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The Coal Hole, Strand, WC2

92 Strand

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Pub Type

Nicholsons (Mitchells & Butlers)
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Reviews (Current Rating Average: of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Tris C left this review about The Coal Hole

A grade II-listed pub dating from 1904 and well documented below and on CAMRA’s list of pubs with heritage interiors, this being of Regional Importance.
I haven’t been in here for around 18 years, but like Ray, I too had my Richard Harris moment in here with the ex in 2000, before a do at the Savoy; I’ll spare you the details, but he wasn’t exactly sober.
Ales: Doom, Pride, Nicholson’s Pale Ale, Proper Job and Ghost Ship at a really quite reasonable £2.55 a half and fine.
This is really a must-visit London pub to experience the architecture, rather than the ambience, but it’s best appreciated early in the week as it’s absolutely rammed at peak times and very noisy; the mezzanine is the place to sit.

On 2nd November 2021 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1532 recommendations about 1510 pubs]

Will Larter left this review about The Coal Hole

Impressive! Woodwork, windows, friezes, fireplace, ceiling, floor all nicely done or carefully preserved or restored. My table was a display cabinet for barley grains and hop flowers - you don't see that sort of thing every day. Service was also good - my arrival coincided with a group of city types, but the manager spotted that I was not with them and stopped pulling through line cleaner and came to serve me. My half of Fullers London Pride was in good condition and I enjoyed having a look around the place. There were two sets of six hand pumps, with just Nicholsons Pale, Pride and Adnams Ghost Ship on at the time of my Friday afternoon visit, though I guess another was going on in anticipation of a busy session. I'd be happy to call in here another time.

On 2nd October 2021 - rating: 8
[User has posted 3141 recommendations about 2950 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Brainy Pool left this review about The Coal Hole

last pub we visited before heading off to the rugby league Challenge Cup final on 24th August. a classy Nicholsons place on the Strand serving several platters of small pies when we were here. We sat outside in the alley with a view of the Thames. Nice pub but very much a central London pub in price and atmosphere.

On 31st August 2019 - rating: 6
[User has posted 907 recommendations about 880 pubs]

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custodian 42 left this review about The Coal Hole

Nicholson's pub with no real ale above 4.5% ABV. Very busy and expands out at the back and upstairs.

On 1st February 2017 - rating: 5
[User has posted 1693 recommendations about 1691 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Just a quick pint, then I'm off left this review about The Coal Hole

A very good Nicholsons, with an interesting interior and nothing like as dull as the name suggests! Very busy, and difficult to find a seat (although it is usually worth investigating the small gallery in the rear corner because not everybody seems to notice this extra space). Also has the smaller Edmunds Bar downstairs, although the tables are generally set aside for those dining. Usually has a decent selection of well-kept beers from the bank of six handpumps on the front part of the main counter plus the additional six further back (and another four - usually duplicated - below). However, this was unusually restricted on my latest visit, with 'just' NPA, Pride, Truman's Zephyr, Rev James from Brains, Cotleigh Tawny Owl and Bays Pure Gold (£4.60) on offer.

On 8th January 2017 - rating: 8
[User has posted 7108 recommendations about 7108 pubs]

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Bucking Fastard left this review about The Coal Hole

This Nicholson's house has a very interesting interior,well worth exploring.I really liked the mosaic tiled entrance,the leaded front windows and the plasterwork frieze below the high beamed ceiling.The many high tables didn't feel out of place and a small raised seating bench in red leather near the entrance was a comfortable place to sit.Further around the L shaped interior is a fine stone fireplace and wooden staircase up to a mezzanine level,away from the throng around the bar.Downstairs leads to Edmunds Bar and Dining,which follows the same traditional wooden theme and has it's own bar with 4 handpumps serving a subset of ales from upstairs.The street level entrance to Edmunds is also beautifully picked out by mosaic tiles.Most tables will be used by diners down here,but drinkers can also be accomodated here,again it's generally a quieter spot.
At the bar there are two ranks of six handpumps with the ale range doubled up.On my trip the options were Nicholsons Pale Ale,Exmoor Going for Gold,London Pride (reversed),Trumans Runner,Hadrian Border Brewery Tyneside Blonde,and a decent Salopian Hop Twister.A good range,which makes this a reliable and interesting place to drink in theatreland and worth including on any real ale crawl of the area.This revisit was after a long absence,and I had forgotten how enjoyable a visit can be.

