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The Magpie, Bishopsgate, EC2

12 New Street
Phone: 02079293889

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Pub Type

Nicholsons (Mitchells & Butlers)
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Reviews (Current Rating Average: 7 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

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

A Nicholson's house, and like most City pubs either heaving or totally deserted depending on the time of day. Not much seating in the 'L'-shaped bar with dark traditional and decor, with most space required for 'vertical drinking' during the busy periods. Efficient staff. Nicholson's. Nine of ten handpumps in operation on this visit, with real ales including NPA, Pride, Hobsons Champion Mild, Trawlerboys Best Bitter from Green Jack Brewery, IVB Pride of the Valley and Robinson's Trooper (£4.85).

On 28th January 2018 - rating: 7
[User has posted 8160 recommendations about 8160 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Tris C left this review about The Magpie

An atmospheric little lane close to Liverpool Street Station and fairly typical of the Nicholson's brand with bare boards, lots of dark wood panelling and a fairly large and eclectic ale selection, much reduced since previous reviews.
Heritage has given way to a marble/granite bar top which looks like it belongs in a kitchen and unfortunately, there's a games machine. There's a dining room upstairs and muted music played.
What really lets the formula down though was the prevalence of some locals who swore to point that one could be forgiven for thinking that one had stumbled into a dockers' pub in E14; rarely have I heard such awful language - there's no way I'd come here on a date.
Ales: Nicholson's Bitter, Sharp's Doom Bar, a reversed clip, St. Austell's Cornish Best and Exmoor's Silver Stallion at just £2.15 a half and a decent drop too.
This isn't a bad pub but I won't be returning until the foul-mouthed dross is expelled, otherwise I'd have given the place at least another point.

On 19th August 2016 - rating: 3
[User has posted 2030 recommendations about 1995 pubs]

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Malden man left this review about The Magpie

This is a fairly compact L-shaped Nicholson's establishment situated at the end of a lane opposite Liverpool Street station. Wood panelled walls, a fireplace to one side and a backlit shelving arrangement in a cabinet featuring books, glasses and gin bottles. Otherwise decor consists of a large Nicholson's mirror plus the usual B&W photos of the area in yesteryear. A framed display explains that the pub is on the site of a former ambulance station which featured an electric ambulance.
There are nine handpumps here, in two banks on each side of the central L-shaped bar, Saturday had a choice of Brain's Rev James plus Bread of Heaven, Truman's Runner, Doom Bar, Deucher's IPA, Great Heck Cleaveland Brown (£4.15), Ilkley Rosa Ostara, Hobgoblin and Nicholson's Pale Ale. Service was friendly and I was offered a taster when I turned my nose up at the Rosa Ostara which is brewed with rose petals.
A very nice pub on a quiet Saturday afternoon, I doubt it is the same place post work in the week. Seating mainly at high tables and ledges but the place is small and I suppose they need to maximise the space. There is apparently another area upstairs but this was not immediately obvious.

On 1st November 2015 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1708 recommendations about 1681 pubs]

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hondo . left this review about The Magpie

Nicholson's pub tucked away down a side street. Quite a basic interior by Nicholson's standards. 9 real ale taps.

On 30th October 2015 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 2897 recommendations about 2834 pubs]

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Real Ale Ray left this review about The Magpie

There was a choice of nine ales on handpump on our visit. I went for the Squirrel Brew Co Legally Blonde, which turned out to be a boring brown ale and after paying top end prices I couldn't wait to move on. Also the barmaid was impatient and unfriendly, the music was playing on full blast on our Monday afternoon visit when the pub had emptied out. Not a destination pub this one

On 9th February 2015 - rating: 6
[User has posted 3414 recommendations about 3414 pubs]

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Pub SignMan left this review about The Magpie

