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The Tav Bar, Bloomsbury - pub details

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Address: Tavistock Hotel, Tavistock Square, London, WC1H 9EU [map] [gmap]

Tel: 0871 951 1000 (ref 30003) - calls cost 10p per minute plus network extras

Nearest tube stations Russell Square (0.2 miles), Euston (0.4 miles), Goodge Street (0.4 miles)

Nearest train stations London St Pancras (0.5 miles), London Kings Cross - Thameslink (0.5 miles), London Euston (0.5 miles)

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> Current user rating: 4.4/10 (rated by 8 users)
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other pubs nearby:

London Pub, Bloomsbury (0.1 miles), Marquis of Cornwallis, Bloomsbury (0.1 miles), Callaghans, Russell Square (0.1 miles), Lord John Russell, Russell Square (0.2 miles), Institute of Education, Russell Square (0.2 miles) - see more nearby pubs

 

user reviews of the Tav Bar, Bloomsbury

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

Found myself staying here one night after getting stranded at Euston. The Tav Bar is OK but not particularly comfortable, you find yourself either sinking into one of the sofas, if they're not already bagged, or perching precariously on a high rickety stool. This situation is made worse by the fact that they won't allow you to take drinks through into the more comfortable hotel lobby. They do have cask beer Abbot, which was well kept and decently priced for a hotel bar. Service was friendly and efficient, even at 1am. The decor is unusual, they seem to be going for an Art Deco effect but have ended up with something more akin to 70's Kitsch.
Millay - 3 Apr 2009 10:38
The reviews below talk about the hotel bar upstairs but don';t mention the much better bar downstairs, at the "Blomsbury bowling lanes"

OK, this isn't a pub, its a bowling alley in a converted basement car park underneath a midprice tourist hotel. But the bar is open to non-bowlers and the beer is cheap and its actually a really nice place for a quiet drink and a chat with your mates. And there are some really very cute barmaids.

In the evening it gets crowded and becomes more of a club atmosphere, dancing, karaoke, whatever but in the afternoon its comparatively empty, its cool (in both senses) there is a smoking area and unbelievably the beer is almost cheap - 2.80 to 3.00 a pint, which is less than most pubs round here, never mind clubs. The line up changes but it tends to be posh lager - last week it was Mean Time from Greenwich, Bitburger (a decent default German pilsner) and Bernard - an unpasteurised hoppy Czeck Pilsner which is actually really rather nice.

The decor and atmosphere is quite strange - a huge barn of a room with visible ducts that looks like a cross between an underground garage and a night club (that's because it IS and underground garage that has been retrofitted as a club). Much of it is retro American vaguely early 60s - but its not so much what we think of as "60s" nowadays as the sort of 60s America that wore short-sleeve shirts and slacks and had crew-cuts and voted for Nixon rather than Kennedy. I'm no expert but it looks as if the bowling equipment is old 1960s American stuff refurbished. And there are odd little areas laid out like diners in a couple of places, comfy sofas in another, and a sort of platform with flying ducks on the wall like a living room and even what looks like a tiny 20-seater cinema. None of which is in use in the afternoon.

Staff had a reputation for being a bit grumpy but I never noticed. They were pleasant, polite, and open to some friendly chat. chat. Maybe they have different people on at night or maybe they just get overworked. But every time I've been here in the afternoon they were fine. And did I say that they were mostly very, very cute?
bob_brown - 14 Aug 2008 20:07
Its not a pub, just a hotel bar, and i would tend to class the hotel as a commercial travellers hotel or a cheap tourist hotel.

Usually filled with a mixture of tourists, construction workers etc. Good service behind the bar if Tony is working with no complaints about the limited choice of beers. Yes the management are trying to tempt the people off the streets but the bar is only open in the evenings.

Lanes bowling alley is situated on the next floor down, but noise isnt excessive from the bowling, just the clientele coming and going plus the music

Can be heaving some nights and barren on others.

My tip.......there is also a wine bar in this hotel....Jaques, which has a good selection of food, and an excellent ever changinging wine list.

Give it a try


MX321 - 13 Dec 2007 04:57
This is basically the bar for the Tavistock Hotel but it is very accessible and open to anyone just like a normal pub. In fact they have several signs outside to tempt people in from the street. It is probably one of the best examples of an Art Deco bar in London, well maintained and largely untouched by the passage of time. The only concessions to the 21st century are the out of place plasma screen and the noise from the bowling lanes in the basement below (especially when they have the occasional rock concerts there). The beer selection is admittedly not very adventurous (the ubiquitous Greene King IPA & Abbot) but they come surprisingly cheap and are certainly of drinkable quality. The bow tied barmen give the bar a touch a class and it is not difficult to settle into one of the comfortable sofas and transport yourself back the 20’s and 30’s when this hotel would have been state of the art. It will not be everyone’s taste but fans of the period will adore it and it is certainly one of the most pleasant discoveries on the central London pub circuit I have come across for some time, especially given the lack of decent pubs in the immediate area. It is well worth the walk round the back streets from Tottenham Court Road to find if Art Deco is your thing and is especially handy for gigs at the ULU, just down the road.
RogerB - 17 Aug 2006 16:06

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