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The Ship & Shovell, WC2

1-3 Craven Passage
Phone: 02078391311

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

Tris C left this review about The Ship & Shovell

Closed on Sundays and grade II-listed, this is famous for being a pub of two halves, because when it comes to halves, it has been determined that ‘two’ is the optimum number. However, the second half, which opens selectively, is actually a modern shop conversion dating from just 1999, but who really cares?
It’s pretty and ornate inside, with dark wood panelling featuring integrated cut glass mirrors and linenfold-style panelling to one quarter height. Barring the modern floor, it’s otherwise a rather traditional affair, décor comprising framed pictures, with brass picture lamps; furniture is standard, nicely rustic and electronic entertainments seemed absent.
The staff were friendly, stewarded by an old-school landlady, custodian of three H & W ales: Fursty Ferret, Badger and Tanglefoot at £2.70 a half and fine I suppose, but I was never going to go weak at the knees over their beers.
This is a charming little place, where tourists are kept out by the forcefield that is the awful Sherlock Holmes, encountered on approach to this pub.

On 2nd November 2021 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1532 recommendations about 1510 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

hondo . left this review about The Ship & Shovell

Hall and woodhouse pub that is split in two by the passageway. Nice U shaped bar and gantry

On 27th October 2018 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 2833 recommendations about 2774 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Just a quick pint, then I'm off left this review about The Ship & Shovell

Although not a great fan of Hall & Woodhouse beer, this unusual smallish pub hidden in a passage almost underneath Charing Cross station is one of the best in the area. Very busy in the early evening, but it also has its famous separate (marginally quieter) bar on the opposite side of the alleyway. The main bar comprises two rooms, the larger of which is attractively decorated and extended by a further small seating area at the back, whilst the former public bar area at the front is plainer and more-or-less standing only. Usually has four real ales from a large number of handpumps scattered around the three bar counters, with Tanglefoot, First Call, the seasonal Ruby Rustler (£4.10) and 'Sussex' available on this visit.

On 16th January 2016 - rating: 8
[User has posted 7108 recommendations about 7108 pubs]

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E TA left this review about The Ship & Shovell

Well described by others, this wonderful subterranean pub is full of character and one of the better pubs in the area. Hall and Woodhouse are still in charge, and three of the four ales on draft are from that Brewery. I had the fourth, the guest beer, which was K&B's Sussex Bitter. The beer was in excellent condition and surprisingly cheap for London. It's a great place to drop into after a London meeting, and I'd happily include it in a crawl.

On 18th September 2014 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2906 recommendations about 2873 pubs]

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Danny O'Revey left this review about Ship & Shovell

At the side & below Charing Cross station the pub is split into two halves eother side of Craven Passage.

Old London brick buildings, the interior is smart & elegant and well kept, with dimmed lighting and lots of mirrors & chestnut. A very nice feel.

Rather quiet and relaxing, though the imposing station structure & arch reminds you that you're in a London back alley.

Hall & Woodhouse pub with 3 of their ales.

On 4th June 2013 - rating: 8
[User has posted 1353 recommendations about 1330 pubs]

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Blackthorn _ left this review about Ship & Shovell

An unusual pub in that it is split in to two completely separate halves which is apparently unique in London according to the sign outside. Not only that, but they are not even next to each other but opposite with an alleyway in between. Apparently one has always been a pub (the one on the left, as you approach the shopping arcade under the station) whilst the other was at one time a delicatessen which the pub expanded in to when it closed.

We went in the original half, which was quite attractive with hanging baskets outside. Inside it’s more or less a reverse L-shape with the base of the “L” having a pale wood floor and a plasma up in the corner which was showing a sporting fixture, although this was not too intrusive. The remainder of the pub was carpeted and the walls were mostly dark wood panelling with plenty of large patterned mirrors and a few black and white portrait photos on. There were large windows at the front with red drape curtains and some further wood partitioning with etched glass.

The menu was a fairly decent looking “pub grub” affair with options such as Ham Egg & Chips, Fish & Chips, a couple of curries, etc., mostly priced at around the £9 - £10 mark. There were also a number of bar snacks such as Scotch Eggs and a Pork Pie. My Chicken & Coconut Curry came with lemongrass, chilli, coriander and peanuts and seemed to be a Thai Green variety in all but name and was a decent and tasty dish with a generous portion of curry and an Indian Flatbread. Slightly less successful was a rather small portion of Mozzarella Bruschetta which seemed expensive at £6.50 considering the size.

Beers on tap were all from Hall & Woodhouse with their Firkin Fox, Tanglefoot, Sussex Draught and Badger. The solitary cider was Stowford Press which makes a pleasant change from the sweeter varieties that seem to be generally served around these parts.

On 12th February 2013 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1817 recommendations about 1741 pubs]

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Real Ale Ray left this review about Ship & Shovell

Definitely one to put down on your to do list. Really enjoyed the Badger Beer on handpump, well kept. Will call again.

On 30th July 2011 - rating: 8
[User has posted 3118 recommendations about 3118 pubs]

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Pub SignMan left this review about Ship & Shovell

One of London's Hall and Woodhouse pubs, this is a good choice for a pint if you find yourself at Charing Cross station, given that it is in an alleyway between the station and Embankment.
The pub is actually split in two by the alleyway, effectively creating two pubs. I have only been in the larger side (the smaller room tends to be closed on weekends) which is a U-shaped room with light wooden panelling to one side of the bar and dark panels on the other. The darker side is livened up by some very impressive etched glass mirrors and it is atmospherically lit by small wall lamps. Seating is arranged around the edge of the room, with plenty of space for standing and a raised area to the rear of the room which had more comfy seating.
Badger Best, Tanglefoot (£3.25) and the seasonal Lemony Cricket were the ale options, with just Peroni and Hofbrau for the lager drinker to choose from. The Tanglefoot was okay, if perhaps a little too warm, but it was one of the hottest days of the year, so that can perhaps be excused. Thankfully the room was nicely air-conditioned.
A good pub all told and worthy of investigation at the very least.

On 13th July 2010 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2813 recommendations about 2813 pubs]

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Graham Coombs left this review about Ship & Shovell

A good reliable pub, certainly one of the best in the vicinity. Well run, and beer usually in very good shape.

On 1st July 2010 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2659 recommendations about 2602 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Steve C left this review about Ship & Shovell

This is a popular pub that most London drinkers know of due to its close proximity to Charing Cross station and the novelty of it being in two halves with the ‘public’ bar being one side of Craven Passage and the main bar the other. Being so popular it is usually very busy with the after work crowd, but there is plenty of room outside to spill out into between the bars and I’ve always found the staff to be pretty quick so there is never much queuing at the bar. The usual Hall and Woodhouse Ales and draught are available and I’ve never had a bad pint of Guinness in here.

This place is well worth popping into if in the area.

On 3rd March 2010 - rating: 8
[User has posted 3948 recommendations about 3925 pubs]

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