Just a stone’s throw from Liverpool Street station, this Nicholson’s pub is tucked away down a quiet side road which means it tends not to get quite as swamped by the post-work crowd as other pubs in the area. You enter into a surprisingly dark L-shaped room with the servery directly opposite the door. Dark floorboards, wall panels and pillars combine to create a rather gloomy space, with muted lighting doing just about enough to allow you to read if visiting outside of daylight hours. Even the ceiling has been painted in a dark shade. The servery has a marble effect counter top and a Nicholson’s mirror on the bar back, whilst a similar mirror can be viewed over to the left of the bar, close to the stairs leading to the Station Dining Room. A series of shelves on the left hand wall are lined with bottles, tankards, a Cask Marque certificate and a modest collection of booze related books, labelled ‘Beer Library’. Over to the right, a large plasma screen is mounted on the wall, although it remained turned off during this mid-week visit in favour of quiet background music, and various black and white photos of the local area are on show. There are fairly minimal seating options in this front part of the room – just a few high stools arranged around high tables or along drinking ledges. The room extends slightly to the rear right, where a curved button backed banquette can be found underneath a large, plain mirror and a load more old pictures.
A good run of handpulls offered Trumans Runner, Adnams Ghost Ship and Broadside, Hook Norton Lion, Nicholson’s Pale Ale, Wadworth 6X and Exmoor Ale. The Ghost Ship was in sparkling form and was served to me by a friendly barman who also very thoughtfully provided me with a beer mat without prompting.
Whilst this is by no means the flagship pub for the Nicholson’s brand, it is nonetheless a very pleasant spot to drop in for a quick drink or two. I enjoyed the general ambiance of this place and would put it pretty high on the list of pubs worth regularly checking out when passing through Liverpool Street.

On 6th November 2014 - rating: 7
[User has posted 3140 recommendations about 3140 pubs]

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Bucking Fastard left this review about The Magpie

This Nicholson's is really quite a small building ,luckily afterwork drinkers tend to spill outside into a lane which has little traffic ,and it seems far enough away from Liverpool Street station to avoid getting mobbed by those people downing a swift pint before departing by train.
The interior is a single open plan room with the L shaped serving bar directly infront of the entrance but with lots of room for vertical drinking around and about.Tables and stools are banished to the walls which are pleasantly clad in wood panelling.To the right there is a rear bench in buttoned down red leather but otherwise seating is at a premium.There are adverts for food ,but on my trip everyone was just drinking.The hubub of conversation drowned out the muzak which would have been distracting if the pub was quieter.
There are a total of ten handpumps,with Doom Bar,London Pride (£3.40 decent shape)and Nicholson's Pale Ale as regulars ,but only one guest still functioning on my trip in Brains SA Gold,with the remaining two reversed.
The large picture windows at the front give some natural light to what otherwise would be a dark interior.There are some authentic touches,but unlike some of the chain there doesnt seem to be a focus on a wide range of interesting real ale.Fine for a quick one,but gone are the days when the guv'nor was a TT Landlord fanatic.

On 6th March 2013 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2773 recommendations about 2773 pubs]

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Danny O'Revey left this review about The Magpie

An excellent Nicholsons back street London local close to Liverpool Street Station. Bare boards, dark wood and well presented.

Usual large array of many real ales, the bar staff even suggesting I have a free sample of a sister beer to the one chosen so I could compare. Brilliant customer service.

Speciality pies on offer as part of the food range

On 30th July 2010 - rating: 9
[User has posted 1457 recommendations about 1435 pubs]

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Steve C left this review about The Magpie

There were at least six ales available in this backstreet Nicholson’s pub during my recent weeknight visit. There was also a standard draught range alongside Amstel and I found the Guinness and service to be very good. This is a small L-shaped pub that has a couple of flat screen TVs and I didn’t spot any Sky Sports advertisements, but there was some back music playing from various genres. There is a dining room upstairs where the King Edgar bar is located, but I did not investigate during this visit.

Food is served all day.

I didn’t mind it in here and would have no problem in returning.

On 28th July 2010 - rating: 7
[User has posted 5319 recommendations about 5287 pubs]

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Steve of N21 left this review about The Magpie

One of the better Nicholson's offerings in the area. A proper city pub tucked away down a side road opposite Liverpool Street station. Outside is usually void of traffic so OK for outside drinking, which helps as this is not a big pub and can get rammed with the early evening after work crowd.
Usually good and varied beer choice at reasonable pricing levels . For our visit this week there were ten ales on which included the usual TT Landlord and Golden Best, and Fullers London Pride, but several seasonal ales from smaller brewers (Davenports The Fall ) and some Micro's such as Springhead Polar Bear.
All the beers we tried were in good condition and the only gripe was that there was some serious short pulling going on during the early evening busy period, and top ups had to be requested more times than you should have to. Fortunately this improved as the pub quietened down.
But in conclusion a very decent city boozer close to Liverpool Street station.

On 28th November 2009 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2171 recommendations about 2043 pubs]

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