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Lyceum Tavern, WC2

354 Strand

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Reviews (Current Rating Average: 6 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Quinno _ left this review about Lyceum Tavern

Classic Sam's with a downstairs bar and an upstairs diner. Downstairs bar is in two sections, the first part is fairly straightforward with varnish panelling and some booths, also wood panelled inside and out. The section through the wood and glass divider is a bit more personable with the bar also situated here. This is an outlet which stocks cask OBB. I was served up a Double Four lager by a friendly foreign barmaid. There’s an upstairs room too, kitted-out like a gentleman's club. An enjoyable stop.

On 29th September 2019 - rating: 7
[User has posted 4111 recommendations about 4099 pubs]

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Tris C left this review about Lyceum Tavern

I came here once before, several years ago and seemed to recall that this was a historic pub with an old and beautiful interior; I must have been a little drunk at the time as it isn't, the pub having originally been rebuilt in 1840 as the White Horse, with the current incarnation being build in 1906.
Inside, and there's a modern(ish) bare boarded floor and several small booths. Much wooden panelling throughout, with some red paintwork above and a dining room and bar upstairs.
'twas a fine sunny evening and all Covent Garden's pubs were doing a roaring trade, many with customers crowded outside on the pavement, but at 8.45 in the evening there were just two diners upstairs and two drinkers apart from myself on my brief visit, which is all a bit lame.
Ale: do you have to ask? OB at £1.75 a half and not that bad, as for once it wasn't served at absolute zero.
Not a bad pub by the usual SS standards, but there's much better to be had elsewhere and the noise of traffic on the Strand - not to mention the noise from the seagulls - is something of a deterrent.

On 24th July 2019 - rating: 4
[User has posted 1062 recommendations about 1041 pubs]

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custodian 42 left this review about Lyceum Tavern

Typical Sams pub with their usual offerings. Nothing spectacular with dining upstairs.

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

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E TA left this review about Lyceum Tavern

A Sam Smith's pub on The Strand which has, despite its location, managed to keep its pub ambiance and character. The main bar is quite cramped, but the small snugs help and create an intimate atmosphere, although the one we sat in smelled strongly of disinfectant. Hot food was available in the upstairs bar, although soup was on offer downstairs. Four handpumps but only 3 of them working, all with OBB on draft. There were also the usual range of Smith's keg beers and a few in bottles. The staff were unusually pleasant and helpful, and the beer was both well-kept and cheap for the area. A decent bolthole, well worth a return visit.

On 7th January 2016 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2684 recommendations about 2651 pubs]

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hondo . left this review about Lyceum Tavern

Sam smiths pub with quite a plain interior by their standards. Cask ale served. Didn't visit the dining area upstairs.

On 9th October 2015 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 2774 recommendations about 2716 pubs]

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Malden man left this review about Lyceum Tavern

An attractive looking pub on two levels just around the corner of the theatre of the same name, lacking the "Tavern" obviously. The ground floor has the bar running along the middle of one side and with a series of very small booths opposite, not unlike those in The Chandos. Wood panelled walls, leaded glass to the booth screens, décor includes the routine black and white photos of the area. The room opens out towards the rear where there is a fairly rare, for Central London, dartboard.
The upstairs room has another bar which was not open at the time on Bank Holiday Monday afternoon.
Samuel Smiths with the cask version of OBB on, still at £2.90, well below the local average. Meals are served, I imagine aimed at the pre-theatre crowd, but not much was happening on this score on Monday.
It's quite a nice pub but clearly the available beer prevents it from stepping up to the higher levels, however I enjoyed my pint here, after walking from near St Paul's Cathedral and finding many pubs shut on a Bank Holiday.

On 2nd September 2015 - rating: 6
[User has posted 1688 recommendations about 1663 pubs]

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Just a quick pint, then I'm off left this review about Lyceum Tavern

Reasonable Sam Smiths pub, with the main bar at street level and a quieter lounge bar upstairs. Four handpumps downstairs and two more above - all a bit unnecessary since they only dispense OBB (£2.90), but at least its the cask version. Fairly traditional (if plain) furniture and decor, with lots of wood panelling and various booths and small rooms providing a range of seating areas (mostly full up, mind you).

On 1st February 2014 - rating: 7
[User has posted 6457 recommendations about 6457 pubs]

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Roger Button left this review about Lyceum Tavern

The Lyceum is situated on the Strand in the heart of Theatreland so don't be surprised to see the place packed early evening with tourists and theatre-goers. Before entering, look out for the interesting barrel clock on the pubs façade.

The interior has a small room just inside the door with rather inadequate seating whilst the main bar is found to the rear. Along left hand side is a series of tiny, cosy snugs with room for no more than 4 people in each. Since the refurbishment a couple of years ago, the paneled walls have been stripped of their old Victorian music hall and theatre star pictures that added to the pub’s character and it does seema bit plain these days compared to how it was. The old patterned ceiling is also gradually being lost under multiple coats of paint.

The stairs to an upstairs lounge bar are lined with old pictures of London landmarks and whilst the upper bar may take some of the customer overflow, there are occasionally several tables reserved which can be frustrating given the lack of seating downstairs in the first place.

Being a Sam Smiths pub, the beer range is limited but the prices are the cheapest around even if the Old Brewery Bitter has now reached an astronomical £1.99 a pint. The 6 hand pumps (4 downstairs and 2 upstairs) do seem a bit superfluous given that they only offer the one ale.

It’s certainly not among my favourite Sam Smiths pubs in London but it does offer excellent value for money and is worth a couple of pints if you don’t mind the limited beer selection and can bag a snug.

On 5th November 2010 - rating: 6
[User has posted 1238 recommendations about 1232 pubs]

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Rex Rattus left this review about Lyceum Tavern

A Sam Smith’s pub, but one that does have Old Brewery Bitter on handpump. The OBB was OK, if a little too cold. Like so many Sam Smith’s pubs, they have not sought to “update” the interior. The booths on the left have been retained and remain unscathed, as has the dark wood panelled walls, and the lino floor. There is an upstairs lounge bar which I didn’t visit on this occasion, but which probably hasn’t changed much over the years, although I always regarded it as comfortable spot to escape to when I have used it in the past. Essentially it’s a typical Sam Smith’s pub, retaining its original character, even if it does sit on one of the busiest thoroughfares in London. I prefer it as a pub to the Wellington next door, but I’m not a great fan of Sam Smith’s beers, even if they are such excellent value, so probably won’t go out of my way to visit again.

On 26th August 2009 - rating: 5
[User has posted 2581 recommendations about 2498 pubs]

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Steve C left this review about Lyceum Tavern

This is a decent Sam Smiths pub that has a Old Brewery Bitter on hand pump and a dartboard. There are a few booths along the side of the pub, but these were taken up by hoards of students.

The barman was very friendly and maybe I'll check out the upstairs bar next time I'm in the area.

On 24th October 2008 - rating: 7
[User has posted 3592 recommendations about 3571 pubs]