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Beer of the Week (w/e 26th June 2022) with aleandhearty on the Pub Forum

The Shakespeare, SW1

99 Buckingham Palace Road
Phone: 02078284913

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Pub Type

Taylor Walker (Spirit Pubs)
Page: 1 2

Reviews (Current Rating Average: 4 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Tris C left this review about The Shakespeare

I came here once before around 20 or more years ago and I really don’t remember it being anything like this; has it been expanded into new buildings as it seems huge?
Essentially this place is one very large room, designed in wholly fake Victorian style, with split levels, multi-screens for sport, games machines, recessed aircon units in the ceiling and a Clear Channel illuminated advertising screen. The pub has more styles of furniture than DFS, with different zones receiving an individual theme. There are sauce bottles and plastic menus on tables and a security guard watching over all, who seemed to be tourists.
Ales: one reversed pump, then GK IPA and Abbot, so a Neck Oil it was at £3.35 a half.
This is a very poor pub, even by GK standards, but failed to prepare me for the neighbouring Victoria, but what should one expect when drinking next to a busy railway station?

On 7th November 2021 - rating: 3
[User has posted 1513 recommendations about 1493 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Bucking Fastard left this review about The Shakespeare

Large GK coner plot pub ,very close to Victoria station and so expect a transient crowd inside.Full T&T on entry and shown to a table,the interior has been split into sections so it doesn't feel like a barn but there are mute flatscreens everywhere.The good thing about Covid is that the huge plastic food menus have all been removed which has decluttered the interior ,and tables have been removed to aid social distancing.It felt quite secure inside,a good job as there little room outside.There is a cellar but closed on my Sunday visit.

The bar runs the length of a back wall and has two banks of three handpumps. However GK have a cider festival on ,meaning most taps were badged with 12 cider options,leaving just GK IPA for real ale drinkers (£5.10,NBSS 2.5 a piss take) .There was also a Gin festival of 31 varieties and I got the impression that real ale just isn't a priority in here.
Functional at best and instantly foregettable,GK just have too many pubs like this in central London.

On 11th October 2020 - rating: 4
[User has posted 2338 recommendations about 2338 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Philip Carter left this review about The Shakespeare

Big pub right outside Victoria Station. Lots of seats and plenty of food choices. But the prices are a bit high. Soup of the day £4.79, it is served with bread & butter, Fiush & Chips £13.49. But now the best bit, a pint of Twickenham Naked Ladies, £5.10. For a big pub, the gents toilet is not that big, the floor is wet and one of the hand dryers doesn't seem strong enough to dry anything. I have rated it as 3 as the pint of Naked Ladies tasted good.

On 7th February 2018 - rating: 3
[User has posted 757 recommendations about 720 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

custodian 42 left this review about The Shakespeare

Big pub with many levels. Had Abbot on as a real ale but nothing special about this place.

On 16th March 2017 - rating: 4
[User has posted 1693 recommendations about 1691 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

hondo . left this review about The Shakespeare

Large multi level interior a bit rough round the edges but served a purpose. 4 real ales,"craft keg" and food served.

On 14th October 2015 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 2822 recommendations about 2764 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

john Olsen left this review about The Shakespeare

Great Pub, my girlfriend from Florida, and I, were tired and miserable after braving the shops of Oxford street, and were looking for a friendly pub, near Victoria station. Had a few great pints of Lager and Cod and chips each. Best food we've had in 4 days.We will tell all our friends in jacksonville, Florida about this pub,just outside the station.

On 14th December 2014 - rating: 10
[User has posted 1 recommendations about 1 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

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

Large Taylor Walker pub at the front of Victoria station. Nothing very attractive about the facade, but the interior has been refurbished since my last visit so the place now has a lighter feel. Various seating areas, plus a dining area down a couple of steps. Sapphire lounge bar downstairs (open late). Three of four handpumps in operation on my last visit, with Deuchars IPA and Brains SA (£3.90) in addition to the regular Harveys. Overall, hardly great but much better than it once was.

On 4th January 2013 - rating: 6
[User has posted 7001 recommendations about 7001 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

E TA left this review about The Shakespeare

Still a Taylor Walker establishment, the location and reputation give you an idea of what to expect, The rambling interior fails to be quaint, instead it feels unwelcoming and sterile. It is noisy and crowded, a constant background jarring of gaming machines cutting through the roar of the tourists, and there is occasionally the rumble of a tube train going underneath - thank goodness the advertised live music wasn't on as well. The staff were poorly trained and had little in the way of English, reluctant to serve normal punters as they directed their self-believed charms towards more affluent looking foreign tourists. Ordering a pint was a challenge, and explaining the concept of topping up required considerable pedagogic effort. There were 3 ales on - I had Young's London Gold which was drinkable but not exciting. Its location means I may come in again if carrying a heavy bag and too impatient to walk elsewhere.

On 4th March 2012 - rating: 4
[User has posted 2868 recommendations about 2835 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Roger Button left this review about The Shakespeare

Much has been said about the Shakespear on various review sites, much of it negative, some of it justified and some maybe a little overreactive.

Firstly, it is a Taylor Walker branded Punch tavern which are normally bywords for average at best and with half a dozen Taylor Walker pubs within a few hundred yards, it suffers from having no specific identity to single it out from its neighbours

The interior is quite large and split into 5 sections, all much of a muchness in way of décor and furnishings with little that stands out of being of interest aside from a few old pictures of the area. One section is reserved for diners although it was deserted on my visit despite the pub being quite full. There was a sign for a lounge bar downstairs called Sapphires but the door was locked when I went to investigate although I believe there is a separate entrance located elsewhere. There were a couple of flat screen and music that was little more than a thumpy background against a cacophony of raised voices and would probably give me a headache if I was subjected to it for any length of time.

The service wasn’t exactly prompt but was friendly enough when it came. The 4 ales available were fairly predictable to anyone familiar with Taylor Walker pubs, the choices being Old Golden Hen, London Gold, Doom Bar and Theakstons Old Peculiar. The Old Peculiar was decent enough quality wise but at £3.75 a bit pricey although to be fair it is a premium strength beer. A full pint might have made the cost a little more tolerable. Food is the usual PubCo choices with main courses around £8-£15.

Due to its location right outside Victoria train and bus stations, it attracts a transient customer base largely made up of tourists arriving at the station or commuters gagging for a quick pint before going home. It is also a haven for bag snatchers and given the amount of warning signs (including the drip mats on the bar) I would expect that thefts are a regular occurence.

Despite its numerous detractors it is always healthily populated and whilst it certainly wouldn’t be my pub of choice it does cater for the unadventurous and could probably be a lot worse.

On 7th November 2011 - rating: 3
[User has posted 1239 recommendations about 1233 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Nick Davies left this review about The Shakespeare Tavern

Has now acquired Taylor Walker branding, though this has had minimal influence over the ambience and quality of service. The reviews below stand. The website says they "assure you of friendly service in a relaxing British pub with a welcoming atmosphere" which is over-egging it just a bit. Remarkably you get tour guides bringing groups in here for the authentic olde English pub lunch experience, complete with £9.99 Big Ben Burger. I suspect their poor punters never dare set foot in an English pub again.
Review Sept 2010:
It seems to have fallen off Punch Tavern's website now, whether that means they've given up on it or not I don't know. Heaven help whoever takes it on, it'll need about five years hard work and much investment to clean both it and its reputation up. I haven't the slightest idea why so many people go in here, the station bars are far pleasanter, and that's saying something.

On 23rd October 2011 - rating: 2
[User has posted 552 recommendations about 544 pubs]

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