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:
New pub visits 2022 with sheffield hatter on the Pub Forum

The Champion, Fitzrovia, W1

13 Wells Street

Return to pub summary

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

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Will Larter left this review about The Champion

Having slightly lost my way to the next pub on my list, I stumbled across this gem of a Sam Smiths back street corner pub. The windows feature likenesses of some rather outdated sportsmen and other celebrities, the only female I can recall from a brief perusal was Florence Nightingale. As with all Sam's pubs, certainly in this part of London, this is a well-presented pub with the impression of a well-preserved (or restored) interior. It was busy with a post-work rush at the time of my visit, so I had enough cover to use my phone to find my way on to my next port of call. My half of Old Brewery was ok, considering it was the keg version. Having had a half of the same beer at the previous pub, I was able to make a direct comparison. Only slightly too cold and gassy, was my conclusion, and lacking in the complexity that this beer has when at its best.

On 17th February 2020 - rating: 7
[User has posted 3046 recommendations about 2866 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Quinno _ left this review about The Champion

Popped in again as part of the Sam’s Pub Challenge me and a friend had set ourselves. It’s all about the amazing stained glass windows in here, along with the lovely mahogany curved bar with some snob screens. Floor could do with a scrub though. Still no cask OBB but there was a rare sighting of the keg version. I went for the bottled organic cider. A roaring fire helped make this place feel cosy and sessionable and I liked it a lot. A cask OBB would have this one vying for the title of Best Sam’s In London.

February 2016
Traditional Sams Ye Olde Victorian boozer. Staple-shaped with traditional wrap bar, lots of dark varnished wood and settle seating. Darts off to the right hand side, a rarity in central London boozers. Biggest selling point are the gorgeous stained glass windows, depicting old sporting heroes from the late 1800s (though these are not nearly as aged as you’d assume and were installed by Sams a few years back as part of a refit). Upstairs lounge bar unseen by me, though I hear its availability is intermittent. Prices are dirt cheap for Soho. No cask OBB but otherwise the full range of Sams fonts including the new India Ale (which was a horrible tinny brew, so much so I dumped it and went back to Man in a Box). One of Sam's better central London outlets, though the lack of cask OBB detracts. Rated 7

On 20th December 2019 - rating: 8
[User has posted 4401 recommendations about 4387 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Tris C left this review about The Champion

For the area, this is a fairly typical Sam Smith's outlet with dark wood and no real ale; Sovereign on tap.
The main draw are the stained glass windows depicting sporting heroes of the past, such as W. G. Grace and Kevin Keegan. Ok, so I made that one up but it may as well be true as the windows were only installed in 1989!
If this weren't a Smith's gaff I'd return, but with the taste of Old Brewery Bitter still lingering from our trip to the neighbouring Blue Posts, two Sammy's experiences back to back was a bit much so we left, dry.

On 29th July 2016 - rating: 5
[User has posted 1515 recommendations about 1495 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

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

In most respects, a typical Sam Smiths London pub with dark wood-panelled interior featuring a staple-shaped bar with a small darts area / side entrance lobby at one end. However, the interesting glazed pictures of old sporting heroes in the exterior windows make the place stand out. One of those annoying Samuel Smith's outlets with no real ale, so opted for the Extra Stout (£3.40). A handy retreat from Oxford Street, but badly let down by the lack of cask OBB.

On 20th September 2015 - rating: 6
[User has posted 7001 recommendations about 7001 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Steve of N21 left this review about The Champion

It is worth visiting this pub for the stunning stained glass windows displaying champion sportsmen from the late 1800's.
And inside it gets even better with an interior more reminiscent of a gin palace than a pub. Wonderful dark wood interior , superb period lighting and a really good lively and jovial evening crowd.
It's a Sam Smiths pub which means the beer is cheap, but the one downside (and it's a big one),is that there is only Keg OBB.
A real shame, because with real ale , this would almost be the perfect pub.

On 26th April 2009 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1816 recommendations about 1754 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Rex Rattus left this review about The Champion

This is a Sam Smith’s pub, and another one in this area that doesn’t do OBB on handpump. The keg version is not really worth drinking (in my opinion).
The windows are quite remarkable – in fact they may be unique in design, commemorating, as they do, various, mainly unsung, British heroes. But, as good as they are, they are not very old. The Captain Matthew Webb window is signed “Ann Sotheran – York – 1989”. Old or not, they are impressive. Indeed, it demonstrates Sam Smith’s commitment to looking after their estate. In fact this is a good pub, but if they only did a decent ale it could be a superb one.

On 25th October 2008 - rating: 5
[User has posted 2599 recommendations about 2513 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Steve C left this review about The Champion

I'm not a big fan of the lack of choice in Sam Smiths pubs, but they are all worth popping in to have a look at the décor and this place is no exception – Check out the windows!

I found the staff to be friendly, although my friends were not happy about the lack of OBB on hand pump so we only stayed for a pint. The pavement outside was packed, but the pub was almost empty so lacked some atmosphere.

On 1st September 2008 - rating: 6
[User has posted 3932 recommendations about 3908 pubs]