and helpful, service good even when busy. Would recommend and will go there again when traveling to London Victoria. Looking at the previous reviews maybe I was lucky, but the whole atmosphere and ambience was welcoming, I doubt they just made an effort for me?!
msg1967 - 21 Jan 2012 13:28

Popped in for a pint with a friend before travelling back to SE & SW London ( Next time I willI have to remember to take off my invisible outfit off when I go to the bar) after being ignored for awhile - we were asked "Is any one waiting" we both had to have a double look around as we were the the only ones at the bar & had no empty glasses in front of us.

I decided to use the gents facilities & wished I had paid the 30p for the Victoria Railway Station facilities

It will be a long time before I go back, my sympathies goe out to the tourists who thihk this a typical English pub.
riach - 31 Aug 2010 00:28
good food, good atmosphere but unfortunatly 1 very rude waitress. after asking for our bill my friend and i were given the bill for the whole table (4 people) . stating this to the waitress we were told very sharply, "how am i supposed to know how many there are.i serve over 100 people a day i cant remember everyone.after a new bill was thrown at us she said next time you come in ,say something. alas we will not be returning again .
shame she lets the pub down.she should be fired. she is not good for the business with that attitude
offended - 1 Apr 2010 23:22
Fairly run-of-the-mill sort of place. Pretty heaving when I was in last, as you'd expect early Friday evening. Nothing too dire - the beer was OK and the service civil and competent enough - but equally nothing to make it stand out as a place you'd choose to go.
earlydrinker - 18 Mar 2010 22:17
6.0 out of 10???? how the hell did that happen. this place is a DISGRACE. Bad bitter, warm lager, whole place smells of vinegar and cold chips, terrible staff (not their fault), dark, dirty, airless. what really pisses me off is that all the tourists think that this is "authentic". AVOID AVOID AVOID AT ALL COSTS!!!
Didi - 17 Nov 2009 13:43
Pure tourist trap. Beer pretty insipid, was served one of the shortest pints ever, the barmaid didn't even blink. Was topped up without a problem but was just left with the feeling that if they could have got away with they would.
BlindTiger - 14 Sep 2009 15:28
This pub is directly behind Buck House on the main drag down to Victoria so lots of tourists. The interior is dark and fairly pleasant but seemed to have too many chairs and tables crammed into it. A decent enough pub but nothing to make a special effort for.
murgatroyd - 12 Sep 2009 09:18
I went in here the day of the floods (Which closed Victoria Station) , I had passed it by loads of times from the 52 bus and now it was a great chance to enter this boozer and sample its wares !!!!

It was packed because of the Palace garden party and Victoria Train station being closed , but I found a spot at the bar and got served very quick , Great ales and I stayed for three of four beers

I have been in here a few times since and had NO problems in getting served
The Toilets ARE a bit whiffey and need to be looked at , but a much nicer pub than the "Duke of (Selling slops to the public) York"


cossy52 - 15 Jul 2009 13:02
I had the same problem last Tuesday. I walked in and all the bar staff dissapeared! I was getting a tad paranoid. When some tourists entered they re-appeared, ignored me, served them. I cant vouch for the ales as I never got a chance of having any.
afcgazzard - 15 Jul 2009 11:02
There were two staff behind the bar when I walked in and being the only person standing there I assumed that I would be served pretty quickly, I was wrong. The barman, who I feel was blinded by the love of himself, disappeared to get some ice and the barmaid was pouring some Fosters for a couple of blokes at a table behind me. I had to wait a couple of minutes for the barman to return before getting served and even then he was laboured. Even including the upstairs dining room which had its own maid this is not a big pub, yet there were dirty glasses and plates on nearly all of the tables. What a joke.

There is a large selection of ale which was Greene King IPA, Old Speckled Hen, Bombardier, Youngs Special, 6X and pride, although three of these were off during my visit.

The toilet is tiny and was a mess, but at least it was usable unlike many pubs in the area.

