A stone's throw from Buckingham Palace, Bag O' Nails, which is part of the Taylor Walker pub chain, is a cozy haven for drinking pints and gorging on British comfort food.
Why would you ever order anything here but the fish and chips? I chose the Codfather, which for a 2-pound up-charge affords a more generous portion and three slices of bread with butter. I skipped the unnecessary, wheat-filled carbs and attacked the massive fried cod, almost too elephantine to fit on the plate, alternately dipping each bite in malt vinegar or ketchup. Within four forkfuls, this became the standard by which I will judge all other servings of fish and chips.
The garden peas were terrific, and the crispy "chips" delighted my taste buds. I also tried the scotch eggs. When prepared warm and soft boiled, the crusted sausage and egg flavors blend in an intriguing way. A later rendition at another pub, served chilled with a hard boiled egg, was disgusting.
Bag O' Nails wins in so many ways.
Yesterday was my first time in the pub for years. Situated on Buckingham Palace Road, near Victoria Station. I would often go when I lived in Pimlico. It has not changed much. Got a nice mix of locals and tourists. Good choice of beers. Ladies in the group were pleased that they sold Prisecco by the glass.
Noticed that they were advertising their Christmas menu. £18.50 for three courses. Not a bad price for this part of town.
Just popped in for a couple of pints. Being so close to Buckingham Palace I'm sure this place qualifies as a tourist trap, a little overpriced and it certainly had no ambience to speak of. That said, they pulled a good pint, with some British varieties that are hard to find in the US, and after all I was a tourist. One nice touch were small jars of each draft beer in front of each beer tap, giving the uninformed drinker a visual preview, handy for non-Brits. If you're in the neighborhood and dying for a pint, this place won't let you down, but don't go expecting anything overly authentic or special.
We stopped here for dinner and a beer. The service was completely horrible. Took so long to get someone to wait on us, we ordered at the bar. We might have had another drink but we were forced to pay once we ordered but if we were able to get waited on, we didn't have to do this. The food was only somewhat ok. The name is what drew us to the place the food/service is what we ran from.
We happened upon this place as we were walking back to our apartment from Buckingham Palace. The food was fine and the portions were ample. In fact, the steak and ale pie were more than my husband or son could finish because they give you potatoes and veg also. I had the scampi (which is not shrimp in butter and garlic but what they call fried shrimp in London) & chips, and my younger son had the Korean spiced wings. It's a starter, so he also got a salad. You can get those same flavors as a salads but he likes the wings on the bone...sometimes you have to pick your battles! Anyway, this place is fine...not amazing but not awful.
They should name this place Bag 'O Tourist trap.
Food was just okay. Americans, think Chili's or Friday's or Olive Garden. Also, their bathroom is upstairs and is like trying to use an airplane bathroom except there are two other ladies trying to squeeze in around you.
Biggest bummer for me is they didn't have spicy mustard for the sausages!
A formidable sounding place, though I have a soft spot for it as I rolled into it, still reeling from a terrible interview gone wrong. I was definitely one of only a few people in here (it was around 11:30am). Never tried the food here aside from chips but I found it to be good on drinks. Not hugely pricey for this part of town and they have Old Rosie, so they already have a good start with me. A pretty standard pub, with plenty of room both upstairs and downstairs. The upstairs is closed during slow hours but the place gets pretty jam-packed after 7. I like it because it's central though not as touristy/backed as the Shakespearean pub just outside the Victoria tube stop because it's slightly out of the way. Definitely my go-to when I am in the area getting the Oxford tube or meeting up with a friend to travel somewhere.
Surprisingly nice inside, given the name. Don't mind the construction outside, just another traditional English pub with a bit of an upscale vibe (perhaps its a requirement for this part of town).
Oh Bag O Nails.
You seemed like just a regular, generic and run of the mill and not outstanding pub. Then I ordered a vodka soda and it came garnished with tiny, fresh, ripe strawberries. I don't think that's every happened to me at an establishment of your kind.
Well done you, even if many of your promotional materials do not understand how to use an apostrophe.
Not a bad pub near Victoria - owned by T & J Bernard, it has a good choice of real ales, but is a little compromised by being sooo close to Buckingham Palace and Victoria station (ie often packed of tourists and at lunch and after work) and by the thunderous traffic of Grosvenor Place.
The pub has an interesting history, though: mentioned in 1775 as the Bacchanals, the pub sign featured a satyr in the woods surrounded by jolly dogs - the 'Bacchanals' of the title. The satyr was painted black, and many locals regarded it as the devil, such that the pub was still known as the 'Devil and Bacchanals' as late as 1905, when the name was transliterated into the more homely 'Bag o' Nails'.
Both inside and out, it has the feel of a traditional pub, although most of the dark wood furniture is rather new. The beers on my visit included Greene King IPA, Fuller's London Pride, Young's Special, Old Speckled Hen, Wadworth's 6X, and Courage Directors. So nothing way out of the ordinary, but finding six real ales around Victoria is always a plus.
One slight downer is that the beers were served with rather generous heads, and we had to ask to have them topped up. They did so willingly enough, though I suspect an unknowing tourist might just have accepted it.
