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Friend at Hand, WC1

4 Herbrand Street
Phone: 02078375524

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Pub Type

Taylor Walker (Spirit Pubs)
Page: 1 2

Reviews (Current Rating Average: of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Graham Coombs left this review about Friend at Hand

Tucked away in a side street behind the Principal Hotel, this pub seems to be geared to providing tourists with a 'London pub experience' and certainly attracts a lot of them. The one traditionally-furnished room has a slightly dark feel, being overshadowed by surrounding buildings, but is cheered up by various brass light fittings. Three large sports TVs are a bit out of place however. Being a Greene King pub it offered the usual Abbot and IPA but also a couple of guests in the shape of Vale Boom Boom and Truman Captain Lockwood, and condition seemed fine.

On 4th June 2019 - rating: 6
[User has posted 2083 recommendations about 2037 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

custodian 42 left this review about Friend at Hand

Haven't been in here for maybe thirty years or so, so have little recollection of the place. Cannot recommend it at all though. No ale to speak of, a nothing pub in all fairness.

On 25th October 2016 - rating: 3
[User has posted 1503 recommendations about 1501 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Tris C left this review about Friend at Hand

Once The Hansom Carriage with a history going back to 1797; I don't know if the current structure is original or a rebuild, this is indeed a Taylor Walker's 'typical London pub in a box' kit. There's dark wood panelling, carpets, conventional pub furniture and food advertised by way of colour photos in frames - bless! Music is muted and there's a flashing games machine. Clients seemed to mainly be tourists who can't be expected to know any better, sweary geezers in suits and some locals.

Ales up: GK London Glory, 1 clip reversed and St. Austell's Tribute at £4.40 which was fine but this price is about the highest in the area in what resembles a cheap hotel bar. I won't be returning.

On 5th April 2016 - rating: 3
[User has posted 935 recommendations about 921 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Just a quick pint, then I'm off left this review about Friend at Hand

Unremarkable sort of place (apart from a rather striking pub sign), looking like it has been decorated using Taylor Walker's 'typical London pub in a box' kit. On this visit, I found London Glory and Abbot from Greene King, Tribute (£4.35, less 10% Camra discount) and Old Rosie cider available from the four handpumps. Close to Russell Square tube station.

On 25th January 2016 - rating: 6
[User has posted 5831 recommendations about 5831 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Steve of N21 left this review about The Friend At Hand

Yes will concur with others that the Friend at Hand is a fairly typical one L shaped room Taylor Walker house, but it is very convenient traditional pub offering when alighting from Russell Square.
Not a bad ambience on this early Friday evening before Christmas and the four hand pumps on the bar were dispensing GK IPA , London Pride, St Austell Tribute and Old Rosie Cider, and the Tribute was decent enough.
In summary nothing outstanding but nice enough. Although with much better pub offerings in the direction of Holborn I think I will be leaving this one to the tourists staying in the nearby hotels in future.

On 23rd December 2014 - rating: 5
[User has posted 1686 recommendations about 1635 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Real Ale Ray left this review about The Friend At Hand

A choice of two ales on this visit, London Pride and Tribute. I have to say that their ales were in great shape. The pub gets very busy of an evening with tourists looking for that English pub experience. The pub is well kept and is ok for a quick pint.

On 5th January 2014 - rating: 5
[User has posted 2915 recommendations about 2915 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Bucking Fastard left this review about The Friend At Hand

A rather typical Taylor Walker house in an area full of tourist hotels.It's a modest sized single room with wooden floor and some quarry tiles near the bar.There is a dado rail and small fireplace but the coal affect gas fire and flock wall paper speak of an insensitive refurb while the muzak and prominent flat screen destroy any genuine ambiance.The wooden furniture is a mix of trad and high tables,there is little of note in terms of interesting decor.
The food shows all the tell tale signs of foodservice,my pie was mainly crust with little filling and the mash was suspicious in it's manufactured smoothness.The pricing of the food was at a slight premium given the tourist trap location.
There were three handpumps serving London Pride,CW Bombardier and "Solebay" Santa's Spirit,contract brewed for TW by Adnams in decent shape.The one saving grace for this pub was the very friendly welcome from the staff,but given the lacklustre ale choice normally available in TW houses ,I would have to be fairly desperate to consider a return visit.

On 28th December 2012 - rating: 5
[User has posted 2021 recommendations about 2021 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

hondo . left this review about The Friend At Hand

By the numbers taylor walker pub tucked away on a side street. 3 real ales and food served.

On 5th June 2012 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 2648 recommendations about 2591 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Rex Rattus left this review about The Friend At Hand

This is now a Taylor Walker branded pub. It’s like most of the brand with the usual mix of tall tables/stools and normal tables and chairs all crammed into a single room pub; the usual pub grub pubco menu; fruit machines and flatscreen TVs (but muted and showing one of Sunday’s La Liga games.
The beer choice is average at best – Old Golden Hen, Young’s London Gold, and with London Pride “conditioning”. But the beer’s no doubt better than when I remember it as a Watney’s pub many years ago. This is a very average TW pub, which seems to cater for the tourist food trade by look of it when I visited on Monday lunchtime. I don’t think that this pub is worth seeking out, but, like so many London pubs, it provides a service and I’m glad it’s there for anyone in need of a pint who happens to be in the area.

On 10th November 2011 - rating: 4
[User has posted 2551 recommendations about 2469 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Clive Thompson left this review about The Friend At Hand

I’ve never really rated this place but paid an occasional visit the other evening to check it out. It’s location means that it’s often full of groups of young foreign tourists which the bar staff seem surprisingly intolerant of. Three beers on and I had a good pint of Purity Mad Goose. Strange pricing policy, it was £3.13 and I also saw Becks being charged at £3.39 and a bottle of dog at £3.43, clearly they’re trying to keep the copper coins alive. Couple of TV’s that were showing different European football games.

On 2nd April 2010 - rating: 5
[User has posted 737 recommendations about 676 pubs]

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