Ill not be returning here again until a little care is put in as we are paying customers and deserve better than this crap.
Strongers - 15 Jul 2009 10:02
Popular with the tourists, but one of the better pubs within a few minutes walk of Victoria station if waiting for a train.
rpadam - 26 May 2008 23:29
dreadful dreadful pub. sticky tables slow staff cold food. everything an english pub should never be. all the septics turn up and think that this is what england is about!
DanLeyland - 15 Feb 2008 16:14
The Bag'o'Nails Paul & Linda met in was a club in the West End.
Glasgowboy - 23 May 2007 12:14
Been to this boozer a few times now and haven't been let down yet. Prompt and friendly bar staff who genuinely seem to like their jobs and decent beer to boot! Can get a little crowded when all the 'Desk Jockeys' get outta work, but well worth a visit
DirtyPanda - 9 Feb 2007 06:47
I paid a visit to The Bag O Nails when in Victoria yesterday afternoon. (Jan 19th) I found it to be a most cosy pub little pub with a definite wooden feel. It was clean, tidy and well run by seemingly friendly bar staff. The background music was at a welcoming gentle volume and I overall I found my time spent in here to be most pleasant. There were a couple of members of the deaf community in jovial spirit on my visit so this is pleasingly a place that caters for all. It wasnt particularly cheap (2.73 for Fosters) but one does get sick of cheap Spoons after a while! Recommended.
HTM69 - 20 Jan 2007 02:11
Considering the dearth of decent pubs in Victoria this one's well worth a visit. Staff seem reasonably friendly and the prices are certainly reasonable. Haven't tried the food there but would go back to give it a chance. A decent, solid little boozer overall. Was fairly quiet when I got there (on a Wednesday night), maybe if it's packed it would get a bit smoky as it's quite small downstairs, other than that can't really fault it. Ideal commuting location as well, less than a five minute walk from Victoria station, buses etc.
jimmythefish - 18 Jan 2007 17:38
Not as bad I thought it might be. Decent enough range of ales and pleasant staff. Not sure what it would be like during the tourist season.
WaitorseBoyz - 4 Jan 2007 14:15
I stopped in here after watching the Inspection of the guard which is very interesting AND there are much fewer tourists than at the actual changing of the guard which means you can get closer and take much better pictures. Anwho, while we were there, they had Youngs Ordinary, Fullers London Pride, and Deuchars IPA on cask. All were in good condition. The staff were also quite pleasant considering they probably have to deal with MANY tourists on a daily basis as this is really close to Buckingham palace. If in the area, pop in and check this one out.

surfadelic23 - 30 Oct 2006 13:07
Nice little place this, popped in for a swift half one lunchtime recently, it was full of fat Americans who seemed to love its character and British charm. Quaint.

Nice pint too and the food looked good. Apparently there's an upstairs bit which is quite roomy.
Cleversaz - 13 Oct 2006 13:49
Not a bad pub, friendly staff, just a shame about the thieving Gypsies that stole my wallet in there.......
anonymous - 28 Sep 2006 16:42
A good pub with nice beer, the selection of pies on the menu looked good too, sadly I'd just eaten.

Good atmosphere, well worth a visit.

Not sure what day FattusBlokus visited but when I visited there was a polish barman who served everyone at the bar and a blonde haired guy who stood behind the bar contemplating his navel for an hour.

Will definitely be back to try out the pies and search for the heavenly landlady.
Ladril_Leafstar - 31 Jul 2006 13:07
A good traditional pub, with well kept beers and a good atmosphere.
anonymous - 25 Jun 2006 15:06
Popped in again last night for a swift half (ok two) -many thanks Rachel !!!

Pub was looking great - looked like a proper pub, unlike some of the other establishments in the area. It was clear the staff had worked hard.

Plenty of smiles from the two ladies behind the bar which is always a good sign. Have to say that the Landlady is the best looking in the area by miles !!

