User name:



Sign in with Facebook

Not already a member?
Join our community and - Rate & review pubs - Upload pictures - Add events JOIN for free NOW

Chat about:
Cafe Rouge with Delboy20 on the Pub Forum

The Imperial, Leicester Square, WC2

5 Leicester Street

Return to pub summary

Pub Type

Taylor Walker (Spirit Pubs)

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

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Brainy Pool left this review about The Imperial

distinctly average central London pub just off Leicester Square. for a quiet mid afternoon pint it fit the bill and there were only a few in, including a rather over friendly man annoying the barmaids. dull Greene King real ales available.

On 14th November 2018 - rating: 5
[User has posted 736 recommendations about 717 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Graham Coombs left this review about The Imperial

Trapped in the area between Leicester Square and Chinatown, this is a fairly plain pub without too many gimmicks. There are some tables outside on the pavement, which benefit from the pedestrianisation of the street. Beers from Greene King with guests; at time of visit draught ales were Abbot, IPA, Tribute and Portobello Pale and seemed in fair condition.

On 2nd October 2018 - rating: 6
[User has posted 2195 recommendations about 2146 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

custodian 42 left this review about The Imperial

Basic one room pub with four pumps. The one I wanted went off whilst being pulled so made do with Guinness.

On 22nd February 2017 - rating: 5
[User has posted 1673 recommendations about 1671 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

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

Seemingly invisible to the Leicester Square tourist crowds, this Taylor Walker outlet is never as busy as one might expect. Traditional, if unexceptional, interior. Also has a few patio tables out on the front pavement. 1730, Greene King London Glory, Tribute and Robinson's Trooper (£4.90 less 10% Camra discount) available from the four handpumps on this visit. Two each from Portobello (VPA and London Pilsner) and Madness (Lovestruck amber and Night Boat porter) on the keg taps. Nothing special, but OK for a quick pint.

On 9th July 2016 - rating: 6
[User has posted 6002 recommendations about 6002 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Roger Button left this review about The Imperial

Named in honour of Queen Victoria, the Imperial is situated just off the northern edge of Leicester Square and is a surprisingly secretive pub given the location. It doesn’t seem to attract the crowds that you would expect and that is probably one of its more positive aspects when planning a visit.

The pub is enticing enough with its continental style pavement seats, pull down canopy and flower basket laden façade. The single room interior is attractive enough, a traditional pub style with decorative mirrors, chessboard tiling around the bar and original fireplaces albeit these days they are now gas. A few screens divide the seating to makie it a little more intimate. And overall it is a pleasant enough place. There is a TV on the wall at the far end and some unintrusive but quite bland background music. One little minor oddity I noted is that the till display flashes up high on the bar back.

The pub did once have a half decent ale range but is now part of the Taylor Walker brand and the choices are now a bit more formulaic with just Sharps Doom Bar & Youngs London Gold available on my recent visit. At £3.55 the Doom Bar was somewhat overpriced even in this tourist stronghold. Service has always generally been fine although I have yet to visit when the staff hyave been under any pressure.

For all its promise and potential the pub suffers from being part of a PubCo that stifles any freedom of choice when it comes to its product range and there is nothing here you won’t find in another pub within 200 yards. Apart from the fact that you can generally get a seat, it just doesn’t have enough pulling power to warrant regular visits for the discerning drinker hence tourists and after work casuals will find it more appealing.

On 26th October 2011 - rating: 6
[User has posted 1238 recommendations about 1232 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

BobOs . left this review about The Imperial

Visited many times since, despite its proximity to Leicester Square, the tourists tend to miss it. Quite nice traditional interior although decidedly grubby and could do with a bloody good clean, beer (4 pumps) is usually good which makes up somewhat for the very mediocre and expensive food. The staff are a waste of time and prefer to natter than to serve customers. On the whole, average.

On 12th July 2011 - rating: 5
[User has posted 370 recommendations about 355 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Steve of N21 left this review about The Imperial

The Imperial is a pleasant enough comfortable one-bar pub just off the north side of the main Leicester Square. London Pride, Green King IPA and CW Bombardier were on when I visited . Bar along one side and then comfortable seating areas along the other. The Pride was fine and the two Club sandwiches we had were fine also, and reasonably priced considering where you were.
So OK for a visit if you are in Leicester Square as there are many worse places to drink in this area, but it’s not really worth going out of your way to visit and there are many more worthwhile pubs a fairly short distance away that does justify this.

On 11th February 2010 - rating: 5
[User has posted 1699 recommendations about 1648 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Rex Rattus left this review about The Imperial

They had Butcombe Bitter on, as well as some of the usual suspects. Pretty good it tasted too, as well as being a bit different – for London anyway. This pub has been seriously refurbished since the last time I was in here, when they had a pinball machine at the back where the red settees are now. But, for the area, it's a rather comfortable pub. They have an interesting combination of floor tiles by the bar, surrounded by a few feet of bare boards, and then carpeting round the sides where the majority of tables are.
It seems to cater mainly for the tourist trade, which is inevitable considering its location on Leicester Square, but for all that it's not bad. There are many worse places to drink in this area, though it's not really worth going out of your way to visit.

On 22nd December 2008 - rating: 5
[User has posted 2575 recommendations about 2493 pubs]