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The Cross Keys, WC2

31 Endell Street
Phone: 02078365185

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

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Real Ale Ray left this review about The Cross Keys

I do agree with Tris C regarding the infamous growth of vegetation across the front of the pub. The interior here is a long narrow one room affair and when the pub is busy, navigating between the bar area on right hand side and seating opposite can be slightly frustrating. Still I managed to find a space at the bar to peruse their beer selection. They had three ales on handpump serving Windsor & Eton Green Hop Bitter, Brodies Pale Ale and Olde Tripe. I went for the Brodies, which was a very decent beer.
The service was good, even though the pub was busy and the bar staff were quite chirpy.
Now what happened next was a revelation, the chap next to me at the bar and myself struck up a conversation about visiting various pubs around the country, Liverpool was mentioned, then Pubs Galore, then Real Ale Ray and hey presto I had just met Komakino. So we sat and had a pint together along with Mrs A.

On 23rd November 2019 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2976 recommendations about 2976 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Tris C left this review about The Cross Keys

Built in 1848 and Grade II-Listed, the pub has a very fine frontage and is renowned for the luxuriousness of foliage draped across the ground floor windows, admired by a multitude of drinkers outside on this very warm evening. The place is cited in various must-visit lists, though oddly I'd never been here before. It's described as having a very small interior but I didn't find this to be the case, but maybe that's because all the drinkers were outside. What's undeniable is that it's incredibly gloomy in here with little illumination coming from the red/orange lamps. It's noted also for the eclectic mix of knick-knacks suspended from on high, including a copper and brass helmet from an old diving suit. Walls are adorned with old prints as well as newer ones depicting the Beatles, Stones and Barbra Streisand, who I presume must all have drunk here. Furniture is traditional in dark wood, along with studded chocolate brown banquettes to the periphery. In all: atmospheric. The barmaid was friendly enough but needs to watch her language.
Ales: an unused pump, Hardy & Hanson's Old Tripe, GK's London Glory, Brodie's California and Windsor & Eton's Corker at a very agreeable £2.00 a half, though 'corker' is a somewhat optimistically self-congratulatory description.
I'm afraid I'm not as enamoured of this place as other reviews. It's ok, but the uninspiring ale choice doesn't help and there are actually better pubs in this area, not that Covent Garden has that much appeal, being the tourist hell-hole that it is and if this is indeed a Brodie's pub, why the one beer competing alongside the likes of GK and Tripe?

On 24th July 2019 - rating: 5
[User has posted 996 recommendations about 981 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Ian Mapp left this review about The Cross Keys

GBG brought me here and what a result.

Perfect levels of pubbiness.

Very good Wadworth 6x at the best price for the area - £3.60.

Loved my visit and will be my destination of choice when in the area.

Visit blogged at

On 2nd February 2017 - rating: 10
[User has posted 277 recommendations about 276 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

custodian 42 left this review about The Cross Keys

Not a bad start to my crawl today. Bit dark inside as all the lights were red but soon got over that. Nice 5.0% Brookes pale ale and amazingly cheap food which I did not sample. Would return to this pub.

On 25th October 2016 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1673 recommendations about 1671 pubs]

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hondo . left this review about The Cross Keys

Quite a characterful dark interior with lots of bric a brac and photos. 5 real ale taps 4 on during my visit. Food served.

On 24th October 2016 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 2719 recommendations about 2662 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Blackthorn _ left this review about The Cross Keys

An attractive looking pub with plenty of hanging baskets and such like outside, it looks most enticing and one couldn’t resist wandering in. Internally it consists of a single room bar with quite a traditional feel and was full to capacity with standing room only on a recent Saturday evening visit.

Décor wise there is red patterned carpet on the floor and dark wood panelling on the walls. All manner of copper implements were hanging from the ceiling, such as jugs, pans and even an old diver’s helmet, whilst the walls were liberally plastered with all manner of portraits, old black and white photographs and even a couple of fish mounted in glass cases. Further shelving above the bar countered was also full of old photographs. A grandfather clock stood to one side and there was a stained glass window above the porch.

Beers on tap were Brodies Black APA, Jamaican Stout, Jamaican Mild and Windsor & Eton Guardsman. The solitary cider was Strongbow, unfortunately.

On 27th January 2016 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1749 recommendations about 1684 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Just a quick pint, then I'm off left this review about The Cross Keys

Fascinating (if small) pub, with a remarkably imposing crested sign extending across the full width of the plant-covered frontage. The interior walls are also covered in all sorts of pictures and other memorabilia, but one thing in very short supply is seating. Six handpumps, usually offering several Brodies beers plus a couple of guests and a cider. So far so good, but I have experienced poor bar-keeping issues here in the past and my pint of Mild was rung-up at the wrong price this time too. I would really like to be in a position to recommend this place, but I can't.

On 25th May 2014 - rating: 3
[User has posted 6198 recommendations about 6198 pubs]

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Moby Duck left this review about The Cross Keys

Still remains a favourite central London pub of mine,and seems to get darker inside with every visit,although by the nature of its location it can be frequented by its fair share of tourists the pub seems to maintain a feel of a friendly locals pub. My pint of Brodies London Fields Pale was as good as ever.Highly recommended.

On 30th December 2013 - rating: 8
[User has posted 1354 recommendations about 1340 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

john gray left this review about The Cross Keys

Small pub but with an outside area at the front.Five handpumps in use with 2 Brodies beers.My London fields pale was as good a beer as I have drank from Brodies.Superb.

On 5th October 2013 - rating: 7
[User has posted 940 recommendations about 927 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Aqualung . left this review about The Cross Keys

After a stroll through Soho from the Old Coffee House, successfully avoiding the Crossrail works and overcoming the disappointment of finding the Angel at St Giles closed (why any West End pub sees fit to open at midday rather than 11:00 or earlier is beyond me!).

The first thing that struck me was how dark it was, if I had entered it on a bright sunny day rather than rain I would probably have been falling over the furniture. It's a lot smaller than the Old Coffee House being long and narrow with the bar down the right as you enter.

I went for the Bethnal Green Bitter (£3.40), a beer which I have only tried once before and today it was outstanding. This is just about the only Brown Bitter that Brodie's produce and given the huge array of beers brewed by them, I would have thought there was room for at least one more.
There are no keykeg options here.

Although I was here early (before midday) there were no signs of any tourists. I'm guessing it's far enough away from the Covent Garden hotspots and the main West End drag to avoid them.

All in all I would recommend this place, but it is small so wouldn't take many visitors to pack it out.

On 29th June 2013 - rating: 9
[User has posted 2143 recommendations about 2143 pubs]

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