Will be back !!
FattusBlokus - 20 Apr 2006 17:08
Frankly, anything that makes an attempt to retain a "pub" character these days deserves some praise. Not a bad place, with lots of tables and a good selection of beer, but the problem is that there's other similar pubs closer to the station that offer the same fare. There's nothing so special about this place that would make me want to walk 5 minutes down the road to get here, but worth dropping into if you happen to be passing by.
steve5312 - 19 Apr 2006 18:00
A small little pub and quiet cosy... Was only in here for a quick drink. Would prob go back!
bubbles83 - 1 Apr 2006 11:37
Typical T&J Bernard offering Old Peculier as a regular, a guest ale, and good value food in a relaxed and pleasant atmosphere. The fittings are faux olde worlde, but there's no harm in that. This was my first experience of a Bernard pub, and I've been pleasantly impressed with the chain ever since. Nothing out-standing, but it does the job.
SilkTork - 11 Mar 2006 19:37
Only use it as there is a bookie's two doors away - but a fair pub, fair beer and staff are good !

You could do worse in the area - You could do better though !!!
FattusBlokus - 5 Feb 2006 20:25
the pub bernie taupin and elton john got drunk in? i beg to differ. this, in fact, is only the pub where george michael and andrew ridgely decided to Wham! the rest is history...

tanderson7 - 9 Nov 2005 13:54
Was staying at the Rubens across the road during a visit last week and had dinner and more than a few pints here. Very good pub grub and I was pleased with the cask ales. Friendly service, not too smoky. I would call this a great place for a pint after a trip through Green Park.
Sawyer - 19 Oct 2005 20:55
The pub where Bernie Taupin & Elton John got 'absolutley paralysingly drunk' on the evening when Elton canceled his marriage with Linda. This is what the song " Someone saved my life tonight' is about. Roughly, in any case. :) Gotta love places with a history.

anonymous - 12 Oct 2005 20:15
sorry to torpedo your dreams harlequin but that bag o nails was a 60s club in soho. i don't think you'd see mccartney in this gaff... ringo maybe

i've always quite liked the nails, decent place for ale in particular. wish they'd turn back time and get the jukey back...

dunno if they've moved on but when i went there more regularly it was always the pub of choice of the London Bus Company boys and girls which gave it some je ne sais quoi. love boozers that are frequented by a particular strand or worker - bricklayers arms in noho is another one, it's all posties there.


shw500 - 15 Apr 2005 16:52
I chanced by this establishment last night whilst on a pub crawl. The Strongbow was medioka and the bar staff were nice, but what I couldn't get my head around was the 30 young squaddies filling each table and not saying a word. Myself and my compatriot saw fit to finish our pints not too quickly and quietly leave.

We know call this place the 'Bag'o'Chav'
lancalot - 15 Feb 2005 16:29
I was told, years ago that this is the boozer that Paul McCartney met Linda...any truth in this?.
harlequin - 7 Feb 2005 12:11
I don't get over Victora way very often so a friend suggested meeting at the Shakespeare just outside the station. After one pint in that soulless place I asked if there was perhaps a better pub nearby. We ended up at the Bag O' Nails just up the street. Light years better.

Several guest ales, all of them good. Quick service. Not too smoky. Big burger. Did I mention the guest ales?

A good pub.
RexJacobus - 24 Nov 2004 09:09
I think I dropped acid here once? Very pleasent pub it was. Long time ago mind.
Jim - 10 Nov 2004 13:44
Traditional English pub with a good range of guest ales. Tried the food which was, to be polite, average. Staff were friendly but looked a bit hassled when it got busy. Would probably go back there again for a drink but not to eat.
Phil Sheppard - 11 Jul 2004 19:55
Not a great pu=b in itself but it has a good crowd in here and its lively and fun. so i like it.
stoichkov - 30 Jun 2004 12:13
BIG FAN of this pub
John McGuire - 18 Apr 2004 09:50
Ducked in after a long walking tour of London, dog tired. Ate well and had a few pints. Good folks and service. Central location. Took a pic for the album. 1995. Thanks.
john - 1 Apr 2004 06:31
We spent a rainy evening int he pub- had a wonderful time- the staff was great, and for us, the food was top shelf- we liked it enough to go back a few days later to try the other set of taps they had. The only disaster is we lost the glasses and the pint glass I bought from there- we've hoped to have a website so we could order them and ship 'em home!
Jeff and Eileen Sites - 20 Mar 2004 21:40
I have always had a pleasant time here. The staff have always been friendly. I was born in London and do not understand what the problem with bus people is. good food good beer and better than a lot of so called pubs in Victoria
Andy (Lardy Man) - 8 Mar 2004 10:50
I like this place in the daytime...not so much in the evening now as I find the bus people are becomin more and more obnoxious....was a great place until then...I know they have been here for a while but there just seems to be more of them and less of us regs in there....
Jim - 9 Jan 2004 12:48
First visited the pub way back in 1973 after I had hitch-hiked down to London from Glasgow to see a Hawkwind concert. Then it was a home to home for us Jocks as all the bar staff were Scots and they sold Scots beer such as Tartan Special.

