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In the Hop Garden with Wittenden on the Pub Forum

The Norfolk Arms, Bloomsbury, WC1

28 Leigh Street
Phone: 02073883937

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Reviews (Current Rating Average: 4 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Tris C left this review about The Norfolk Arms

This pub sports some pleasing glazed exterior tiling, but from thereon "We're on an express elevator to hell, going down!".

This is a tired ripped-out pub that looks incredibly scruffy indeed, where chipped surfaces abound and a large chunk was missing from the wall next to my seated head. Furniture is eclectic and few people were in here. It was only when I glanced around and caught sight of the three large hams hanging in the window that I realised I was actually in a tapas restaurant - menus on the tables might help their business.

No ales spotted and about to leave, our eyes alighted upon a sad-looking GK IPA pump virtually hidden behind more tat stacked on the bar. Ok as far as GK goes and £1.75 a half, unsurprisingly, didn't stay long.

I certainly won't be returning to a 'pub' that serves only GK IPA and resembles a closing-down sale; the ceiling's quite nice though.

On 3rd March 2016 - rating: 2
[User has posted 953 recommendations about 939 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Real Ale Ray left this review about The Norfolk Arms

This used to be a good traditional locals pub. The pub is now an open plan Tapas restaurant, with ham hanging up over the windows. The interior of the pub has had the guts ripped out of it, in a sheer act of designer vandalism.
If you watch the Channel 4 comedy series Black Books, the pub interior features in one of the episodes. The Black Book shop is across the street.

On 13th February 2015 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 2976 recommendations about 2976 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Just a quick pint, then I'm off left this review about The Norfolk Arms

With all tables seemingly set aside for dining, those stopping by for a quick pint are not exactly welcomed here but managed to bag one of the two bar stools (although there are also some wooden benches to front and side). 'L'-shaped bar, with mixed light / dark brown decor. Some picturesque hanging groceries by the windows, but otherwise limited decor. Rusticated furniture. Just one of two handpumps working, offering Greene King IPA (£3.50). Unaccountably busy.

On 13th November 2013 - rating: 5
[User has posted 6000 recommendations about 6000 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Clive Thompson left this review about The Norfolk Arms

This isn’t a pub, I know it isn’t a pub because if it was I wouldn’t have spent so long at the bar without being served before walking out. As it was I was transfixed by how many people could mill about behind the bar, seemingly busy, but managing not to make any eye contact with those of us waiting to be served. I did get a couple of apologetic glances from the only bloke actually serving and I decided to hang on as they do have two hand pumps. He eventually served me with a pint of Theakstons XB which I sunk before he’d finished his next round of White Zinfandel and lime & coriander crab cakes with rocket salad and Peruvian vinaigrette.

On 21st January 2010 - rating: 4
[User has posted 742 recommendations about 678 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Steve C left this review about The Norfolk Arms

This place is more restaurant than pub and the atmosphere inside was non existent as the only sounds were the chinking of forks on plates and teaspoons in Darjeeling.

Theakston XB was available alongside Greene King IPA which was on the turn and Fosters, Kronenburg, San Miguel, John Smiths Smooth and Guinness. I found the barmaid to be nice enough, but I felt uncomfortable sitting inside so I sat on one of the benches that line the path outside.

I don't think that I'll be going back here to eat or drink in the future.

On 6th April 2009 - rating: 4
[User has posted 3586 recommendations about 3565 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Philip Carter left this review about The Norfolk Arms

Changed hands since this photo taken, now more like a restaurant with lots more tables both inside and out.

On 8th October 2006 - rating: 4
[User has posted 753 recommendations about 716 pubs]