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Submitted on Wednesday, 20th April 2011
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Reviews (Current Rating Average: 9 of 10) see review guidelines
Blackthorn _ left this review about The Harp
As others have mentioned this is a former Camra pub of the year, which consequently makes it a very popular spot, besides the fact that it is located between The Strand and Covent Garden which pretty much guarantees a brisk trade anyway.
The pub is a single room, quite long and narrow, with bare boards on the floor and limited seating, although I believe there may be more available upstairs. There are mirrors all along the right hand wall, and a number of portraits on the wall as well as Cask Marque certificates and other awards that they have won. There were hundreds, if not thousands of beer mats above the bar. Bar staff were quick and efficient, and were happy to provide samples to try.
Beer choice no doubt changes continually, but on this occasion consisted of Oakham Bishop’s Farewell, Dark Star Original Bitter, Dark Star Hophead, Palmer’s Dorset Gold, Sam Brooks Wandle, Sam Brooks Junction, Red Squirrel’s Red Dawn, Triple Brewery’s Winter Bourbon Stout, Dark Star Pale Ale and Harvey’s Sussex Best. The only cider on tap was Aspall’s Suffolk, although there were a few boxes in the ‘fridge who’s names I didn’t note, although I did spot a couple from Rich’s.
On 18th February 2013
- rating: 7
[User has posted 858 recommendations about 836 pubs]
John Bonser left this review about The Harp
Update – January 2013
It hardly needs saying, but The Harp has gone from strength to strength in recent years, culminating in winning the CAMRA National Pub of the Year Award in 2010.
There’s now 10 handpumps, with all of them generally in use, apart from when a barrel is being changed. Recent visits have generally found 3 Dark Star beers, 2 from Sambrooks plus Harveys as the regulars, supplemented by 4 guests, usually from smaller micros. Last Saturday ( 19/1/13), these were from Saltaire, Red Squirrel, Sunny Republic and the new kids on the block, Clarence and Fredericks ( the intriguingly named Redcurrant Stout) The bar gantry is now virtually invisible under the plethora of pump clips acquired over the years.
The pub is clearly now a destination meeting up point for visitors to London from other parts of the country, particularly the more mature and discerning football and rugby supporters. I got chatting to a friendly group of 50 something appropriately discreet Burnley supporters keeping a low profile on their way to the game at Millwall.
As well as the real ales, the speciality sausages were disappearing at a fair rate of knots, particularly the Wild Boar with Apples and Calvados.
Impossibly crowded at times, but still definitely one to make for.
Original Review – August 2009
Formerly a Charrington's pub called The Welsh Harp - a long time ago mind - it's now just The Harp. It's situated little more than a stone's throw from Trafalgar Square.
It's a long narrow bar with the walls covered in fine paintings and mirrors.
It's also a multi award winning CAMRA favourite and a CAMRA GBG regular in recent years. The pub now proudly displays the certificate recording it as SPBW Greater London Pub of the Year 2008.
It seems to be inevitably always crowded, given its beer range and location and its narrowness in front of the bar makes it a bit of a squeeze sometimes. There is however an upstairs sitting room ( no separate bar ) to where you can retreat to avoid the crush.
Pleasingly, it's a drinkers pub first and foremost, although speciality sausages are served.
Even though I only come here about every 3 months, there's invariably someone serving who I recognise - always a good sign.
There's usually 5-6 real ales on. On my recent Saturday afternoon visit, these were Harveys, Sambrooks, Greene King Sundance, Dark Star Hophead, Timothy Taylors Golden Best ( unusual to find a TT beer other than Landlord ) and a beer from South Wales Newmans Brewery called Last Lion of Britain. On previous visits, Black Sheep has usually been on.
I usually go for the Harveys in here, but went for the Dark Star Hophead on Saturday which was in typically hoppy form.
The pub is well worth a visit, but try to visit when it's relatively quiet if you can
On 21st January 2013
- rating: 9
[User has posted 454 recommendations about 454 pubs]
Just a quick pint, then I'm off left this review about The Harp
Always very crowded after work (and just crowded at other times), but well worth venturing inside to get a first-class pint from their excellent choice from eight handpumps of regular ales from the Dark Star and Sambrooks breweries and interesting guest beers (e.g. Clarence & Fredericks Redcurrant Stout at £3.65 on my receny visit). The bar itself is pretty compact, but the barstaff are very efficient so once you make it to the counter you get served quickly. However, there is also an upstairs room with more seating which is usually much calmer (and also a back door to a rather dingy alleyway if all else fails). Justifiably a local and national Camra award winner, and thoroughly recommended (albeit with the caveat that it can be a victim of its own success insofar as getting often so busy as to be distinctly uncomfortable).
On 18th January 2013
- rating: 8
[User has posted 2294 recommendations about 2294 pubs]
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