I had a ball in the Bag o' Nails when we were down for the England v Scotland football international at Wembley in 1981. The place was decked out in Scotland flags and tartan. Everyone was up on the tables dancing and singing after the match. The tourists loved ...the English avoided the pub like the plaque that night...very unsociable race the FEB's!

Over the years I have visited the Bag O'Nails whenever I have been down in London. There are still some Jocks drinking in it but the bar staff are mostly Aussies...they are really friendly and helpful.

The food is really good for pub grub although I prefer the Indian restuarant a couple of doors up.
Charlie McDonald - TTTP191418@aol.com - 23 Dec 2003 10:09
We were there in 1999 for my 40th birthday and met a group of great people: John, the cook from Chelsea, a soccer team celebrating their semi final victory who listened to AbbA the entire night, and Buckingham palace guards, the Buckingham palace tailor and a host of other awesome people. I always had several drinks lined up at the bar from people I had just met. It was the best 40th birthday I could imagine.
linda eha - 1 Nov 2003 05:55
We visited this pub whilst on our honeymoon after being married in Scotland.

Gary, Scott, and Amber were excellent bartenders and very friendly. You can also get a bit of philosophy out of Steve at the end of the bar. The beer wasn't cheap, but it didn't find it any more outlandish than anywhere else we went. A great place that we plan to return to on the next trip. Cheers
Wine - 7 Aug 2003 21:19
We absolutely love this place!
Cat - 7 Aug 2003 17:19
I visited this establishment in June of 2003. I'd looked for it as there is a group of pubs in the Columbus,Ohio area called The Old Bag 'O Nails that serve very good fish and chips. I'd given up finding the London pub and literally walked right in to it as I was leaving Buckingham Palace and walking toward Victoria St. I fired off four or five pics of the exterior, then went in. This was the real treat! I ordered Fish and Chips and smashed peas(no peas in Pub in Columbus). The barkeep was extremely friendly and seemed interested in the Ohio connection. He posed for me and even took a picture of me behind the bar. The food was great, the clientele very friendly. I couldn't have wished for more. I can't wait to go back the next time I'm in London. The bitters were good (my first) and another visitor (Kiwi) intoduced me to Shandys.
mike - 4 Aug 2003 03:07
As an Aussie I thought I would defend this pub I visited on my London trip. It has a great crew (new management)of Aussies working the bar that are up for a chat and able to point you in the right direction. The beers were clean and cold and not overpriced for the area. It had a great range of ales with a good range of nationalities drinking them. Well worth the visit no matter where your from.
Gary - 20 Jul 2003 14:42
Full of cretins from the Big Bus Tour and American tourists!! Need I say anymore. Beer is awful and overpriced - typical for the Victoria area and I think, this place doubles as a gay bar in the evening!
Foxy Fiona - 28 Jun 2003 17:33
Great place for a pint while your visiting guests view the changing of the guard.
mick - 2 Jan 2003 18:19
Very small, but also very pleasant. Lots of windows, so it's bright and cheery. Especially nice in the summertime.
Brian - 22 Dec 2002 01:42

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