On 6th August 2016 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2383 recommendations about 2383 pubs]

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hondo . left this review about The Coal Hole

Nicholson's pub with an L shaped interior and a small area upstairs at the back. 12 real ale taps.

On 9th October 2015 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 2833 recommendations about 2774 pubs]

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Real Ale Ray left this review about The Coal Hole

I can't believe this was my first visit to the Coal Hole, as when I worked next door in the Savoy, Richard Harris invited me for a pint in here on several occasions. A lost opportunity to have had a pint with a great character and his pal Peter O'Toole. I have to agree with Thuck Phat, the beer quality was excellent. Six ales on our visit, I went for the Whitstable Pale Ale and a very good pint of London Pride.

On 14th January 2014 - rating: 9
[User has posted 3121 recommendations about 3121 pubs]

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Thuck Phat left this review about The Coal Hole

The real point about the Coal Hole is that it is consistently busy and is therefore getting through a lot of real ale, which as a consequence tends to be of decent quality. I've never had a bad pint of TT Landlord, which always seems to be on, in there. A recent visit again saw the Landlord on top form and the Coal Hole is one of the best places in London to sample this great, but often badly treated, beer. MARCH 2010


There are some very good reviews of The Coal Hole below which I'll try not to repeat.
It can get very busy especially at 'cocktail hour' between 5 and 7 so worth noting that if you head to the back of the pub it can be calmer and there is a galleried area which often has space. Handy especially if you're indulging in one of their decent pies. The gents is also very cramped.
At the front is a bank of 5 handpumps with another 6, often with different beers on, further down the bar.
My recent visit found on: Brains Rev. James, Leeds Midnight Bell, Acorn Barnsley Bitter, Doom Bar, Tribute, Brentwood HoHoSoHo, Thornbridge Jaipur IPA and Itchen Valley St Nichs Tipple. The latter two were in good condition and whistled down. TT Landlord no longer appears after being a regular for many years. A victim of TT's premium pricing I'd guess. Something of a shame as it was a guaranteed, and rare in these parts, quality pint of Landlord but the selection above has something for everyone.
A quality boozer, well worth a visit for the range and quality of ale.

UPDATE December 2013

The Coal Hole remains reassuringly unchanged with this visit seeing Nicholson's in full Christmas swing on the ale front with a couple of these exclusive to Nicholson's apparently.
On tap were: Nicholson's Pale Ale (brewed by Tribute), Pride, Purity Saddle Black - excellent and very well kept, Brains I see Santa, Sam Adams Blonde Ambition, Truman's US PPale, Adnams Rudolf Nose Best and Harviestoun Sleigh Driver. A decent and festive selection with everything that we tried in good nick.
As ever, well worth a visit.

On 6th December 2013 - rating: 9
[User has posted 674 recommendations about 673 pubs]

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E TA left this review about The Coal Hole

Well described below, this convenient and convivial watering hole run by Nicholsons had 8 ales on, 2 from Belgium during this latest. Of historical interest, it reputedly hosted ad hoc performances by Gilbert and Sullivan and was supposed ot have been the coal cellar for the Savoy Hotel. This time I had Foxy Blonde, which was OK but maybe a bit over the hill, and two other beers which were in much better condition. Decent music on the jukebox, pleasant atmosphere, staff were a bit supercilious, clientele mostly post-performance theatre goers. Overall a good pub with historic associations.

On 14th November 2013 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2909 recommendations about 2876 pubs]

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