They do a fairly standard range of pub grub: starters from £3.70-£4.30, mains £6.95-£10 and puds at a decent £2.95 to £3.70. They also do a range of 'sharing meals' (nachos - that kind of thing), sandwiches and jacket potatoes.
There's also a large Sports TV screen in what is actually quite a small venue - it can get uncomfortably noisy for my taste when there's a match on. The other downer on my visit was the Gent's toilet: decently refurbished, but a bit messy and smelly (someone had clearly had a fight with the loo roll and lost).
Overall, not a bad venue if you can drop in when it's a bit quieter.
This is a pub that I've passed on many occasion but had never visited - and I have to admit that both my reasons were due to its touristy location within Victoria. l've visited on two occasions, one to catch up with a friend before we went on our Christmas breaks and we enjoyed a lovely mulled wine and the other time was when my brother and his wife were visiting from Sydney and it was close to their hotel, on this occasion enjoyed a refreshing cider on a Spring like day.
On both occasions the service was good and friendly but I can imagine on a busy day it might not be and it is very touristy due to it's handy, Central location.
Not a bad pub by all accounts. Quite small, but traditionally arranged with an interesting demographic of clients....and they sell Laphroaig which is always a plus!!!!
If you want to find somewhere convenient with plenty of seating for its size that isn't too pricey around Victoria you cant go far wrong with this gem!
Traditional English fare. We had meat or veggie pies. They were pretty good. The place was just a bit overpriced, but we were in a very touristy area near Buckingham Palace, so I suppose that is to be expected. They do have free wi-fi.
Im not much of a "pub" girl, but I know that's what London is famous for... so I guess this is pretty much what I expected. I went for dinner, so we bypassed the loud, drinking crowd downstairs and went to the upstairs diningroom to eat. I had Lasagne (I know, weird choice when you're in London) but it was decent. Service was pretty minimal. No complaints, but probably wouldn't go out of my way to eat here again.
Just another pub in London but I had to stop by here because I thought the name was cool. It is located across the street from Buckingham Palace so you can order a pint and watch all the tourist stand in line to get into the palace or wait here for the changing of the guards.
This one was kind of boring. A chain and tourist haven (yeah, look who's talking). It's in a tourista area, near Buckingham Palace. As good a stop as any if wandering around, Westminsterstyle.
Little pub right near Buckingham Palace. Although it's a chain as mentioned by others it has nice ambiance and a great selection of beers. It was raining the day we were walking by, making it a great place to seek refuge and enjoy a pint. Friendly bar staff too!
I like this pub! Near the Rubens Hotel where I am staying. Cod fish and chips were nice and Guiness is perfect..they serve extra cold. Little tables outside to want the crazy traffic on Buckingham palace Road. They had on Euro 2012 and a good crowd to watch. I recommend if you want to pop in for a beer.
Better here than the Shakespeare!!
I was famished and looking for a place for lunch when my boyfriend and I stumbled on this pub. It is just across the street from the Royal Mews. It was a disappointing lunch because it was TASTELESS. I ordered the traditional roast since it seem to be the specialty of the house and thought it was the worst meal I had in London. How can you mess up on a roast? My boyfriend was equally disappointed with his Salmon dish. The service was very slow and the dining room crowded with too many tourist. Wish we had the fortitude to venture elsewhere for a meal instead of ducking into this pub.
Good pub quite near to Victoria train station. Usually good service, not having to wait too long at the bar before getting served. Food is home cooked and reasonably priced. Can get busy on Friday nights due to proximity to train station and tourists visiting nearby Buckingham Palace.
This is a pub right across from Buckingham Palace. Yes, it's touristy, but it's also filled with some locals on their way home from work. Typical pub fare: fish and chips, chicken and mushroom pie etc. The upstairs dining area was only serviced by one person who was trying to work the bar while serving the tables upstairs. The steak pie was good, fish and chips were just average. Nice place to stop for a drink. They do make a very nice Pimm's cup.
Waiter did not understand American English well; fish was bland and greasy, chips were good. Beer was cold and poured correctly in a nice glass. I think representative of English chain pub fare.
Chain pub, just like all the rest
This was perhaps the blandest English food that I've ever had. Having lived in England for seven years I can say that though there is the occasional stereotypical bland food, there is also plenty of delicious traditional English food that is full of flavor. The food we ate here was subpar even compared to pub food in some random village. Being in London and appearing to be a quality establishment with plenty of customers, I would have expected more. The chicken and mushroom pie left much to be desired and the gravy I poured over my mashed potatoes and vegetables in an attempt to add some flavor did not do the job. This was my friends first trip to England so he wanted to try traditional fish & chips, he opted for the Cod Father. He was so disappointed that he didn't finish it, I gave it a try and it was about the most tasteless fish I've ever had. After that experience he refused to give fish & chips another try, and I refuse to give Bag O' Nails another try.
This place was just across the street from where we stayed. One night we stopped by for some drinks. They have an assortment of ales to keep a newbie like be busy, but seem to be light on the liquor, like most of the pubs we visited. When the kitchen is closed they offer a couple of snacks... but no plain peanuts. And when asking about peanuts members of our party were met with confused looks. They are still called peanuts in England right?
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